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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Politico: ‘Red And Swing-State Democratic Senators Began To Call For Further Changes’ | Hearing on Obamacare Website Begin


by William Warren
Today in Washington, D.C. - Oct 24, 2013
The Senate is in recess until Monday, October 28.

The House convened today at Noon and then ajourned shortly thereafter.

However, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing today to address PPACA (Obamacare) Implementation Failures, i.e. the questions around what the the issues of "Didn’t Know or Didn’t Disclose?" The hearing will include testimony from lead HealthCare.gov contractors. As I write this article, the The Washington Post is already reporting on the testimony and that "Executives of two companies at a House panel hearing say they needed "months" to conduct the testing, rather than the two weeks or less they were given." ... 'It was not our decision to go live,' said Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal, which handled most of the project. She said the decision was made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. . . . “This system just wasn’t tested enough,” Julie Bataille, director of CMS’s office of communications, acknowledged to reporters. She repeatedly cited what she called “a compressed time frame” without explaining what that meant or the reasons for it."

Note, next week, on Wednesday, October 30th, HHS Secretary Sebelius is scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the Computer issues and other problems related to the PPACA website roll out.

Yesterday, the House complete earlier than anticipated work on and passed HR 3080 — (417-3) Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013 to provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, and for other purposes. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the passage of the bill my a bipartisan majority of the Housea: “I want to thank Chairman Shuster and everyone on the Transportation committee for their work on this bill. Reforming the way our country builds and maintains vital ports and waterways – streamlining the process, cutting out wasteful earmarks, and increasing accountability – is good for families and taxpayers. It’s another example of the People’s House focusing on ways to strengthen our economy and expand opportunity for all Americans, and I’m proud that it passed with a strong bipartisan vote.”

Rasmussen Reports polling released today indicated the American voters' opinion on Obamacare:
  • 51% Favor Delaying Individual Mandate, 34% Oppose despite the ongoing problems with government exchange websites set up to provide health insurance. Read More
  • 52% Worry Government Won't Do Enough for Economy; 62% Want Cuts. Following the short-term deal to end the partial government shutdown, voters are more concerned than ever that the federal government will not do enough responding to the weak economy. But most continue to believe spending cuts are the best move the government can make. Read More
Following a deluge of reports on the flaws and failures of the Obamacare website, it seems that some Democrats are finally signaling their willingness to join Republicans in calling for fairness for all Americans in how they’re treated under Obamacare.

The Wall Street Journal writes, “The hard line Democrats have drawn against delaying a core element of the federal health law has begun to crack, as problems with the new federal insurance website prompted calls for President Barack Obama to delay penalties on people who don't carry health coverage. . . . Late Wednesday, the Obama administration said it would establish what amounts to a six-week extension in the time people have to obtain insurance coverage before incurring a penalty, responding to what some have described as a lack of clarity in the law over the deadline. Some Democrats say the flawed rollout of the law could mean bigger changes are needed. Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska), who is up for re-election in 2014, said Wednesday that individuals shouldn't be penalized if technical issues with the HealthCare.gov website aren't resolved. The signs of growing Democratic unease came as the White House acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that the problems extend beyond sign-up logjams that kept thousands of people from being able to view insurance offerings online. . . . Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) said that the administration might need to waive the penalties if the federal website problems persist. ‘We've got to be fair to consumers here,’ he said Wednesday. Two Democrats who long have opposed the penalty called Wednesday for it to be delayed. In doing so, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Rep. John Barrow (D., Ga.) joined a longtime supporter of the law, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), who on Tuesday had urged the White House to consider extending enrollment deadlines and waiving the tax penalty for consumers who don't sign up for insurance.”

McClatchy writes, “Republicans have always been harsh critics of Obamacare. Now President Barack Obama’s signature health care law is taking heat from Democrats, too. More than three weeks after the problem-plagued rollout of the federal marketplace where consumers can sign up for health insurance, support for major provisions of the Affordable Care Act is weakening among some Democrats, who want to see someone fired over the botched debut. ‘I absolutely believe that somebody should be held accountable,’ said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. . . . [T]he marketplace has grown from a public relations black eye into the most immediate threat to the law’s early success. Wednesday was the first full day the House of Representatives had met since controversy erupted over the insurance marketplaces, and the political fallout was everywhere. Republicans paraded one by one onto the House floor offering one-minute speeches blasting the law. House Democrats met and expressed frustration. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire broke with fellow Democrats and called on Obama to extend the open enrollment period beyond March 31, 2014. In a letter to Obama, Shaheen said the website problems were ‘incredibly frustrating and disappointing.’ Even the chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, embraced Shaheen’s idea, telling MSNBC, ‘There should absolutely be an openness to extending the open enrollment period. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.’”

Politico adds, “After the administration briefed House Democrats on the myriad remaining issues with HealthCare.gov, red and swing-state Democratic senators began to call for further changes to Obamacare. . . . Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is taking the strongest tack among Senate Democrats, writing legislation with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) to delay for a year the individual mandate’s enforcement mechanism — a $95 fine for anyone who doesn’t enroll in health insurance by March 31. . . . Manchin is searching for more co-sponsors — and if recent sentiment among his colleagues is any indication, he may find some. Democrats facing difficult reelection campaigns in 2014 — Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska — came out on Wednesday evening in support of extending the open enrollment period of the law, as first proposed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who is also up for reelection in 2014. . . . Both Begich and Pryor also indicated worry that people would get unfairly dinged by the $95 penalty if the website problems persist — a scenario that Manchin and Isakson are drafting legislation to avoid.”

Of course, it’s worth recalling that just last month Sens. Manchin (D-WV), Pryor (D-AR), Landrieu (D-LA), Hagan (D-NC), Begich (D-AK), and Shaheen (D-NH) had the opportunity to vote with Republicans to delay the Obamacare individual mandate for a year (just like the Obama administration did for the employer mandate on businesses) and all of them voted against the delay.

Still, it’s nice to see Democrats finally acknowledging just some of the massive problems of the health care law they passed over the objections of most Americans. The question is whether they’ll actually vote to do something about it this time.

The Washington Times notes that “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the plagued Obamacare rollout has been ‘absolute chaos’ and a sign of what’s to come from the controversial law, which he called an ‘expensive joke.’ Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said that once people are able to log in to the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, they are going to find out that they have fewer health care choices and higher insurance premiums than they could have had on the private market. . . . ‘The government is not going to be able to do the business of selling health insurance better than the private sector could have,’ Mr. McConnell said Thursday. ‘That was one of the many fallacies associated with Obamacare from the very beginning.’ . . . ‘I’m not sure there is any genius they can bring in and clean it up, . . .’”

Tags: House, Water Resources Reform and Development Act, hearing, Obamacare website issues, democrats backing away  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:51 PM - Post Link

7 Comments:

Anonymous Barbie Ann Burrow said...

I just bet they do.

10/24/2013  
Anonymous Passion Flower said...

Dumbass demoRats.

10/25/2013  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

Agree :)

10/25/2013  
Anonymous Ray Mizell said...

House adjourned today so John Boehama could get his instructions for next week from Obozo.

10/25/2013  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

Not true :) The House recessed today because they achieved their objective in a bill scheduled for two days. Also many members wanted to participate and or attend the oversight hearings today addressing the Obamacare website failure. And their are other committees that have work to do. The House leadership isalso busy preparing for the special ceremony regarding the Winston Churchill bust in statuary hall. They GOP leadership may be rubbing it in a little bit on the WH because of the president removed the Churchill bust from the Oval Office given to a former President by queen Elizabeth. Churchill had a close relationship with America being half American - his mother was an American citizen.

10/25/2013  
Anonymous Ray Mizell said...

I think by now people need to realize that the House has not accomplished enough to make the Senate pass any Bill that they pass. Until they stand together and force the Senate to work with them, they can get nothing done. They need to tell the Senate to forget any immigration bill until they get some answers about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS and obummacure. If they don't stand up to this administration this mess will continue just like it has been doing.

10/25/2013  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

True, the U.S. House cannot force the U.S. Senate Democrat leadership do anything. In fact, Harry Reid does almost nothing without the approval of the White House. It is unfortunate that the Democrats have more allegiance more to the President and the Democrat party than to their their constituents. In fact, we might as well abolish the Harry Reid's position as Majority leader and just set up a teleprompter from the White House to be used for deciding what bills will be considered and which ones will not be considered. And how the democrat Senators will and will not vote. Which means our government in theory and on paper remains a republic but in fact part of it is operating like a dictatorship with regard to the Senate and White House.

10/25/2013  

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