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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Senate Dems Block Kate's Law - Boehner Sends NDAA To POTUS - Collapsing Obmacare Co-Op Insurers

Today in Washington, D.C - Oct. 21, 2015 -
The House reconvened at 10 AM today.
Bills which may be considered today:
H.R. 10 - To reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, and for other purposes.
H.R. 692 - To ensure the payment of interest and principal of the debt of the United States.
H.R. 1937 - To require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to United States economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness.

Yesterday the House passed:
H. Res. 348 (413-4) — "Supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely elect their government and determine their future."
H.R. 1315 (Voice Vote) — "To amend section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, to require that annual budget submissions of the President to Congress provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1428 (Voice Vote) — "To extend Privacy Act remedies to citizens of certified states, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3350 (416-0) — "To require a terrorism threat assessment regarding the transportation of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological materials through United States land borders and within the United States, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3493 (411-4) - "To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish the Securing the Cities program to enhance the ability of the United States to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and other high consequence events utilizing nuclear or other radiological materials that pose a high risk to homeland security in high-risk urban areas, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3572 (Voice Vote) — "To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to reform, streamline, and make improvements to the Department of Homeland Security and support the Department's efforts to implement better policy, planning, management, and performance, and for other purposes."
S. 2162 (Passed w/o Objection) — "To establish a 10-year term for the service of the Librarian of Congress."

This morning, Speaker Boehner signed H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act. Boehner remarked: “I want to thank my colleagues that are here for all of their hard work they put into this bill. Now, there’s a reason we call this the national defense bill. It fulfills our country’s commitment to protect our troops with the resources they need to protect our country and to come home safely. In that spirit, it’s written in a bipartisan fashion, and we’ve passed it now for 53 consecutive years. In a time of grave threats, setting these priorities isn’t just an annual ritual – it’s a vital responsibility.

“Unfortunately, the president has threatened to veto the national defense authorization bill. Listen, I recognize the president wants to make a point about spending, but there are certainly ways to do that that don’t involve putting our troops in the middle. And there’s no need – and frankly, no place – for any politics here. So I hope the president will do the right thing and sign this bill for our troops and their families.”

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate resumed consideration of S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture on the Burr-Feinstein substitute amendment and on the bill itself. Cloture votes are likely tomorrow.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats filibustered S. 2146 (Kate's Law) a bill that would have penalized sanctuary cities which refuse to abide by immigration laws. It is evident that Democrats have now declared in favor of lawlessness by and in American cities. For more on this see: How Senators Voted on Sanctuary Cities / Kate's Law

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed the recent cascade of failures of Obamacare co-op health plans. “Barely a week goes by that we don’t see another harmful consequence of Obamacare, a poorly conceived and badly executed law,” he said. “It’s caused costs to increase for millions of Americans. It’s harmed the quality and availability of care. Now comes further evidence that Obamacare is a mess of a law, filled with broken promises.

“Recently we learned that the Kentucky Health Cooperative, a nonprofit health insurer created by Obamacare with federal taxpayer funds, will cease operations and stop offering health plans at the end of the year. For the second time in as little as three years, as many as 51,000 Kentuckians will lose the health care coverage they currently have and will be forced to choose a new plan — all thanks to Obamacare.

“This Kentucky Co-op was a boondoggle from the start. It received nearly $150 million in federal loans, including a solvency loan this past November in a failed taxpayer bailout to keep it afloat. It had the largest recorded loss of all 23 co-ops nationwide, more than $50 million in 2014.

“Things were hardly much better for Kentuckians enrolled in it. Over the past two years the Co-op saw double-digit premium increases on the individual market. If it had survived, it was planning on increasing premiums for its members by 25 percent in 2016.”

He explained, “The collapse of the Kentucky Co-op is emblematic of the situation across the country. The Obama Administration claimed that their government-subsidized co-ops would provide affordable and sustainable alternatives to private insurance. The truth is anything but. And what’s even more disappointing is that the Obama Administration itself predicted a nearly 40 percent default rate on its taxpayer loans to co-ops.”

As The Hill reported, “The future of an ObamaCare program that was intended to create non-profit insurers is increasingly in doubt, with several of the ventures forced to close down around the country.

“On Friday, co-op insurance plans in Colorado and Oregon became the latest to call it quits, following the closure of similar plans this month in Tennessee, Kentucky and New York.

"Just 15 of the original 23 co-ops remain in operation, and the administration acknowledges that more of them could fail, potentially leaving a strike against President Obama’s signature law.”

In addition, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “A co-op in Vermont was shuttered in 2013, before it even began selling plans.”

In Colorado, the AP reported, “Colorado's biggest nonprofit health insurer announced its closure Friday, forcing nearly 83,000 Coloradans to find a new insurer for 2016.

“Colorado HealthOP announced Friday that the state Division of Insurance has said it can't keep selling health insurance. That's because the cooperative relied on federal support, and federal authorities announced last month they wouldn't be able to pay most of what they owed to a program designed to help health insurance co-ops get established. . . .

“Republicans pointed to the co-op's closure as a sad but predictable outcome. ‘Taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars in loans given out to the CO-OP, money that will likely never be repaid,’ U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said in a statement after the announcement.”

In Oregon, another AP report detailed, “Health Republic Insurance, one of two nonprofit insurers created in Oregon under President Barack Obama’s health care law, announced Friday that it is shutting down.

“Health Republic will continue to pay claims through the rest of the year but won’t sell policies for 2016, the company said. The 15,000 individuals and 800 small businesses that get insurance through Health Republic will have to turn to another insurer.”

And The Wall Street Journal added, “Co-ops were an experiment under the health law to infuse competition, lower prices, and insurance markets with a variety of choices for consumers. A total of about $2.4 billion was given in low-interest loans to 23 co-ops.

“Co-ops have failed or are being closed down in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Nevada and Tennessee, and Oregon. So far, more than 500,000 customers have lost their co-op coverage, and co-op officials said their demise will hurt competition, leading to higher prices for consumers.

“Most of the remaining co-ops are losing money and have lower-than-expected enrollment, according to a recent report by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.”

As Leader McConnell said, “These failures of Obamacare health co-ops come as no surprise to those of us who predicted that giving the government more control of our health care system would be detrimental to the health care coverage people rely on. I said so on the Senate floor as far back as 2009. The administration knew beforehand that this plan was not viable and that tens of thousands of people could lose their coverage. They chose to cling fast to a disastrous left-wing experiment with our health care system over choosing stability and affordable coverage for the many people caught up in Obamacare and these failed health care co-ops.”

Tags: IDemocrats, block Kate's Law, Sanctuary Cities, murders, Speaker Boehner, Signs NCAA, Send to POTUS, Obamacare, Co-Op Insurers, failing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:48 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Jo Byrd Huddleston-Lively said...

I just want to express my Presidential runner I hope will win: Mike Huckabee is the most conservative, Tea Party type, with good Christian values, like America's original Presidents. Ted Cruz is good too, so I think it would work good for America if he would become Vice President, so they could work together!


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