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  • President Obama’s legacy is increasingly in legal jeopardy

    05/26/2015 10:00:50 PM PDT · by Beave Meister · 41 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 5/27/2015 | Amber Phillips
    President Obama's second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts. Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny. The latest blow to Obama's second-term plans came Tuesday when a federal appeals court in New Orleans denied the administration's request to move forward with implementing his expanded executive action on immigration to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. Texas and 25 other states have sued to have it shelved. The drama is sure to ensue for months, writes the Post's...
  • GOP likely to feel the heat if court decision guts Obamacare [Who gave us this ACA mess?]

    05/26/2015 3:41:19 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 59 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | May 26, 2015 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Supreme Court ruling due in a few weeks could wipe out health insurance for millions of people covered by President Barack Obama's health care law. But it's Republicans — not White House officials — who have been talking about damage control. [snip] BAD TIMING [snip] HOUSE OF CARDS [snip] STICKER SHOCK FOR SELF-PAY CUSTOMERS [snip] REPUBLICANS TO THE RESCUE? [snip]
  • Obamacare May Force Some Insurers to Boost Their Premiums an Alarming Amount

    05/22/2015 10:48:33 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 55 replies
    Slate ^ | May 22, 2015 | Mark Joseph Stern
    On the whole, the Affordable Care Act is working pretty well, getting more people insured and increasing the quality of insurance overall. But on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported an alarming development: Health insurers on many state exchanges are looking to boost their premiums a ridiculous amount in 2016. New Mexico's leading provider, for instance, is seeking a 51.6 percent hike, while Maryland's is seeking a 30.4 percent hike. (Insurers in other states, like Vermont and Indiana, are asking for minimal increases.) Libertarian and conservative outlets are, predictably, citing the rate hike as yet another Obamacare catastrophe. But it's...
  • Health Insurers Seek Hefty Rate Boosts

    05/22/2015 7:58:18 AM PDT · by george76 · 14 replies
    WSJ ^ | May 21, 2015 | Louise Radnofsky
    Proposals set the stage for debate over federal health law’s impact. Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law’s impact. In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products. Moda Health, the largest insurer on the...
  • Exclusive: States quietly consider ObamaCare exchange mergers

    05/22/2015 4:47:45 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 10 replies
    The Hill ^ | May 22, 2015 | Sarah Ferris
    A number of states are quietly considering merging their healthcare exchanges under ObamaCare amid big questions about their cost and viability. Many of the 13 state-run ObamaCare exchanges are worried about how they’ll survive once federal dollars supporting them run dry next year. Others are contemplating creating multi-state exchanges as a contingency plan for a looming Supreme Court ruling expected next month that could prevent people from getting subsidies to buy ObamaCare on the federal exchange. The idea is still only in the infancy stage. It’s unclear whether a California-Oregon or New York-Connecticut health exchange is on the horizon. But...
  • Hawaii state insurance exchange to shut down

    05/12/2015 8:53:08 AM PDT · by Incorrigible · 23 replies
    Fierce Health Payer ^ | May 11, 2015 | Brian Eastwood
    Hawaii state insurance exchange to shut down Hawaii Health Connector never achieved financial sustainability May 11, 2015 | By Brian Eastwood The Hawaii Health Connector will shut down operations on Sept. 30, InsuranceNewsNet reported. The exchange site will cease new enrollment this week, discontinue its outreach programs at the end of May and transfer its technology assets to the state by Sept. 30, the article said. The exchange's 37,000 enrollees can re-enroll on the federal Healthcare.gov exchange for the 2016 plan year. Hawaii Health Connector has faced financial problems from its inception. A report issued earlier this year found that...
  • Ky hospitals: Obamacare forcing cuts, layoffs

    05/12/2015 7:13:31 AM PDT · by Ray76 · 18 replies
    May 11, 2015 | Laura Ungar
    Link only http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2015/05/08/ky-hospitals-obamacare-forcing-cuts-layoffs/26990637/
  • 1 In 3 Private Health Insurance Customers Receive Surprise Medical Bills

    05/11/2015 9:15:43 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 17 replies
    One in three Americans with private health insurance has been hit with a surprise medical bill, according to a new survey by Consumers Union. The study of 2,200 individuals also found consumers overall are confused when it comes to how to fight a surprise bill. Among the surprises: bills that were for higher amounts than customer’s expected, bills for out-of-network services that customers believed were in-network, and bills from doctors they did not expect would send them a bill. Betsy Imholz of Consumers Union says few people who receive surprise bills ever file a complaint with a state agency. “Nobody...
  • How Five Republicans Let Congress Keep Its Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies

    05/07/2015 2:49:32 PM PDT · by Beave Meister · 10 replies
    National Review ^ | 5/7/2015 | BRENDAN BORDELON
    Health-care experts call it D.C. insiderism at its worst. The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on April 23: Republican leadership was quietly pushing senators to pull support for subpoenaing Congress’s fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange — the document that facilitated Congress’s “exemption” from Obamacare by allowing lawmakers and staffers to keep their employer subsidies. The application said Congress employed just 45 people. Names were faked; one employee was listed as “First Last,” another simply as “Congress.” To Small Business Committee chairman David Vitter, who has fought for years against the...
  • Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future

    05/01/2015 5:36:56 PM PDT · by yuffy · 10 replies
    Washingtonpost ^ | May 1 at 8:07 PM | By Lena H. Sun and Niraj Chokshi
    Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama’s health law are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act. Many of the online exchanges are wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer call centers — and tepid enrollment numbers. To ease the fiscal distress, officials are considering raising fees on insurers, sharing costs with other states and pressing state lawmakers for cash infusions. Some are weighing turning over part or all of...
  • Q&A: Why have rural hospitals been closing?

    05/01/2015 7:39:33 AM PDT · by PROCON · 15 replies
    apnews.myway.com ^ | May 1, 2015 | DAVID A. LIEB
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — There are more than 4,700 hospitals in the U.S, spread about evenly between urban and rural areas. But that number has been dwindling. More than 100 hospitals have closed since 2010, and the pace has quickened in the past couple of years. Hospitals are closing at about the same rate in urban and rural areas, but health care analysts say the effect often is more pronounced in small towns, where residents typically must travel farther to get to the next nearest hospital. Some answers to common questions about hospital closings:
  • Milwaukee-based Assurant Health to be sold off or shut down

    04/29/2015 6:51:19 PM PDT · by Big Giant Head · 8 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinal ^ | April 28th | Guy Boulton
    The parent company of Assurant Health said Tuesday that it will sell or shut down the Milwaukee health insurer — which employs 1,200 people in the area — by the end of next year. Assurant Health has struggled to adjust to changes in the health insurance market imposed by the Affordable Care Act and is expected to report an operating loss of $80 million to $90 million in its first quarter. That comes after it lost $64 million last year.
  • Two in three Obamacare beneficiaries had to repay subsidies [income from welfare too high]

    04/28/2015 10:34:30 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 11 replies
    Washington Examiner ^ | April 28, 2015 | Paige Winfield Cunningham
    Nearly two in three Americans who bought subsidized health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges this year had to pay some of the federal dollars back, according to new data from H&R Block. That's because they presumably collected more federal aid than their income qualified them for. In that case, consumers must either pay some of it back or — in most cases — the IRS will subtract it from their tax refund. Policymakers have expressed concern that low-income people could struggle with paying back the subsidies — or suffer if their tax refunds are greatly reduced because of overpayments. The...
  • One-Third Drop Obamacare in California

    04/26/2015 11:06:47 AM PDT · by Libloather · 53 replies
    Newsmax ^ | 4/26/15 | Michael Reagan
    **SNIP** Ninety–four percent is an impressive number, particularly considering Obamacare is mandatory, and most readers would assume everyone kept their insurance. Which makes 94 percent a real success story. Except they didn’t keep their insurance, and it’s not a success story. The truth is (there’s that word again), over one–third of Covered California policyholders dropped their insurance altogether. Attkisson contends this is one of the worst retention rates in the nation. And for those poor souls who are still at the mercy of Covered California, the situation doesn’t get any better, 84 percent of the policyholders will be paying increased...
  • Gallup: Most Americans Still Unhappy With Obamacare

    04/09/2015 7:40:45 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | April 9, 2015 - 1:28 PM | Brittany M. Hughes
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, was launched five years ago but more Americans today say they are unhappy with the law than those who claim to be happy with it, a recent Gallup poll confirmed. The survey also showed that in the half-decade the law has been in place, support for it has never surpassed 48 percent, and in November 2014, only 37 percent of Americans said they approved of Obamacare. In the latest survey, conducted April 1-4, only 44 percent of Americans said they approved of the law, while 50 percent said they...
  • In Case You Missed It, Obamacare Just Logged a Major Victory at the Supreme Court

    04/04/2015 6:45:17 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 59 replies
    The Motley Fool ^ | April 4, 2015 | Sean Williams
    ... Regardless of whether you're a supporter or opponent of Obamacare, you may have missed an important "ruling" from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week that resulted in Obamacare logging a key victory. The case, Coons vs. Lew, was initially brought to court in 2011 by business owner Nick Coons and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric Novack. The two, with the help of additional legal backing, alleged that the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, would trim Medicare costs and potentially hurt their business by instituting reimbursement levels that wouldn't cover their own expenses. These allegations are where the term...
  • Fox News Poll: More families feel worse than better as a result of ObamaCare

    04/02/2015 10:31:56 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Fox News ^ | April 03, 2015 | Dana Blanton
    More voters say their family is worse off than better off under ObamaCare. In addition, most of those who had to change their insurance coverage because of the health care law say it cost them money. That’s according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. Overall, 42 percent say the country is worse off under the 2010 health care law. Some 44 percent felt that way last year (June 2014). […] Clearly partisanship plays a role: 73 percent of Republicans say the country is worse off under Obamacare, while just 12 percent of Democrats feel that way. Has the law...
  • Response from Senator Casey [Obamacare]

    04/02/2015 2:54:46 AM PDT · by Timber Rattler · 7 replies
    Office of Senator Bob Casey ^ | April 2, 2015 | Senator Bob Casey
    Dear XXXXXXX: Thank you for taking the time to contact me about health insurance premiums and the Affordable Care Act. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue. Over the next several years, the Affordable Care Act will extend health insurance coverage to an additional 30 million Americans, ensuring that 95 percent of our Nation has access to quality, affordable care. I recognize that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, and that some changes may need to be made. However, I believe that this law reflects our Nation’s commitment to ensuring access to health care for all Americans. One...
  • With 16 Million in Obamacare, Is the Repeal Debate Over?

    03/27/2015 5:10:40 PM PDT · by E. Pluribus Unum · 73 replies
    NBC News ^ | 03/27/2015 | Perry Bacon Jr.
    The Republicans are facing a 16 million person problem. With the Obama administration announcing this month that some 16 million people have obtained health insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans' intense focus on completely repealing the law is increasingly looking unrealistic.
  • Cruz Lays Out His Obamacare Replacement Plan [Video]

    03/27/2015 6:59:26 PM PDT · by E. Pluribus Unum · 2 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 03/27/2015 | Pam Key
    Friday in Nashua, NH at the Young America’s Foundation Conference, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a 2016 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, laid out his vision to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
  • Gingrich says GOP doesn’t really want to repeal Obamacare

    03/27/2015 8:01:43 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 55 replies
    MarketWatch ^ | 3-26-2015 | Russ Britt
    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he doesn’t think Obamacare is “repealable,” and contends that many of his fellow Republicans don’t really want to walk back the entire law. The one-time Georgia congressman who often went toe-to-toe with former Democratic President Bill Clinton said parts of the law will be addressed and possibly repealed, but not the entire law. He said the law probably has more support than many Republicans are willing to acknowledge. “I don’t think it’s repealable,” Gingrich said. His comments were published by USA Today Thursday after he spoke at a Washington health-care conference on Wednesday. Gingrich,...
  • Paul Ryan: GOP must have Obamacare replacement by late June

    03/27/2015 8:45:40 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 37 replies
    Washington Times ^ | 3-26-2015 | Tom Howell Jr.
    Paul Ryan says Republicans must have a plan to replace Obamacare by late June, a deadline that coincides with a Supreme Court decision that could blow a huge hole in the controversial law. The Wisconsin Republican is working with other House chairmen to craft the GOP’s long-awaited alternative to President Obama’s health reforms. Their Senate counterparts are meeting, too, ahead of the justices’ ruling at the end of this term. “We have to have a plan in place by then,” Mr. Ryan told reporters. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the closely watched case known as King v. Burwell,...
  • It's Official: Americans Spent All Their "Gas Savings" On Obamacare

    03/27/2015 10:37:36 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 03/27/2015 | Tyler Durden
    Last quarter, when we showed what was "The Reason For The "Surge" In Q3 GDP", some were shocked to learn that in the quarter in which US GDP posted a 5% surge, it was none other than Obamacare - a mandatory tax according to the Supreme Court which has the benefit of flowing through the US income statement - which contributed the bulk of this upside. We are happy, and we use the term loosely, that history has just repeated itself, and now that the final number is available, what we wrote a month ago in "Here Is What Americans...
  • Remember When Dingy Harry Tried to Exempt Congress and Staff from Obamacare?

    03/25/2015 4:20:47 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 4 replies
    Rush Limbaugh.com ^ | March 25, 2015 | Rush Limbaugh
    RUSH: The Daily Caller. It's actually a couple of days old. I've had it in the stack since I think Monday. "A group of Democratic senators is urging the Obama administration to delay a key portion of Obamacare because the results could be 'harmful and disruptive.' In a letter exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller, Senate Democrats pleaded with Health and Human Services secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to delay an Obamacare rule change that puts companies with 51 to 100 employees in the costlier 'small group' market instead of the 'large group' market. "The rule change, which will result in...
  • Obama on ACA's 5th Anniversary: Critics Should 'Embrace Reality'

    03/22/2015 7:06:06 PM PDT · by bestintxas · 41 replies
    newsmax ^ | 3/22/15 | g richter
    One day before the five-year anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama proclaimed late Sunday that his signature healthcare legislation a success and its critics should "embrace reality." In a statement released on WhiteHouse.gov, Obama said, "This law is working, and in many ways, it’s working even better than anticipated." The president signed Obamacare into law on March 23, 2010. The law has undergone "more scrutiny, more rumor, more attempts to dismantle and undermine it than just about any law in recent history," Obama admitted. But he had a word for Republicans still working to repeal...
  • This Longtime IHOP Owner Sold His 16 Restaurants Because of Obamacare

    03/22/2015 7:51:56 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 15 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | March 22, 2015 | Rob Bluey
    Four years ago, my reporting on Obamacare brought me to the city of Terre Haute, Ind. Located near the Illinois’ border, about an hour’s drive from Indianapolis, the city of 60,000 residents reminded me of the area where I grew up near Utica, N.Y. It was a brisk March morning, nearly a year after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, and I had trekked to the Midwest with a camera crew to meet Scott Womack, owner of about a dozen IHOP restaurants in Indiana and Ohio. Womack’s testimony before Congress earlier in 2011 caught my attention and I wanted...
  • This Longtime IHOP Owner Sold His 16 Restaurants Because of Obamacare

    03/22/2015 7:51:07 PM PDT · by PROCON · 16 replies
    dailysignal.com ^ | March 22, 2015 | Rob Bluey
    Four years ago, my reporting on Obamacare brought me to the city of Terre Haute, Ind. Located near the Illinois’ border, about an hour’s drive from Indianapolis, the city of 60,000 residents reminded me of the area where I grew up near Utica, N.Y.It was a brisk March morning, nearly a year after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, and I had trekked to the Midwest with a camera crew to meet Scott Womack, owner of about a dozen IHOP restaurants in Indiana and Ohio. Womack’s testimony before Congress earlier in 2011 caught my attention and I wanted to...
  • Ted Cruz: In 2017, GOP president will sign legislation ‘repealing every word of Obamacare’

    03/21/2015 11:13:30 AM PDT · by SoConPubbie · 21 replies
    Washington Times ^ | March 16, 2015 | David Sherfinski
    As the administration touted new health insurance enrollment numbers on Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas predicted a Republican president would undo the entirety of President Obama’s signature domestic achievement upon taking office in 2017.“I believe in January of 2017 a new Republican is going to enter the White House and in 2017 is going to sign legislation repealing every word of Obamacare,” Mr. Cruz said, speaking at the “Politics and Eggs” event in Manchester, N.H.Mr. Cruz, who is considering a presidential bid of his own, tweaked “graybeards” in Washington and people who predicted the fall 2013 battle over the...
  • If people escape penalties, what pays for ObamaCare?

    03/19/2015 7:53:22 AM PDT · by PROCON · 11 replies
    onenewsnow.com ^ | March 18, 2015 | Chris Woodward
    ObamaCare turns five this year and it's anyone's guess how the government is going to pay for the law. The federal government requires virtually everyone living in the United States to have some form of health insurance. Starting this year, those who did not have health insurance in 2014 could face a tax penalty, which is supposed to be a funding mechanism for the Affordable Care Act. Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, says the tax penalty is intended to help pay for ObamaCare.
  • Poll: Majority wants Scott Walker to address potential Obamacare crisis

    03/18/2015 2:08:48 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 56 replies
    The Capital Times ^ | March 17, 2015 | Steven Elbow
    A new poll shows that a majority of Wisconsinites want Gov. Scott Walker to expand Medicaid and to take action to prevent more than 184,000 people from losing health care subsidies, potentially making their health care unaffordable, if the U.S. Supreme Court eliminates subsidies in Wisconsin and 33 other states. The court is expected to render its decision in June. The survey of 1,071 registered voters, commissioned by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, showed that by a margin of by 31 percent — 58 to 27 percent — respondents thought Walker should accept a federally funded expansion of Medicaid, which Walker...
  • Say goodbye to employer-provided health insurance

    03/17/2015 2:14:57 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 38 replies
    Market Watch ^ | March 17, 2015 | By Richard Eisenberg
    Could employer-provided health insurance be going the way of employer-sponsored pension plans? Rick Lindquist, president of Zane Benefits, which specializes in individual health insurance reimbursement for small businesses, says: Not only could it happen; it’s happening already. Lindquist and Paul Zane Pilzer (who founded Zane Benefits), argue that case in their new book, “The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance.” As surprising as you may find the title, get a load of its subtitle: “Why It’s Good for You, Your Family and Your Company.” Lindquist and Pilzer’s company stands to profit if employers shift from traditional health insurance and toward their...
  • Could Obama Bypass the Supreme Court?

    03/17/2015 7:08:42 AM PDT · by PROCON · 57 replies
    nytimes ^ | March 17, 2015 | William Baude
    CHICAGO — IT is time to talk about President Obama’s contingency plan for health care. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this month in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the provision of tax credits on federal insurance exchanges. While the legal issues are dry lawyers’ fare — how to interpret several interconnected phrases of the Affordable Care Act — the practical stakes are high. The government estimates that millions of Americans will be left without affordable health insurance if it loses.While the administration may well prevail, it has expressed remarkable pessimism about its options if it does lose....
  • Gruber's Grasp [the numbers don't add up]

    03/16/2015 12:44:36 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 9 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | March 16, 2015 | Jerome J. Schmitt
    .......Let’s update this script to 2015 to place in context Breitbart News’s revelations of built-in contract fraud at the heart of the Affordable Care Act. ......These outrageous fees ($500/hour) to Prof. Gruber are required by federal law because his software econometrics model of healthcare exchanges is specifically required for implementation -- not only for the Federal Government but also all the states attempting to set up their own “exchanges.” Prof. Gruber has circumvented competitive bidding and resultant cost-containment by claiming unique proprietary capabilities available nowhere else in the market. This law constituted carte-blanche for Prof. Gruber to write his own...
  • Cool reception for new sign-up window under health care law (Sheeple feeling the Pain)

    03/14/2015 9:53:56 PM PDT · by PROCON · 13 replies
    apnews.myway.com ^ | March 14, 2015 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Several million people hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance will get a second chance to sign up starting Sunday, and that could ease the sting of rising penalties for being uninsured. But as the enrollment window reopens, it's unclear how many know about the time-limited opportunity, let alone will take advantage of it. Fines payable to the IRS are the stick behind the offer of taxpayer-subsidized private insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law. Virtually everyone in the country is now required to have coverage through an employer or a government program,...
  • Obama and “Affordable Plumbing”: a Parable

    03/14/2015 9:37:21 AM PDT · by hiho hiho · 20 replies
    Standing Firm ^ | March 13, 2015 | A.S. Haley
    Only weeks after leaving office on Jan. 20, 2017, former President Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Troy the Plumber to come out and fix it. Troy drives to ObamaÂ’s new house, which is located in a very exclusive, gated community near Chicago where all the residents have a net income of way more than $250,000 per year. Troy arrives and takes his tools into the house. He is led to the guest bathroom that contains the leaky pipe under the sink. Troy assesses the problem and tells Obama that itÂ’s an easy repair that...
  • Here's What Scalia Said About Obamacare Last Week. It's Not What He Said 3 Years Ago.

    03/09/2015 9:59:11 AM PDT · by TangledUpInBlue · 36 replies
    Huff Post ^ | 3/9 | Jonathon Cohn
    It's going to be at least a few weeks, and probably a few months, before we know what the Supreme Court is going to do with Obamacare. But Wednesday's oral arguments in King v. Burwell have already made something very clear: Justice Antonin Scalia isn't too worried about intellectual consistency. Among the many issues that came up Wednesday were the likely consequences if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, thereby prohibiting the federal government from distributing Obamacare's tax credits in two-thirds of the states. Millions of people depend on those tax credits to purchase health insurance; without the...
  • Oregon abolishes its hopelessly bungled health insurance exchange

    03/07/2015 6:16:30 PM PST · by PROCON · 17 replies
    latimes ^ | March 7, 2015 | Samantha Masunaga
    A bill dissolving Cover Oregon, the state's dysfunctional health insurance exchange, has been signed by Gov. Kate Brown. The measure, which had bipartisan support, transfers responsibilities for the Oregon exchange to the state Department of Consumer and Business Services. The decision was announced in a nine-word tweet from Brown's account, which said simply: "This afternoon I signed Senate Bill 1 into law." She signed the legislation Friday. Cover Oregon was plagued by problems almost from its onset. No Oregonian was ever able to enroll online in a private plan under the Affordable Care Act because the state exchange never had...
  • YOUGOV POLL: Newly insured Americans want Obamacare kept in place

    03/05/2015 10:49:01 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 34 replies
    YOUGOV ^ | 03/05/2015
    People who have gained coverage since 2013 are positive about the health care reform law, but those who remain uninsured tend to want it repealed Americans have become more accepting of the Affordable Care Act over the last year, and while they may not like it – in fact, nearly twice as many call it a failure as think it a success – an analysis of this year’s Economist/YouGov Polls shows that those who may have become newly insured because of Obamacare are generally pleased with the program.10% of those in the six polls included in this analysis say...
  • John Roberts' One Question on ObamaCare May Be Huge (Next president could reinterpret)

    In yesterday's arguments about ObamaCare before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts surprised observers by saying almost nothing. But the single question he did ask might well have tipped his hand, writes Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker. If Toobin is right, it's a mixture of good and bad news for the White House: Roberts would vote to keep the law in place—but leave the door open for a future president to gut it. Roberts' question came after Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued that under precedent set in a Chevron case, the Obama administration has the flexibility to...
  • Sharyl Attkisson: Hillary's Personal Email Use Part of Pattern

    03/04/2015 9:51:18 PM PST · by george76 · 32 replies
    Newsmax ^ | 04 Mar 2015 | Sean Piccoli
    We know that under this administration, high-ranking officials in various federal agencies have claimed that they didn't understand — or had reasons not to follow — federal law that requires certain sorts of record retention," including for official email correspondence, said Attkisson, "This has happened, I believe, at the IRS, with HHS," she said, citing the agencies accused, respectively, of targeting politically conservative PACs ... Attkisson, an independent journalist formerly with CBS News, said that while working on a story about the ACA's online insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov, she has learned that one official "was specifically told, 'Don't email things; we...
  • Some Glimmers Of Hope From SCOTUS In ACA Case

    03/04/2015 8:38:02 AM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 12 replies
    There are glimmers of hope contained in the reports of today's Supreme Court arguments in the case brought by the Competitive Enterprise Institute challenging federal subsidies to people who buy health insurance on the exchanges.This case is all about whether the language in a statute is to be interpreted without regard to any other sections of the statute or whether context is important. Justice Elena Kagan framed a question around that very issue.SCOTUSBlog: But much of the early questioning was dominated by a real-life hypothetical from Justice Kagan, suggesting that petitioner’s reading does not accord with everyday usage.She offered...
  • If it’s ambiguous, does government win? Roberts finally speaks.

    03/04/2015 11:15:53 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 73 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 4, 2015 | Sandhya Somashekhar and Robert Barnes
    11:26: When a law is ambiguous, the court often defers to the agency in charge of administering it. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said just that, and that the IRS’ interpretation that subsidies were available to all was a reasonable one. Verrilli resisted questions about ambiguity, saying it was clear. But if not, he said, the agency does deserve deference. But Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said he was concerned about giving the power to allocate billions of dollars in subsidies to an agency. It was then that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked his only...
  • Argument analysis: Setting up the private debate on the ACA [SCOTUS]

    03/04/2015 10:55:22 AM PST · by BuckeyeTexan · 19 replies
    SCOTUSblog ^ | 03/04/2015 | Lyle Denniston
    Analysis One of the most important functions of oral argument in the Supreme Court is that it can strongly shape the next round: the private deliberations among the nine Justices as they start work on a decision.  The much-awaited hearing Wednesday on the stiff new challenge to the Affordable Care Act strongly suggested that Topic A in private could well be: how bad will we make things if we rule against the government? Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who seemed decidedly more sympathetic to the government than might have been expected, worried over a constitutional blow against the states.  But even the two Justices...
  • Seven Things You Should Know about the IRS Rule Challenged in King v. Burwell ​

    03/04/2015 6:52:02 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Nationanl Review ^ | 3-4-15 | Michael F. Cannon
    And none of them make the IRS look very good. This week, the Supreme Court considers King v. Burwell. At issue is whether the IRS exceeded its authority under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by issuing a final IRS rule that expanded the application of the Act’s subsidies and mandates beyond the limits imposed by the statute. King v. Burwell is not a constitutional challenge. It challenges an IRS rule as being inconsistent with the Act it purports to implement. The case is a straightforward question of statutory interpretation. Here are seven things everyone needs to know about...
  • Obama says there's no 'legal basis' for the Supreme Court to dismantle Obamacare subsidies...

    03/02/2015 7:53:40 PM PST · by PROCON · 35 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | Mar. 2, 2015 | Reuters and David Martosko,
    Obama says there's no 'legal basis' for the Supreme Court to dismantle Obamacare subsidies and defends the lack of a Plan B if he's wrong Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday in a case that could gut the Affordable Care Act Planitiffs say the law itself forbids the federal government from offering insurance subsidies in states that didn't set up their own exchanges Dozens of states opted to let Healthcare.gov sell policies to their citizens, and those people could be left twisting if the court rules against Obama Republicans say Congress has a 'Plan B' but it's likely...
  • Why Chief Justice Roberts will save Obamacare again

    03/02/2015 5:44:11 AM PST · by GIdget2004 · 85 replies
    Fortune.com ^ | 03/02/2015 | Roger Parloff
    The Supreme Court’s credibility is at stake in Wednesday’s argument While the Obamacare challenge being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday is not an easy case, it does hinge upon an inescapably far-fetched claim—one that, if it prevails, will cause deep, lasting damage to the court’s credibility in the eyes of about half the nation’s population. I suspect Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., won’t let that happen. The challengers’ central argument in King v. Burwell is that the Affordable Care Act—the signature achievement of the Obama Administration and the most significant social legislation in a generation—must be given an...
  • Obamacare threatens to end John Roberts’s dream of a nonpartisan Supreme Court

    03/01/2015 10:54:57 AM PST · by Beave Meister · 42 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 3/1/2015 | Robert Barnes
    The first time the Affordable Care Act came before the Supreme Court, its constitutional foundation under attack, John G. Roberts Jr. was its unlikely savior. In a spectacular display of spot-welding, the chief justice joined fellow conservatives on some points and brought liberals on board for others. Roberts was the only member of the court to endorse the entire jerry-rigged thing, and even he made sure to distance himself from the substance of the law. (“It is,” he wrote, “not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”) Still, his efforts rescued President Obama’s signature...
  • Uninsured Ex-Sheriff Who Fought O-care Struggles To Pay Medical Bills

    02/28/2015 10:21:52 AM PST · by Maelstorm · 39 replies
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com ^ | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 | By CAITLIN MACNEAL
    Former Arizona county sheriff Richard Mack, a fierce opponent of Obamacare and a leader in the "constitutional sheriff" movement, is struggling to pay his medical bills after he and his wife each faced serious illnesses. The former sheriff and his wife do not have health insurance and started a GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations from family and friends to cover the costs of their medical care. "Because they are self-employed, they have no medical insurance and are in desperate need of our assistance," reads a note on Mack's personal website. Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers...
  • White House: Seven in Ten Doctors Say Climate Change Is Harming Patients

    02/27/2015 6:45:48 AM PST · by PROCON · 54 replies
    weeklystandard ^ | Feb. 27, 2015 | JERYL BIER
    Usually when the Obama administration is discussing doctors and health issues, Obamacare is on the table. Thursday, however, the White House threw a curve by linking health to climate change. In a new blog post, the White House declares that "7 out of 10 Doctors [say] Climate Change Is Already Harming Patients’ Health." While often the White House has been a source of upbeat reports on recent health improvements attributed in part to the Affordable Care Act, the language of this post stands in sharp contrast. For example: "Already, 1 in 10 children in the U.S. suffers from asthma. Heat-related...
  • GOP Claims Paper Shows Fed Aides' Preps for Health Law Loss

    02/26/2015 3:48:20 PM PST · by tje · 5 replies
    ABC News ^ | Feb 26, 2015, 2:40 PM ET | ALAN FRAM Associated Press
    A leading House Republican claimed Thursday that he's been told of a 100-page document showing the Obama administration is preparing contingency plans in case the Supreme Court invalidates federal subsidies that help millions of Americans afford health care coverage. At a hearing of a House health subcommittee that he chairs, Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., said he had learned of the paper's existence from "a source" in the Health and Human Services Department. He told a reporter later that he's not seen the paper but has been told it is being circulated to high-level employees of the agency. At Thursday's hearing,...