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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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, November 14, 2013

Faux Outrage by Democrats Is Hard To Take Seriously While Obama Tap Dances Around Obamacare

by AF "Tony" Branco
Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 14, 2013
President Obama held a press conference today that was billed as announcing a “fix” for Americans who have lost their insurance because of Obamacare, despite the president’s repeated explicit promises of, “If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it.” In fact the President's pandering speech may send shock waves through the insurance companies as the Government is not going to bear any of the costs of this mix-up. Some quotes from the President's speech:
  • “Insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014.”
  • “Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll,”
  • “If you received one of these (cancellation) letters, I’d encourage you to look at the marketplace, even if the website isn’t working as smoothly as it should be.”
  • “I was not informed directly that the website was not working correctly.”
Garth Kant at World News Daily responded to these statements, "But there’s a catch the president did not address: Insurance companies would have to be willing to offer those plans again. And there’s no guarantee the prices would remain the same." Kant also noted, "Obama is now ordering insurance companies to inform customers about what provisions will be required once this year-long grace period has expired. The Department of Health and Human Services will notify insurance companies and state insurance commissioners they have permission to let people who have those “substandard” policies keep them through 2014. And, the administration will not enforce the penalty on individuals for not having eligible health-insurance plans."

If is clear that President Obama is seeking buy time until after the election to provide endangered Democrats in the 2014 election. The assessment penalties will not go accessed until eight weeks after the 2014 elections. And surprise at the heart retroactive heart aches.

Regarding the President’s belated response to the millions who’ve lost their health plans as a result of Obamacare, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement: "President Obama’s announcement doesn't even come close to fixing the problems that so many Americans are facing right now as a result of cancelled health care plans and skyrocketing premiums. But, it does represent the clearest acknowledgment yet that his oft-repeated pledge ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’ was false all along. What makes this admission even worse is the fact that it was prompted not by the heartbreaking stories of millions of Americans, but by the private pleadings of a handful of endangered Democrats. Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the fact Obamacare is broken beyond repair. The only ‘fix’ is full repeal followed by step-by-step, patient-centered reforms that drive down costs and that Americans actually want."

Noting that "Americans Need Real, Not Political Solution to Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement to the president announced “administrative” changes to Obamacare: "After finally acknowledging he repeatedly misled the American people to sell his health care law, the president is asking Americans to trust him again. The President has absolutely no credibility on his promise. True to form, it appears this is little more than a political response designed to shift blame rather than solve the problem. This problem cannot be papered over by another ream of Washington regulations. Americans losing their coverage because of the president’s health care law need clear, unambiguous legislation that guarantees the plan they have and like will still be allowed. That’s why the House will be voting on the Keep Your Health Plan Act tomorrow, and the president should support it."

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. Following 2 hours of morning business, the Senate resumed post-cloture consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 3204, a bill expanding FDA oversight of compounding pharmacies. The Senate then agreed to the motion to proceed to H.R. 3204 by voice vote and began consideration of the bill.

Shortly before noon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filled the amendment tree on H.R. 3204 (cutting off any amendments) and filed cloture on the bill (to cut off debate). Reid also filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1197, the Defense Authorization bill.

Reid then moved to file cloture on a third left-wing nominee to the DC Circuit Court of appeals, Robert Wilkins. Senate Democrats are trying to push three nominees onto the Court in an explicit attempt to “switch the majority” so it can rubberstamp the president’s executive branch excesses. Senate Republicans have blocked the last two nominees, Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard.

The House convened today at 10 AM. They will consider the following bills:
The Senate revision to HB 3080. the Water Resources Reform Act. The House is expected to object to the Senate's revisions and to vote to go to conference with the Senate on this bill.
H.R. 2655 — "To amend Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to improve attorney accountability, and for other purposes."

Yesterday the Senate passed H.R. 982 (221-199) — "To amend title 11 of the United States Code to require the public disclosure by trusts established under section 524(g) of such title, of quarterly reports that contain detailed information regarding the receipt and disposition of claims for injuries based on exposure to asbestos; and for other purposes." Three amendments by democrats seeking to limit access to information on the processing of claims and seeking to remove the required quarterly filing by the trusts handling of the claims were defeated.

More reactions to the President's "toe tapping" speech:
Indeed, it really appears that the president’s action today was motivated more by accounts of “simmering Democratic discontent” and “a brewing revolt among Democrats,” as one Democrat House member put it.

But outside of Washington, ordinary Americans are being hurt by this law that Democrats wrote and the president signed. As Politico points out today, “There are nearly 5 million people who never considered logging on to the Obamacare website, but were blindslided by the cancellation notices they kept hearing the president say they didn’t have to worry about. These aren’t the people fighting it out in Washington, and most of them, at least for now, don’t seem interested in the president’s assurances that this will mean they’ll end up with better coverage, or the way the president’s tried to explain what happened. They’re looking at being uninsured unless they can navigate changes they‘d been told didn’t apply to them.”

Senate Republicans have been asking constituents for their stories about how Obamacare is affecting them and went to the Senate floor one after another this morning to share those stories. The Hill writes, “Thirty-four of the 45 Senate Republicans delivered a one-minute speech, reading personal stories from constituents about how ObamaCare is harming individuals, families and small businesses. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans were trying to put a ‘human face’ on the failures of the healthcare law. ‘These are real Americans learning ObamaCare isn’t more affordable and isn’t more accessible,’ Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said. Republicans criticized the law for raising premium prices and reducing workers’ hours because of mandates under the law. But the main criticism was that President Obama hasn’t kept his promise that if someone likes their current healthcare plan they can keep it. ‘“If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it,”’ Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. ‘It’s a nice sound bite but it isn’t true.’ Republicans called for a full repeal of the law. ‘Repealing ObamaCare’s poorly crafted and misguided mandates and replacing the law … is the best path forward,’ Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said.”

In a hard-hitting editorial today, the USA Today editors expressed some of the frustration Americans are feeling: “[W]hen the White House isn't cluelessly advising people whose health insurance policies are being canceled to go shop at its barely functional website, it's acting as if there's plenty of time for people to sign up because the open enrollment period doesn't end until March 31. Tell that to millions of would-be enrollees who don't have the luxury of waiting that long because their insurance expires at the end of this year. Administration troubleshooter Jeffrey Zients promised the website would be working smoothly for most users by the end of this month. Even if the exchanges begin to work well by then -- a big if -- that will leave people whose insurance policies run out at the end of the year little time to sign up for insurance that kicks in on New Year's Day. The deadline for signing up for insurance that begins Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.” That’s “frightening,” the editors lament, because “the White House has next to no credibility left when it comes to promises about its website.”

Americans’ displeasure is showing up loud and clear in the polls. According to Gallup, “Americans' views of the 2010 healthcare law have worsened in recent weeks, with 40% approving and 55% disapproving of it. For most of the past year, Americans have been divided on the law, usually tilting slightly toward disapproval. The now 15-percentage-point gap between disapproval and approval is the largest Gallup has measured in the past year. . . . Many insured Americans are now being dropped from their health plans, perhaps because the plans do not meet the minimum requirements for coverage mandated by the healthcare law. . . . The timing of this drop in approval of the law suggests it may be linked to the controversy over the millions of Americans losing their current health insurance coverage. In fact, in an open-ended question probing Americans' reasons for approving or disapproving of the law, 11% of those who disapprove specifically mention losing their insurance. Another 7% say the president lied about details of the law.”

Leader McConnell pretty well summed up the situation yesterday, “One of the favorite pastimes of politicians in Washington is to talk about how frustrated the American people are with politicians in Washington. After the past few weeks, it’s easy to see why. I’m talking about the President’s promise — repeated dozens of times — that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. And the sobering realization by millions of Americans that it just wasn’t true. Some of the top fact-checkers in the country have used terms like ‘Pants on Fire’ and ‘False’ and ‘Four Pinocchios’ to describe the claim that, under Obamacare, folks would be able to keep their plans. In a matter of weeks, it’s gone from being one of the law’s top selling points to a national punch line. And if millions of people weren't so frustrated and upset by it, it might be funny. But it’s not the least bit funny. . . . And let’s be very clear about something: these insurance cancellations are no accident. It’s the way the law was designed. Remember: in order for Obamacare to work, millions of Americans had to lose the coverage they’d purchased on their own, so the government could dump them into the Obamacare exchanges. That way, the government could then get them to pay more to subsidize coverage for everybody else. . . . That’s why, in 2010, every Democrat who was in the Senate voted against a Republican proposal designed to hold the President to his word. The fact is, the President’s health care law was designed to capture millions of middle-class Americans, jack up their premiums, and use the extra cash to keep Obamacare afloat. This isn't some unforeseen consequence of the law…it is the law. It’s working just like they designed it. Just like what they voted for. So it’s hard to take seriously the faux outrage we've seen of late from some - Democrat ...”

Tags: democrats, President Obama, Obama tap dances, Obamacare, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, editorial cartoon, AF Branco  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 1:36 PM - Post Link

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