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Blogger/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)

Friday, February 28, 2014

The One No One Knows

by Lucinda Friggins, Contributing Author: Sign this petition to repeal something; sign this petition to impeach someone; notify your congressman about; sign this…sign that! I must receive 200 good intentioned emails daily with disturbing messages about one man I don’t know. He’s the “one man no one knows” because he’s seen to that fact. But he is the One who is overseeing the destruction of our country from the inside out!

The One is the scariest politician I’ve ever witnessed in my 73 years on this planet. Most of the country sees what The One is doing, opposes it. and keeps hoping someone in every town in America will mobilize to organize and oppose The One’s objectives.

The One’s attention at the moment appears to be focused on our military, their benefits and medical care. Talk about minimum wage! These young men and women leave their families, for Lord knows how long or how often, put their lives on the line every single day for every single one of us regardless of party affiliation, and they can hardly afford to support a family on the salary they’re paid. And now this community organizer is slashing away at the few means of assistance they do receive and the retirement pensions they have honorably earned. Put him through boot camp and six months on the front line; then he might understand what he’s doing. I say might, because I don’t think it matters to him now or down the road.

Our right to own a gun; to worship where we chose; to display a flag; to choose our own healthcare are rights that are disappearing daily. The rights we had when we went to bed last night may not be there this morning when we woke up. This community organizer is using his knowledge to trample on our freedom. The One is destroying, not defending, our Constitution. “Why does The One have this power?” “Where did it come from?” Every President has sat in the same office in our nation’s capital, with the same access to a phone and supply of pens, but never has one done the damage that is radiating now from the White House that we’re all paying for.

Frustration is the name of the game today. I fight back with words hoping some intelligent younger people will pick up the flag and stand their ground and ask us old fogies to pack our Depends and our flag, along with our love for our country, and join them in exercising our rights to congregate and shout, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” It might be a slow procession but no loyal American could question our motive. For we love our Country – the Nation that had more freedom and liberty before The One Man No One Knows and his cronies occupied our government.
Lucinda Friggins is the pen name of a widowed great-grandmother who is concerned about out of control big government and the effect it will have on her children and her grandchildren. “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.” ~ Abigail Adams

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To Bake, Or Not To Bake

Wedding Cake Controversy; Why would someone ask a bakery, who doesn’t want their business, to bake them a cake?
AF "Tony" Branco, Editorial Cartoon

Tags: to bake, not to bake, wedding cake, AF Branco, editorial cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

America and the Aggressive Left

Bill Smith, Ph.D., Editor: I have never taken the liberty of running one of Peggy Noonan articles. But the following article begs to be shared across the conservative spectrum. It gives a ray of hope – don’t miss the end of the article. I must add that Peggy is a classy woman like my wife and although I have never met we both served the same president. Although I severed under the command of several presidents, democrats and republicans,  I had no reason to question my trust in them as commander-in-chiefs even when I did not agree with their politics - after all military have no politics. But our current president and his administration is another story entirely and I was glad to see Noonan shed a positive light on our future destiny.

Peggy Noonan
Half the country feels—and is—beset by government. That's not progress.
by Peggy Noonan, Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal: he constant mischief of the progressive left is hurting the nation's morale. There are few areas of national life left in which they are not busy, and few in which they're not making it worse. There are always more regulations, fees and fiats, always more cultural pressure and insistence.

The president brags he has a pen and a phone. He uses the former to sign executive orders. It is not clear why he mentioned the latter since he rarely attempts to bring legislators over to his side. Who exactly is he calling? The most hopeful thing he's done is signal this week what he'll be up to after he leaves. He will work with young minority men. Good. He is a figure of inspiration to them, and they need and deserve encouragement. This also leaves us understanding for the first time the true purpose of his so far unsuccessful presidency: to launch a meaningful postpresidency. I'm glad that's clear.

But to American morale. Here one refers to recent polling data. Gallup in December had 72% of those polled saying big government is a bigger threat to the future than big business and big labor—a record high. This may be connected to ObamaCare, an analyst ventured. Rasmussen this week had only 32% of those polled saying the country is headed in the right direction, with 61% saying we're on the wrong track. Both numbers fluctuate, but the right track is down two points since this time last year and the wrong track up three. Gallup also had only 39% of respondents saying they saw America in a positive position, with less than half thinking it will be better in five years.

None of these numbers are new, exactly, as they reflect long-term trends. But they never lose their power to startle. The persistent blues, the lack of faith, the bet that things won't get better—it just doesn't sound like America.

We are suffering in great part from the politicization of everything and the spread of government not in a useful way but a destructive one. Everyone wants to help the poor, the old and the sick; the safety net exists because we want it. But voters and taxpayers feel bullied, burdened and jerked around, which again is not new but feels more intense every day. Common sense and native wit tell them America is losing the most vital part of itself in the continuing shift of power from private to public. Rules, regulations, many of them stupid, from all the agencies—local, state, federal—on the building of a house, or the starting of a business. You can only employ so many before the new insurance rules kick in so don't employ too many, don't take a chance! Which means: Don't grow. It takes the utmost commitment to start a school or improve an existing one because you'll come up against the unions, which own the politicians.

It's all part of the malaise, the sclerosis. So is the eroding end of the idea that religious scruples and beliefs have a high place that must culturally and politically be respected. The political-media complex is bravely coming down on florists with unfashionable views. On Twitter Thursday, the freedom-fighter who tweets as @FriedrichHayek asked: "Can the government compel a Jewish baker to deliver a wedding cake on a Saturday? If not why not." Why not indeed. Because the truly tolerant give each other a little space? On an optimistic note, the Little Sisters of the Poor haven't been put out of business and patiently await their day in court.

I think a lot of people right now, certainly Republicans and conservatives, feel like a guy in a batting cage taking ball after ball from an automatic pitching machine. He's hitting the ball and keeping up and suddenly the machine starts going berserk. It's firing five balls a second, then 10. At first he tries to hit a few. Then he's just trying to duck, trying not to get hurt.

That's how people feel about the demands and dictates. The balls keep coming at them politically, locally, culturally. Republicans and conservatives comprise at least half the country. That's a lot of people.

In the dark screwball comedy that is ObamaCare, the Congressional Budget Office revealed last month the law will provide disincentives to work. Don't worry, said Nancy Pelosi, people can take that time and go become poets and painters. At first you think: Huh, I can do that, I've got a beret. Then you think: No, I have to earn a living. Then you think, poor hardworking rube that you are: Wait a second, I'm subsidizing all this. I've been cast in the role of Catherine de Medici, patroness of the arts. She at least had a castle, I just get a bill!

The IRS is coming up with new rules making it harder for independent groups to organize and resist the constant messages and claims of government. Meanwhile it warns taxpayers they must be able to prove they have insurance coverage when they file their 2014 taxes or they'll face a fine (or tax, or fee), which the government has decided to call a "shared responsibility payment." It is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child to a maximum of $285, or 1% of your household income, whichever is higher. People already enraged by canceled coverage, higher premiums, huge deductibles, lost doctors and limited networks, fume. And the highest-ranking Democrat on Capitol Hill, Majority Leader Harry Reid, goes to the floor of the Senate to say of the ObamaCare horror stories that "all of them are untrue." They're "stories made up out of whole cloth" spread by "the multibillionaire Koch brothers."

Imagine that you have real problems caused by a bad law, and Mr. Reid tells you that what you are experiencing in your own life is a lie made up by propagandists. He sounded like Lenin. There is no cholera in the new Russia.

The NSA is a real and present threat to your privacy, HHS actually never has to come up with a true number on ObamaCare enrollments or costs, and at the EPA no one talks anymore about why Al Armendariz, a top regional administrator, felt free to brag in a 2010 speech that his "philosophy of enforcement" could be compared with the practice by ancient Roman soldiers of crucifying random victims. When it surfaced, he left the agency. Did his mind-set?

People feel beset because they are. All these things are pieces of a larger, bullying ineptitude. And people know, they are aware.

Conservatives sometimes feel exhausted from trying to fight back on a million fronts. A leftist might say: "Yes, that's the plan."

But the left too is damaged. They look hollowed out and incoherent. Their victories, removed of meaning, are only the triumphs of small aggressions. They win the day but not the era. The result is not progress but more national division, more of a grinding sense of dislike. At first it will be aimed at the progressive left, but in time it will likely be aimed at America itself, or rather America as It Is Now. When the progressive left wins, they will win, year by year, less of a country.
Peggy Noonan is a writer. She is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where her weekly column, Declarations, has run since 2000. She is also the author of eight books on American politics, history and culture, including the bestsellers “What I Saw at the Revolution,” and “When Character Was King.” She is one of ten historians and writers who contributed essays on the American presidency for the book, “Character Above All.” Noonan was a special assistant and speechwriter for president Ronald Reagan.

Tags: Peggy Noonan, America, aggressive left, progressives, the future To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Crazy Harry Reid

Editorial Cartoon by Jerry Holbert via eGopNews

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren - February 2014 Porker of the Month

 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) its February 2014 Porker of the Month, after she spouted off about the silly suggestion that the United States Postal Service (USPS) should be permitted to expand its now limited activities deeply into financial services. Sen. Warren’s comments came shortly after the publication of a January 27, 2014 USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that explored the possibility of having the agency, which currently sells money orders, dabble more extensively into what the IG called “non-banking services,” such as payment services, savings options and credit services.

Sen. Warren expressed her support for this concept in a February 1 Huffington Post op-ed, in which she wrote, “If the Postal Service offered basic banking services – nothing fancy, just basic bill paying, check cashing and small dollar loans – then it could provide affordable financial services to underserved families, and, at the same time, shore up its own financial footing …USPS could partner with banks to make a critical difference for millions of Americans who don’t have basic banking services because there are almost no banks or bank branches in their neighborhoods.” While the IG was careful to use the term “non-banking services,” presumably in an attempt to prevent anyone from thinking that the USPS was going to turn into bank, Sen. Warren had no such qualms. She thought it would be a good idea for the USPS to offer “basic banking services” and suggested that it was “worth reading David Dayen’s article [in] the New Republic -- ‘The Post Office Should Just Become a Bank: How Obama can save USPS and ding check-cashing joints.’”

“Somehow, ‘take that to the Post Office’ doesn’t have quite the same ring as ‘take that to the bank,’” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Rather than spending ‘a lot of time working on’ expanding the postal service’s operations, as Sen. Warren said she would do, she and her colleagues should instead be working on enacting legislation that would improve the postal service’s ability to achieve its core mission to deliver mail while not suffering multi-billion losses into the foreseeable future. Banking and non-banking services are currently well-served by private-sector business with expertise in those areas. If the USPS wants to get into banking or any other business, then it should give up its government privileges and move toward a fully competitive model. It is unfortunately not surprising that a member of Congress would extrapolate that because the USPS sells money orders that it would be great in…banking! Just because someone can build a paper airplane does not mean her or she should run Boeing or Airbus. The whole idea is a dead letter.”

The USPS reported a $5 billion loss in fiscal year (FY) 2013, the seventh consecutive year of losses. According to September 6, 2011 testimony by the GAO before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the USPS business model is “broken.” The GAO’s recommendations to fix the problems at the USPS did not remotely suggest that the agency should expand into new lines of business. Indeed, since delivering the mail is the agency’s business, it strains all limits of credulity to believe that starting another business could save its primary business.

It appears that there is another motivation behind Sen. Warren’s new crusade. She doesn’t like the payday lending industry and believes the USPS could do a better job in providing short-term loans, which the IG claims could be provided for a longer period of time at a lower cost. However, there is absolutely nothing in the IG’s report about securing those loans with collateral, other than suggesting that the federal tax refund offset program could be used to collect any debts. In other words, the short-term loan program is likely to be another federal effort to lend money that the government has to borrow from future generations without worrying about whether or not it ever gets paid back. On top of potential competition from the USPS, payday lenders are also being squeezed under the Dodd-Frank Act, which calls for $100 million in funds to set up taxpayer-financed institutions to provide what many are calling “Obamaloans.”

Although the expansion of the USPS into new lines of business should require congressional approval, David Dayen suggested that the President should just “step in” and urge the USPS to act unilaterally as part of the President’s plans to act without going through the legislative process. According to the IG, the USPS could just “explore options within its existing authority” to provide additional non-banking financial services beyond money orders.

For her preposterous idea to allow the USPS to play Mr. Monopoly in order to chase profits without a scintilla of structural reform and expand into new businesses instead of preserving its core business, while setting the stage for another enormous taxpayer bailout, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is CAGW’s February Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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Over 140,000 Comments From Citizens To IRS, ‘Leave. The First Amendment. Alone’

Using IRS To Limit Conservative Free Speech
by AF "Tony" Branco
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 28, 2014:
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Monday, when senators will vote on cloture (to cut off debate) on the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General.

Yesterday, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filled the amendment tree to prevent any Republican amendments to the veterans bill (S. 1982), including bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation, Democrats voted with their leader to continue blocking any amendments to the bill.  One of those Democrats was Arkansas' Mark Pryor who continued to vote both times  in support of Sen. Harry Reid who called Americans liars who are reporting about problems with Obamacare.

Democrats then failed to get the 60 votes required to waive a budget point of order against the bill and the bill stalled.

Later, the Senate voted 97-0 to confirm Michael Connor to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior.

Last night, Reid filed for cloture on 4 district judge nominees, an undersecretary of State nominee, and on the motion to proceed to S. 1086, a child development block grant bill.

The House reconvened at 9 AM.  They debated and passed H.R. 899 (234-176) — "To provide for additional safeguards with respect to imposing Federal mandates, and for other purposes." The House adjourned at 1:31 PM. The House is scheduled to reconvene at 12:00 PM on Monday, March 3, 2014

Yesterday the House passed:
H.R. 2804 (236-179) — "To amend title 5, United States Code, to require the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to publish information about rules on the Internet, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3193 (232-182) — "To amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to strengthen the review authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council of regulations issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and for other purposes."

The Washington Post reports, “A controversial proposed IRS regulation that seeks to define political activity for nonprofit social welfare organizations drew more than 122,000 comments before Thursday night’s deadline, a gargantuan sum that underscores difficult task now facing the Treasury Department. The proposed rule . . . has been roundly criticized by groups across the political spectrum as overbroad, unworkable and a threat to free speech. . . . The breadth of the opposition was exemplified by a bipartisan comment submitted Thursday by an unusual coalition that included immigration reform advocates, the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Citizen, Citizens United and FreedomWorks. Among other things, the groups objected to the department’s proposal to categorize nonpartisan voter registration and candidate forums as political activities.”

Roll Call adds, “Comments poured into Treasury steadily through the final hours of a Feb. 27 deadline from activists on the left and right; tax and legal experts; academics; advocacy and trade groups of all stripes, and from thousands of ordinary citizens and taxpayers. . . . [M]ost were overwhelmingly critical, attacking the IRS for proposing to define political activity to include voter registration and mobilization, distribution of voter guides and candidate appearances. . . . A broad coalition of progressives, including civil liberties and environmental organizers, have joined conservative activists in assailing the proposed IRS rules as over-broad and chilling to free speech. Left-leaning activists have in essence told the Treasury Department, ‘thanks, but no thanks’ for the IRS rules.”

Just a glance at the names, left and right, joining together to criticize this rule should give a sense of just how bad it is. Among those on the left commenting are Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice, the ACLU, the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters. On the right are groups including the NRA, Americans for Prosperity, and Americans for Tax Reform.

The Wall Street Journal editors also note the breadth of the pile on: “This week the IRS was the place to be in Washington, but not because it was suddenly popular. Thursday was tax agency's deadline for comment on its proposal to clip the free speech rights of 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups, and much of America was screaming its disapproval. By the time the comment period closed, the rule had generated more than 100,000 individual responses from across the political spectrum, more than 10 times as many as the regulatory runner-up. Notable among the comments is one filed by eight former FEC commissioners, including Journal contributors Bradley Smith and Hans von Spakovsky, who note that the rule would usurp the campaign-finance regulation created by Congress and handled by the Federal Election Commission. . . . A group of First Amendment scholars, including Floyd Abrams, Nadine Strossen and Harvey Silverglate, weighed in to say that key parts of the regulations are ‘in tension with . . . settled constitutional principles’ and ‘impose serious burdens on free speech.’”

And in her WSJ column, Kimberly Strassel writes, “[N]ow we have new IRS regulations, which will formalize the crackdown on 501(c)(4) political speech. The IRS has no business here—there is a bipartisan Federal Election Commission to enforce laws about political speech. But the FEC can't be controlled by the White House, and Democrats have been unable to pass new speech restrictions through Congress. Democrats are instead fully vested now in using the IRS to shut down criticism by outside groups of ObamaCare, overspending or (ironically) the IRS targeting.”

Indeed, Roll Call notes that among the comparatively few comments supporting the IRS rule are those from, of course, a group of Democrat senators, and the former head of House Democrats’ campaign committee. “By contrast, more than a dozen Senate Democrats, led by Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse, urged the IRS to ‘make clear that it is impermissible for political operatives to create what are for all practical purposes PACs, obtain 501(c)(4) status for those PACs, and then spend essentially unlimited money to influence elections without disclosing their donors, as is now common practice.’ Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a leading advocate of campaign finance disclosure, also joined with the watchdog groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center in comments urging the IRS to rewrite its rules.”

Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday on the reaction against the proposed IRS rule, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Today’s an important day. It’s the last day of the so-called comment period when Americans can officially register their opinions on the IRS’ latest effort to suppress free speech. So far, nearly 100,000 comments have come through. Nearly every one I’ve seen is opposed. Just to put things in perspective, that’s basically the largest number of comments ever for a rule like this. Even the head of the IRS said he saw more comments on this proposal than ever before ‘on any regulation.’ And that was about 70,000 comments ago. So people are making their voices heard. Loudly. And the message they’re broadcasting is pretty clear. Leave. The First Amendment. Alone. Get out of the censorship and harassment business. Stick to the job you’re actually supposed to be doing. And let’s be clear. The folks who are logging opinions like these run straight across the political spectrum. Labor unions are upset. Business organizations are upset. Civil liberties activists are upset. Taxpayer groups are upset. Grassroots groups right across the political map are upset at what they view as an assault on their First Amendment rights. All you have to do is read their own words.”

He concluded, “Left, Right, or Center — folks understand what a threat this rule poses to our most cherished of civil liberties. They also realize that a group the Administration favors today could easily become a group the IRS targets tomorrow. That’s why this fight is so important – why it’s so inappropriate to hand this kind of power to any Administration. I don’t care what party the president’s in. And that’s why I, along with several of my colleagues, recently sent a letter to the new Commissioner of the IRS explaining in some detail just why the agency’s proposal was such a bad idea.

“In that letter, we also reminded Commissioner Koskinen of something else too: the ball’s in his court on this one. He could stop this rule tomorrow. And given the comments he made about restoring integrity to the IRS when the Senate voted to confirm him, that’s just what we expect out of him. In fact, that’s the essentially mandate on which he was confirmed. So here’s the choice before him. He can either fulfill that mandate to the American people by restoring integrity to an agency they no longer trust. He can be a hero and say no to those who are pressuring him to crack down on the First Amendment rights of ordinary Americans – just like the IRS Commissioner who stood up to Nixon. Or, he can serve political masters over in the White House. He can implement regulations that will erode our most fundamental civil liberties – regulations that would almost certainly lead to the harassment of conservative groups today, and quite possibly to the harassment of Left-leaning groups in the future. In fact, a recent letter Representative Camp received from the Treasury Department appears to suggest that unions in particular may have a lot to fear from this proposal.

“So now is the time to act. America’s free speech advocates are standing up with one voice.”

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Obamacare Costing Seniors

 New Study Reveals That Millions Of Seniors Face Skyrocketing Costs And Shrinking Benefits

Seniors ‘Could Pay As Much As $900 More’ Next Year
Medicare Advantage “...beneficiaries could pay as much as $900 more in 2015 if the cuts take effect.” (“Insurers: Medicare Advantage Cuts Cost Seniors $900 Per Year,” The Hill, 2/27/14)

Study: “The report estimates that [Medicare Advantage] plans will see a 5.9% reduction in payment in 2015... These reductions can be expected to disrupt a substantial proportion of the 15 million Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage.” (“2015 Advance Notice: Changes To Medicare Advantage Payment Methodology...,” Oliver Wyman, P.2, 2/27/14)
Senior: ‘I Couldn't Believe It’
KY Teachers: “Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) has 28,000 Medicare eligible retirees on a Medicare Advantage plan. ... KTRS is writing to raise serious concerns about the potential for millions of Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees, including our 28,000, to be negatively impacted by the 2015 rate notice... further cuts could do irreparable harm by damaging the viability of Medicare Advantage program offerings...” (Teachers’ Retirement System Of Kentucky, Letter To CMS Director Tavenner, 2/11/14)

OH Union: “We are writing to raise serious concerns about the potential for millions of Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees to be negatively impacted by the 2015 rate notice currently being developed by CMS. ...cuts of this magnitude inevitably lead to the continued erosion of plan benefits, increases beneficiary out-of-pocket costs, and reduced access to providers and plan choices.  This outcome would be highly unfair to MA enrollees, particularly those with low incomes who rely on their MA plan as a health care safety net.” (Ohio Operating Engineers, Letter To CMS Director Tavenner, 2/11/14)

TX: “ of the nation's largest insurers, has dropped some 1,100 Houston-area physicians from its Medicare Advantage program - about 20 percent of its doctors - in a move that could disrupt care for thousands of elderly patients, according to the Harris County Medical Society.” (“UnitedHealthcare Cuts Many Medicare Advantage Physicians,” Houston Chronicle, 1/30/14)

CT: “...the nation's largest Medicare Advantage insurer, notified 2,200 Connecticut physicians that they would be dropped from the company's plans as of Feb. 1. The company said it was limiting the number of providers it worked with to ‘encourage better health outcomes and ultimately lower costs’ in response to the ‘severe government funding cuts’ to the program.” (“Members Of An Anti-Obamacare Coalition Are Starting To Turn On Each Other,” National Journal, 1/28/14)
FL: ‘More than 50,000 Tampa Bay residents’ face ‘major changes’ “The AARP managed care network [George Smith] had relied on for years will drop all eight of his and his wife's doctors as of Jan. 1. ‘I couldn't believe it. I have my house and car and everything insured through AARP,’ said Smith, 73. ‘I thought, “They are not going to drop me. I've been a member for years.”’ Smith and thousands of Tampa Bay residents are caught up in major changes… More than 50,000 Tampa Bay residents currently belong to AARP Medicare Advantage plans.” (“Patients Scramble After AARP Medicare Advantage Plans Drop Providers,” Tampa Bay Times, 10/21/13)

NJ: 50,000 Medical Advantage plans were cancelled due to Obamacare “There are changes coming to some Medicare Advantage plans as well, which are due, in part, to the new law. Horizon sent notices to 50,000 of its New Jersey members explaining to seniors that their current plans will not be available next year. ‘Due to increasing health care costs and continued federal government cuts to Medicare Advantage, Horizon BCBSNJ had to discontinue certain MA plans, create new plans, and increase premiums, in order to continue to be the only carrier offering MA plans in all 21 counties of New Jersey,’ Vincz said.” (“Obamacare Causes Insurance Companies To Scrap Some Plans, Create New Ones,” The Star Ledger, 10/6/13)

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Keystone XL Is Proof President Obama Opposes U.S. Economic Growth

Thousands of Miles of U.S. Pipelines
 Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: It’s taken nearly five years, but Americans are finally aware that President Obama is opposed to anything that contributes to the economic growth of the nation. Along with a Democratic controlled Senate and its opposition to anything generated by the Republican House, Obama has saddled the nation with the highest debt in its history and squandered billions on failed alternative energy firms.

The most dramatic example is Obama’s five-year delay of the implementation of the Keystone XL pipeline that would safely transport oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

There are approximately 55,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. with another 30,000 to 40,000 smaller gathering pipelines that feed it to the major ones.

In a February 17 U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement in The Weekly Standard, its president and CEO, Thomas J. Donahue, wrote that “In the same time that the Keystone XL pipeline application has been under review by the Obama administration, the Hoover Dam, the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Empire State Building were built—a clear indicator of how cumbersome and political today’s permitting process has become.”

Donahue pointed out that “The Keystone XL pipeline would not only transport fuel safely, but it would boost economic activity along the way. Building the pipeline would create more than 42,000 new jobs while adding $3.4 billion to the economy. The pipeline would generate more than $5.2 billion in property taxes for communities on the route, pumping cash into state and city coffers for schools, law enforcement, and local projects.”

“Radical eco-zealots have chosen Keystone XL as the place to make their stand,” says Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) a free market think tank. “They claim this project is unsafe for the environment and the people it would pass near, and that it would greatly contribute to alleged ‘global warming.’”

The State Department is accepting public comment on the pipeline and CFACT has a petition for which it is seeking signatures to move forward on its acceptance. Take a moment to sign it.

Even Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, has gone on record saying that the nation’s railroad infrastructure was not ready to handle the huge increase in all oil production coming out of places like North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation, urging that pipelines are the best option. “Frankly, I think pipeline transport overall probably has overall a better record in terms of cost, in terms of emissions, and in terms of safety.”

Keystone XL has become the environmental movement’s front line in its attack on the nation’s economic growth and political pundits commonly say that Obama’s refusal to permit its construction is based on his intention to keep their vote, but I am inclined to believe that it is part of his effort to convert the economy and political structure of the nation from a vigorous capitalist entity to one in which millions of Americans, unable to find employment and experiencing a reduction in their personal wealth are forced onto government doles of one sort or another.

Paul Driessen, a CFACT senior policy advisor, points out that “Most Americans are no longer fooled by empty hope and change hype. In December only 74,000 jobs were created (many of them low-paying part-time seasonal positions), while 374,000 more people gave up looking for work. Not surprisingly, recent polls have found that three-quarters of Americans say the country still appears to be in a recession, two-thirds don’t trust the President to make the right decisions for the country, and barely 30% say the nation is ‘heading in the right direction.’”

One is reminded of Obama’s claim that his $787 billion dollar “stimulus” program would help fund “shovel ready” jobs waiting to be filled. It utterly failed to do that, instead directing the money to alternative energy firms that went bankrupt while their owners pocketed much of that funding. Obama later admitted that there were far fewer shovel ready jobs than he believed existed. Government regulations have so slowed and delayed construction projects of every description that until they are removed, the economy will continue to stagnate.

The environmental claim that the pipeline will contribute to “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), is utterly false because CO2 plays virtually no role whatever in affecting the Earth’s weather or climate. The claim is based on computer models, 95% or more of which have proved to be wrong.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 20, Richard McNider and John Christie disputed Secretary of State John Kerry’s claims about “climate change”, pointing out that “When the failure of become clear, the modeling industry always comes back with new models that soften their previous warming forecasts…The models mostly miss warming in the deep atmosphere—from the Earth’s surface to 75,000 feet—which is supposed to be one of the real signals of warming caused by carbon dioxide. Here, the consensus ignores the reality of temperature observations of the deep atmosphere collected by satellites and balloons, which have consistently shown less than half of the warming shown in the average model forecasts.” McNider and Christie are professors of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and fellows of the American Meteorological Society.

Even Kerry’s Department of State’s own final environmental impact statement said that the Keystone XL pipeline would contribute little to global greenhouse gas emissions. Obama’s alleged climate policies ignore the science that disputes any connection between CO2 and the climate, but it is his primary instrument to delay and eliminate any economic growth.

Regrettably, on Feb 19, a Nebraska judge ruled that the law allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to be built across the State is unconstitutional, thus delaying the project still further.

The greenhouse emissions claims are a huge lie created to advance “global warming”, now called “climate change”, but the bottom line is that Obama is using them as a weapon against the nation’s capacity to grow the economy

We have a President who is doing everything he can to reduce jobs, reduce construction, eliminate coal-fired plants to produce electricity, and to wage an economic war on America.
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column,  Warning Signs disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service.

Tags: Keystone XL, pipeline, President Obama, Opposes, economic growth, Alan Caruba, warning signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Are You Being Represented?

Click for Video: Tough Questions
On Immigration Reform
Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation: Do the hot topics in Washington reflect your concerns about the country?

Lately, the President has been advocating amnesty and a minimum wage hike. He had a rare private meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday to discuss these and other issues.

Here’s the problem with these priorities: Very few Americans say they’re concerned about immigration — and a minimum wage hike would cause destruction in the area they are concerned about: jobs.

Jobs and the economy are Americans’ top concerns, according to Gallup’s February poll. A combined 43 percent of respondents cited unemployment, jobs, or the economy as the “most important problem facing this country today.”

Immigration was cited by only 6 percent—and fewer Democrats said immigration was the most important problem (3 percent compared to 6 percent of Republicans).

Earlier this month, Boehner acknowledged “widespread doubt” about trusting the Obama Administration to enforce immigration laws. Before working with the President and his allies, it’s important to be honest about the risk of Obama acting without Congress.

And guess what comes next on the list of Americans’ concerns? Dissatisfaction with government—poor leadership, corruption, and abuse of power.

Congress and the President need to work on the major task of freeing the economy to create jobs. And the President needs to stop pretending that no one has ever brought him any different ideas.

Heritage Action for America recently hosted a policy summit just to let lawmakers present their newest ideas for reforming Washington and getting America back on track. Heritage President Jim DeMint said he wanted to spread the word that there are Members of Congress who have been able to envision a different America —"An America where problems are solved, not subsidized; one where citizens are entrusted with the care of their own families and communities; one colored by opportunities as diverse as the millions of lives in this great nation.
Tags: Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, Congress, immigration, Jim Demint, minimum wage, Video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

120,000+ Voices Oppose IRS Proposed Rule Stifling Free Speech

  An Unprecedented Number Of Americans Have Weighed In Against An IRS Regulation That Would Stifle Speech Of Social Welfare Groups

Record Number Of Comments From Concerned Citizens And Groups
There are more than 120,000 public comments on the proposed IRS regulations for 501(c)(4)s. (Comments On IRS NPRM, REG-134417-13,, Accessed 2/27/14)
“And it’s bad news for the Internal Revenue Service and the administration: most of the comments are not positive.” (“IRS Proposed Rules For Nonprofits Alarm Conservatives And Liberals Alike,” Forbes, 2/25/14)

Right, Left Groups Warn: Rule Would Have A ‘Chilling Effect’ On Free Speech
NAN ARON, Alliance For Justice: “In its attempt to define what kinds of activity are ‘political’ and therefore cannot be counted toward a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization’s social welfare purpose, Treasury and the IRS drew a very deep and troubling line in the sand.” (“Treasury, IRS Proposal: The End of Nonpartisan Election Work By 501(c)(4)s?,”, 11/27/13)
ACLU: “Accordingly, we can say with confidence that bona fide charitable organizations, may also, under the proposed rule, be forced to seriously ‘hedge and trim’ what should be fully protected speech in their issue advocacy to stay far clear of any potential CRPA. Worse, this chilling effect will be more acute for smaller organizations that do not have access to legal expertise in this area. …we fear that the proposed rule will … impermissibly chill political speech that should receive the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.” (Laura Murphy And Gabriel Rottman, ACLU, Comments On IRS REG-134417-13, 2/4/14)
CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT: “The Center for Effective Government, a liberal group that works to promote advocacy work by charities, started the Bright Lines Project in 2008 in order to get the IRS to take a tougher line against politicking. But the project said in a statement that it now opposes the IRS proposal because it would have a ‘chilling effect’ on charities that want to engage in grass-roots advocacy on political issues.” (“IRS Rule on Nonprofits Loses Liberal Allies,” CQ, 1/27/14)

GARY BASS, Bauman Family Foundation, and DIANA AVIV, Independent Sector: “Ultimately, the proposed Treasury-IRS rules would further chill nonprofit civic engagement and send a message to funders and groups that even long-standing and widely accepted nonpartisan behavior is ‘political.’ Such limitations are unacceptable in a democracy and raise troubling constitutional issues in their ambiguity and uneven treatment of charities, social welfare groups and other tax-exempt organizations.” (Gary Bass And Diana Aviv, Op-Ed, “Treasury And IRS Rules On Nonprofits’ Political Activity Miss The Mark,” Washington Post, 12/12/13)

SIERRA CLUB: IRS rule ‘harms efforts that have nothing to do with politics’ “Cathy Duvall, the Sierra Club's director of strategic partnerships, said that the proposal ‘harms efforts that have nothing to do with politics, from our ability to communicate with our members about clean air and water to our efforts to educate the public about toxic pollution.’” (“IRS Effort To Rein In Nonprofits Gets Beaten Up By Both Sides,” Washington Post, 2/12/14)

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS: “For 94 years the League has played a unique role in our elections by providing truly nonpartisan voter services and information to voters across the country. Unfortunately, the IRS proposal as it stands would jeopardize our work because it does not provide any exception for truly nonpartisan voter service activities like those carried out by the League. This is a terrible mistake, both for voters and for our democracy.” (League Of Women Voters, Press Release, 2/19/14)

NRA:  “‘At first glance, it appears like a blatant abuse of the tax code designed to muzzle the American people's free speech rights,’ said a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, which is a 501(c)(4) group.” (“IRS Moves To Restrict Nonprofits' Politicking,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/26/13)

CENTER FOR COMPETITIVE POLITICS: “…the proposal regulates far more speech than can be justified, under either administrative law or the First Amendment, given Supreme Court precedent over the past several decades.” (Bradley Smith And Allen Dickerson, Center For Competitive Politics, Comments On IRS NPRM, REG-134417-13, 12/5/13)

MAT STAVER, Liberty Counsel: ‘The IRS should not be used to silence the voice of the people’ “‘President Obama wants to silence the voices of millions of Americans who disagree with him and his policies,’ said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. … ‘These proposed IRS rules are designed to silence opposition to President Obama and his Party. The IRS should not be used to silence the voice of the people. These regulations are very dangerous to our freedom,’ concluded Staver.” (Liberty Counsel, Press Release, 1/20/14)

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: “Grassroots groups are being targeted yet again. As the 2014 Congressional elections loom over DC, the IRS has proposed new rules which would muzzle hundreds of grassroots groups. In a controversial move, the Internal Revenue Service will redefine certain criteria for what defines a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt activity in order to eliminate their place in the public square, and in the words of House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.), ‘[put] tea party groups out of business.’” (ATR, Press Release, 2/3/14)

AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: “Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, one of the biggest 501(c)(4) groups, said in an e-mail that the rules would set an ‘arbitrary restriction’ on Americans’ ability to voice their concerns with elected officials. The group advocates limited government. ‘Because the proposed rules are so sweeping, categorical, and prohibitive, they will almost certainly affect organizations both large and small with equally draconian effects,’ he said.” (“Big-Money Politics Groups Get Clarity From IRS They Hate,” Bloomberg, 2/19/14)

HOME SCHOOL LEGAL DEFENSE ASSOCIATION: “HSLDA strongly opposed this Proposed Rule in its entirety. This Proposed Rule unlawfully restricts the First Amendment free speech rights of millions of Americans who belong to social welfare organizations and who depends on these organizations to influence public policy and society in beneficial ways. … This Proposed Rule would be incredibly damaging to HSLDA , other 501(c)(4) organizations, and our nations’ long standing Constitutional freedoms.” (J. Michael Smith, HSLDA, Comments On REG-134417-13, 1/9/14)

THE AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST ASSOCIATION: “The AMA, as a 501(c)4 membership based organization, is concerned that the proposed rule the IRS seeks to implement will stifle nonpartisan speech in a manner that leads to a less informed electorate. In short, we believe that the changes proposed twill prevent the AMA from educating voters and advocating for the social welfare of the motorcycling community.” (Wayne Allard, American Motorcyclist Association, Comments On IRS NPRM, REG-134417-13, 12/10/13)

NYPD SERGEANTS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION: “When government agents engage in misconduct that chills or violates constitutional rights, the government’s response cannot be to reshape and scale back the contours of these rights just to ensure that the government avoids colliding with them again in the future. … Given the history of misuse and abuse of the IRS’ immense powers in the not-so-distant past, it is disappointing and disturbing that this fundamental principle has been forgotten and that this NPRM is the IRS’ proposed response to its recent missteps.” (Ed Mullins, SBA, Comments On IRS NPRM, REG-134417-13, 2/20/14)

FLOYD ABRAMS, ARTHUR EISENBERG, JOEL GORA, MICHAEL MEYERS, HARVEY SILVERGLATE, NADINE STROSSEN AND WILLIAM VAN ALSTYNE, First Amendment Advocates: “This will have a severe chilling effect on the ability of the thousands of non-profit issue advocacy groups to engage in their vital commentary on the critical issues of the day.” (Floyd Abrams Et Al., Comments On IRS NPRM, REG-134417-13, 2/24/14)
Mhr.< Tags: IRS, proposed rule, frees speech, citizens speaking out To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

House Addresses IRS Abuse of Conservative Orgs | Sen. Harry Reid And Dems Not Regretful For Calling All Americans Liars Who Report Obamacare Horror Stories

Img by Saberpoint
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 27, 2014:
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and resumed consideration of S. 1982, Democrats’ veterans benefits bill.

Last night, once again, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filled the amendment tree to prevent any Republican amendments to the veterans bill, also blocking a vote on bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation.

At 2 PM, the Senate will vote on a motion to table the amendments Reid used to fill the amendment tree. If the motion is successful, it would open the bill up to amendments.

Following that vote, the Senate will vote on a motion to waive a budget point of order against S. 1982. If the motion gets the 60 votes necessary, there will be 4 more votes: cloture on the substitute amendment to the bill, a vote on adopting that amendment, cloture on the underlying bill to cut off debate, and then on final passage of the bill if all the previous votes are successful.

If the motion to waive the point of order does not get 60 votes, that all the cloture motions will be withdrawn and the Senate is expected to turn to votes on nominations.

The House reconvened at 10 AM.  They will be considering:
H.R. 2804 — "To amend title 5, United States Code, to require the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to publish information about rules on the Internet, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3193 — "To amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to strengthen the review authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council of regulations issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and for other purposes."

Yesterday the House passed:
H.R. 1944 (353-65) — "To protect private property rights."
H.R. 3308 (Voice Vote) — "To require a Federal agency to include language in certain educational and advertising materials indicating that such materials are produced and disseminated at taxpayer expense."
H.R. 3865 (243-176) — "To prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from modifying the standard for determining whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986." Note: 176 Democrats voted against protecting 501(c)(4) orgs from being bullied and politically harassed by the IRS under the Obama white House agenda.

On passage of H.R. 3865, Speaker Boehner said, "The people’s House voted to protect the First Amendment and stop more of the same IRS overreaching that is currently under congressional investigation. The taxman has no business targeting citizens for their political views. None whatsoever. On behalf of every American fed up with the IRS’s antics, I call on Senate Democrats to allow a vote on this bill immediately.”

As background, Americans for Limited Government has identified that the IRS proposed regulation, published in November 2013, severely restricts the activities of (c)(4)s — including even mentioning the name of any politician, such as a member of Congress. However the rules are only being applied to limiting the free speech of conservative organizations. Consider, the new rule does not apply to similar 501(c)(5) labor organizations, which in 2012 spent more than $772 million on elections and lobbying.

The Service Employees International Union led the political spending charge with almost $114 million in political activity, according to official filings submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor. Not including SEIU and AFL-CIO spending (each of which have significant public employee membership), the top public employee unions spent more than $144 million on political activity and lobbying with AFSCME alone totaling more than $70 million in expenditures.

Last night, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox, reacting to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) declaration on the floor earlier in the day that “there’s plenty of horror stories being told” about Obamacare and “All of them are untrue.”

Leader McConnell said, “I was actually on the floor when he said it. He basically called my constituent, Angela, here’s the letter I got from her—she lost her doctor—Angela from Owensboro, lost her doctor. He basically called her a liar, what nonsense. These people all across America — who are losing their policies, whose premiums are going up, whose co-payments and deductibles who are going up, whose jobs are being lost — are not making this up! And no amount of Harry Reid calling everybody a liar changes the facts. Why in the world would people call us with these stories if they're not true?”

Kelly followed up, “Now you have the Senate Majority Leader calling all of these Americans, regular Americans, who just happen to be speaking out about their experiences—negative experiences as it happens—liars.” Leader McConnell noted, “Harry Reid called President Bush a liar, too, a few years ago. I mean, he must think everybody who disagrees with him is a liar. And it’s astonishing behavior, certainly doesn't lend credit to the Senate, particularly for the majority leader of the Senate, who’s supposed to be the most significant Democrat in the majority, to use this kind of language. I don’t think it helps the Democrats and it further underscores, I think, Megyn, their desperation. They’re desperate because every single one of them provided the vote that passed Obamacare. It’s been a disaster for the country and they're afraid they’re going to pay the price for it this November.”

After all, members of Congress have been flooded with letters from all corners of the country about the hardships Obamacare has been causing them. Are they all lying? What about the news reports from The New York Times down to Americans’ local TV stations? Are those reports lies? As Leader McConnell said, the idea that these are all made up is simply “nonsense.”

Kelly wondered, with Reid later returning to the floor to attack stories of people appearing in ads about Obamacare, “Will this have a chilling effect, do you think, on other Americans who just want to come out and tell their stories?” Leader McConnell responded, “I don’t think so. I think people are just going to be twice as angry about it, to see the majority leader calling them a liar. I think it’s going to embolden more people to come forward. We know these tragic stories are occurring all across the country, we hear about them every day, and I don’t think they’re going to be intimidated by Harry Reid.”

Tags: US House, IRS, Free Speech bill, US Senate, Harry Reid, Americans are Liars To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Infographic Of Unilateral Changes to Obamacare Without Congressional Consent

The RNC released the below handy infographic to keep track of the unilaterally changes made by president Obama and his administration to the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) without the consent of Congress.
Katie Pavlich on Townhall noted that "The infographic screams uncertainty and confusion, yet the administration still fails to acknowledge Obamacare is having, and will continue to have, an extremely negative effect on the economy."

Tags: RNC, infographic, diagram, Obama Administration, President Obama, changes, without Congress, Affordable Care Act, obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reid Said These Americans Were All Lying?

Patients Across The Country Are Sharing Their Personal Stories About Obamacare, But Sen. Reid Says ‘All Of Them Are Untrue’

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “…there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 2/26/14)

ALABAMA WOMAN: ‘Facing Higher Deductibles For Almost Twice The Price’
AL Woman: ‘It’s scary. … oh no, I didn’t get to get my insurance plan … it went up!’ Casey Heaps: ‘This is not affordable at all, this is a very unaffordable care act’ Reporter: ‘That’s Gainesville medial assistant Casey Heaps.’ Heaps: ‘I don’t know what this world’s coming to.  It’s scary. … oh no, I didn’t get to get my insurance plan I had. I had the one I liked, the one that worked for me, the one I could afford, but no I didn’t get to keep it, it went up!’ (WAAY-AL, 11/26/13)

AL Woman: Reporter: “Mary Elizabeth Comulada of Huntsville is still in sticker shock… the family health insurance policy she uses with her two children and her husband has been banned under the Affordable Care Act and [her insurer] offered her a different plan that complies with the act with higher deductibles for almost twice the price.” Comulada: “Then how can my premium double per month, how can our deductibles go up on every single family member and yet you’re providing me the same plan.” (WAFF-AL, 11/21/13)

AL Woman: “We were at $352 a month with our premium, our individual deductible was $1,500 for a family it was $4,000… at this point $796 a month, $6,350 deductible.” (WAAY-AL, 11/26/13)

ARIZONA WOMAN: ‘I Cannot Afford' Obamacare
AZ Woman: “‘I cannot afford to pay $200 more per month,’ said Pedersen, 54, who added that the cheapest alternative policy she's found with the newly established federal government exchange would more than double the $186 monthly premium she paid in 2013. ‘We're more than halfway into November, and my insurance broker is telling me it takes up to 45 days to get on a plan. I just feel like this situation did not have to happen.’” (“After Obamacare Fix, Consumers Remain Uncertain,” USA Today, 11/17/13)

AZ Man: “My son is 1-1/2 and he has a preexisting condition. It's a heart defect.  My wife and I received a letter this week that his cardiologist group is getting dropped from our health care provider on November 1stbeing forced upon them by Obamacare.” (“Victim of Obamacare Loses His Doctor,” The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/31/13)

AZ Man: “For me and my lifestyle, doubling and more than doubling my [premium] costs is absurd. It’s insane.” Reporter: “President Obama’s Affordable Care Act isn’t so affordable… company is opting out and dropping Lee.” Lee: “It’s frustrating, it’s challenging, it makes you really question what’s really going on.” Reporter: “With no coverage, Lee says he had no other choice than to find out what was going on with Obamacare, but when he did he couldn’t believe what he was told.” Lee: “Your rate right now is $268 dollars. If you go to Obamacare it will go to $563 for the same type of care you have. … For me and my lifestyle, doubling and more than doubling my costs is absurd. It’s insane.” (KTVK-AZ, 11/13/13)

CALIFORNIA WOMAN: ‘Doctors … Can’t Treat Her Because They Won’t Take Her [Obamacare] Insurance’
CA Woman: ‘The health plan she’s paid for through the Affordable Care Act keeps sending her to doctors who say they can’t treat her because they won’t take her insurance’ REPORTER: “Beth Kramer says she’s running out of options.” PHONE: “The expected wait time is approximately one hour.” REPORTER: “And out of time. The disabled mother of two says she’s out of medication for an auto-immune disease, she’s run out of antibiotics for a painful internal infection, and the health plan she’s paid for through the Affordable Care Act keeps sending her to doctors who say they can’t treat her because they won’t take her insurance.” KRAMER: “I’m out of medication.  I’m sitting here with an infection that I’m out of antibiotics [for] and symptoms are coming back and I have no idea when I can go to a doctor or where.” REPORTER: “Kramer signed up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act through Covered California…” (KCBS-CA, 1/22/14)

CA Woman: Left in ‘cold dread,’ ‘had to pay $630 for an ultrasound on Thursday after failing to get an [insurance] ID card’ “In Los Angeles, Hilary Danailova, who is almost eight months pregnant, said she had to pay $630 for an ultrasound on Thursday after failing to get an ID card or any confirmation of coverage from her new insurer… Ms. Danailova, 38, said she signed up just before Christmas and sent her first month’s premium of $410 by overnight mail on Jan. 3. … ‘At this point I am facing the cold dread of not knowing whether Anthem ever recorded my enrollment at all,’ she said.” (“Enrollees At Health Exchanges Face Struggle To Prove Coverage,” The New York Times, 1/10/14)

CA Man: ‘Existing $773 monthly premium for his family of four will more than double’ “Among those suffering sticker shock is Livermore real estate broker Larry Waelde. Like many others, he believed Obama when the president said people could keep their existing plans if they liked them. But Waelde said his existing $773 monthly premium for his family of four will more than double, based on rates he has reviewed on the state's online insurance exchange. ‘The damage has been done,’ said Waelde…” (“Furor Continues Over Cancellation Of Individual Health Care Policies,” San Jose Mercury News, 11/12/13)

CA Man: ‘I’m paying more and getting less… It is fundamentally a worse plan’ “Walter Niles is one of them. The self-employed biotechnology consultant with a doctorate in neuroscience was notified in September that his policy was being canceled. The coverage offered through Covered California, his state’s new insurance exchange, has left him unsatisfied. ‘I’m paying more and getting less,’ said Niles, 59, who leans Republican yet also says he voted twice for President Barack Obama. ‘It is fundamentally a worse plan.’ … A single man, Niles said his monthly premium will go from $367 to $507, even though he sees the coverage as less comprehensive and flexible.” (“Angry Self-Insured Voters Dim Democratic Takeover Plans,” Bloomberg, 12/5/13)

CA Woman: Deductible is ‘nearly double’ “‘However you look at it, the son of a gun lied to us,’ said Janette Ramsey, a Bakersfield business owner with a weekend home in Ventura. She’s losing her current coverage and expects to pay $50 more a month for a policy with nearly double the deductible.” (“Many In Middle Class Say They're Squeezed By Health Reform,” Ventura County Star [CA], 12/7/13)

CA Man: ‘Elected to drop’ plan over cost hike “I was paying 165.50 per month for basic coverage. BCBS sent me a letter saying that the plan I have does not meet the requirements of the ACA. So the plan in its place will be 425.00 per month. I have elected to drop it. I am 63 years old.” (“YOUR STORIES: Insurance Plans Cancelled Due to Obamacare,”, 10/30/13)

CA Woman: “Debra is a registered Democrat who has voted for Obama. She thinks ‘the healthcare changes are a disaster.’ Her health insurance plan will be cancelled at the end of the month, and the least expensive option offered to her is double her current coverage. Debra says, ‘This is a massive bait and switch perpetrated on the American people. If this was any other consumer purchase, it would not be tolerated–but as tax payers we have no protection at all from this fraud.’” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

CA Woman: “57 year old stay-at-home mom; insurance cancelled Dec. 31; new plan 59.6% higher premiums, $2,000 higher deductible; higher co-pay; at least $2466.24 more than last year.” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

CA Man: A $5,000 deductible ‘sounds really high’ “In Santa Cruz, Calif., where the exchange is run by the state, Robert Aaron, a self-employed 56-year-old engineer, said he was looking for a low-cost plan. The best one he could find had a premium of $488 a month. But the annual deductible was $5,000, and that, he said, ‘sounds really high.’” (“On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High,” The New York Times, 12/9/13)

CA Woman: “‘So, in a nutshell,’ Holroyd said in an e-mail, ‘we are now, once again, being forced into a lower coverage plan, for more money.’ …her situation has been miserable. ‘I'm losing faith in our administration.’” (“Four Stories: After Obamacare 'Fix,' Many Are Still Left Out,” CNN, 12/11/13)
  • “Holroyd supported the Affordable Care Act when it was passed in 2009. ... Everything changed in October, when Holroyd was notified by her insurer that her plan could not be renewed in 2014. The comparable plans offered to Holroyd featured a 29% increase in premiums and higher co-pays, as well as significantly higher prescription costs. … ‘we had no idea that the premiums were going to be what they are.’” (“Four Stories: After Obamacare 'Fix,' Many Are Still Left Out,” CNN, 12/11/13)
CA Woman: Finds Obamacare ‘a phantom network’ “Maria Berumen, a tax preparer in Downey, was uninsured for years because of preexisting conditions. … She jumped at the chance in early January to visit a primary-care doctor for long-running numbness in her arm and shoulder as a result of bone spurs on her spine. The doctor referred her to a specialist, and problems ensued. At least four doctors wouldn't accept her health plan — even though the state exchange website and her insurer, Health Net Inc., list them as part of her HMO network. ‘It's a phantom network,’ Berumen said. It was no surprise to her family doctor, Ragaa Iskarous. She has run into this problem repeatedly with other patients in the last month, the doctor said. ‘This is really driving us crazy.’" (“Obamacare Enrollees Hit Snags At Doctor's Offices,” Los Angeles Times, 2/4/14)

CA Woman: ‘longtime pediatrician’ for her sons ‘does not accept’ Obamacare plan “The biggest blow came last week, when she went to get influenza vaccines for her sons, Diego and Luca, only to be told by their longtime pediatrician that the private practice does not accept the government-mandated health insurance she picked. … Redamonti started calling around, only to find more and more doctors who said they won't accept Covered California.  Some said they would, only to reject it in person. ‘I don't even know if we have coverage here in Chico,’ she said.” (“Chico Family's Health Care Struggle Shows Unaffordable Side Of Covered California,” Chico Enterprise-Record, 1/25/14)

CA Woman: ‘I can't sleep at night’ “Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson … was diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January. But when she went to her oncologist's office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted. ‘I'm a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can't sleep at night,’ Nelson said.” (“Obamacare Enrollees Hit Snags At Doctor's Offices,” Los Angeles Times, 2/4/14)

COLORADO WOMAN: Facing A 100%+ Premium Hike
CO Woman: Facing a 100%+ premium hike “The cheapest new policy I can get is $645 a month. My current policy is $293 a month.” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

CONNECTICUT WOMAN: ‘Forced To Postpone Surgery'
CT Man ‘isn't getting answers’: “Bill Fries enrolled way back in October in order to be covered by January 1, but to this day he hasn't received his insurance card and he isn't getting answers from his new carrier… ‘At this point I'm trying to find out, am I covered?’ said Fries.” (“New Obamacare Enrollees Waiting For Coverage,” NBC Connecticut, 1/10/14)
  • “Fries completed the process on the state health exchange in months ago. He even received a bill in December … for $600 in which he thought he paid. Despite confirmation e-mails from the health insurance company, his credit card was never charged. To this day he hasn't received an ID card or paperwork showing he has insurance.” (“New Obamacare Enrollees Waiting For Coverage,” NBC Connecticut, 1/10/14)

    CT Woman ‘beyond frustrated’: “Red tape and echoes of Obamacare's early technological failures have created a potentially life-threatening crisis for a Connecticut woman forced to postpone surgery because her insurance coverage is in doubt. …Handler doesn't want to risk a six-figure hospital bill by going through with the surgery while her coverage is uncertain.” (“Obamacare Glitches Forced Woman To Postpone Cancer Surgery,” Huffington Post, 1/10/14)
  • “The trouble for Handler began even before her possible cancer diagnosis last month. In the fall, she got notice … that her previous policy wouldn't be renewed for 2014 because it didn't meet the Affordable Care Act's standards...” (“Obamacare Glitches Forced Woman To Postpone Cancer Surgery,” Huffington Post, 1/10/14)
  • “K.C. Handler, 43, of New Canaan got troubling news from her doctor in early December: Tests revealed a growth on her left lung that might be cancer, and she needed an operation as soon as possible to have it removed. Handler had an appointment Thursday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She couldn't keep it. … [Her insurer] has been unable to confirm her enrollment into a new policy she purchased with the help of an insurance broker through her state's insurance exchange, AccessHealth CT, in December. The delay in her treatment has been made worse by the bureaucratic nightmare Handler has endured in the long days since she signed up and paid her premium. ‘Six weeks after I was told what the protocol should be and what I needed to have done, I still have not had surgery; and, you know, with cancer, every day counts. So I am beyond frustrated,’ Handler said. ‘I was very anxious that I was waiting this long, and then to have it postponed is devastating to me.’” (“Obamacare Glitches Forced Woman To Postpone Cancer Surgery,” Huffington Post, 1/10/14)
CT Man: “Losing his insurance plan is a big financial blow for [Dr. Martin] Klein. … Klein says he would have to pay 50% more to get a plan that he deems comparable to the one he is losing. Klein says he cannot afford a comparable plan, so he has decided to purchase an HMO with a $12,700 deductible for himself and his family. What concerns him most about the plan is that it limits him to a narrow network of providers, all of which are in Connecticut. This prevents him from keeping some of his doctors in New York City. … The self-proclaimed ‘lifelong Democrat’ is frustrated with his insurance company, the president and the law itself.” (“Four Stories: After Obamacare 'Fix,' Many Are Still Left Out,” CNN, 12/11/13)

CT Woman: “Got letter from child’s pediatrician, practice will no longer accept any insurance because of the ACA, and will operate as a fee-per-service practice.” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

CT Woman: ‘It broke my heart’ Reporter: “On Friday, a Waterford woman told us her doctor’s office would not take her insurance.” CT Woman: “It broke my heart. I have to say, I’ve been waiting a year and a half, this is my favorite doctor.” (WVIT-CT, 2/10/14)

FLORIDA MAN: Insurer ‘Will Drop All Eight Of His And His Wife's Doctors’

FL Couple ‘waiting weeks to resolve a problem’: “Matt and Nancy Parisi were waiting weeks to resolve a problem... Matt Parisi, 63, a fisherman, who had to pay $40 out-of-pocket to get his high blood pressure medication. ‘It's very uncomfortable to think that if we had to go to the hospital right now, we could face a quarter-million [dollar] bill...’” (“Help! I Can't Use My Obamacare Benefits,” CNN Money, 1/12/14)

FL Senior: “The AARP managed care network [George Smith] had relied on for years will drop all eight of his and his wife's doctors as of Jan. 1. ‘I couldn't believe it. I have my house and car and everything insured through AARP,’ said Smith, 73. ‘I thought, “They are not going to drop me. I've been a member for years.”’ … Patients have received letters telling them to seek new physicians if they want to stay on the plan. Doctors … have learned that AARP plans will stop paying for their services next year.” (“Patients Scramble After AARP Medicare Advantage Plans Drop Providers,” Tampa Bay Times, 10/21/13)

FL Senior: “A Medicare Advantage plan that covers 35,000 beneficiaries in Southwest Florida is dropping at least 300 doctors and hard-to-find medical specialists from its Southwest Florida network… Cape Coral resident Joseph Ryan said his 92-year-old mother will lose access to her regular dermatologist, orthopedist and gastroenterologist, among others. He's heard similar stories involving scores of doctors from others. ‘That's an awful lot of doctors and an awful lot of people who are going to have to figure out what to do in January,’ Ryan said. ‘It's not just one or two doctors.’” (“United Healthcare Dumps Doctors,” The News-Press, 10/18/13)

GEORGIA SURVEY: ‘Premiums Are 80- To 100-Percent Higher
GA Insurance Agent: “Carol Hill in Duluth, Ga., just outside Atlanta, said premiums are 80- to 100-percent higher than those under current policies that offered wider networks.” (“Survey Finds Doctors Rebelling Against Obamacare, Famous Hospitals Declining To Join,” Washington Examiner, 11/27/13)

Hawaiians face premium hikes ‘to cover higher medical expenses, taxes and fees anticipated under the Affordable Care Act’ “The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday the state Insurance Division approved increases of 9.2 percent for 11,000 individual plans and 5 percent for 26,300 small business plans administered by Kaiser. HMSA will be allowed to increase rates on 14,300 individual plans by 7.5 percent. HMSA increased small business rates by 6.8 percent for 118,000 members earlier this year. Insurers say the increases are necessary to cover higher medical expenses, taxes and fees anticipated under the Affordable Care Act.” (“Hawaii Approves Higher Rates For HMSA, Kaiser,” AP, 1/2/14)

IDAHO MAN: Deductibles So High ‘It Defeats The Purpose Of Having Insurance’
ID Man: ‘We're going to go from $770 a month … to about $1,300’ “A small business owner in the Treasure Valley says the Affordable Care Act has made his family's health care coverage much more expensive. … ‘We're going to go from $770 a month which we were paying up until October, to about $1,300. I don't see how this helps,’ said Lund. Lund says he was shocked to hear that the most comparable plan would cost almost double. ‘From an emotional point of view, I don't think you can really prepare yourself for it,’ said Lund.” (“Sticker Shock: Health Insurance Costs Nearly Double For Boise Man,” KTVB, 12/4/13)
  • ‘Most plans under the new law cost at least 20 percent more’ “Insurance agent Jenna Ortiz says Lund's story is common. ‘We have a lot of clients who are small business owners, so for them if their business is doing well, they don't get help but they're paying astronomical amounts for monthly premiums,’ said Oritz. Oritz says most plans under the new law cost at least 20 percent more…” (“Sticker Shock: Health Insurance Costs Nearly Double For Boise Man,” KTVB, 12/4/13)
ID Man: ‘the deductibles were so high — $4,000 to $6,000 a year — that it defeats the purpose of having insurance’ “Mark A. York, a 60-year-old freelance writer in Hailey, Idaho, said he began shopping after he received a letter saying that his current insurance policy would be canceled because it did not meet the requirements of the health care law. In the exchange, he said, he found policies with premiums similar to what he is now paying, $440 a month, but ‘the deductibles were so high — $4,000 to $6,000 a year — that it defeats the purpose of having insurance.’” (“On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High,” The New York Times, 12/9/13)

INDIANA WOMAN: ‘Obamacare Is Not Affordable’
IN Woman: ‘I don’t care how they spin it, Obamacare is not affordable’ “‘It will hurt everybody in the long run,’ said Cat Ping, 55, of Indianapolis in a follow-up interview. Ms. Ping, who does not have insurance, added: ‘I don’t care how they spin it, Obamacare is not affordable. It’s wrecking our total economy.’” (“Broad Skepticism On Health Care Law,” The New York Times, 12/18/13)

‘Washington, You’re Killing Us Out Here’IL Family: ‘Washington, you’re killing us out here’ “IL family of 4. Both parents & a 23 yr. old canceled. We’re scrambling to replace coverage by Jan. 1st at a 80% increase in premiums. Washington, you’re killing us out here.” (“YOUR STORIES: Insurance Plans Cancelled Due to Obamacare,”, 10/30/13)

IL Insurance Agent: ‘These are really scary numbers’ “Agent Larry Pahlke’s Chicago customers are seeing monthly premiums increase from $425 to $750. ‘These are really scary numbers for a guy like me,’ Pahlke said.” (“Survey Finds Doctors Rebelling Against Obamacare, Famous Hospitals Declining To Join,” Washington Examiner, 11/27/13)

IL Woman: “The cost /threat of Obamacare has cost our family more than $1000 in increased cost of the above listed insurances. I had to go to the doctor last month and paid $725 out of pocket expenses because my doctor no longer accepts our insurance.” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

KENTUCKY WOMAN: ‘My Deductible Has Doubled Along With My Premiums’
KY Man: ‘my current doctor is NOT a part of the “IN GROUP” of the new coverage provider listing’ “‘You can keep your doctor’ statements are lies. KY ACCESS who I have my current policy with is closing... Using shop Kentucky site gives me another plan that is within the same price point of existing insurance policy but with MUCH HIGHER out of pocket prices to me for expected services and prescription medication required over the next twelve months. OH! and my current doctor is NOT a part of the ‘IN GROUP’ of the new coverage provider listing.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Man: ‘My premium payment has increased by 37% and my deductible went from $2500 to $10,000.’ “As my Congressional representative, you need to know how ObamaCare is harming my life and health care. I guess …my premium payment has increased by 37% and my deductible went from $2500 to $10,000. I liked my healthcare plan, but wasn't allowed to keep it.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: ‘As a senior, I am furious. As a democrat, I feel deceived’ “I am 69 and continue to work as I have done for 55 years. My deductible on my medical insurance from my healthcare employer has increased 7 fold. I have Medicare which will not pay a dime until this deductible is met. ... As a senior, I am furious. As a democrat, I feel deceived.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: ‘I do NOT have any more money to pay for this, so what am I supposed to do?’ “I did have insurance. I carried medical, dental, and life insurance....and got it for $140.00 a month. I have now received a letter informing me as of December 31, 2013 I will no longer have medical insurance with the company. I went to see what my affordable healthcare was going to cost me, and found the CHEAPEST with $5000.00 deductible would be $435.00 a month! … I do NOT have any more money to pay for this, so what am I supposed to do?” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Man: “My health plan that I've had for 10 years just got cancelled, and the least expensive plan on the exchange is a 246% increase--that means hundreds of extra dollars per month we don't have.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail, 11/7/13)

KY Couple: “We have not found out exactly how much the premium is going to rise but have been told to expect between 150% to 300% increase per paycheck. We do know for certain that our deductible will raise from $5,000.00 annually to $8,500.00.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Man: “Dentist Aaron McLemore of Louisville, Ky... The 31-year-old's current policy is being canceled. A new policy from the exchange will more than double his monthly premium and nearly double his yearly out-of-pocket maximum.” (“How The Affordable Care Act Pays For Insurance Subsidies,” NPR, 11/7/13)

KY Woman: “I am deeply upset… The President promised that if you had health care, you would not be impacted. The sad truth is that like my co-workers, my deductible has doubled along with my premiums. The only way to be able to adjust, is for us to either reduce or stop our 401K contributions. This is hardly affordable health care.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Man: “A policy that has similar coverage to what we had would cost us around 1100.00 a month. This is a 100% increase for me and my wife.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: “My family cannot afford the $1100 plus dollars a month the website says we will need to pay for health insurance. That is more than our house payment and car payment combined. We are just average Kentuckians working and living paycheck to paycheck without any assistance from government programs. I really don't know what we will do if we have to pay that amount out for insurance. We might lose our home, our transportation, my daughter might have to drop out of college, the list just goes on and on. What are we supposed to do?” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Man: “According to the health care exchange in Kentucky, my insurance cost is going to go from under $400 to over $700 with zero subsidies available. …we don't need Obamacare!” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: “My premium health care at premium cost to me is being canceled. I paid a very high premium to have a major medical plan. I am now forced into the exchange for a lesser plan with more exclusions and higher deductibles. I will most likely never reach those deductibles. How does this help me? … What a disappointment this administration has caused.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: “My out of pocket expenses for my family of five went from 1500 a year to 7000 a year.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: “Our President lied to us. Not only are we going to lose our insurance but when go to a different policy-we have to pay more. We will never be able to retire-we are 58 & 56 years old-we will have to work the rest of our [lives] just to pay for our insurance.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

KY Woman: I’ve ‘had really a panicked experience lately trying to figure out how my 10-year-old son can continue with his specialists’ “Rebecca Stewart had a chance to take her concerns about Obamacare directly to the top. … ‘I'm probably not the only one who has had really a panicked experience lately trying to figure out how my 10-year-old son can continue with his specialists,’ Stewart said. ‘I know I can't keep my plan, which I liked, but as I'm trying to decide what to do going forward, I've spent weeks, with days on the phone getting confidently delivered wrong answers, conflicting information, it's becoming quite obvious to me a lot of agencies, almost everyone I talk to, is having a lot of trouble figuring out the new rules.’” (“Covington Mother Grills Obama On Health Care,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/4/14)

KY Woman: “These plans offered by the ACA ... are choking the middle class in this country.  If I signed up for one of these plans, I would not be able to use doctors that are right across the Ohio river from me.  I live within view of the Ohio River just across from Cincinnati in Campbell County.  I have had a relationship with my general practitioner for over 20 years.  I have had the same OBGYN for over 10 years.  I have had the same pediatrician for 3 years.  I don't think I should have to start over and find other doctors just because all of mine are closer to me in Cincinnati, OH than other doctors would be in Edgewood, KY or Lexington, KY.” (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail)

MAINE WOMAN: ‘I Just Feel So Upset And Angry And Agitated’
ME Small Business Owner: Premium will increase by at least $200 a month, ‘I just feel so upset and angry and agitated’ “But for some people, high deductibles work, Pultz said. At age 54, she has enough equity in her house that she could afford to pay $14,000 for her deductible if she wound up in the hospital, she said. It’s much tougher, however, for her to find the cash to pay a higher premium every month, she said. … She would have to pay at least $200 a month more for a plan through the marketplace, which she can’t swing, Pultz said. The deductible would be far lower — the ACA caps deductibles at $6,250 — but that doesn’t matter much to her. ‘I’m pretty laid back — all I think about is my dogs and my business — but I just feel so upset and angry and agitated,’ Pultz said.” (“Maine Health Plans Canceled As Obama Unveils Fix,” Bangor Daily News, 11/15/13)

MASSACHUSETTS WOMAN: ‘It’s Not Right And It’s Not Fair’
MA Woman: ‘I lost coverage with doctors in my area. It's not right and it's not fair…The current federal government and their policies are detrimental to the health of my business and my family’ “Introducing Tisei was Erin Calvo Bacci, a Reading chocolatier and small business owner. Originally crippled by the cost of healthcare, Calvo Bacci obtained a plan with $80 monthly premiums for her family of five under the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year, her family was switched to a different plan with the same cost, but different doctors. ‘I lost coverage with doctors in my area. It's not right and it's not fair,’ Calvo Bacci said. ‘The current federal government and their policies are detrimental to the health of my business and my family.’” ("Tisei Renews Congressional Battle,” Wicked Local News [MA], 1/23/14)

MARYLAND STUDENTS: ‘We Don’t Have That Money. We Can Barely Afford Books’
MD Student: ‘We don’t have that money. We can barely afford books’ “At Bowie State University in Maryland, the cost of student health insurance policies went from roughly $100 a year to $1,800 a year. … The sticker shock didn’t sit well with some students who spoke out against the price hike. ‘You’ve haven’t done anything Obama and I am disappointed in you,’ one student said. Another told Campus Reform, ‘We don’t have that money. We can barely afford books.’” (“Students Suffer Obamacare Sticker Shock As Premiums Soar, Plans Get Cut,” Fox News, 11/18/13)

MICHIGAN WORKERS: ‘Face Sharply Higher Out-Of-Pocket Costs’
In Michigan, ‘a severe case of sticker shock’ “The 41 employees of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, Mich., are very familiar with trade-ins, but this year they're learning about trade-offs as they come face to face with the new realities of health care. …most have a severe case of sticker shock. ‘I feel like I've been taken to the cleaners,’ said Neal Campbell, a salesman.” (“Workers At Auto Dealership Come Face To Face With Obamacare Trade-Offs,” CNBC, 12/30/13)
  • Most employees ‘face sharply higher out-of-pocket costs next year’ “Twenty-one have now decided to go with the new group plan recommended by the company for next year, though they realize that they face sharply higher out-of-pocket costs next year. Their deductibles will go from $1,125 this year to $3,000 next year, and maximum out-of-pocket costs jump from $2,250 to $6,350. And for families, those numbers double: to a $6,000 deductible and $12,700 out-of-pocket maximum.” (“Workers At Auto Dealership Come Face To Face With Obamacare Trade-Offs,” CNBC, 12/30/13)
  • MI Man: Monthly premiums up 287%, ‘We feel betrayed, lied to, and we're pissed off’ “Among the hardest hit is Campbell, a salesman with a wife and three young children, all of whom are active in athletics. The premium payments currently deducted weekly from his paycheck will increase $77, to a total of $221 per week. ‘That's a huge part of the budget,’ he said. ‘We feel betrayed, lied to, and we're pissed off.’”(“Workers At Auto Dealership Come Face To Face With Obamacare Trade-Offs,” CNBC, 12/30/13)
  • MI Woman: ‘How are we supposed to live?’ “‘How is this helping the average American that's working 40 to 50 hours per week?’ said Terry Hardcastle, a salesperson. ‘How are we supposed to live?’ Cathy Smith, who'd hoped she'd qualify for a subsidy and made just a little too much money, had tears in her eyes. ‘You don't make that much money to begin with,’ she said, ‘and the prescriptions are going to kill me.’” (“Workers At Auto Dealership Come Face To Face With Obamacare Trade-Offs,” CNBC, 12/30/13)

MI Retirees: ‘Their premium ticked up from $762 per month to $820’ “Kathleen Forster, 64, a retired interior designer in Grosse Point, Mich., who received a cancellation notice in the mail several weeks ago, said she holds no hope that her provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, will rescind the cancellation notice they sent her and her husband several weeks ago. …The Forsters ended up buying a new policy from Blue Cross that meets the ACA requirements. Their premium ticked up from $762 per month to $820; their deductible shot up from $1,000 to $12,000.” (“After Obamacare Fix, Consumers Remain Uncertain,” USA Today, 11/17/13)

MI Woman: ‘Currently pay $925 a month… been quoted between $1,300 and $1,500 a month’ “Kalamazoo residents Mary Swanson and her husband are among the reported 225,000 Michiganders who received cancellation letters from their insurers because their plans did not meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Prudential Preferred Realtor, whose husband owns a construction business, said they currently pay $925 a month… She has been quoted between $1,300 and $1,500 a month for coverage, she said, and the couple's deductible will jump to $6,000 each instead of $4,000 combined. As a result, in 2014 they would need to budget $26,000 a year for health-care, Swanson said.” (“Obamacare's Impact On Kalamazoo Residents: 'We're In The Worst Spot We Could Be,'” Kalamazoo Gazette, 11/23/13)
MI Insurance Agent: “Gregg Westcott, an agent in Grand Rapids, Mich., said his customers are seeing $300-per-month premiums mushrooming to $900 and $1,400.” (“Survey Finds Doctors Rebelling Against Obamacare, Famous Hospitals Declining To Join,” Washington Examiner, 11/27/13)

MINNESOTA MAN: ‘Premium Will Jump 84 Percent’
MN Resident: ‘Premium will jump 84 percent’ “Like some other consumers, Goedtel is looking at a steep premium increase for coverage that comes with new requirements from the federal Affordable Care Act. Goedtel…said his premium will jump 84 percent, because the new rules say he must have a much lower deductible and purchase richer benefits such as maternity care. It's no consolation, Goedtel said, that premiums available for 2014 will be cheaper in the Twin Cities than in Rochester, St. Croix County, Wis., and much of the nation. ‘They're dictating what's good for me, and telling me I have to buy it whether I think it's good for me or not,’ said Goedtel, 60, of Hugo.” (“Even With Low MNsure Health Insurance Rates, Some Will Pay More,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11/11/13)

MISSISSIPPI MAN: ‘Premiums Will More Than Double’
MS Doctor: New plan ‘will cost 112 percent more a month than their current plan’ “In addition, a disabled, retired doctor from Vicksburg says he was notified that his family’s insurance premiums will skyrocket in January. He says the least expensive health-care option for his wife and two teenage children will cost 112 percent more a month than their current plan, even though it offers less coverage.” (Sen. Wicker, Press Release, 11/25/13)

MS Man: “A graphic designer from Madison says he was recently informed by his insurance provider that his premiums will more than double at the beginning of the year, rising from $355 to $755. The health-care laws requirements for essential benefits such as maternity care and birth control mean that he will pay for services that he will never use as a 58-year-old male.” (Sen. Wicker, Press Release, 11/25/13)

MISSOURI WOMAN: ‘There Is No Way, No Way I Can Afford This’
MO Woman: ‘There is no way, no way I can afford this’ “Lost coverage. Premium will be somewhere around 450 a month with a 6300 deductible up to 500+ a month for the best plan. Struggles to pay $187 a month right now with a 5000 deductible. ‘There is no way, no way I can afford this.’” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

MO Woman: ‘due to the budget constraints placed on the hospital due to the Affordable Care Act they no longer provide [follow-up checkups on pacemaker] services’ ... ‘instead of driving 10 miles for these services, they have to drive 60 miles one way’ SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “William, from Desloge, MO, said that his wife had a pacemaker installed 3 years ago. He goes on to say: Recently, she called to set up a follow-up checkup on the pacemaker with her hospital. She was told that due to the budget constraints placed on the hospital due to the Affordable Care Act they no longer provide those services.  According to William, instead of driving 10 miles for these services, they have to drive 60 miles one way. They have to drive 120 to 150 miles to go to one of the places located in St. Louis when they used to drive just 10 miles. The reason the hospital gave is that the Affordable Care Act has created that.” (Sen. Blunt, Congressional Record, S.789, 2/6/14)

Premiums Will Nearly DoubleNE Woman: Premiums increasing from $440 to $726 a month. Reporter: “Kodad showed up these documents. She currently pays about $440 a month, but starting January 1, her rates will increase to $726.” Kodad: “Now we have inpatient substance abuse care.” (KMTV-NE, 11/15/13)

NEW HAMPSHIRE WOMAN: New Premium ‘An Insane Amount Of Money’
NH Woman: New premium ‘an insane amount of money… How are you supposed to pay that?’ “Ginger Chapman and her husband, Doug, are sitting on the health care cliff. The cheapest insurance plan they can find through the new federal marketplace in New Hampshire will cost their family of four about $1,000 a month, 12 percent of their annual income of around $100,000 and more than they have ever paid before. … Because their plan is being canceled, she is looking for new coverage for her family, which includes Mr. Chapman, 55, a retired fireman who works on a friend’s farm, and her two sons. ‘That’s an insane amount of money,’ she said of their new premium. ‘How are you supposed to pay that?’” (“New Health Law Frustrates Many In Middle Class,” The New York Times, 12/20/13)

NH Doctor: ‘Pretty shocking not be able to come to your own hospital’ “…in New Hampshire… a rude awakening for Dr. Jocelyn Caple, who works at one of the excluded hospitals, Frisbie Memorial in Rochester, N.H., where she's president of the medical staff. … ‘We all use Frisbie physicians,’ she said. Although there's another facility she could go to next year, ‘it's pretty shocking not be able to come to your own hospital.’ As an Obama supporter, Caple is troubled.” (“Limited Patient Choice Next Health Overhaul Issue,” AP, 11/20/13)

NEW JERSEY MAN: ‘Monthly Premium Triples’
NJ Man: Premium increased 10-fold, ‘That's more money than I can afford’ “Vincent Grosso, an 88-year-old Washington Township resident, received a cancellation notice this fall from the HMO administering his Medicare. When he asked why, he was told the new health law imposed additional mandates on insurance companies that would increase costs. The insurance company suggested he enroll in a new plan it offered that would increase his monthly premium from $15 to $150 each for him and his wife. ‘That's $300 a month,’ said Grosso, who opted for a less costly plan. ‘That's more money than I can afford.’” (“Health Plan Creates Both 'Winners And Losers' In South Jersey,” Courier-Post [NJ], 1/12/14)

NJ Retiree: ‘Retirement medical premium will go up $103 a month’ and ‘maximum out-of-pocket has risen from $6,000 to $9,200’ “After 36 years on the job as an IT specialist, Saglibene retired last year. He said under the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, his ‘retirement medical premium will go up $103 a month beginning in 2014.’ Also, said Saglibene, his ‘maximum out-of-pocket has risen from $6,000 to $9,200 for my family in network, and the Health Reimbursement Account from my company will decrease from $2,000 to only $800.’” (“Added Costs For Obamacare Put Squeeze On Staten Islanders; Grimm Seeks Input,” Staten Island Advance, 11/25/13)

NJ Woman: Premium will increase by $8,000 per year “Ms. Tuit said that she and her husband had private health insurance, spending up to $10,000 a year, because he has long been self-employed. But she said their existing plan was no longer available, effective Dec. 31. Even though the Obama administration said that people would be able to keep their existing insurance for a year, she said she was told by her insurer that her plan no longer exists so she is anxious to learn about new options and the cost. She said she needed the tax credit information because the quote she was getting without it was $18,000 a year, starting Jan. 1. ‘I was looking forward to Obamacare,’ she said. ‘I thought that it had to be better because with more people in it, the price had be better. It can’t be $18,000 a year.’” (“Even With Website Fixes, Troubles Persist In Applying For Insurance,” The New York Times, 12/3/13)

NJ Man: ‘Monthly premium triples from the current contract’ “I recently received a notice from my medical insurance carrier that my current policy will be terminated on Dec. 31. They offered me a new contract starting Jan. 1, 2014. The monthly premium triples from the current contract and the co-pay increases. When I questioned the carrier about the increase I was told that the Affordable Health Care Act imposes additional mandates that resulted in increased cost. I cannot afford such a large increase.” (“Send Obamacare Bills To Congress,” South Jersey Times, 11/28/13)

NJ Small Business Owner: ‘Has found himself in the segment of consumers who likely will pay more both for insurance and for health care’ “…Brock last year found a plan from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey that covered himself and his three college-age children for $755 a month. In October, Horizon sent Brock a letter saying the plan, called Horizon EPO Plus, wouldn’t be renewed when it expires June 1, because it didn’t meet the law’s requirements. … He then went to the Horizon site, which asked for more details, including the ages of his three children. The premium for Horizon Advance EPO Silver was $1,303 a month. … one truth was beginning to emerge: He has found himself in the segment of consumers who likely will pay more both for insurance and for health care. ‘Even if you’re healthy, I’ve got to believe you’re going to spend $2,000 to $4,000 a year, besides what you pay for (premiums),’ he said. ‘With three kids, somebody is going to get sick or hurt.’”  (“Obamacare Leaves NJ Consumers Struggling To Buy Insurance As Deadlines Near,” Ashbury Park Press, 11/29/13)

NJ Man: “Joe Porzio, a 57-year-old construction worker in Wayne … received a letter saying his plan was being canceled by Dec. 31… He was eventually able to fill out an application, but the website locked him out and he has not been able to access it. ‘The deadline is approaching, and I’m still in limbo,’ Porzio said.” (“Many New Jerseyans Stuck In Health Care Limbo As Dec. 23 Deadline Nears,” Bergen County Record, 12/12/13)
NJ Woman: “Kim Greene warned her small-business clients that 2014 would be ugly. But not like this. … ‘Sixty-eight percent, 43 percent, 40 percent,’ Greene said as she read off the rate hikes that her small-employer clients are facing in 2014. ‘Wow, 70.33 percent.’ ‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ she said.” (“Obamacare Leaves N.J. Small Employers Scrambling Around High Premiums, Hard Choices,” The Star-Ledger, 12/8/13)

NJ Man: ‘I am totally upset’ about 43 percent premium increase Dr. Papasikos: “I am totally upset.” Reporter: “Dentist Dr. George Papasikos is upset because of a notice he got from his health insurance company.” Dr. Papasikos: “In the end of September I received a notice from my small business health care plan, that it was going to be terminated as of February 1. And that I would probably be offered a substitute plan at a much higher premium.” Reporter: “How much higher? 43 percent.” (NJTV, 12/11/13)

NEW MEXICO WOMAN: ‘Going To Lose My Existing Policy’
NM Resident: “I am one of the previously happy insured who is going to lose my existing policy at the end of the year, lose my primary care physician and pay substantially more for comparable coverage.” (“Losing Policy, Longtime Doctor, Cancer Specialists,” Albuquerque Journal, 11/22/13)NEW YORK WOMAN: ‘Life-Saving Surgery Has Been Postponed’NY Woman: “A woman diagnosed with breast cancer, whose life-saving surgery has been postponed after she lost her doctors under ObamaCare, made a heartfelt plea Sunday to President Obama to amend the Affordable Care Act. In an exclusive appearance on ‘Fox & Friends,’ Josie Gracchi, who has been diagnosed with ductal-invasive carcinoma, looked into the camera and addressed Obama: ‘I would like my health care taken care of. I was insured. I think anyone who is going through a serious illness should have immediate responses. I shouldn’t have to wait months, weeks, to even be considered for surgery that I should have had weeks ago.’ Gracchi was forced to postpone her Jan. 3 biopsy and follow-up treatment at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the largest private cancer center in the world, when her insurance rolled over into a new plan that was part of an exchange under the Affordable Care Act. ‘As of January 1, my insurance plan rolled over into a new ObamaCare plan that is part of the exchange and my doctors are no longer available in my network, so the surgeons that I was dealing with … I no longer have access to,’ Gracchi told Fox News. … ‘This is delaying all my treatment and surgery. Most people that get breast cancer don’t wait this long to have a surgery, but it’s as if I’ve never had insurance at all,’ Gracchi added.” (“Cancer Patient’s Treatment Put On Hold Over Obamacare,” Fox News, 1/19/14)

NY Woman: Insurance plan canceled under Obamacare, ‘I’m dead in the dirt, I can’t do anything.  I can’t go to the doctor.’ REPORTER: “Many people in the Rochester area lost their healthcare insurance January 1.  They’re among the millions across the country who saw their plans canceled under the Affordable Care Act.  Nancy Miller is one of them.  The self-employed hairdresser says she began doing research in September to make sure she’d be covered this year, but she then learned the health plan that she’d had for years was no longer available. She says other options were too expensive.  Miller has some health issues that require medication, treatments and tests – treatments she’s delayed because of the lack of insurance.” MILLER: “I’m not going to lose my house because I don’t have health insurance and I need medical assistance, so I’m dead in the dirt, I can’t do anything.  I can’t go to the doctor, I can’t have my tests run, I can’t go for an MRI.” (YNN-NY, 1/7/14)

NY Man: Obamacare ‘more than doubled the cost, from $132.99 to $325.92 a month’ “Michael Kennedy, who runs two family-owned dog-grooming salons near Albany, said changes to his cut-rate insurance coverage mandated by ObamaCare had more than doubled the cost, from $132.99 to $325.92 a month per person. And when he checked the cost of buying an ObamaCare policy instead, it was ‘basically the same price, or even more,’ he said. Kennedy, 46, said that he and his wife clear only about $60,000 a year from their Pink Dog Parlor and Resort business, and that paying the new, higher premiums will be ‘a huge challenge.’ ‘It’s like another 100 dogs we need to groom,’ he said.” (“Here Are The Big Losers In Obamacare,” The New York Post, 1/2/14)

NY Man: “Betrayed by Obama’s now infamous promise that ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.’ … family physician was ‘randomly removed’ from the network” “Capt. Fred Ardolino, who is the owner of the Atlantis charter yacht that cruises New York City’s waterways, said he was betrayed by Obama’s now infamous promise that ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.’ Ardolino, 69, of Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, said his family physician was ‘randomly removed’ from the network of managed-Medicare doctors approved by his insurance company, Oxford Health Plans.” (“Here Are The Big Losers In Obamacare,” The New York Post, 1/2/14)

NY Senior: ‘Obama had said I could keep my doctor. Now they’re doing away with my doctor. They kicked him out! After 20 years, that’s not right.’ “ObamaCare is making seniors sick. Elderly New Yorkers are in a panic after getting notices that insurance companies are booting their doctors from the Medicare Advantage program as a result of the shifting medical landscape under ObamaCare… [Dr. Jonathan] Leibowitz’s patients are furious. Alfred Gargiulio, who has cerebral palsy with a seizure disorder, has been seeing Leibowitz since 1993. ‘Obama had said I could keep my doctor. Now they’re doing away with my doctor. They kicked him out! After 20 years, that’s not right. We love Dr. Leibowitz,’ said Gargiulio.” (“Elderly Patients Sick Over Losing Doctors Under Obamacare,” New York Post, 10/25/13)

NY Senior: “It hurts, it hurts inside and it’s a terrible feeling to think that you can’t get what you want” “Doctors are getting bumped off plans and their patients are getting worried, Brennan reported. ‘I just can’t believe it because this is the man you rely on,’ heart patient Leonard Goldberg, 82, said. ‘It hurts, it hurts inside and it’s a terrible feeling to think that you can’t get what you want,’ Tony Molesphini, 83, said. ‘Nobody wants to die, me above all people,’ 79-year-old Jim Heffernan said. The three men with heart trouble say their biggest problem is losing the doctor they’ve had for decades, and they fear for their future. … They claim that they that this is a way of cutting costs which they have to do because they are getting a reduction in their reimbursement for the Medicare Advantage plans due to the Affordable Care Act,” [Dr. David Hess] told Brennan.”  (“Doctors Dropped By Insurers As Affordable Care Act Rollout Continues,” CBS New York, 11/1/13)

NY Businesswoman: “A minimum 119 percent increase in insurance premiums … ‘We're taking a hit for the cost in a lot of ways’”
“The change will cause a minimum 119 percent increase in insurance premiums for J&H Troy Ltd., a consulting business run by Jim Martin and Heather Hamlin, who are married. The coverage they'll get for that money will be worse than what they have now, Hamlin said. She feels businesses like J&H are paying unduly for expenses associated with the new law. ‘We're taking a hit for the cost in a lot of ways,’ Hamlin said.” (“When Care Act Isn't Affordable,” The Times-Union, 11/17/13)

NY Man: Can’t afford price increase; $261.00 per month; website troubles too.” (“Obamacare's Harmful Impact,”, 12/11/13)

NY Woman: “‘We are the Obama people,’ said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans.” (“With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies For New York Professionals,” The New York Times, 12/13/13)

NY Woman: “Ms. Meinwald, 61, has been paying $10,000 a year for her insurance through the New York City Bar.
A broker told her that a new temporary plan with fewer doctors would cost $5,000 more, after factoring in the cost of her medications. Ms. Meinwald also looked on the state’s health insurance exchange. But she said she found that those plans did not have a good choice of doctors, and that it was hard to even find out who the doctors were, and which hospitals were covered… said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.” (“With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies For New York Professionals,” The New York Times, 12/13/13)

NORTH CAROLINA MAN: ‘Health Care Premium Is Tripling’
NC Small Business: Healthcare costs increasing by up to $275,000, ‘it’s going to limit our ability to expand the business’ Brooke Wilson: “We anticipate our costs to be increased about $250,000-$275,000 a year with the Affordable Health Care.” … Reporter: “So how are you going to make up this cost, this $250,000 additional burden?” Wilson: “Unfortunately, I think it’s going to limit our ability to expand the business, we may not be able to add as many trucks to our fleet, we may not be able to open another location.” (WRAL-NC, 1/14/14)

NC Woman: “It’s been aggravating to have to see the policy that you were perfectly happy with doesn’t exist anymore and you can’t keep it.” Reporter: “For the past three years, Ruth-Anne Grimes says the health insurance plan that cost her $381 a month served her well.  Then this letter…” Grimes: “It says you’ll no longer – the plan will no longer be offered in 2014.” Reporter: “Because it does not meet the qualifications of the Affordable Care Act.  But there’s another plan available: for $562 a month.”  … Grimes: “It’s been aggravating to have to see the policy that you were perfectly happy with doesn’t exist anymore and you can’t keep it, you have to go on another plan. … the Affordable Care Act did not make it very affordable for me.” (WRAL-NC, 11/7/13)

NC Businessman: ‘Health care premium is tripling from $311 a month to $963.’ Anchor: “One local business owner told us he is suffering from sticker shock after watching his premiums skyrocket.” … Reporter: “…their health care premium is tripling from $311 a month to $963. He says the letter from his provider also said his deductible is increasing by $1,000.” … Tony Hyatt: “I really am concerned that the way things are going that the quality of healthcare will go down.” (WSOC-NC, 11/18/13)

NC Woman: Family’s premium ‘will increase from $395.60 to $713.11’ “‘We know now that the opposite was true,’ said Sherry Overbey, 58, director of the Belmont Crisis Pregnancy Center. ‘Now you can call this deception, deceit, falsifying information, fabrication, whatever. But the bottom line is no matter what nicety you give it, a lie is a lie is a lie.’ She said the monthly premium for her family health insurance will increase from $395.60 to $713.11, more than ‘my mortgage and my second mortgage combined.’ Overbey drew laughter when she added: ‘Of course, I now have maternity coverage and I can get free birth control pills.’” (“Supporters, Protesters Show Up For Testimony On Health Law In Gastonia,” Charlotte Observer, 11/22/13)

NC Man: ‘Health insurance premium … going from $401 a month to $747’ “Ralph Webster, 62, of Kitty Hawk, N.C., says his health insurance premium for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan is going from $401 a month to $747. His old plan was canceled, and the best plans the insurer could offer both on and off the exchange cost the same. Dare County is one of the 18% of counties with just one insurer on the federal exchange, USA TODAY's analysis shows.” (“Sticker Shock Hits Health Exchange Shoppers,” USA Today, 11/22/13)

NC Businessman: ‘Deductible is increasing by $1,000’ Anchor: ‘One local business owner told us he is suffering from sticker shock after watching his premiums skyrocket.’ … Reporter: ‘…their health care premium is tripling from $311 a month to $963. He says the letter from his provider also said his deductible is increasing by $1,000.’ … Tony Hyatt: ‘I really am concerned that the way things are going that the quality of healthcare will go down.’ (WSOC-NC, 11/18/13)

NC Businessman: ‘Deductible is increasing by $1,000’ Anchor: ‘One local business owner told us he is suffering from sticker shock after watching his premiums skyrocket.’ … Reporter: ‘…their health care premium is tripling from $311 a month to $963. He says the letter from his provider also said his deductible is increasing by $1,000.’ … Tony Hyatt: ‘I really am concerned that the way things are going that the quality of healthcare will go down.’ (WSOC-NC, 11/18/13)

HUNDREDS IN OHIO: ‘Can No Longer Go To Their Trusted Doctors’
Hundreds In OH: ‘Hundreds of people in the Mahoning Valley can no longer go to their trusted doctors… the Affordable Care Act is to blame’ ANCHOR: “With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, some area medical facilities saying, they're no longer able to use some insurance companies.” … REPORTER: “Hundreds of people in the Mahoning Valley can no longer go to their trusted doctors, and local officials say the Affordable Care Act is to blame.” … DOCTOR: “Now they’re facing the choice of switching to another doctor.  They’re really scared. Really scared.” (WKBN-OH, 1/21/14)

At Denison University in Granville, OH ‘annual premium increased from $520 to $970’ “As a result of the Affordable Care Act... Denison University in Granville is phasing out annual caps on the coverage provided through its student health plan. … Denison’s annual premium increased from $520 to $970. ... About 25 percent of Denison students are enrolled in the plan, down from about 50 percent in the past, Patton said.” (“Colleges Revise Student Health Plans Under Obamacare,” The Columbus Dispatch, 1/6/14)

OH Family: Premiums alone will increase by $5,000 per year, ‘When you’re trying to keep your house, pay car insurance and put your kid through college, it’s tough’ “Ed Anderson, a graphic designer from Columbus, Ohio, who was recently bumped from his wife’s insurance policy for reasons relating to the new law, discovered that his family’s monthly premiums will double even if he chooses the most inexpensive plan available to him through the new federal insurance exchange in his state. Anderson said he and his wife currently pay a monthly premium of $460 through Blue Cross Blue Shield. … The new insurance policy will cost the Andersons an extra $5,000 a year in premiums alone. ‘When you’re trying to keep your house, pay car insurance and put your kid through college, it’s tough,’ Anderson said. ‘Everything we do is going to be affected by this. Getting groceries, eating out. Going anywhere. It’s just crazy.’” (“The Many Disrupted Lives Under Obamacare,” The Fiscal Times, 12/12/13)

OH Woman: ‘I can’t afford it. I cannot afford it … It’s going to take at least a second job, praying that I would make enough’ Reporter: ‘She went shopping today for an insurance plan, and what she found has her devastated.’ Liz Binns: ‘Ahhh’ Reporter: ‘You can see it in her face and hear it in her voice. The disappointment Liz Binns felt when after two months of trying she was finally able to compare health insurance plans on the government website’ Binns: ‘I can’t afford it. I cannot afford it.’ Reporter: ‘Liz needs insurance for her husband who has a pre-existing condition and who’s job doesn’t offer coverage, but the cheapest match for him that she found on the health insurance marketplace is well over $400 a month with a $5,000 deductible.’ Binns: ‘How can I pay this kind of money out? It’s going to take at least a second job, praying that I would make enough on a second job just to pay for this health insurance.’ (WEWS-OH, 12/3/13)

PENNSYLVANIA WOMAN: ‘Obamacare Benefits Were Not In Order, Forcing Her To Spend Hours And Hours On Hold’
PA Small Business: Plan cancelled, premiums now ‘40 percent higher’ “Stephen Lohman, owner of Allegheny Plant Services, a trucking company in Pittsburgh, said the Aetna PPO plan he offers his 38 employees will be discontinued at the end of this year. He said he has been offered a new Aetna policy with premiums that are 40 percent higher, and that other insurers’ rates are similar. ‘We were very surprised,’ he said, adding that it is ‘important to me personally’ to offer insurance to his employees, but he is not sure he can afford the premium increase.” (“Second Wave Of Health-Insurance Disruption Affects Small Businesses,” Washington Post, 1/11/14)

PA Woman ‘left the [doctor’s] office without care’: “Jeanne Patterson really needs to see a doctor but had to cancel her appointment last week. Why? Because her new Obamacare benefits were not in order, forcing her to spend hours and hours on hold...” (“Help! I Can't Use My Obamacare Benefits,” CNN Money, 1/12/14)
  • “Patterson's journey started New Year's Day, when she landed in the emergency room for a stomach ailment. The Independence policy number she received didn't work and the hospital required her to sign a form saying she would pay for care herself, though it agreed to bill her later. She then received an ID card for her HMO plan in the mail a few days later, so she made an appointment with her primary care doctor and a gastric specialist for follow up. But when the 59-year-old went to her doctor last week, she was told he couldn't see her because she hadn't designated him as her primary care provider. If she wanted to be treated, she'd have to pay for the visit and lab work and request reimbursement. She spent an hour on hold with Independence trying to fix the problem and left the office without care.” (“Help! I Can't Use My Obamacare Benefits,” CNN Money, 1/12/14)
  • “Patterson, who has previously always had insurance… learned she'd have to wait until February to make an appointment.” (“Help! I Can't Use My Obamacare Benefits,” CNN Money, 1/12/14)
SOUTH CAROLINA WOMAN: Doctor ‘Absolutely Would Not Take’ Obamacare Plan
SC Woman: Doctor ‘absolutely would not take’ Obamacare insurance Host: “Have you applied for insurance under the [Patient Protection and] Affordable Care Act? Your local provider may not accept your coverage.” … Lisa Bentley-Long: “I do not know what I’m going to do. I really don’t.” … Reporter: “Being self-employed she jumped at the change to sign up for an insurance plan on the marketplace, a website created under the recent Affordable Care Act. She said she enrolled in the consumer’s choice plan. According to the website she qualified for it and it was available in the Spartanburg County area.  But she says that her doctor and a local county hospital wouldn’t accept the plan.” Long: “They absolutely would not take it, and there are several other doctors in Spartanburg that are the same way.” (WSPA-SC, 2/5/14)

TENNESSEE BUSINESS: Insurance ‘Basically Tripling In Price’
TN Small Business Owner: Insurance ‘basically tripling in price’ “A lot of small businesses like myself do not even - they’re not required to have health insurance, [and] I’m not either but I try to do that in order to keep high quality [workers] and take care of my people that work for me.  Right now, the average is around $100 a month. When the insurance goes up the least expensive policy we can get is $296 a month, so it’s basically tripling in price.” (WJHL-TN, 11/13/13)

TN Woman: “‘We have health insurance that is worthless,’ said customer Shawnna Simpson. Simpson found out last week the new insurance for which she is paying $600 a month was a bad choice for her family.” (“Some Finding Coverage Problems Under New Health Exchange, WSMV-TN, 1/27/14)
  • “Her 15-year-old daughter was hurt in a cheerleading accident, so Simpson called her family doctor only to learn they don't take her new health plan… Ever since, she's been on the phone with the healthcare exchange, looking for a family doctor in Williamson County that accepts her plan, but finding none. ‘We can't use it in the county where we live… Obamacare is not working. A lot of people that have the same issues we have and don't know it yet, until they try to use it,’ she said.” (“Some Finding Coverage Problems Under New Health Exchange, WSMV-TN, 1/27/14)
TN Man: ‘Handed them my [Obamacare insurance] card, and the girl had this deer in the headlights look and said, “I'll be right back.”’ “Last year, Channel 4 News interviewed David Pearce, who was excited about enrolling in the healthcare exchange. Then, he showed up for his doctor's appointment last week. ‘Handed them my card, and the girl had this deer in the headlights look and said, “I'll be right back,” ’ Pierce said. It turns out his doctor in Murfreesboro doesn't accept [his plan]…” (“Some Finding Coverage Problems Under New Health Exchange, WSMV-TN, 1/27/14)

TEXAS MAN: Deductibles Now ‘Double’
TX Man: ‘Local pharmacies could not confirm his coverage, so he left without his medications’ “Paul D. Donahue and his wife, Angela, are among more than a million Americans who have signed up for health coverage through the federal insurance exchange. Mr. Donahue has a card in his wallet from his insurer to prove it. But when he tried to use it to get a flu shot and fill prescriptions this week, local pharmacies could not confirm his coverage, so he left without his medications.” (“Enrollees At Health Exchanges Face Struggle To Prove Coverage,” The New York Times, 1/10/14)

TX Artist: ‘I am one of those Democrats who wanted it to be better… I wouldn’t be able to go to the doctor I’ve been going to for years’ “Marlys Dietrick, a 60-year-old artist from San Antonio, said she had high hopes... But she said they have been turned off by high premiums and deductibles and would rather pay the fine. ‘I am one of those Democrats who wanted it to be better than this,’ she said. … ‘I wouldn’t be able to go to the doctor I’ve been going to for years,’ she said. ‘That is not a deal.’” (“For Consumers Whose Health Premiums Will Go Up Under New Law, Sticker Shock Leads To Anger,” Washington Post, 11/3/13)

TX Man: ‘Had paid an annual $10,000 deductible before 2012. Now he pays double’ “Policies bought before the law was passed were ‘grandfathered in’ and can remain in place, she said. But that apparently doesn’t lock in the cost of premiums or deductibles, said Robert Kecseg, an investment adviser in Lewisville. Kecseg, 61, said he bought a plan before Obamacare took effect. But the insurer that provided the coverage went out of business. When he went to buy new insurance, he found that the cost was much higher. He had paid an annual $10,000 deductible before 2012. Now he pays double. ‘It’s pretty spectacular,’ he said.” (“Obamacare Stirs Anxiety For Thousands With Canceled Policies,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 11/23/13)

UTAH PARENTS: Premiums Will ‘More Than Double’
UT Parents: Premiums will ‘more than double’ after their plan was cancelled ‘more than 3 1/2 months into their daughter's fight with undifferentiated sarcoma’ “Paul and Jami Porter of Kaysville learned last week their insurance plan was terminated under the Affordable Care Act, more than 3 1/2 months into their daughter's fight with undifferentiated sarcoma began. Six-year-old Ellie Porter, who has had one kidney removed, just wrapped up her radiation treatments and is expected to be done with chemotherapy around the first of the year. … He and his wife are now in the middle of shopping for a new plan that complies with the Affordable Care Act. … The options the family is weighing have premiums that are more than double the premiums under their previous plan, Paul Porter said.” (“New Health Care Law Makes Finding Cancer Coverage Difficult, Family Says,” KSL, 11/29/13)

UT Man: “After three months and more than 50 phone calls, John Gisler gave up on buying coverage through Gisler wanted to purchase a plan for his 45-year-old son, who has a rare degenerative condition affecting his coordination and speech. His current coverage through Utah’s high-risk insurance pool plan ends Dec. 31. …so far, Gisler hasn’t succeeded in purchasing coverage -- but not for a lack of effort. ‘We’ve had three separate applications that failed to make it through,’ Gisler says. ‘I have a notebook with all the calls I’ve made, maybe 50 or 100. It just goes on and on.’ Earlier this week, Gisler quit trying.” “Obamacare’s Biggest Losers,” Washington Post, 12/11/13)

VIRGINIA MAN: ‘Deductibles Are Way Higher’
  ‘Deductibles Are Way Higher’VA Lawyer: ‘It’s not as good and way more expensive’ “Cynthia Rutzick, 49, who has her own law practice in Oak Hill, Va., said that the policy she had been buying for years through the state bar association was already offering the benefits mandated by the health law. But the policy, which cost $1,500 a month for herself, her husband and their two children and included 94 percent of the physicians in her area, was canceled. The new one, which costs $1,600 a month for her and her two children (her husband is going on Medicare next year) includes 82 percent of area physicians. Her broker said plans like her old one don’t exist anymore. ‘So I had a blue car, but could not go out and buy another blue car,’ she said. ‘I have to buy a red car, and it’s not as good and way more expensive.’” (“Second Wave Of Health-Insurance Disruption Affects Small Businesses,” Washington Post, 1/11/14)

VA Woman: Premium of $600 and deductible of $6,000 so high ‘Donald Trump couldn't do that’ “Vickie Lynn Kershaw, 60, of Virginia Beach … has gone without insurance since poor health forced her to leave a motel housekeeping job in 2003. She showed up at the O.V. Medical and Dental Center in Norfolk the second week of October to get help signing up for a health plan. …An insurance agent working with the health center gave her a quote for a couple of plans. One cost more than $1,400 a month with a $4,000 deductible, the other more than $600 a month with a $6,000 deductible. ‘I said, “Well, Donald Trump couldn't do that,”’ Kershaw said. ‘That's as far as I got with them.’” (“At Midpoint, Health Care Market Gets Mixed Reviews,” The Virginian-Pilot, 1/4/14)

VA Man: ‘The deductibles are way higher, $5,000 or $6,000’ “Brian H. Snoddy, 35, of Palmyra, Va., said his wife and two children had a policy with a $330 premium and a $2,500 deductible, but it is being canceled. For new plans with comparable coverage on the federal exchange, he said, ‘the deductibles are way higher, $5,000 or $6,000.’” (“On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High,” The New York Times, 12/9/13)>

WASHINGTON WOMAN: ‘Tried To Fill A Prescription … Pharmacy Could Not Verify Her Coverage’
WA Woman: ‘Tried to fill a prescription for a new asthma inhaler, [but] the pharmacy could not verify her coverage’ “Ms. [Erin] Waterman, 47, tried to fill a prescription for a new asthma inhaler, the pharmacy could not verify her coverage even though she had paid her first month’s premium on Dec. 23.Ms. Waterman was given the option of paying full price — $187, instead of the $50 co-payment required under her new plan — and eventually being reimbursed. But she decided to wait, and hope that she does not have an asthma attack in the meantime. ‘I didn’t want to give them more money than I have to,’ she said.” (“Enrollees At Health Exchanges Face Struggle To Prove Coverage,” The New York Times, 1/10/14)

WA Small Business: ‘There was one point when we had a $100 deductible. Now, it's $3,000’ “She and her husband own A&C Mechanical in Wenatchee, a small business that has struggles every year with the rising cost of health insurance. ‘It's literally getting to the point where it's unaffordable, and Obamacare does nothing to help that,’ she said. ‘There was one point when we had a $100 deductible. Now, it's $3,000.’” (“Experiences Finding Health Plans Range From Frustration To Elation,” The Wenatchee World [WA], 11/23/13)

WA: “Administrator’s at Seattle Children’s today said they predicted this would happen and it’s even worse than they expected. Kids being denied specialty treatment at the hospital by insurance providers on the Washington Health Benefits exchange. Children’s filed requests on behalf of 125 of their patients. Of those they said they got only 20 responses, eight of which were denials.” (KING-WA, 1/31/14)

Dr. Melzer: “Well some of the patients who were denied… a two year old with a new significant neck mass that was being evaluated for infection or malignancy, an older child with a chronic severe medical condition requiring multi-disciplinary care here, a baby that had a skull abnormality.” (KING-WA, 1/31/14)

WA Doctor: ‘families who bought insurance thinking that their children were going to be covered…in fact found that it’s a false promise’ Doctor: “This is not an isolated incident… The exclusion of a major provider like Seattle Children’s from a major insurance network in this market is unprecedented… we’re seeing denials of care, disruptions in care; we’re seeing a great deal of confusion and, at times, anger and frustration on the part of these families who bought insurance thinking that their children were going to be covered. And they’ve in fact found that it’s a false promise.” (CBS News, 2/8/14)

WA Mother: Health care exchange ‘kinda backfired’ Reporter: “Kate’s ear drum had ruptured. Her doctor recommended a specialist at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. … The care was authorized by Sarah’s insurer, through Washington state’s health care exchange. … This is an approval letter for the coverage, four days later this is a denial.” Sarah: “Exactly.” Reporter: “That letter says the hospital is out of network.” … Sarah: “That’s why we all pay into the system. Is because in that moment, when you’re in a dire situation then you hope that insurance company is gonna take care of you.” Reporter: “And what did you find out?” Sarah: “That it kinda backfired.” (CBS News, 2/8/14)

WV Woman: “‘It is definitely frustrating and not fair,’ said Addie Wilson, 27, who lives in Fairmont, W.Va., and earns $22,000 a year working with at-risk families. She said that she is paying $100 a month more than she should for her insurance and that her deductible is $4,000 too high. When Wilson logged on to in late December, she needed coverage right away. … Terrified to go without coverage, Wilson phoned a federal call center and took the advice she was given: Pay the full price now and appeal later. Now she is stuck. ‘I hope,’ she said, ‘they really work on getting this fixed.’” (“Healthcare.Gov Can’t Handle Appeals Of Enrollment Errors,” Washington Post, 2/2/14)

“She was told to pay the full insurance premium — $215 a month. She did. The next day, Brandon Williams, an enrollment counselor at a local health clinic, helped her check again. This time, the computer worked properly and showed that, with the subsidy, her monthly premium should be just $106 and her yearly deductible $617, not $4,750. Wilson and Williams called the online marketplace and, after three hours on the phone, got only a promise from a supervisor that Wilson would hear from CMS’s ‘advance resolution team’ within five days. The call didn’t come.” (“Healthcare.Gov Can’t Handle Appeals Of Enrollment Errors,” Washington Post, 2/2/14)

WISCONSIN DEMOCRAT: ‘Personal Health Insurance Costs … Have Gone Up 3-4 Times’
WI Dem Chief Of Staff: “‘In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,’ Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. ‘Simply unacceptable.’” (“Older Hill Aides Shocked By Obamacare Prices,” Politico, 11/21/13)

Tags: Harry Reid, lying, news reports, testimonial, increased healthcare costs, lost coverage   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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