Thursday, October 31, 2013
Ms. Tavenner said that existing insurance policies were, in many cases, inferior to the new policies they could get. In compliance with the health care law, she said, new policies will provide more benefits and pay a larger share of medical costs than many existing policies. (NYT, 10/30/2013)
Is a Hyundai inferior to a Mercedes? Well in many ways it probably is. And yet Hyundai sells millions of automobiles. Why? It is because educated consumers compare cost and features and make personal decisions as to which car they want to drive. Many people who can afford a Mercedes do not buy one. One of the great lies of Obamacare is that consumers will be able to get Mercedes healthcare insurance at Hyundai prices.
But in Massachusetts, Mr. Obama for the first time admitted that some people who have had what he called “substandard” insurance plans may have to choose another one now that the Affordable Care Act has gone into effect. He accused lawmakers in Washington of distorting that fact by failing to mention that the new plans they have will be more comprehensive and often come with cheaper premiums. (NYT, 10/31/2013)
This is the latest lie from Obama, that new plans will be cheaper. They will only be cheaper if you qualify for subsidies. Otherwise, premiums will double or triple. Obama can now be properly labeled a "serial liar."
Today's Funnies Brought to You by Healthcare.gov
Computer issues are not the only problem plaguing the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. A 228-page list of navigators — businesses and organizations that help people sign up for coverage — on New York State’s health exchange website has turned out to be littered with places whose owners and employees have no clue how to offer health insurance advice.
“I have no idea why I am in the list,” Patrick Wu, manager of the Bowery Pharmacy in Lower Manhattan, said on Tuesday. But he said he had received about 50 calls from people seeking insurance since the exchange went live on Oct. 1.
Sa Sa Cosmetic and Skincare Spa, on East Broadway, is also listed, but a manager who answered the phone on Tuesday giggled as she explained the shop was “for skin,” not for insurance.
At the Style Management taxi garage on West 44th Street, a manager who gave her name only as Stephanie was asked why her employer was on the list. “I don’t even know, to be honest with you,” she said. (NYT, 10/30/2013)
The White House has issued a clarification. When the president said if you like your insurance plan you can keep it, what he meant was you can keep it if he likes it. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, 10/29/2013)
RedStateVT has just had a mind-blowing revelation. Obamacare is really a way to improve the dismal employment numbers. If nothing else, it will put every wanna-be comedian back to work!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Lhota’s Years Working for the Dolans (New York Times headline, 10/29/2013)
Next up from the Times: de Blasio's Years Working for the Sandinistas
Today's Funny Brought to You by Healthcare.gov
However, insurers said they saw the problems as more significant, affecting 25 percent to 30 percent of enrollments. In some cases, they said, the government lists a dependent as the head of a household, with the result that a 10-year-old child is shown as having three or four dependents and is identified as the policyholder for a family. (NYT, 10/29/2013)
Which reminds us again that Saturday Night Live - that bastion of coastal Liberalism - is having a field day with Obamacare.
Meanwhile over on MSNBC yesterday they were focused on ..... Dick Cheney. Yes, Dick Cheney. Some Liberal writer has written a book about Cheney and MSNBC convened a panel of Liberals to discuss. The majority of the time was spent snickering about the former Vice-President, a frail old man with severe health problems. They even managed to say "Darth Vader." This is the level of professionalism of MSNBC.
Take away 620 jobs with an average salary of $100,000 at a company that pays $1.15 million a year in local taxes and it’s going to hurt.
Windham County needs help weathering that as the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant shuts down by the end of next year, several local leaders said Monday at a meeting with two legislative committees. (Burlington Free Press, 10/28/2013)
Vermont Progressives, politicians and the media, have just woken up to the economic realities of closing Vermont Yankee.
OK geniuses, what's the plan?
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer conceded to reporters today that Democrats knew people would not be able to keep their current health care plans under Obamacare and expressed qualified contrition for President Obama’s repeated vows to the contrary.
“We knew that there would be some policies that would not qualify and therefore people would be required to get more extensive coverage,” Hoyer said in response to a question from National Review.
Asked by another reporter how repeated statements by Obama to the contrary weren’t “misleading,” Hoyer said “I don’t think the message was wrong. I think the message was accurate. It was not precise enough…[it] should have been caveated with – ‘assuming you have a policy that in fact does do what the bill is designed to do.’” (Nationalreview.com, 10/29/2013)
Everybody satisfied with that explanation?
Anybody satisfied with that explanation?
Highlights from the Suddenly Engaged Liberal Media
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years. (NBCnews.com, 10/29/2013)
...the Republicans understated the number of issues on which the president has claimed to be in the dark. A compilation by the Republican National Committee titled “The Bystander President” cited the NSA spying on Merkel, the Obamacare rollout and an investigation of the IRS’s targeting of political groups (the White House counsel knew of the inquiry but said she didn’t inform Obama). The RNC also mentioned the failure of clean-energy company Solyndra, which had received government funding (Carney had said Obama read about it in “news accounts”), and the attempts to go after reporters’ phone and e-mail records (which the president also found out about from reading the news, Carney said).
The RNC didn’t mention that Obama had allegedly known nothing about an FBI investigation of an affair involving David Petraeus that led him to resign as CIA director. Neither did it mention two other claims that conservatives often question: Obama’s ignorance of a guns-on-the-border sting operation called “Fast and Furious” that went awry, and his unawareness of requests for additional diplomatic security in Libya before a U.S. outpost in Benghazi was attacked. (Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 10/28/2013)
Something went wrong. People could not sign up. Why? Not sure. Who’s at fault? Apparently no one. An act of God. Something that could never have been foreseen. Another president might have had someone in the White House calling every day — no, twice a day — to make sure the program was going to work. But no, it was a shock to everyone, and when the White House rolled out its gigantic cake — maestro, some music please — no one jumped out.
Pathetic. (Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 10/28/2013)
Occasionally journalism happens.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took a swipe Friday at those calling for her to resign over the botched ObamaCare website rollout, suggesting that Republican efforts to delay and defund the law contributed to HealthCare.gov's glitch-ridden debut. (Foxnews.com, 10/26/2013)
Just to be clear, we had a Republican-led government shutdown over the issue of defunding Obamacare.
Which was unsuccessful in defunding Obamacare.
And which now - according to Sebelius - is a reason that the website does not work. Not a surprise really coming from the administration which is accountable for NOTHING. Meanwhile there appears to be plenty of money to run prime time commercials urging everyone to sign up for health care.
In the months ahead, Mr. Obama is expected to push for Congress to pass an immigration overhaul in the face of conservative skeptics who doubt that the government can secure borders or verify the status of all workers. He has said he will push to create a Web-based system to rank colleges and universities, with the intention of eventually linking $150 billion in student aid to the results. (NYT, 10/27/2013)
Choose the RedStateVT response:
A) Having proven we can do technology.
B) For my next trick.
C) What could go wrong?
RedStateVT happened to catch Mark Larson, Commissioner of the Department of Health Access in Vermont, on local radio last night participating in a softball interview talking about healthcare in the state. One exchange caught our attention, however. Asked if Vermonters who liked their current health plan would be able to keep it, Larson launched into a description of the eighteen plans now available to residents. (Since there are only two providers in Vermont offering plans that vary primarily by the deductible amount, the claim that there are eighteen plans is a stretch. A big stretch.)
The question called for a simple yes or no answer which, of course, was not forthcoming.
Because the answer is no.
Larson has learned well from the Obama administration that in service of the greater good - Obamacare - evasion is the proper course when faced with inconvenient truths. See the following:
Though the news coverage is still not accurate...the story of middle class Americans losing the health insurance they were happy with, and promised they could keep, is finally starting to break through in the mainstream media. Hundreds of thousands who were perfectly happy with their health plans, and took Obama at his word, have already been blindsided by cancellation notices. Soon, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the same will happen to millions. Basically, millions are and will be herded into government-approved, one-size-fits-all plans that are more expensive, have higher deductibles, and might not allow them to keep their doctor (another Obama broken promise). (Breitbart.com, 10/28/2013)
The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. (WSJ, 10/28/2013)
Quick, what scares you more? That the Obama administration was spying on allies or that Obama did not even know.
In the 2008 campaign, he said he believed “that part of my job is to make government cool again.” His campaign sometimes talked about creating an “iPod government” that is user-friendly and efficient. (NYT, 10/27/2013)
Who was it that said Obama has succeeded in creating a Commodore 64 government?
End of Times
Finally, for consumers, the era of legalized medical marijuana has meant an expanded market and often cheaper prices. Buyers here gaze over showcases offering a rich assortment of marijuana, promising different potencies and different kinds of highs. Cannabis sativa produces a pronounced psychological high, a “head buzz,” while cannabis indica delivers a more relaxed, lethargic effect, a “body buzz.” (NYT, 10/27/2013)
Ain't life grand? Liberals should be ashamed of themselves. They aren't, of course, because they have no shame.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Two Times Two
But on a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials twice declined to answer questions about whether Kathleen Sebelius, Mr. Obama’s health secretary, knew about the problems. Asked if Marilyn Tavenner, the agency’s director, or anyone else had alerted Ms. Sebelius, an official cut off a reporter.
“Next question,” he said. (NYT, 10/25/2013)
The most transparent government ever....
Some Democrats said that, given the Republican assault on the measure, the White House was right to deliver upbeat presentations promoting it.
“To downplay expectations would have fed into the Republican narrative,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, who attended a session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with other allies of the administration. (NYT, 10/25/2013)
So just to be clear, Democrats were justified in their optimism about Obamacare because Republicans were pessimistic. You can't make this stuff up.
A flurry of recent attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq—strengthened by their alliance with jihadist fighters in Syria—is threatening to undo years of U.S. efforts to crush the group, widening sectarian conflict in the Middle East.
The chaos across the border in Syria and Iraqi Sunnis' feeling of discrimination under the Shiite-led government has reignited the kind of intense sectarian strife that brought Iraq to the verge of civil war in 2006-2007. A security vacuum left by the withdrawal of American combat troops in December 2011 is also helping the fighters regain a foothold. (WSJ, 10/25/2013)
So we already have the answer to the question that will eventually be asked:
Who lost Iraq?
Barack Obama lost Iraq.
Jeanne Shaheen doesn't sound like a Democrat who just won a government-shutdown "victory." Ms. Shaheen sounds like a Democrat who thinks she's going to lose her job.
The New Hampshire senator fundamentally altered the health-care fight on Tuesday with a letter to the White House demanding it both extend the ObamaCare enrollment deadline and waive tax penalties for those unable to enroll....CNN reports that all 16 Senate Democrats up for re-election are expected to support Ms. Shaheen's proposal. In the House, Democratic members are stacking up behind all of these ideas, and more. (Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 10/24/2013)
Even before the most recent Obamacare troubles, it was difficult to find a Democrat who would run for election or re-election touting their support of the law. Why is that do you think?
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin will propose a new law next week called: "If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act."
“One of the most important promises made by President Obama and Democrat congressional leadership to promote the Affordable Care Act was that Americans who were satisfied with their health plans could keep them. That promise has been broken. More than a million Americans have been notified that the plans they like with the coverage they have chosen have been canceled. Millions more Americans will have the plans of their choice canceled in months to come,” says Senator Johnson in a statement. (Weeklystandard.com, 10/25/2013)
Like the Republicans' call for all in government to live under Obamacare, this is a pretty sensible proposal.
Of course, it doesn't stand a chance.
Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling National Security Agency electronic surveillance of some of America's closest allies "outrageous."
The left-leaning independent wrote to President Barack Obama to express his views after reports that the NSA spied on heads of state in Brazil, Mexico, France and Germany. (Burlington Free Press, 10/25/2013)
Sanders went on to blame the problem on George Bush.
By the way, note the description of Sanders as "left-leaning." The BFP gives us the under-statement of the century!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Republicans insist the buck stops with the secretary. But although Ms. Sebelius runs the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency directly responsible for the health care law, there are questions about how deeply she was involved in the development of the troubled Web site.
“Kathleen has the title, but she doesn’t have the responsibility or in many respects the kind of wide authority and access to the president that she really needs to make a difference,” said one person close to Ms. Sebelius and the White House, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal decision-making. “Everybody thinks that she’s the driving force, but unfortunately she’s not.” (NYT, 10/23/2013)
The alibis and finger pointing over Obamacare will only grow. Here we learn that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (geez, is that a cabinet level position?) may NOT be to blame. What with that limited authority and all....
Thrills and Chills
“Of course, we want to know when it’s going to be over,” Pelosi told POLITICO, referring to the sign-up problems. “But that is not to diminish the thrill that we have about the Affordable Care Act, and member after member emphasized the fact that good things were happening.” (POLITICO.com, 10/23/2013)
Such thrills which include people finding out that their health insurance premiums are doubling. That thrill, Nance?
Because of all the noise and disinformation, President Obama and the Democrats don’t just own Obamacare as a political issue. They own health care. Anytime something bad happens — premiums rise, or employers change plans or pare coverage — Obamacare will be blamed, even if the new law had nothing to do with the change.
“It’s one of the most frustrating things,” says Brad Woodhouse, the former Democratic National Committee official who runs Americans United for Change. “If anybody has a problem with health care, Republicans say it has to be a problem with Obamacare.”
Does Woodhouse believe Democrats now own health care? “In some ways we probably do, which is unfair,” he said. “Nobody said Obamacare was a panacea for everything.” (Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 10/22/2013)
Milbank goes back in the RedStateVT doghouse (that was quick!) after this column which talks about how darn unjust it is that Dems will be blamed for any and all problems with the health care system going forward. Hold on a second there, Bucky! First, Dems wanted to own the health care issue. It was their way of demonstrating the compassion they had for their fellow Americans, in contrast to the callous disregard of their political opponents. Second, you can bet that if things had gone swimmingly, they would have claimed credit for everything. (Life expectancy increase! Dems credit Obamacare...and themselves!)
Mr. Obama assured the German leader that the U.S. isn't monitoring her communications and won't in the future, a White House spokesman said. He wouldn't say whether it had occurred in the past.
The uproar in Berlin is the latest sign that the National Security Agency scandal has the potential to continue to inflict damage on Washington's relationships with overseas partners. Earlier this week, Mr. Obama called French President François Hollande, who expressed his "deep disapproval" over reports that the NSA was collecting data on tens of millions of French phone calls and messages. Reports of U.S. spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as well as Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto during his successful presidential campaign have already strained the U.S. relationship with Latin America. (WSJ, 10/23/2013)
Reset button time!
Wait, wasn't Obama the one who was going to undo decades of American bad behavior and get the rest of the world to love us? How's that working out for him?
And then there is this:
Bluntly, Mr. Obama's partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don't trust him. Whether it's the Saudis, the Syrian rebels, the French, the Iraqis, the unpivoted Asians or the congressional Republicans, they've all had their fill of coming up on the short end with so mercurial a U.S. president. And when that happens, the world's important business doesn't get done. It sits in a dangerous and volatile vacuum. (Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 10/23/2013)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
We Did a Little Digging
In 2012, the percentage of people without health insurance decreased to 15.4 percent from 15.7 percent in 2011. The number of uninsured people in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 48.0 million.
Both the percentage and number of people with health insurance increased in 2012 to 84.6 percent and 263.2 million, up from 84.3 percent and 260.2 million in 2011.
The percentage of people covered by private health insurance in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 63.9 percent. This is the second consecutive year that the percentage of people covered by private health insurance was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate. The number of people covered by private health insurance increased in 2012 to 198.8 million, up from 197.3 million in 2011.
The percentage and number of people covered by government health insurance increased to 32.6 percent and 101.5 million in 2012 from 32.2 percent and 99.5 million in 2011.
The percentage and number of people covered by employment-based health insurance in 2012 were not statistically different from 2011, at 54.9 percent and 170.9 million.
The percentage and number of people covered by Medicaid in 2012 were not statistically different from 2011, at 16.4 percent and 50.9 million.
The percentage and number of people covered by Medicare increased in 2012 to 15.7 percent and 48.9 million, from 15.2 percent and 46.9 million in 2011. (Statistics come from the U.S. Census Bureau)
Liberals are fond of quoting the statistic of 48 million people without health insurance as the raison d'etre for Obamacare. Well, let's look at it another way: 265 million Americans representing some 85% of the population DO have health insurance! (And - truth be told - many of the 48 million CHOOSE not to have insurance.) However - bringing a sledge hammer to the problem - Liberals have decided to blow up the entire health care system in order to solve a problem affecting a minority. It is as though they wanted to change the definition of marriage because .01% of the population representing gay couples decided they wanted to get married. Oh wait, that happened!
Nevertheless, disarray has distinguished the project. In the last 10 months alone, government documents show, officials modified hardware and software requirements for the exchange seven times. It went live on Oct. 1 before the government and contractors had fully tested the complete system. Delays by the government in issuing specifications for the system reduced the time available for testing. (NYT, 10/21/2013)
This from one of Obama's major media supporters. Occasionally journalism happens.
Over the weekend, the administration announced a “tech surge” that would bring in “the best and the brightest from both inside and outside government” to fix the Web site. (NYT, 10/22/2013)
Which raises the inevitable question: why weren't the "best and brightest" working on the website from the start?
You know the answer. It was (somehow) because of the Republicans!
Insurance companies are also already sending out notices to millions of consumers cancelling individual policies because they are non-compliant with ObamaCare's new mandates. Kaiser Health News, usually a cheerleader for the law, reports that "Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state." Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people, Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20% of its individual market customers, and Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia is dropping about 45%.
Remember when Mr. Obama said you could keep your policy if you liked it? (WSJ, 10/21/2013)
Liar, liar. Pants. On. Fire.
"The point is the essence of the law, the health insurance that's available to people, is working just fine. In some cases, actually, it's exceeding expectations." (President Barack Obama)
"Keep in mind the insurance doesn't start until Jan. 1." (President Barack Obama, same day)
Kudos to James Taranto (WSJ, 10/21/2013) for highlighting this Obama gem.
Obama’s pitch sounded a bit desperate and perhaps it should. The product he rolled out three weeks ago was seriously defective. (Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 10/21/2013)
Highlighting a Liberal columnist (there have been a few) who at least is telling the truth. Others have tried to feed America the sham line that the problem with Obamacare is that it is working TOO well.
Several donors declined to speak for attribution because they did not want to anger the president. One called Mr. Obama’s White House holiday events “cuckoo clock parties,” because “he comes down, gives a speech, poses for some photos and pops back inside.” (NYT, 10/22/2013)
Interesting article contrasting the styles of Bll and Hill Clinton and 'Too Cool for School' Obama. The Legitimate Media has already begun the inevitable pivot to the next President Clinton.
Experts have long pondered the cause of the crisis that led to the Late Bronze Age collapse of civilization, and now believe that by studying grains of fossilized pollen they have uncovered the cause.
In a study published Monday in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, researchers say it was drought that led to the collapse in the ancient southern Levant.
Theories have included patterns of warfare, plagues and earthquakes. But while climate change has long been considered a prime factor, only recently have advances in science given researchers the chance to pinpoint the cause and make the case. (NYT, 10/23/2013)
Amazing....3000 years ago civilization in a portion of what is now the Middle East suffered catastrophically due to climate change. Must have been all those SUVs...or camels.
Lawyers and advocates take issue with the Vermont Department of Mental Health’s proposed rules for emergency involuntary procedures, saying they would violate the law and the civil rights of psychiatric patients. (VTdigger.org, 10/21/2013)
And as to the civil rights of mentally healthy citizens to be safe from the mentally ill?
Sunday, October 20, 2013
During an appearance on "The Daily Show," she (Kathleen Sebelius) addressed viewers crucial for the health program's success—young adults, whose participation is needed to spread the costs of care in the new system.
"We're going to do a challenge," host Jon Stewart said on the TV show. "I'm going to try and download every movie ever made, and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare, and we'll see which happens first." (WSJ, 10/18/2013)
Loyal readers know that we are no fans of Jon Stewart, but this is hilarious. Good for him!
And then there is this from the same article:
Mrs. Sebelius has personal as well as professional interest in getting it to work. "My 29-year-old son is an entrepreneurial artist who is too old to be on his parents' plan but has a job that doesn't come with health insurance," she said. "So he is also going to be in the marketplace looking for coverage."
She plans to return home to Kansas this weekend, where she will navigate healthcare.gov with her son John, she said, "and see for myself every step of the way."
So it's October 18th. And Sebelius is saying that she hasn't even tried the healthcare website herself? RedStateVT reverses its previously held position that Sebelius should resign. It seems to us that if you oppose Obamacare, the best thing to do is to insist that she remain.
Separately, major American corporations like the Silicon Valley tech giants are once again preparing to intensify their campaign to persuade Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration law, an effort that has been dormant since late spring.
That will include a late-November “Hackathon” that will bring together executives and immigrants without work documents to contact members of Congress to push the cause. (NYT, 10/20,2013)
Sample script: "Hello Senator, my name is Manuel and I am in this country illegally...."
Friday, October 18, 2013
“The key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don’t need, closes corporate tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs, and frees up resources for the things that do help us grow — like education and infrastructure and research,” President Obama said Thursday from the White House, setting ambitious goals for Congress even as his own role in the bargaining was unclear. (NYT, 10/17/2013)
Translation: “The key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don’t need like border security, raises taxes on business, and frees up resources for the things that do help the Democrat party grow — like more money for teachers and unions and climate change scientists.”
As to Obama's role in the bargaining: he has no role.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The campaign gave him less flattering national attention for his Twitter exchanges with a dancer in a vegan strip club, and renewed old questions about whether he embellished an oft-told story about a moving encounter with a drug dealer, who may or may not have existed (Mr. Booker called him “an archetype”). He had to resign from a media company that Silicon Valley investors had paid him millions to start — but not before the resignation of the 15-year-old son of a television executive, whom Mr. Booker had put on the company’s board. (NYT, 10/16/2013)
Congratulations to New Jersey's new Democrat senator! Well done to New Jersey voters for electing another black celebrity politician! (You get what you voted for.)
And from the same article there is this:
Having started his political career by moving into a Newark housing project, Mr. Booker spent the final days before his Senate election beating back stories in the conservative news media that he did not actually live in the city; the fact that this story could catch hold at all suggested the level of suspicion aimed at the mayor in the city where he began his rise. And he had to call off campaign events during a nearly two-week spree of murders in Newark this summer, underscoring the layoffs of police officers during his tenure, and a complaint that has long made him bristle: that he is a better orator than manager.
Kinda reminds us of someone else......
Obamacare wasn't passed because the nation changed its mind. We got Obamacare because, at a brief moment in time, the Democrats happened to have aberrationally large majorities in the House and Senate, as well as the presidency. It was quickly and unconstitutionally enacted on a strictly party-line vote.
In the very next election, the American people elected 63 new Republicans to the House of Representatives -- the largest sweep of Congress for any party since 1948. Even liberal Massachusetts elected a Republican senator solely because of his vow to vote against Obamacare.
This is why the duly elected Republican majority in the House keeps funding the entire federal government -- except Obamacare. Or except Congress' exemption from Obamacare. Or except the individual mandate that Obama has already waived for his big-business friends. (Anncoulter.com, 10/16/2013)
Lest yea forget.
The Fix Is In
Discussing the new online insurance market during a visit to Cincinnati on Wednesday, Ms. Sebelius acknowledged the problems with the exchanges, but said that fixes were in the works.
“I am the first to admit that the launch was rockier than we would have liked,” she said. But after two weeks, she added, “there are vast improvements,” and people who were frustrated should “come back” and try again.
Some consumers who did so said they were still unable to log in and shop for insurance on Wednesday. (NYT, 10/16/2013)
OK, now can she be fired?
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Obamacare is such a disaster that the people who wrote it refuse to live under it themselves. That's right, Congress won a waiver from Obamacare.
Responding to the people's will, House Republicans first voted to fund all of government -- except Obamacare. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.
Then the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but merely delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.
Finally, the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but added a requirement that everyone live under Obamacare. No more special waivers for Congress and their staff, and no waivers for big business without the same waivers for individuals.
Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it. So as you can see, Republicans are the big holdup here. (AnnCoulter.com, 10/9/2013)
The official response issued jointly by the Obama administration and the office of Senator Harry Reid is as follows:
"Ted Cruz...hostage-takers...anarchists...Ted Cruz...Ted Cruz...blackmail...Ted Cruz."
The administration claims the Obamacare online exchanges crashed because the Web site got more than 8 million hits in the first week. Please. You know how many people visit Amazon.com every week? More than 70 million. The difference is: 1.) Amazon seldom crashes, and 2.) on Amazon, people actually buy something. (Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post, 10/14/2013)
And yet somehow Kathleen Sebelius continues to have a job.
(Killer point by Thiessen.)
But ObamaCare is the tipping point, the tea party believes. Unless the law is defunded, the land of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility will be gone forever, and the new America, dominated by dependent minorities who assert their "rights" without accepting their responsibilities, will have no place for people like them.
For the tea party, ObamaCare is much more than a policy dispute; it is an existential struggle. (William A. Galston, WSJ, 10/15/2013)
You may love the tea party, you may hate it, but you need to understand it.
What's for Lunch?
ObamaCare promised a free lunch: universal (or near-universal) coverage at lower cost without any diminution of quality or choice. It's a perpetual-motion machine. But even the Supreme Court can't strike down the laws of physics. If a large number of people benefit from ObamaCare--itself a big if--somebody has to pay. Much of the burden was supposed to fall on young, healthy people, who frequently do not have medical insurance. To compensate for price controls on premiums for patients with pre-existing conditions, their premiums would be jacked up. Somehow higher prices are supposed to induce them to get insured. (James Taranto, WSJ, 10/15/2013)
And you were cynical about today's youth!
(Killer point by Taranto.)
In response, Republicans threatened to default on America’s debts to force agreement on the Budget Control Act, which cut nearly $1 trillion in spending over 10 years with no tax increases. (Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post, 10/15/2013)
Trying to find the logic in a vanden Heuvel column is like...well, don't bother. The whole point of Republican spending cuts is to cut spending. It is not to cut spending and then raise more revenue so that spending cuts could be reversed. As RedStateVT has said a thousand times, the Liberal answer is ALWAYS taxes, more taxes.
Monday, October 14, 2013
If Government Worked Like Business
Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, both insisted in July that the project was not in trouble. Last month, Gary M. Cohen, the federal official in charge of health insurance exchanges, promised federal legislators that on Oct. 1, “consumers will be able to go online, they’ll be able to get a determination of what tax subsidies they are eligible for, they’ll be able to see the premium net of subsidy,” and they will be able to sign up.
But just a trickle of the 14.6 million people who have visited the federal exchange so far have managed to enroll in insurance plans, according to executives of major insurance companies who receive enrollment files from the government. And some of those enrollments are marred by mistakes. Insurance executives said the government had sent some enrollment files to the wrong insurer, confusing companies that have similar names but are in different states. Other files were unusable because crucial information was missing, they said. (NYT, 10/13/2013)
If government worked like business, Tavenner, Sebelius and Cohen would be fired.
Absolutely devastating article in the Times yesterday about the Obamacare rollout which deserves to be read in its entirety. No doubt Obama administration officials had some stern private words for Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger. We'd wager that the "Obamacare Back on Track After Shaky Start" article is already being prepared.
But at least we have a glimmer of honest journalism for one day. From the same article:
Worried about their reputations, contractors are now publicly distancing themselves from the troubled parts of the federally run project. Eric Gundersen, the president of Development Seed, emphasized that his company had built the home page of HealthCare.gov but had nothing to do with what happened after a user hit the “Apply Now” button.
So here's a question: When will Democrats, similarly worried about their reputations, begin publicly distancing themselves from Obamacare?
Friday, October 11, 2013
President Obama and House Republicans failed to reach agreement on a six-week extension of the nation’s borrowing authority during a meeting Thursday at the White House, but the two sides kept talking, and the offer from politically besieged Republicans was seen as an initial step toward ending the budget standoff. (NYT, 10/10/2013)
President Obama's latest approval rating is 37%. Who exactly is "politically besieged?"
Vermont global warming scare-monger Bill McKibben got caught on camera filling up his grocery cart with eco-unfriendly plastic bags. No reusable canvas totes for Bill!
The article by Twitchy spotlighting McKibben reminds us that the global warming cult figure is a prominent member of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, who’s website blares on its front page, “Disposable plastics are the greatest source of plastic pollution. Plastic bags, straws, bottles, utensils, lids, cups and so many others offer a small convenience but remain forever. REFUSE disposable plastics! Follow the “4 Rs” of sustainable living: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” (Ethanallen.org, 10/7/2013)
Another Liberal hypocrite.
Exhort people to take public transportation and then fly off in a private jet.
Decry guns except for your private security.
Bemoan big money in politics, but gladly take millions from George Soros.
The examples go on.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Why is RedStateVT the Only Major Media Outlet Reporting This?
Two weeks ago Saturday Night Live, that ultra hip purveyor of New York Liberal thought, actually did a skit mocking Obamacare. Obama administration officials accustomed to watching SNL to get their yucks when Sarah Palin and John Boehner are maligned must have had seizures. You know your second term is in trouble when you are a Liberal president and SNL begins making fun of your signature policy issue. We at RedStateVT took extra satisfaction in SNL's swipe at the Obamacare provision which allows deadbeat 26 year olds to remain on dad's health insurance.
This is bigger than Obamacare. This is about rich conservatives seeking to exert unlimited influence on our political system, and employing far-right Republicans who are animated, to varying degrees, by an innate hostility to this president, fear of diminishing influence and a disavowal of disagreeable truths.
This is about the fragility of our democracy: the possibility that a government by the people may swiftly give way to a government dominated by dark money and dark motives. (Charles M. Blow, NYT, 10/9/2013)
Writing about the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case before the Supreme Court, humorist Charles M. Blow dusts off his "Evil Republicans: Big Money in Politics" column. How can any serious columnist write an article on this subject which mentions the Koch Brothers, but fails to mention George Soros?
Answer: Blow is not a serious journalist.
This moment is reminiscent of Mr. Obama's bungling of the December 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission report. He didn't just fail to act on its blueprint for righting the nation's finances—he acted as if he'd never heard of the commission that he appointed. (Karl Rove, WSJ, 10/9/2013)
Good reminder from Rove. Of course, the Legitimate Media gave Obama a pass on this.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Robyn J. Skrebes of Minneapolis said she was able to sign up for health insurance in about two hours on Monday using the Web site of the state-run insurance exchange in Minnesota, known as MNsure. Ms. Skrebes, who is 32 and uninsured, said she had selected a policy costing $179 a month, before tax credit subsidies, and also had obtained Medicaid coverage for her 2-year-old daughter, Emma. (NYT, 10/8/2013)
Ms. Skrebes will receive subsidies which will reduce the cost of her insurance to $0.
Creating another ward of the state.
And another Democrat voter.
And where, we wonder, is the father of her daughter, little Emma?
In fact, the location of deadbeat dads matters little to Liberals as long as they can celebrate another single mother.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
And outside experts said that White House officials should have spent more time tending to the computer code and technology of the Web site, rather than recruiting Hollywood celebrities to promote it. (NYT, 10/7/2013)
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: Why the Gov't Shutdown is the Fault of Republicans Edition
Here is how corrupt NBC News is: They run a story about how the families of five U.S. servicemen killed in Afghanistan are not going to get their death benefits because of the government shutdown. You - as an astute reader of RedStateVT - immediately say the following: I did not hear anything about five servicemen being killed in action.
Of course you did not.
That would have reflected badly on Obama. NBC buried the story of the five brave patriots only until they could exploit it. Namely, the Republicans shut down the government and now the families of these heroes are being punished.
NBC News long ago ceased being a legitimate news organization. Now they are merely contemptible.
Moderation in the Extreme
As a moderate House Republican, Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania by definition typically finds himself somewhere near the middle when the majority of his colleagues veer well to the right. (NYT, 10/7/2013)
The New York Times profiles a "moderate" Republican. In a short 27 paragraph article we get the following word count:
Moderate or variation - 6
Centrist or variation - 4
Pragmatist or variation - 2
Realist - 1
Middle - 1
We are still awaiting an article by the Times which talks about a moderate Democrat.
It won't happen.
Or perhaps Representative Dent is really that moderate Democrat. Witness this from the same article:
"Mr. Dent has proved himself to be more socially liberal than many of his Republican counterparts. He was just one of 15 Republicans in 2010 who voted to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and he is a co-sponsor of several acts to prevent bullying and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Earlier this year, he chastised a group of his colleagues for pushing a controversial bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, saying they should be focusing on more important issues like the economy."
“It’s just ridiculous,” Edward L. McNeil, an official with the local council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said of the mounting costs. “The only thing that’s getting done is that these people are getting paid big-time while the citizens of Detroit are getting ripped off.” (NYT, 10/7/2013)
The union boss is unhappy with the fees paid to lawyers working on Detroit's bankruptcy. Which - when you think about it - is kind of like that old joke about the kid who kills his parents and then complains to the judge that he is an orphan.
Monday, October 7, 2013
(Health insurance exchanges) are a central part of Mr. Obama’s health care law, which was passed in 2010 to extend coverage to those who do not get insurance benefits on the job. (NYT, 10/5/2013)
This lie, unchallenged, has been retold a million times: Before Obamacare, it was impossible for individuals to buy health insurance.
RedStateVT stands alone in setting the record straight. In fact, prior to Obamacare here is what you had to do if you wanted insurance and did not get it through an employer:
Call up an insurance company and have them send you an application. Fill out the application and send it in with your premium.
That's it. You're covered.
Some insurance companies even provided information and applications on something called a computer. Millions of Americans have computers and hence could apply using that same computer. This was called an "on-line application."
History, however, has already been written: Obamacare has allowed uninsured Americans to buy health insurance.
The recent revelation that New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio supported Nicaragua's Sandinista military government in the 1980s is a reminder of the high cost Latin America pays for being the playground of the American left. It should also further enlighten New Yorkers as to the politics of the man who is the front runner in the race.
In an interview with a New York radio station last month, however, some hints emerged when he was asked about his decision to honeymoon in Cuba in 1994. (Mary Anastasia O'Grady, 10/6/2013)
New York City's next mayor.
Note to residents: You have been warned.
Friday, October 4, 2013
"I do appreciate the hardship that an increased monthly premium will be for your family." (Mark Larson, Commissioner, Department of Vermont Health Access when it was pointed out that monthly premiums would triple for some Vermonters given the unavailability of high deductible health insurance plans in the state.)
Larson goes on to explain that the solution will come when Vermont implements a single payer health care system.
Yeah, that will solve the problem.
Stop and Think
New York City voters want to keep Raymond W. Kelly as police commissioner. They want more charter schools. And nearly half of them support the Police Department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic.
But the city’s voters, by an enormous margin, are planning to support Bill de Blasio for mayor next month, despite the fact that Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, opposes each of those positions, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Friday. (NYT, 10/3/2013)
Just like those who voted for Obama despite opposing his policies, NYC voters will get what they deserve.
Fear of Flying
On Thursday night, the president canceled the last of his scheduled destinations in a trip he had planned for Asia, saying the government shutdown had made it impossible to travel to a Pacific Rim economic conference in Indonesia or an East Asian security conference in Brunei next week. (NYT, 10/3/2013)
The good news for the president? Now he can golf!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Mr. Reid’s strategy to break Republicans depends on keeping his caucus unified, which is no small feat in a party as Balkanized as the Democrats can be. (NYT, 10/2/2013)
Another inconvenient truth which slipped by the censors at the Times.
Mr. Reid’s upbringing in tiny Searchlight, Nev., where he grew up in a shack, is never far from his mind, even when he is speaking from his mahogany desk in the Senate chamber. (NYT, 10/2/2013)
Yes, Harry Reid, the career politician from Nevada who somehow has managed to become a multi-millionaire on a government salary.
Tim Liddle, 53, a Web designer in Nashville, Tenn., said he was frustrated after not being able to create an account on the federal exchange Web site for two days, and called the technological problems “a very bad omen of things to come with this Web site and this program.”
“I can’t imagine Apple or Ford or McDonald’s rolling out any new product before making perfectly sure they first could provide what they promised,” he said. (NYT, 10/2/2013)
What Liddle needs to remember is that we are talking about the government. All expectations need to be adjusted.
But to many independent economic analysts, it remains too early to tell how the sweeping Affordable Care Act will affect the jobs market.
Anecdotal reports about the law’s effect on jobs have grabbed headlines over the past year. Major retailers like Trader Joe’s and Home Depot said they would no longer provide coverage for part-time workers, instead having them buy it on the exchanges.
Food-service chains like White Castle have said they might hire more part-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act.
“I would like to tell you we’ve continued to open more restaurants in more neighborhoods, providing more jobs, and serving more customers,” Jamie Richardson, a White Castle executive, told a Congressional committee this summer. “I’d like to tell you that, but I can’t. In fact, White Castle’s growth has halted” because of the law, he said.
In a Chamber of Commerce survey in July, about three-quarters of small businesses said the law had made it harder to hire. Of those affected by the employer mandate, half said they would cut employees’ hours or replace full-time workers with part-time. (NYT, 10/2/2013)
It may be too early and the reports may be anecdotal, but there are certainly leading indicators, wouldn't you agree?
Put another way, there have been no reports - NONE - of a company announcing that they are increasing hiring as a result of the new health care law.
With Washington embarked on another of its oxymoronic shutdowns, everyone is giving it in the neck to the Republicans. So maybe someone should give it to Barack Obama in the knees. He's the president. He wanted this job and must bear some responsibility for what has become of politics in the nation's capital. Which is to say, the obliteration of politics. (Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 10/2/2013)
Good column by Henninger.
Years from now, will historians remark about how effective Obama has been as a leader?
We tend to doubt it.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Adventures in Liberal Logic
Climate change is real even though the Earth has not experienced an increase in temperature in the past ten years.
Obamacare is working even though no one can get access to the new insurance exchanges.
George Will, who has been a conservative presence on ABC News for more than three decades, is leaving for the Fox News Channel, the cable news network announced on Tuesday.
Because “This Week” already has a deep bench of contributors, Mr. Schneider said, ABC will not hire anyone to replace Mr. Will. (NYT, 10/1/2013)
An unnamed source at ABC added: "We don't really want to hear from conservatives anyway."
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Breaking News from RedStateVT: Federal Government Shuts Down, World Does Not End
After being criticized by the Senate once again, House Republicans emerged Monday afternoon from their closed-door meeting with their latest distinctly political offering to the Senate, a bill that would link further government spending to a one-year delay of the new insurance requirement for individuals, as well as a proposal to force members of Congress, their staff, and White House staff, to buy their health coverage on the new exchanges without any government subsidies to offset the cost. (NYT, 9/30/2013)
Well, what is wrong with a one year Obamacare delay for individuals? The same deal given to corporations.
And what is wrong with requiring that Congress get the same deal as the rest of America?
Liberals will never say.
Black and White
A closer look at the shooting shows it was not about race. One of the three suspects was white, another had a white mother and a third had many white friends, including a girl he had been dating. “It was not a black-on-white crime,” District Attorney Jason Hicks of Stephens County said. (NYT, 9/30/2013)
Immediately and preemptively the New York Times announces that there was no racial element to the murder of a white Australian. This after Liberals at the Times immediately concluded that Hispanic George Zimmerman (he who tutored black youths) murdered Trayvon Martin out of racial malice.
Logic is never the strong point of Liberal thinking.
Between 1998 and 2012 the global economy more than doubled in size—to some $71 trillion in GDP from $30 trillion. That's the good news. Over the same period the world pumped more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is supposedly the bad news. Yet global surface temperatures have remained essentially flat. That's the mystery: If emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes global warming, why hasn't the globe been warming? (WSJ, 9/30/2013)
Nothing to see here, folks. Climate change is settled science. Evidence to the contrary is, dare we say, inconvenient. And Bill McKibben will continue to get standing ovations in Montpelier.