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To: Black Agnes; All
Jan 13, 2014 - Baltimore Sun: Politics trumped prudence in Md. Obamacare exchange [Editorial] "The train wreck of Maryland's Affordable Care Act insurance exchange should have been no surprise to Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown or anyone else responsible for its creation. That's the unmistakable conclusion from a Washington Post article on Sunday based on not-previously disclosed documents and interviews with key participants. The Post's report fleshes out the story of dysfunction revealed in records obtained last month by The Sun through a public information request and leaves no doubt that state officials were warned repeatedly and in detail that the website was, in one former official's words, "a disaster waiting to happen." The more of the picture we see the clearer it becomes that political considerations trumped prudence — and that Marylanders in need of quality health insurance paid the price.

Much of the Post report by Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty relies on audits, letters, emails and other documents to or from the Portland, Maine-based firm BerryDunn, which was paid $9 million to provide oversight for the development of Maryland's exchange. Among the highlights:..........."

3 posted on 01/14/2014 1:53:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Jan 13, 2014 - Byron York: Will IRS bully people to sign up for Obamacare? ".........The main leverage the IRS will have is the refund "offset." That simply means if a taxpayer is due a refund, but has also incurred an Obamacare penalty, the penalty will be subtracted from the refund. So a taxpayer who has a $500 refund coming but incurs a $695 Obamacare penalty will receive no refund.

In addition, that taxpayer might face a letter and a phone call — or a series of them — from the IRS telling him to pay the rest. Anyone who has received a letter or phone call from the IRS knows the experience can be quite intimidating. Or, in the words of the administration's Supreme Court brief: "Offsets, correspondence, and phone calls are consistently some of the most productive tools in the federal tax collection process."

Will the government really do that? The answer is not clear, or at least not publicly clear. (In response to inquiries, IRS officials sent boilerplate, non-enlightening clips from IRS publications.) But the administration's level of aggressiveness will likely be determined by how many Americans voluntarily comply with the law.

Obamacare needs a lot of them to survive. In the last few months, discussion often focused on the prediction that the system needed to enroll seven million people by the time open enrollment is over at the end of March. But even if Obamacare reaches that goal — and it's doubtful right now — that is just the start. To work, Obamacare must keep growing. A lot. ........."

4 posted on 01/14/2014 2:29:24 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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