The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will let people keep health insurance plans that would otherwise be out of compliance with ObamaCare for another two years….
Yet, just a bit over a year ago, when President Barack Obama first “waived” the Business Mandate, he threatened to veto a House bill that would have codified that delay and that added a comparable delay of the Individual Mandate—what he’s now “waiving” for those two years.
Obama vastly prefers diktat to legitimacy.
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Russian energy exports. Ukraine, for instance, gets some 40%-50% of its natural gas from Russia, and Europe gets roughly 30% its natural gas from Russia. Recall, just a few short years ago, too, the Russian extortion of cutting off those gas flows—in the middle of winter—over an alleged bill-paying (or not) scandal: it wasn’t those who supposedly weren’t paying the country’s gas bill who were harmed, though, it was the citizenry threatened with freezing temperatures in their own homes. And as part of the Russian extortion, they cut off gas flows to Europe, too.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) demonstrated the depth of his condition of out of touchness in a Tuesday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. Although Sanders’ out of touchness is amply demonstrated by his full-throated defense of the dinosaur that is the United States Postal Service, I want to look at a couple of other things he said in his piece.
First, there’s this:
There are very powerful and wealthy special interests who want to privatize or dismember virtually every function that government now performs, whether it is Social Security, Medicare, public education or the Postal Service. They see an opportunity for Wall Street and corporate America to make billions in profits out of these services….
And we don’t care about its security.
Security experts worried that 35 state health exchange websites were vulnerable to hackers and were rated as “high risk” for security problems before ObamaCare’s launch….
Fears that the health law’s websites could put consumers at risk have plagued the program’s rollout from the beginning, but the administration told The Associated Press that the documents offer only a partial and “outdated” snapshot of an improving situation.
Never mind that “improving” now doesn’t alter the fact that the security failures existed at the time of the rollout. And HHS rolled out their ObamaMart, anyway. For example:
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What Personal Data? It’s Government’s Data
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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is spouting more of them. And with a straight face, too; it’s like she actually believes what she’s saying. Which would be even worse.
There is absolutely no evidence and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.
Leaving aside the well-documented instances of reduced hours, delayed (or canceled) hiring, canceled plant expansions, and so on that are occurring as a direct result of Obamacare, Sebelius is having a negative impact on jobs with her own Departmental edicts. She’s already ordered, for instance, the Obamacare-maximum allowed cuts to funding for home health care services.
“…in order to see what’s in it….”
Here’s another of those tidbits that’s in it that Pelosi and her gang chose not to know about before passing Obamacare:
Tucked deep in the Affordable Care Act is language requiring all restaurants with at least 20 locations to list nutritional information alongside each and every item on their menu.
Sit-down restaurant chains, with their menus now required to be cluttered with “nutrition” information instead of letting their patrons see a readable menu—because Big Government knows better—are also faced, unfortunately, with a rapid-fire alteration of their menus as this “nutrition” information gets frequently “updated:” recall how rapidly the USDA’s food pyramid has been changing over the last several years.
Senators Mark Begich (D, AK), whose reelection race this fall is in real trouble, and Mark Warner (D, VA), whose reelection race is much tighter than it should be, are pushing a new Health Plan for Obamacare.
…individuals and small businesses can buy so-called copper plans. The plans likely would have lower premiums, but purchasers would pay more of their ordinary health costs upfront.
Copper plans would cover, on average, 50% of medical costs, and while consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses would still be capped, that limit likely would be higher than the $6,350 maximum for individuals and $12,700 for families currently set by the law.
Humana is taking point on this one. This from Dr Scott Gottlieb at AEIdeas:
Humana announced that it expects to tap the three risk adjustment mechanisms in Obamacare for between $250 and $450 million in 2014. This amounts to about 25% of the insurer’s expected exchange revenue. This money is needed to offset losses that the insurer will take as a result of slower enrollment in its Obamacare plans, and a skewed risk pool that weighs more heavily toward older and less healthy members than it originally budgeted.
What do these have in common? First, a caveat. Junk bonds are so rated because of the very high likelihood that the bond issuer will default on that debt for any of a number of reasons, including bankruptcy. Preexisting conditions have no such uncertainty; they exist. Let’s assume the likelihood of bankruptcy on a junk bond is certain. That certainly would make the junk bonds more expensive in the bond market than they are presently, but they’d still be marketable.
Now, in the case of a preexisting condition, the risk getting coming down with that condition has been realized, there’s nothing left there to transfer to an insurer in return for a fee or premium.
Notre Dame, et al., finally are getting their day in court concerning the Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate. Notre Dame’s case centers on the premise that the government’s compromise in formulating the mandate still leaves religious organizations required to be agents authorizing contraceptive coverage, which violates Notre Dame’s (et al.) religious beliefs.
Two things about this case disturb me. One is the Seventh Circuit’s attitude in hearing the case, as illustrated by this exchange:
Matthew Kairis (representing Notre Dame): The government is requiring Notre Dame to play a role.
Judge Richard Posner: But that role seems so trivial.