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The true cost of Obamacare

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December 31, 2019, 11:13:54 am ciwarrior1 says: The King James bible is NOT the pure word of God. In fact there are many errors in it. That is why the Pilgrims rejected the King James bible and relied on the Geneva Bible. In fact, the King James Bible is a paraphrase. The Bishops Bible, the Great Bible, and the Geneva Bible were used to produce the King James. Also, King James used the Massoretic text for the Greek and this text has proved to be faulty. The oldest Massoretic text dates back to about 950 AD with it coming out in book form in about 1000 AD. However, the dead sea scrolls proved that the Massoretic text wasn't even a viable text when you consider that the dead sea scrolls supported the Greek Septuagint over 90% of the time over the Massoretic text. The Massoretic text comes from the Jews who are the Synagogue of Satan. They are corrupt and vile, and they are not God Yahweh's chosen people Israel. True Israel are the white Caucasian, Celtic, Anglo Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, and kindred people in the world today. You would be better off getting the Ferrar-Fenton bible, the Rotherham Bible, and so forth. These bibles are more accurate than the King James Bible. However, there is an agenda to misinterpret the bible. For example, according to the bible race mixing is a sin. However, how many church's promote race mixing because they think that the King James bible says so. It doesn't, but since the read it and don't do any investigation, they just believe it. Also, many Christian pastors are crypto Jews just like Pastor David Jeremiah, Benny Hinn, and so forth.
December 31, 2019, 11:10:09 am ciwarrior1 says: The King James bible is NOT the pure word of God. In fact there are many errors in it. That is why the Pilgrims rejected the King James bible and relied on the Geneva Bible. In fact, the King James Bible is a paraphrase. The Bishops Bible, the Great Bible, and the Geneva Bible were used to produce the King James. Also, King James used the Massoretic text for the Greek and this text has proved to be faulty. The oldest Massoretic text dates back to about 950 AD with it coming out in book form in about 1000 AD. However, the dead sea scrolls proved that the Massoretic text wasn't even a viable text when you consider that the dead sea scrolls supported the Greek Septuagint over 90% of the time over the Massoretic text. The Massoretic text comes from the Jews who are the Synagogue of Satan. They are corrupt and vile, and they are not God Yahweh's chosen people Israel. True Israel are the white Caucasian, Celtic, Anglo Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, and kindred people in the world today. You would be better off getting the Ferrar-Fenton bible, the Rotherham Bible, and so forth. These bibles are a not more accurate than the King James Bible. However, there is an agenda to misinterpret the bible. For example, according to the bible race mixing is a sin. However, how many church's promote race mixing because they think that the King James bible says so. It doesn't, but since the read it and don't do any investigation, they just believe it. Also, many Christian pastors are crypto Jews just like Pastor David Jeremiah, Benny Hinn, and so forth.
August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
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« Reply #330 on: February 01, 2015, 04:00:58 pm »

Quote

The resemblance to apostolic Christianity is debatable: After all, Jesus’ healing ministry didn’t take pre-existing conditions into account, and the early church offered aid to nonbelievers.

More proof the modern-day Apostate church has idea how to divide the word of truth.

Jesus Christ and his Apostles were SHOWING SIGNS during their ministry IN ISRAEL during the 4 Gospel Matthew - John books.

Matthew 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Mat 10:6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 10:7  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 10:8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
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« Reply #331 on: February 07, 2015, 01:21:30 pm »

Be ye not deceived - there's NO "good" side to this - all of this has been by design...in order to usher in the one-payer system, and ultimately the one world global economy. IOW - darned if you do, but darned if you don't.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-the-lesson-of-louisiana-20150206-column.html
When a state blocks Obamacare, ERs close: The lesson of Louisiana
2/6/15

Baton Rouge, La., is about to lose one of its crucial hospital emegency rooms, and the reason is clear: The administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and won't put up any other money to keep the facility open.

Because of the scheduled closure of the ER of Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City, patients needing emergency treatment will have to travel as much as 30 minutes longer to reach the nearest ERs.

The great flaw in Jindal's plan is that it would cause millions of people to lose their coverage.
- Conservative pundit Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg View


Jindal has tried to position himself as the last stalwart Republican opponent of the ACA, but his state's experience shows that his position is folly.

The ACA was designed to encourage states to expand Medicaid--almost entirely at federal expense--as a means of cutting the uncompensated medical care hospitals had been forced to provide for low-income individuals and families. Much of that care has been customarily delivered through the ER.

In the expectation that Medicaid would pick up the slack, the ACA reduced so-called disproportionate share hospital payments, which went to hospitals serving a large number of the uninsured. So institutions in states that have refused to expand Medicaid, like Louisiana, have faced a double-whammy--they still have to serve a large number of uninsured patients, but they have less money to do so. 

The ACA has reduced uncompensated care costs across the board--by $5.7 billion in fiscal 2014 compared with what they would have been otherwise, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. (See accompanying chart.)

Uninsured visits to ERs dropped sharply last year in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA. (HHS)
But most of that effect is seen in Medicaid expansion states. The crisis has continued for hospitals in non-Medicaid expanding states. The problem is so acute that the Tennessee Hospital Assn. offered to pick up the state's cost of expansion. That wasn't enough: Conservative Republicans who dominate the state legislature on Wednesday voted in committee to kill a compromise plan by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to expand Medicaid to cover more than 250,000 low-income uninsured adults.

In Baton Rouge, the Mid City ER, which recorded 45,000 patient visits last year, started facing a crisis in 2013, when it inherited the case load from a nearby ER that closed. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Mid City's losses were projected to hit $25 million to $30 million this year. The Jindal administration stepped in with a promised infusion of $18 million, but that turned out to be a stopgap aimed at staving off an ER closure threatened last summer. Now the ER is set to close within 60 days.

Jindal, who still evidently harbors fantasies of running for president, deserves blame for the situation. As other GOP governors have seen the light on Medicaid expansion--10 have reached agreements with the federal government recently--Jindal has become ever more obstinate.

He's been pushing his own Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan, which mostly involves eliminating the tax deduction for employer-sponsored health plans and replacing it with a deduction allowing people to buy coverage in the individual market.

Jindal has promoted his plan with a string of distortions about the ACA and the health insurance marketplace that suggest, at best, that he has no idea what he's talking about.

He's left even conservative opponents of Obamacare scratching their heads: Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review said it "shows how not to replace Obamacare." Jindal's plan, Ponnuru observed, would favor higher-income taxpayers while leaving lower-income Americans, those covered by existing exchange plans, and many of those now enrolled in employer plans, in the dust.

"The great flaw in Jindal's plan is that it would cause millions of people to lose their coverage," he wrote.

That would be an interesting experiment in social insurance. Unfortunately for Louisiana residents, Jindal is experimenting on them first.
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« Reply #332 on: February 08, 2015, 09:06:08 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/despite-60-repeals-gop-considering-124500989.html
2/8/15
Despite 60 Repeals, the GOP Is Considering Repairing Obamacare

A key group of Republican leaders this week unveiled the latest attempt at an Obamacare replacement in a 9-page summary detailing what looks like a more compressed version of the current health care law. It’s an updated version of a proposal a small group of Republicans created a year ago.

The proposal, called the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, or Patient CARE, comes from three top Republicans: Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (UT); Sen. Richard Burr (NC); and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI).

The plan keeps some of Obamacare’s more popular provisions in place – including allowing young people to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26 and prohibiting insurers from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. It also preserves subsidies for people to put toward health coverage, though it scales back the eligibility requirements so that fewer people would qualify.

Meanwhile, it would repeal the law’s individual and employer mandates, and scrap rules requiring all insurance plans to include certain benefits like maternity care and contraceptives. The three lawmakers suggest this would significantly reduce the cost of the health plans—especially for people purchasing bare-bones plans.

Repeal or Replace?
Republicans have been pledging for years to repeal and replace Obamacare. They’ve voted 60 times to dismantle the law and have promised to come up with a better alternative. The upcoming Supreme Court case scheduled this March that threatens to unravel the entire law has given the GOP a new sense of urgency.

But the majority of Americans say they want Congress to fix the law, rather than kill it. An earlier survey by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies that found 54 percent of respondents say they want lawmakers to repair Obamacare, while 28 percent say they want to eliminate it. Another 17 percent say they want the law to remain as is.

Importantly, that fix-it sentiment is also now shared with one of the law’s original adversaries. The powerful Chamber of Commerce for the first time ever did not endorse the GOP’s latest repeal vote.

The Patient CARE plan is one way to fix the ACA according to its creators. It keeps federal subsidies, but lowers the eligibility threshold from 400 percent of the federal poverty level under Obamacare to 300 percent. That’s about $35,310 for a family of four and $24,250 for a childless adult.

“We agree we can’t return to the status quo of the pre-Obamacare world, so we equip patients with tools that will drive down costs while also ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions and the young are protected,” Sen. Hatch said in a statement.

The Republican plan also repeals the law’s Medicaid expansion and instead gives income-eligible people tax credits to put toward private insurance. It also proposes to convert Medicaid into a “per-capita cap,” similar to block grants.

It also increases price transparency. It would require hospitals accepting Medicare to, among other things, disclose the “average amount paid by uninsured and insured patients for the most common impatient and outpatient procedures.”

While this is probably the closest thing to an actual Obamacare replacement plan, it is unclear in terms of what would happen to the millions of people getting coverage through the current health law. Since it’s an outline and not an official piece of legislation yet, it can’t be scored by the Congressional Budget Office – so the group will need to come up with more details and formalize the plan.

Separately, another group of GOP lawmakers—led by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan -- is working on a plan of their own.

The outline comes one month before the Supreme Court hears King v. Burwell, the much-anticipated case that has the potential to dismantle the entire health care law. If the High Court strikes down the federal subsidies to the millions of people getting coverage through the federal exchange, the entire law could crumble.

GOP lawmakers are eying the case as their only realistic shot at repealing Obamacare. The Court will make its decision in June. Until then, Republicans are working on getting a replacement strategy in place.
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« Reply #333 on: February 20, 2015, 04:41:52 pm »

New woes for HealthCare.gov: Wrong tax info sent out
2/20/15
http://news.yahoo.com/govt-sent-800-000-healthcare-gov-customers-wrong-150134035--politics.html

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a new setback for the health care law and the people it's supposed to help, the government said Friday it made a tax-reporting error that's fouling up the filings of nearly a million Americans.

After a successful sign-up season, the latest goof could signal new problems with the complex links between President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and the nation's income tax system.

Officials said the government sent the wrong tax information to about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers, and they're asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns. The issue involves a new government form called a 1095-A, which is like a W-2 form for health care for people who got subsidized private coverage under Obama's law.

People can find out whether they're affected by logging in to their accounts at HealthCare.gov, where they should find a message indicating whether they were affected or not. They also can check by phoning the federal customer service center at 800-318-2596.

Separately, California announced earlier that it had sent out inaccurate tax forms affecting about 100,000 households. The state is not part of the federal market but runs its own insurance exchange.

HealthCare.gov said in a blog post that the federal mistake happened when information on this year's premiums was substituted for what should been 2014 numbers. The website had a technology meltdown when it was launched back in 2013, but seemed to have overcome its problems this enrollment season.

"It's just another black mark on the administration's handling of the health care act," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington. "They were hoping for a clean season."

"For many of these impacted taxpayers, the tax refund could be the single largest financial payout of the year," said Mark Ciaramitaro, H&R Block's vice president for health care. Many people due a refund file well before the April 15 deadline. "They are being told to wait," he added, "further delaying access to their tax refund."

On another matter, the administration also announced a special sign-up extension for uninsured people who would face the health care law's tax penalties for the first time this year.

Several million households could benefit from that grace period, which had been sought by Democratic lawmakers.

Uninsured people who go to file their taxes and learn they're facing a penalty will have between March 15 and April 30 to sign up through HealthCare.gov. Otherwise, they would not have had an opportunity until the fall. Fines for being uninsured are going up significantly in 2015.

The tax-document mistake was a self-inflicted wound after what Obama had personally touted as a successful open-enrollment season, with about 11.4 million people signed up.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats were frustrated, but they gave the administration some credit for disclosing the error early instead of letting the problem compound as tax season advances.

The White House downplayed the consequences. "It's a small percentage of overall tax filers," said spokesman Josh Earnest. "You're talking about less than 1 percent of people who file taxes."

At the Health and Human Services department, Andy Slavitt, who oversees health insurance programs, said consumers affected by the problem will be notified starting immediately via phone calls and emails. They represent about 1 of every 5 HealthCare.gov customers who got subsidies in 2014.

An estimated 50,000 people who have already filed their taxes will receive special instructions from the Treasury Department, he said. All corrected forms should be available by early March.

Slavitt said the error involved a "benchmark" premium that is used to help determine the subsidies that individuals receive. It's unclear whether the impact would favor the government or individual policyholders. Slavitt said it's a mix.

The tax error highlights the complicated links between Obama's health care law and taxes, connections that consumers are experiencing for the first time this year. The law subsidizes private health insurance for people who don't have access to job-based coverage. Those subsidies are mainly based on income.

By packaging the benefit as a tax credit, the law's supporters were able to promote it as a tax cut. But that also introduced new wrinkles to an already-complicated tax system at a time when Republicans have put the squeeze on the IRS budget.

Other issues could emerge later this spring. Consumers filing their taxes have to verify to the IRS that they got the amount of subsidy they were legally entitled to. If they received too much, their refunds will get dinged. Too little, and the government repays them. Some experts suspect that many consumers may have underestimated their 2014 incomes and gotten too big a subsidy.

"This is very complicated, and we've got all these different pieces coming together that will be prone to error," said Williams, the tax policy expert.
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« Reply #334 on: February 20, 2015, 05:23:04 pm »

I hate to say it, but the damage has already been done.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/02/19/a-scotus-decision-against-obamacare-could-cost-states-billions-and-billions-of-dollars/
2/19/15
A Supreme Court decision against Obamacare could cost states billions and billions of dollars

If you want a sense of just how far-reaching the impact of a Supreme Court decision gutting Obamacare subsidies could prove, new data on health care signups released this week provide a fresh way to game out such a ruling’s consequences.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the other day that some 11.4 million people have signed up for health plans through federal marketplaces. The new HHS data also provides a breakdown of the number of sign-ups in each of the three dozen states on the federal exchange — precisely the states that would no longer get subsidies if the Court invalidates tax credits to people in all federal exchange states.

This provides a way of approximating just how much money in tax credits each state could lose if the Court rules that way. We’re talking about enormous amounts of money: Florida could lose nearly half a billion dollars per month in subsidies to its constituents. Texas could lose a quarter of a billion dollars per month. North Carolina and Georgia could each lose over one hundred million per month.

Here it is in chart form (a note on methodology is below), detailing the impact of such a ruling on the 14 states that stand to lose the most:



The column on the left details the approximate total number of people in each state who qualify for subsidies. The middle column details the average amount in subsidies per person. And the column on the right details the approximate total number of dollars per month that are set to flow into each state — money that would presumably stop flowing if SCOTUS guts the subsidies.

This methodology was suggested to me by Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation who may know more about the Affordable Care Act than anyone else alive. He says one reasonable way of trying to calculate total subsidies per state is to take the total number of new signups in each state, and multiply that by the percentage in each state who qualify for tax credits, data that is also supplied by HHS. That produces the approximate total in each state who qualify for subsidies (the left column).  You then multiply that by HHS data detailing the average monthly subsidy payment in each state (the middle column), and it gives you the approximate total in monthly subsidies to each state (the right hand column).

A few caveats: First, these calculations are very rough and approximate. The data on the percentages who qualify for subsidies and on average monthly subsidies are a little bit older than the newest data on total signups (but they probably won’t change much). Also, not all of the people who signed up will end up paying, so these totals will likely drop somewhat, though it’s hard to know how much. Still, Levitt says this is a good way of trying to gain a rough sense of how much money in each state we’re talking about here.

“This a very reasonable approach to estimating the amount of federal subsidies people living in these states will receive,” Levitt says. “Billions of dollars are flowing to low and middle income people under the law, and most of those are going to people in states using HealthCare.gov. This makes it very tangible: If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs, states would be losing in some cases hundreds of millions in federal money per month.”

If defenders of the law get their way, numbers like these could end up having legal significance. A number of states have argued, in a brief filed for the government’s side, that the plain text of the ACA contains no explicit threat to withdraw subsidies from states that fail to set up exchanges. Thus, they argue, if the Supreme Court guts subsidies, it would impose a “dramatic” hidden punishment on them and their residents for their decision not to set up an exchange, despite the fact that they had no clear warning of the consequences of that decision. This raises serious Constitutional concerns, and as a result, the states argue, the Supreme Court should opt for the interpretation of the statute that doesn’t raise those concerns — the government’s interpretation that subsidies are universal.

This federalism argument, which has been expanded upon by law professors Nicholas Bagley and Abbe Gluck, could potentially appeal to Anthony Kennedy or possibly to John Roberts. The fact that the states stand to lose such enormous amounts in subsidies to their residents could help underscore that case.

Indeed, all of this suggests that a SCOTUS ruling against the ACA could create real problems for GOP lawmakers in many states. Reuters reports that officials in some states are currently scrambling to figure out what to do in the event of such a ruling. Even state officials who want to respond by setting up their own exchanges — keeping subsidies flowing — tell Reuters they may not be able to do so for political and other logistical reasons, meaning they’d lose subsidies even if they don’t want to. In Ohio, for instance, GOP governor John Kasich has suggested he wants to come up with a fix but doesn’t seem clear on what. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that relatively few red states have signed a brief in support of this lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working hard to convey the impression that they might have a contingency plan in place — or even their own alternative health reform — for those who might lose subsidies and coverage. Such feints are probably just designed to persuade the Justices that the consequences of an anti-ACA ruling might somehow not prove so dire. But, taking those Republicans at their word, numbers such as the above provide a useful way to judge any such contingency plans or alternatives: Do they come anywhere close to covering the same numbers of people?

Conservatives might seize on these sums of money for their own purposes. Some on the right are arguing that, if SCOTUS does gut subsidies to millions, Republicans must not offer a fix that spends anything close to the same amount in subsidizing those people’s health care, and instead must advocate for a return to a pre-Obamacare baseline level of spending and propose “free market” solutions instead. These conservatives will likely argue that such huge expenditures as those detailed above underscore their point.

As I’ve repeatedly written, I think there’s a decent chance the Justices could side with the challengers. The massive amounts of money at stake underscore that if this does happen, a whole new political and policy story will unfold from there, with consequences that no one should pretend to be able to predict.

 
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« Reply #335 on: February 20, 2015, 05:26:19 pm »

I hate to say it, but the damage has already been done.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/02/19/a-scotus-decision-against-obamacare-could-cost-states-billions-and-billions-of-dollars/
2/19/15
A Supreme Court decision against Obamacare could cost states billions and billions of dollars

If you want a sense of just how far-reaching the impact of a Supreme Court decision gutting Obamacare subsidies could prove, new data on health care signups released this week provide a fresh way to game out such a ruling’s consequences.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the other day that some 11.4 million people have signed up for health plans through federal marketplaces. The new HHS data also provides a breakdown of the number of sign-ups in each of the three dozen states on the federal exchange — precisely the states that would no longer get subsidies if the Court invalidates tax credits to people in all federal exchange states.

This provides a way of approximating just how much money in tax credits each state could lose if the Court rules that way. We’re talking about enormous amounts of money: Florida could lose nearly half a billion dollars per month in subsidies to its constituents. Texas could lose a quarter of a billion dollars per month. North Carolina and Georgia could each lose over one hundred million per month.

Here it is in chart form (a note on methodology is below), detailing the impact of such a ruling on the 14 states that stand to lose the most:



The column on the left details the approximate total number of people in each state who qualify for subsidies. The middle column details the average amount in subsidies per person. And the column on the right details the approximate total number of dollars per month that are set to flow into each state — money that would presumably stop flowing if SCOTUS guts the subsidies.

This methodology was suggested to me by Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation who may know more about the Affordable Care Act than anyone else alive. He says one reasonable way of trying to calculate total subsidies per state is to take the total number of new signups in each state, and multiply that by the percentage in each state who qualify for tax credits, data that is also supplied by HHS. That produces the approximate total in each state who qualify for subsidies (the left column).  You then multiply that by HHS data detailing the average monthly subsidy payment in each state (the middle column), and it gives you the approximate total in monthly subsidies to each state (the right hand column).

A few caveats: First, these calculations are very rough and approximate. The data on the percentages who qualify for subsidies and on average monthly subsidies are a little bit older than the newest data on total signups (but they probably won’t change much). Also, not all of the people who signed up will end up paying, so these totals will likely drop somewhat, though it’s hard to know how much. Still, Levitt says this is a good way of trying to gain a rough sense of how much money in each state we’re talking about here.

“This a very reasonable approach to estimating the amount of federal subsidies people living in these states will receive,” Levitt says. “Billions of dollars are flowing to low and middle income people under the law, and most of those are going to people in states using HealthCare.gov. This makes it very tangible: If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs, states would be losing in some cases hundreds of millions in federal money per month.”

If defenders of the law get their way, numbers like these could end up having legal significance. A number of states have argued, in a brief filed for the government’s side, that the plain text of the ACA contains no explicit threat to withdraw subsidies from states that fail to set up exchanges. Thus, they argue, if the Supreme Court guts subsidies, it would impose a “dramatic” hidden punishment on them and their residents for their decision not to set up an exchange, despite the fact that they had no clear warning of the consequences of that decision. This raises serious Constitutional concerns, and as a result, the states argue, the Supreme Court should opt for the interpretation of the statute that doesn’t raise those concerns — the government’s interpretation that subsidies are universal.

This federalism argument, which has been expanded upon by law professors Nicholas Bagley and Abbe Gluck, could potentially appeal to Anthony Kennedy or possibly to John Roberts. The fact that the states stand to lose such enormous amounts in subsidies to their residents could help underscore that case.

Indeed, all of this suggests that a SCOTUS ruling against the ACA could create real problems for GOP lawmakers in many states. Reuters reports that officials in some states are currently scrambling to figure out what to do in the event of such a ruling. Even state officials who want to respond by setting up their own exchanges — keeping subsidies flowing — tell Reuters they may not be able to do so for political and other logistical reasons, meaning they’d lose subsidies even if they don’t want to. In Ohio, for instance, GOP governor John Kasich has suggested he wants to come up with a fix but doesn’t seem clear on what. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that relatively few red states have signed a brief in support of this lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working hard to convey the impression that they might have a contingency plan in place — or even their own alternative health reform — for those who might lose subsidies and coverage. Such feints are probably just designed to persuade the Justices that the consequences of an anti-ACA ruling might somehow not prove so dire. But, taking those Republicans at their word, numbers such as the above provide a useful way to judge any such contingency plans or alternatives: Do they come anywhere close to covering the same numbers of people?

Conservatives might seize on these sums of money for their own purposes. Some on the right are arguing that, if SCOTUS does gut subsidies to millions, Republicans must not offer a fix that spends anything close to the same amount in subsidizing those people’s health care, and instead must advocate for a return to a pre-Obamacare baseline level of spending and propose “free market” solutions instead. These conservatives will likely argue that such huge expenditures as those detailed above underscore their point.

As I’ve repeatedly written, I think there’s a decent chance the Justices could side with the challengers. The massive amounts of money at stake underscore that if this does happen, a whole new political and policy story will unfold from there, with consequences that no one should pretend to be able to predict.
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« Reply #336 on: March 03, 2015, 07:28:15 pm »

Like said, the damage has long been already done - this will eventually lead to the one-payer/One World Economic system.

http://theadvocate.com/news/11748150-123/la-times-analysis-bobby-jindals
Los Angeles Times' February analysis: Bobby Jindal's opposition to Obamacare causing Baton Rouge General Mid City ER closure
3/3/15

The closure of the Baton Rouge General Mid City emergency room is a direct result of Gov. Bobby Jindal refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a February analysis in the Los Angeles Times.

The article states, "Jindal has tried to position himself as the last stalwart Republican opponent of the (affordable care act), but his state's experience shows that his position is folly."

The General’s board of directors had voted last August to close the emergency room in November, a casualty of growing red ink associated with uninsured patients entering its doors.

The Jindal administration had promised an infusion of cash to allow continued operation of the ER at the only facility between Zachary and south Baton Rouge treating life-threatening medical crisis.

Baton Rouge General - Mid City held a series of meetings with employees Tuesday March 3, 2015, to reassure staffers that the campus would remain open, although the Emergency Room will close at the end of the month.

Baton Rouge General officials have said Mid City, which features one of the state's two burn units, will remain open. The General has not disclosed how many beds will remain at the Mid City campus or how many Mid City staffers will lose jobs because of the ER's closure.
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« Reply #337 on: March 04, 2015, 05:36:15 pm »

http://www.businessinsider.com/kennedy-comment-could-support-obamacare-2015-3
3/4/15
This comment from Justice Kennedy could signal a win for Obamacare

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday morning in a case that could gut Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, and legal experts are focusing on one comment from Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kennedy, a key swing voter, said during the first half of oral arguments on Wednesday morning that he saw a "serious Constitutional" question with the interpretation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set forth by the plaintiffs who are trying to strike it down.

"If that's Kennedy's view of the case, there's almost no chance that the challengers can win," UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler told Business Insider.

The fight over the ACA centers on whether the federal government can keep subsidizing insurance in the roughly three dozen states that have not set up their own insurance marketplaces. The health law laid out a plan in which states set up their own exchanges but said the federal government could step in and set up the exchanges for the states if they could not do it on their own.

In reality, 34 states have not set up their own exchanges. Opponents of Obamacare now say the law allows subsidies only in states in which a healthcare exchange has been "established by a state."

If the opponents win, people in those states would lose their health insurance unless the states set up their own exchanges. Kennedy appears to have a problem with that scenario because it would effectively coerce states into setting up their own exchanges if they wanted their citizens to have insurance. Kennedy doesn't like that because he is a big fan of federalism.

“There is a serious constitutional problem here if we adopt your position," Kennedy told the lawyer for the plaintiffs, according to The New York Times.

From SCOTUSBlog:

Simply put, Kennedy expressed deep concern with the federalism consequences of a reading that would coerce the states into setting up their own exchanges to avoid destroying a workable system of insurance in the state.

The high court will issue its opinion in the next few months, and all eyes will be on Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative who surprised everybody in 2012 when he voted to save Obamacare.

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« Reply #338 on: March 04, 2015, 05:44:24 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/chief-justice-john-roberts--who-saved-obamacare-in-2012--stays-quiet-this-time-184515724.html
3/4/15
Chief Justice John Roberts, who saved Obamacare in 2012, stays quiet this time
As conservative and liberal wings duke it out over health care, Roberts sits back


Chief Justice John Roberts, who saved President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul three years ago by unexpectedly joining the liberal wing of the court, stayed largely silent in oral arguments on a new challenge that could deal a mortal blow to the law.

The argument centers on whether four words in the more than 1,000-page act should be interpreted literally, which would render millions of people who live in the dozens of states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges ineligible for federal subsidies to help them purchase insurance.

Wednesday’s oral arguments were filled with dry technical analysis of specific passages in various indices of the law — but they also contained some fireworks. The liberal justices battered the lawyer challenging the subsidies, Michael Carvin, while conservative justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia took on Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

The chief justice, however, stayed away from the fray. He spoke only a few times. Once, Roberts told Carvin that he was giving him 10 additional minutes to speak. At another time, he jokingly defended Carvin from the liberal justices’ attacks.

Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg took turns carving up Carvin for the statements he made in 2012 when he argued in front of them that they should strike down the law’s individual mandate. Back then, Carvin said subsidies were crucial to the law’s existence and were altogether illegal (an argument he lost after Roberts upheld the individual mandate as a tax). Now he says that lawmakers only intended subsidies to go to people living in states that set up their own exchanges and that an exchange without federal subsidies still provides “valuable benefits” to a state.

“That’s not what you said previously when you were here last time in this never-ending saga,” Kagan said to laughs.

Roberts stepped in. “Mr. Carvin, we’ve heard talk about this other case. Did you win that other case?” he asked to laughter. Carvin said he did not, and the issue did not come up again.

In the oral arguments challenging the health care law in 2012, Roberts asked many questions of both the government and the petitioners, and he was one of the most vocal justices. It’s unclear why he was quieter this time around. His surprising decision to uphold the law then sparked a blistering conservative blowback against the chief justice.

Roberts didn’t tip his hand at all on Wednesday, but Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who occasionally sides with the liberal wing on controversial cases, was more voluble. Early in the argument, he told Carvin he feared that if the court agreed to strike down the subsidies, states would then be unconstitutionally “coerced” into establishing their own exchanges, to avoid having millions of their residents kicked off their coverage. This appeared to violate his federalist principles.

“There’s a serious constitutional problem if we adopt your argument,” Kennedy said. When Carvin tried to dodge his complaint, saying the government had not raised the same objection, Kennedy deadpanned: “Sometimes we think of things the government doesn’t.”

But at other times, Kennedy seemed very skeptical of the government’s position that “established by the state” means, in the context of the law, established by the state or by the federal government. He was even more wary of the argument that the Supreme Court should defer to the IRS in its interpretation of the statute. “It seems to me a drastic step to say the Department of Internal Revenue and its director can make this call when there’s, what, billions of dollars of subsidies involved here,” Kennedy said.

Roberts piped up, asking Verrilli if he believed the IRS had the power to decide not to give subsidies under a subsequent administration that was hostile to the health care law. The solicitor general said he did not.

The swing-vote justice added that he found it “very odd” that the IRS didn’t flag years ago that it wasn’t clear who was eligible for federal subsidies.

A decision is expected in June.
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« Reply #339 on: March 09, 2015, 11:09:31 am »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/09/obamacare-ruling-antonin-scalia_n_6830278.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
3/9/15
Here's What Scalia Said About Obamacare Last Week. It's Not What He Said 3 Years Ago.

It's going to be at least a few weeks, and probably a few months, before we know what the Supreme Court is going to do with Obamacare. But Wednesday's oral arguments in King v. Burwell have already made something very clear: Justice Antonin Scalia isn't too worried about intellectual consistency.

Among the many issues that came up Wednesday were the likely consequences if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, thereby prohibiting the federal government from distributing Obamacare's tax credits in two-thirds of the states. Millions of people depend on those tax credits to purchase health insurance; without the financial assistance, they'd have to give it up. And that's not all. Experts have warned that the loss of so many paying customers would disrupt whole state insurance markets, in ways that would affect even people buying insurance without federal assistance.

Congress, in theory, could avoid these problems by passing a simple, one-sentence amendment to the Affordable Care Act. The entire basis for the lawsuit is the meaning of a four-word phrase, "established by the state." And during oral arguments, Scalia suggested Congress would do just that, or at least something like it:

What about -- what about Congress? You really think Congress is just going to sit there while -- while all of the disastrous consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the -- you know, the bankruptcy court decision? Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that -- that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?

Of course, Congress can't pass anything more than emergency stop-gap measures these days, as the recent showdown over Department of Homeland Security funding demonstrated. And while Republicans in the House have voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times, they've yet to get a replacement bill onto the floor, let alone vote for one -- even though they've promised to produce such legislation repeatedly.

Everybody knows this. The courtroom burst into laughter when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli responded to Scalia by asking, incredulously, "This Congress, your honor?"

Is it too -- or, at least, he did three years ago, when the court heard arguments in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

That was the case challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. One issue the justices considered in that dispute was whether, in principle, they could invalidate the mandate but leave the rest of the law in place. Scalia suggested that such a move wouldn't make sense, because it would undermine the law's function and Congress, beset by paralysis, would be unable to act in response.

Here's what he said back then, addressing an attorney who was proposing that only the mandate be struck down:

Let's consider how -- how your approach, severing as little as possible, thereby increases the deference that we're showing to Congress. It seems to me it puts Congress in this position: This Act is still in full effect. There is going to be this deficit that used to be made up by the mandatory coverage provision. All that money has to come from somewhere. You can't repeal the rest of the Act because you're not going to get 60 votes in the Senate to repeal the rest. It's not a matter of enacting a new Act. You got to get 60 votes to repeal it. So, the rest of the Act is going to be the law.
The circumstances are not identical and oral arguments can be famously misleading indicators of how justices will actually vote. But you have to engage in some fine hair-splitting to show how Scalia might logically expect Congress to act now but doubt its ability to act three years ago. And while many principals in this saga have engaged in "motivated reasoning" -- that is, starting with a preferred political outcome, then crafting logic to fit it -- Scalia is becoming famous for it.


Back in the individual mandate case, one of the strongest legal defenses for the law was based on an opinion Scalia himself had written, in a case called Gonzales v. Raich. Scalia barely noticed and joined an opinion declaring the mandate unconstitutional. In this latest case against Obamacare, the government can once again point to a Scalia opinion to justify its position: A majority decision, which he wrote just five months ago, arguing that judges must interpret specific words in a statute "in their context and with a view to their place in the overall statutory scheme." Yet there was Scalia on Wednesday, attacking the government and showing little to no interest in the context around "established by the State."

To be clear, the Supreme Court doesn't have to consider consequences of a decision when making its decision. But it's likely that Chief Justice John Roberts and maybe even Justice Anthony Kennedy would hesitate to issue a ruling that would have a devastating effect on millions of people.

That may be why Justice Samuel Alito, during oral arguments, floated the idea of a "stay" that would delay a ruling's impact and give Congress time to act. Alito may be trying to ease any anxiety Roberts and Kennedy might have. Scalia's professions of newfound faith in Congress could be an attempt to accomplish the same thing, even though he knows, as well as anybody, the most likely outcome of a decision is more congressional inaction.
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« Reply #340 on: March 13, 2015, 03:16:54 pm »

https://www.yahoo.com/health/should-pregnancy-be-a-qualifying-life-event-for-113437008487.html
Should Pregnancy Be A ‘Qualifying Life Event’ For Insurance Coverage?
3/12/15

The average cost of maternity care and delivery without complications is $23,000. With complications, that number jumps steeply. Imagine facing that cost if you’re uninsured? For approximately 13 percent of the over 6 million women who become pregnant yearly, these costs are a harsh reality.

But there’s a strong movement that’s trying to change that.

Today, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) led 54 members of Congress in a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish pregnancy as a “qualifying life event,” triggering a 60-day special open enrollment period in the federal health insurance exchange for women who have become pregnant.

This action comes just weeks after a coalition of over 20 organizations including the March of Dimes, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Planned Parenthood, and Young Invincibles began lobbying the Obama administration and HHS to amend its current policy regarding open enrollment for insurance through the Healthcare.gov marketplace, asking that a special enrollment period (SEP) be granted that allows women to enroll in an insurance plan upon learning of a pregnancy.

Currently, no such exceptions are made, though a SEP is offered at the time of birth, and a woman can enroll her newborn child then.

The advocacy coalition, having grown to include 32 organizations, also sent a separate letter today to Secretary Burwell, as well as petition that had gained over 50,000 signatures from American citizens voicing their support for the measure.

In their letter the Congressional coalition writes:

 “The Affordable Care Act has made historic progress towards ending discrimination against women in the health insurance market by requiring plans to cover maternity care as an Essential Health Benefit. This is a critical protection — good maternity care is essential for the well-being of women and children. Studies show that women who do not receive prenatal care are more likely to have an infant die in the first month after birth, and maternal mortality rates are up to four times higher for women who do not receive prenatal care than for women who do. … However, many women are still vulnerable. If a woman becomes pregnant while uninsured at a time outside of the annual Open Enrollment period, or is enrolled in a grandfathered plan that does not cover maternity services, she will not be able to access coverage for maternity care.”

HHS had previously issued a statement stating that, at this time, their final ruling on the matter would deny the creation of a SEP for pregnant women. In a statement regarding HHS’s current decision, Christina Postolowski, the Health Policy Manager for Young Invincibles, a national organization working to engage young adults on issues such as higher education, health care, and jobs, said, “We believe the Department of Health and Human Services can and should fix this problem. The average cost of maternity care and delivery without complications is $23,000. HHS has stood on the side of expanding access to coverage for millions of people — that shouldn’t change now. We urge the Department to issue immediate guidance to classify pregnancy as a trigger for Special Enrollment.”

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood explained to Yahoo Health that currently, the open enrollment period to purchase insurance through the marketplace is once every year, for about 3 months a year. If an individual does not sign up during that time, there’s no chance to sign up outside of that time without meeting certain conditions such as giving birth or adopting a child. And yet, a woman who finds out she’s pregnant — but doesn’t have coverage and wants pre-natal care — can’t sign-up for insurance outside of open enrollment. What the coalition is advocating for is to establish a special enrollment period (SEP) for when a woman finds out she’s pregnant so women can enroll when they become pregnant and get the care they need.

“50% of pregnancies are unplanned,” Postolowski told Yahoo Health, adding that while “more and more plans are covering maternity care” since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “there are still many plans that don’t cover pregnant women.” The coalition of which Young Invincibles is a part wants simply to ensure that every woman is afforded access to pre-natal and maternity care, ensuring better health and economic impacts for not just mother and child, but the American public in general.

“After ACA, there are a lot more incentives for people to get signed up” for insurance, notes Postolowski, pointing to the individual mandates and provisions for financial assistance in the purchase of insurance for those who fall below certain income brackets in particular. “We know for young people in particular, tax credits and Medicaid are helping increase enrollment among young adults who may not have afforded [insurance] before.” And young adults are the bulk of the demographic currently experiencing pregnancy and parenthood. Young Invincibles focuses their advocacy work on those ages 18 to 34 and “83 percent of births happen to women in that age range,” Postolowski says. “Any issue having to do with young parents and expectant mothers is inherently a young adult issue.”

And yet, she adds, “We certainly know that pregnant women who can’t afford to pay for maternity care face health and financial risks…and it’s often more expensive to treat complications from pregnancy and pre-term birth than cover maternity care. So, if you’re looking at overall system costs, if [an uninsured] woman ends up in the ER because of a pregnancy complication, the cost to the system is much higher than women getting the routine blood or urine tests that come with basic maternity care.” Furthermore, “without maternal care, mortality rates are three to four times higher than those who have maternity coverage.”

Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus, a bi-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions, supports the coalition’s stance, telling Yahoo Health, “[First Focus] definitely agree that pregnancy should be a qualifying event — we have a ridiculously high infant mortality rate in this country and we should care about that. Any time we can provide pre-natal care, we should do that. …The better services you have in prenatal care, the better you are in preventing low birth-weight babies.”

“If you look at the highest cost drivers in pediatrics, 7 out of 10 have to deal with birth,” Lesley notes. “If you have a low birth weight child or an early birth, these kids are in the NICU — with enormous costs and then often lifetime problems resulting from these issues at birth.” Furthermore, if a mother and her future child can be insured before that child’s birth, a newborn does not run the risk of missing out on critical pediatric care during the first two months of life — the amount of time it can take for insurance enrollment to kick in through a SEP.

Many of the women who would benefit by the creation of a pregnancy SEP are currently uninsured because of a grey area in Obamacare coverage that mainly impacts the working poor. They earn too much to qualify for a government subsidy that would allow them to buy insurance, and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Lesley believes that HHS has the ability to address the “enormous racial disparities in terms of infant mortality [that often correspond with these aforementioned socioeconomic groupings]. As a society, we should value all of our children equally. It’s very important to tackle this issue and address some of those inequalities.”

Lesley notes that ensuring that pregnant women have maternity coverage is a critical step in breaking the “cycle of poverty” that exists for so many in the United States. “A woman who carries a baby to term uninsured is most likely poor. If she is then saddled with tens of thousands of medical debt, she’s guaranteed instant poverty, which has lifelong implications and is crippling for kids.” Lesley says he sees a need for the government to “ensure that a woman gets the care she needs without driving herself into destitution and breaking this cycle,” adding “If you’re interested in reducing costs and infant mortality, this is an important initiative.”

But not all experts agree with the coalition’s stance. Hadley Heath Manning, the Director of Health Policy at the politically conservative Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), tells Yahoo Health that she believes that “Young women of child-bearing age are the biggest losers under Obamacare” and feels like the creation of a SEP for pregnant women would only worsen the current situation. She notes that these women would be “better off letting insurance companies compete” for their business during normal open enrollment periods, and that a market free of standardization and consolidation could give rise to some insurance companies specializing in plans that would reach that demographic, creating plans that specifically address the needs of women who might or are planning to become pregnant.

Furthermore, she notes, the creation of a SEP for pregnancy “illustrates how far we’ve gotten away from the definition of insurance. It’s about risk. If you’re already pregnant and trying to buy insurance, there’s no question of risk. The question is already answered — you’re going to have risk and you’re going to have costs associated with that.” Heath Manning adds that the question of a SEP for pregnancy “illustrates a broader problem in health insurance policy,” forcing the costs of premiums to rise across the board as a result of the addition of so many clearly expected — and often routine — costs. “Maternity coverage is not cheap and raises premiums across the board. It only serves to raise the costs of insurance [for everyone].”

A spokesperson from Planned Parenthood notes, however, that many of the women the creation of a SEP for pregnancy would apply to might have already enrolled in an insurance plan. Those who have a catastrophic coverage plan will find that the essential health benefits (EHB) including maternity care are covered by their plans, but only after the person has paid upfront the annual out-of-pocket limit for the year, which is $6,600 for an individual plan and $13,200 for a family plan. Maternity coverage doesn’t kick in until the woman pays those costs up front. Furthermore, some women have insurance through grandfathered plans, self-funded student health plans, or certain employer​ plans that do not cover prenatal and maternity care.

Heath Manning agrees that “of course you want every expectant mother to have every best opportunity to give care to her child whether through healthcare or through other help available, such as community programs or charity — especially for those mothers struggling financially” while adding “but that doesn’t necessarily mean that insurance companies should be forced to sell their policies to people who have already become pregnant.”

We’ll let the last word be from the doctors themselves. Most will disagree. The American Congress of Obstetricians (AGOC) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, voicing their support for the creation of a SEP for pregnancy.

“Comprehensive and timely prenatal care helps ensure women have access to essential screening and diagnostic tests; services to manage developing and existing problems; and education, counseling, and referrals to reduce risky behaviors. Such care may thus improve the health of both mothers and infants.”
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« Reply #341 on: March 16, 2015, 02:14:55 pm »

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/03/16/3634062/republican-governor-says-wants-supreme-court-case-obamacare-lose/
3/16/15
Republican Governor Says He Wants The Supreme Court Case Against Obamacare To Lose

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) is no fan of the Affordable Care Act. He supported the first Supreme Court case seeking to repeal the law, and he claimed that the law is “unconstitutional.” And yet, at a news conference last week, Mead echoed many of the Justice Department’s warnings regarding what will happen if the justices side with a new case seeking to gut the law. Indeed, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Mead “hopes the court will reject the case and uphold the law.”

The attorneys behind King v. Burwell asked the Supreme Court to cut off TAXcredits, which allow millions of Americans to afford their HEALTH INSURANCE, in close to three dozen states. If the justices agree to do so, millions of people’s premiums will triple or worse, and an estimated 8 million people insured through the law’s exchanges will lose their coverage. Nearly 10,000 people will die every year who otherwise would have lived, according to one estimate. Meanwhile, the sudden, enormous spikes in the cost of insurance will destabilize many states’ individual insurance markets, potentially triggering a “death spiral” that will cause those markets to collapse.

In his press conference, Mead worried about the chaos that would result from a decision that allowed all of this to happen. “If on June 30, if that’s when the case comes down, and they say no more subsidies for federal exchanges … it is going to cause a lot of turmoil,” he warned, adding that his home state of Wyoming “will be scrambling” if the King plaintiffs win their case.

During oral arguments on King, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli expressed similar concerns that the states will not be able to adapt to a decision cutting off tax credits.

Justice Samuel Alito, who spent much of those arguments advocating for the plaintiffs’ position in King, asked Verrilli whether the Court could mitigate some of the problems that would result from a decision cutting off TAX credits by staying its decision “until the end of this tax year.” Even under the plaintiffs’ theory in King, states could restore tax credits by setting up a state-run health exchange under the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, so Alito appeared to be suggesting that a stay could give these states enough time to set up such an exchange.

Verrilli, however, laid out why this was not a practical solution. “n order to have an exchange approved and INSURANCE POLICIES on the exchange ready for the 2016 year,” the solicitor general explained, “those approvals have to occur by May of 2015.” So, “the idea that a number of States . . . are going to be able to in the 6 months between when a decision in the this case would come out” and “when the new year for insurance purposes will begin” is “completely unrealistic.”
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« Reply #342 on: March 19, 2015, 02:21:32 pm »

Turkish president: I advised Obama on health care reform
3/19/15
http://news.yahoo.com/turkish-president-says-he-counseled-obama-on-healthcare-reform-152228062.html

The president of Turkey appears to be taking partial credit for Obamacare, saying he counseled U.S. President Barack Obama on health care reform at the request of American tourists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed his professed role in shaping Obamacare at the opening ceremony of a health complex in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Wednesday, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“Once I attended the Friday prayer at the Sultanahmet Mosque. There were tourists. Some of them knew that I would be visiting the United States the following week. They asked me how we could be so successful in health care and wanted me to tell about it to Obama,” he said.

Erdogan shared the anecdote in an attempt to illustrate how other countries, he said, wish to emulate Turkey’s health care model.

“Indeed, I then talked about the issue with Mr. Obama,” he said.

He commiserated with the roadblocks Obama has faced in pushing through health care reform, saying the American leader “could only solve the problem partly.”

“Of course, the negative reflex there [in the U.S.] made it really hard for Mr. Obama,” Erdogan said, according to the Turkish broadsheet.

Erdogan added that European officials also come to his nation to study its health care system.

“They try to take us as a model and build similar systems in their country,” he said. “Don’t we have any deficiencies? We do, but now we are on the right path to success.”
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« Reply #343 on: March 24, 2015, 05:53:49 pm »

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-24/ted-cruz-is-going-on-obamacare-as-wife-takes-goldman-sachs-leave?cmpid=yhoo
3/24/15
Ted Cruz is Going on Obamacare as Wife Takes Goldman Sachs Leave

The Goldman Sachs HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN has lost a high profile customer. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare. With his wife Heidi taking leave to help her husband campaign for president, the Cruzes are leaving the $20,000 per year coverage she enjoyed at Goldman.

"We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we're in the process of transitioning over to do that," Cruz told the Des Moines REGISTER's Jennifer Jacobs. "It is written in the law that members will be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of Americans... I think the same rules should apply to all of us."

Heidi Cruz's coverage became the subject of a small media tempest in 2013, after Cruz and House conservatives insisted on de-funding the ACA through the appropriations process. After the resultant government shutdown ended, Heidi Cruz confirmed that she was covered, and her husband benefited from Goldman's generous plan. It was a rare and tooth-pulling mention of Heidi Cruz's career. Even in his announcement speech, at Liberty University, Cruz talked at length about his wife's success but did not mention where she worked.

Now, Cruz is finding a political advantage in his unhappy journey into Obamacare. In an interview with CNN, Cruz contrasted his sacrifice with the law-dodging ruthlessness of the Obama administration. "I believe we should follow the text of every law, even law I disagree with," Cruz told CNN's Dana Bash. "If you look at President Obama and the lawlessness, if he disagrees with a law he simply refuses to follow it or claims the authority to unilaterally change."

Cruz is deftly using the oddly-enough angle of this news—Obamacare-hating senator forced into Obamacare—for a populist cause. He's not the first Republican to do so. In his successful 2014 campaign for Senate, Colorado Representative Cory Gardner repeatedly talked about the family plan he'd held onto until it was scrapped for not meeting the ACA's standards.

"I got a letter saying that my family's plan was canceled," said Gardner in a TV spot. "Three hundred and thirty-five thousand Coloradans had their plans canceled, too."

Why was Gardner on the endangered plan? Because he declined the coverage available to him as a member of Congress. At personal cost, he took a decision that made him more relatable and vulnerable to the insurance MARKET. And now Cruz has done the same.
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« Reply #344 on: March 31, 2015, 07:39:38 pm »

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/indianas-pence-looks-fix-blames-obamacare
Indiana’s Pence looks for ‘fix,’ blames Obamacare
3/31/15

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) seems acutely aware of the fact that he created a firestorm when he ignored warnings and signed a right-to-discriminate bill into law last week. He’s less sure what to do about it now.
 
The Republican governor, and possible presidential candidate, published a Wall Street Journal op-ed overnight in which Pence outlined his plan to address businesses that exploit his new law to discriminate against gay consumers: “If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore.”
 
As Rachel joked on the show last night, “So, if you were worried that gay people might be refused service by a business in Indiana now, don’t worry. That could never happen because the state has decided to wield the grave threat of depriving businesses of Mike Pence’s personal patronage.”
 
In the same piece, the Hoosier State governor suggested this whole mess can be traced back to Obamacare.

Many states have enacted [Religious Freedom Restoration Acts] of their own …  but Indiana never passed such a law. Then in 2010 came the Affordable Care Act, which renewed concerns about government infringement on deeply held religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby and the University of Notre Dame both filed lawsuits challenging provisions that required the institutions to offer certain types of insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.
 
Last year the Supreme Court upheld religious liberty in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, based on the federal RFRA. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, the need for a RFRA at the state level became more important, as the federal law does not apply to states. To ensure that religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law, this year the General Assembly enshrined these principles in Indiana law. I fully supported that action.
Hmm. Indiana businesses can now discriminate against gay people because of the ACA’s contraception policy?
 
This apparently wasn’t persuasive, either, leading Pence to announce this morning his support for a legislative “fix.”

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana said on Tuesday that he hopes to sign legislation by the end of this week making it clear that his state’s controversial religious freedom law does not give businesses the right to deny service to anyone. […]
 
Republicans who control the state Legislature said on Monday that they would work quickly to clarify the law, and they insisted that it was not meant to sanction discrimination.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law doesn’t give businesses the right to deny services to anyone,” Pence said. The GOP governor went on to blame others this morning for the entire fiasco, blasting the “harsh glare” of national criticism.
 
What this legislative fix might look like, and whether it will be sufficient, remains to be seen, though work will reportedly begin immediately. Note, with Republicans in control of all Indiana’s state government, Pence and his allies should be able to quickly approve any proposal they want.
 
Let’s also not forget that with several Republican presidential candidates endorsing the new law as-is, Pence isn’t doing the GOP’s 2016 field any favors by quickly looking to add “clarity” to the controversial anti-gay measure.
 
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« Reply #345 on: May 26, 2015, 08:10:46 am »

Obamacare Insurance Premiums to Jump, up to 51%

Major insurers in some states are proposing up to 51 percent premium increases for health plans sold under the Affordable Healthcare and Patient Protection Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Despite single digit increases for 2015, insurance companies are seeing their costs jump and are demanding to be compensated with dramatically higher rates.

When Insurance plans proposed 2015 rates last summer, they had only a little information about the health of the new customers they expected to sign up during the fall Obamacare expansion. Big insurers tended to ask for increases of less than 10%, while some smaller insurers tried to under-cut pricing by the major’s to take market share, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under Obamacare, insurers must file proposed premium rates with their local state regulator and the federal government by June. But some states have already started publicly disclosing the premium requests. Due to the high utilization costs from people newly enrolled under Obamacare, the 2016 insurance premiums are about to skyrocket.

According to states that have released rate requests, New Mexico’s market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average premium spike of 51.6 percent; Tennessee’s top insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants an average spike of 36.3%; Maryland’s market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is requesting an average spike of 30.4%; and Oregon’s top insurer, Moda Health, is seeking a 25% spike.

The Obama Administration’s only legal power regarding healthcare premiums is the right to ask insurers seeking increases of 10% or more to explain themselves. There is no federal power to force rate cuts. State insurance regulators can force carriers to scale back requests they believe are not justified, but the carriers can drop coverage and cause a crisis.

Obamacare supposedly sought to fix two problems: coverage and cost. To extend coverage, the law made it compulsory for Americans to have health insurance, or pay a fine. It also offered subsidies for those who could not afford it and barred insurance firms from charging people more if they have “pre-existing conditions.” Before the exchanges arrived in 2013, some 41.3 million Americans lacked health insurance. That number fell to 30 million, but only because 48% of Obamacare subscribers received “premium assistance.”

President Obama claimed he compromised the design of Obamacare in 2010 to achieve fiscal neutrality over a 10 year projection to avoid increasing the deficit spending.  But to achieve that mirage, the implementation was delayed for three years and the premium cost increases were ramped up over the next three years.

(My own insurer, Aetna, left the “individual market” rather than participate in the Covered California exchange. I was forced to purchase a 2014 Blue Shield policy on the state exchange. The premium for my wife and I, who have no major health issues, almost doubled from $740 per month with Aetna to $1,340 under Covered California.)

Although the inflation rate was only +.8 percent last year, national health spending grew by +5.0 percent. The 2014 health spending share of national GDP came in at 17.8%, up from 16.0% when President Obama took office. Prescription drugs were the fastest growing healthcare expenditure last year, rising by at a +13.0 percent rate.

The Affordable Care Act was rushed into law and implemented with what now appears to have been grossly defective actuarial assumptions regarding costs. The same consumer groups that fought for Obamacare are already demanding federal and state officials put premiums under the microscope to curb some increases.

But with healthcare inflation running far ahead of inflation and insurers saying their huge proposed rates only reflect the revenue they need to pay claims, Obamacare seems destined to loom as a financial and political crisis this summer.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/25/obamacare-insurance-premiums-to-jump-up-to-51/
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« Reply #346 on: May 26, 2015, 11:39:11 am »

Matthew 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.


In scripture, sleep also means the OPPOSITE of sober-minded.
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« Reply #347 on: June 25, 2015, 09:34:41 am »

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/supreme-court-upholds-obamacare-subsidies-122340028541.html
Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies
6/25/15

The Supreme Court spared a key part of President Barack Obama’s signature law in a 6-3 decision Thursday, ruling that the federal government may continue to subsidize health insurance in the dozens of states that did not set up their own exchanges.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who expressed deep reservations when the case was argued about whether striking down the subsidies would coerce states into establishing their own exchanges, joined the court’s four liberals and Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold the subsidies. Roberts, who was the object of immense conservative blowback after he joined the court’s liberals three years ago to uphold the law’s individual mandate, again wrote the majority opinion in support of the Obama administration position.

The law’s challengers argued that four words in the statute — “established by the state” — meant that only people who bought insurance from exchanges in the handful of states that set up their own marketplaces would be eligible for tax credits and other government assistance. The government countered that the clear intent of the law was to provide the subsidies for all lower-income Americans who sought coverage.

More than 6 million people would have lost those subsidies if the court had ruled against the government, which experts said would lead to skyrocketing premiums and even a potential “death spiral” that could have dealt a mortal blow to Obamacare. The White House insisted in the days leading up to the decision that Obama felt he had nothing to fear because the government’s case was strong. But they are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief.

Around 17 million people have gained coverage from the law, according to a Rand Corp. study, and a recent poll shows that for the first time since it passed, more Americans approve of the law than disapprove.

The case had put Republicans in an awkward spot. Publicly, over the last few weeks, Republican lawmakers expressed their hope in news conferences and speeches that the Supreme Court would rule against the government. But privately, aides conceded that the politics of victory would be more complicated than defeat.

The Republican-led Congress would have been under pressure to come up with at least a temporary fix for the more than 6 million people who would most likely lose their insurance, contorting itself into the odd position of extending subsidies while still opposing the law. (At least one Senate Republican wrote a bill that would temporarily extend the subsidies while phasing out the individual mandate, which would eventually kill the law.) If the Republican majority had just let the subsidies lapse, they’d be faced with angry constituents who just lost coverage and a Democratic PR assault highlighting the most heart-wrenching cases of people who lost their insurance.

Now, things will most likely return to the status quo — in which Republicans threaten to dismantle the president’s signature legislative achievement but do not actually take concrete steps to take health care coverage away from people.
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« Reply #348 on: June 25, 2015, 07:15:37 pm »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420315/king-v-burwell-bad-decision-david-french
6/25/15
The Supreme Court rewrites the Obamacare law instead of letting Congress do its job.

With his opinion in King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts has sent a clear message to Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi: “You can count on me.” Or, to use the language of younger readers, “I got your back.” In the face of clear statutory language indicating that federal subsidies are available only for insurance plans purchased through “an Exchange established by the State,”  Justice Roberts — and five other justices — rewrote the law to enable tax credits for insurance purchased through federal exchanges as well. In so doing, the justices not only saved the individual mandate, they essentially saved Obamacare. Had they ruled the other way, Americans living in the 34 states without a state exchange could no longer have purchased subsidized insurance on the individual market. As a result, the cost of the insurance would have grown to the point where consumers would no longer be required to purchase it. Under Obamacare, the individual mandate does not apply if the cost of insurance exceeds 8 percent of the taxpayer’s income. This result would have been catastrophic for Obamacare — gutting a key provision — but whether it would have been catastrophic, meaningless, or even potentially beneficial for individual Americans would have been entirely up to the elected branches of government. After all, a Supreme Court decision applying the clear language of the statute wouldn’t have mandated any particular congressional or presidential reaction. Congress would have been free to reform Obamacare, rewrite it to include federal exchanges in the subsidy scheme, or enact entirely new policies. The Supreme Court, however, decided not to take any chances on democracy, so — in an opinion long on insurance-economics analysis and short on statutory or constitutional reasoning — it effectively changed the statute. Why? Because of the entirely speculative real-world effects. Here’s Justice Roberts: Here, the statutory scheme compels us to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” that Congress designed the Act to avoid. Yet this is pure conjecture on Justice Roberts’s part. He does not, in fact, know whether insurance markets would be destabilized because he does not know the congressional response to a contrary ruling. He distrusts Congress, so he’s going to “fix” their mess. MORE OBAMACARE THE ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF KING V. BURWELL ROBERTS GETS IT WRONG AGAIN WHAT DOES THE KING DECISION SUGGEST FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE? He made this distrust manifest earlier in the opinion when he took a swipe at the drafters, noting that Obamacare “contains more than a few examples of inartful drafting” and that “Congress wrote key parts of the Act behind closed doors, rather than through ‘the traditional legislative process.’” But despite (or because of?) this mess, the Court felt the need to preserve the Obamacare they wanted to see, not the Obamacare Congress drafted and the president signed. The end result is rule by bureaucracy, with the backing of the courts. Recall that the genesis of this case was the IRS’s unilateral act of writing regulations that contradicted the statutory language by extending tax credits to insurance purchased on federal exchanges. The bureaucrats defied the democratic process, only to see their defiance validated by the highest court in the land. While this may be progressivism, it is not democracy, and it is certainly not the government as outlined in the Constitution. Justice Scalia, writing in dissent, understood this well: The Court forgets that ours is a government of laws and not of men. That means we are governed by the terms of our laws, not by the unenacted will of our lawmakers. “If Congress enacted into law something different from what it intended, then it should amend the statute to conform to its intent.” Lamie, supra, at 542. In the meantime, this Court “has no roving license . . . to disregard clear language simply on the view that . . . Congress ‘must have intended’ something broader.” Given the Supreme Court’s role in preserving, protecting, and — where necessary — rewriting Obamacare, Justice Scalia proposes renaming it “SCOTUScare.” But the Supreme Court is but one part of an increasingly unified federal technocracy. The Court’s decision is distressing but predictable. After all, when it comes to progressive reform, they’re all in it together.
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« Reply #349 on: July 02, 2015, 08:19:15 am »

Supreme Court: Obama Admin Can't Make Religious Groups Obey Birth Control Mandate

 Some Roman Catholic religious charities in Pennsylvania will not be forced to follow the federal government’s birth control coverage mandate— at least, temporarily.
 
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the religious organization, including Catholic Charities, could be exempt from the mandate while the case is being litigated. The case is Zubik v. Burwell.
 
"Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicants' or their organizations' employees to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives,” the order said. “Nor does this order preclude the Government from relying on the information provided by the applicants, to the extent it considers it necessary, to facilitate the provision of full contraceptive coverage under the Act."
 
The HHS mandate requires that businesses, including religious ministries, provide birth control coverage or pay IRS penalties, The Christian Post reports.
 
In response to the interim decision, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty called the order a success.
 
"Every time a religious ministry has taken this issue to the Supreme Court, the government has lost and the religious plaintiffs have been granted relief,” said Becket Fund Deputy General Counsel Eric Rassbach.
 
The case is one of many being argued in the country. Previously, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs, saying that the mandate was not an “undue burden on their religious practices.”
 
A December 2013 poll found that about fifty percent of Americans disagree with forcing companies to obey the mandate, according to Life News.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/supreme-court-obama-admin-can-t-make-religious-groups-obey-birth-control-mandate.html
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« Reply #350 on: October 21, 2015, 12:43:33 pm »

http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/21/ninety-seven-percent-of-obamacares-newly-insured-are-from-medicaid-expansion/
10/21/15
Ninety-seven percent of Obamacare’s “newly insured” are from Medicaid expansion
POSTED AT 11:21 AM ON OCTOBER 21, 2015 BY KRISTINA RIBALI

The Obama administration has been bragging that nine million more Americans now have health insurance, thanks to Obamacare. But just like with most numbers cited to support the government takeover of health care in America, that “9 million” figure is deceptive.

We were told that 48 million Americans lacked affordable health insurance and something had to be done, but even five years after the passage of Obamacare, 33 million Americans are still uninsured.

If you dig deeper into the actual numbers and realize what really happened with those 9 million “newly insured”, there’s little reason to cheer.

The number of Americans with health insurance increased by 9.25 million in 2014, the first year that two key provisions of Obamacare took place: the subsidies for coverage purchased through the exchanges and Medicaid expansion. And according to recent research by The Heritage Foundation, out of that 9.25 million, “the vast majority of the increase was the result of 8.99 million individuals being added to the Medicaid rolls.”

In other words, over 97 percent of last year’s newly insured Americans were from Medicaid expansion.

I’ve written extensively about the numerous ways Medicaid fails the poor, and actually traps them in poverty – and Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid makes the difficulties much, much worse.

While Medicaid was originally designed to help needy mothers, children, and the disabled, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion opened up the program to able-bodied, working age adults, the majority of whom have no dependent children and also don’t work. Adding several million people into Medicaid while failing to address the program’s systemic problems with financial solvency and access to doctors is bad enough. But every dollar spent incentivizing a healthy young adult not to work is a dollar taken away from someone who is truly needy and has no other options.

Even looking at the roughly 3 percent of the newly insured who aren’t part of Medicaid reveals Obamacare’s inherent shortcomings.

There were almost 4.79 million new enrollees in private individual market plans in 2014. However, as Heritage’s researchers noted, 4.53 million people lost their employment-based group coverage during that same time. This leaves a paltry 260,000 people with new private health insurance.

Obamacare has wasted billions of dollars, increased premiums and deductibles on millions of families, and has likely frustrated countless doctors into early retirement. This administration tore apart our country’s entire health care system, all to provide insurance for roughly the number of people who will attend a game at two major college football stadiums this Saturday.

Ronald Reagan once said, “We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”

By this standard, President Obama is an utter failure. We’ve added nearly 9 million work-able adults without children onto the welfare rolls – a new entitlement class that has never been eligible for benefits before and in 2013 a record 48 million Americans were also dependent on food stamps – a record high.

This Administration can claim that their domestic policies are a success, but the only thing they’re really successful in doing is trapping millions more Americans in government dependence.
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« Reply #351 on: November 02, 2015, 06:51:45 pm »

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/02/453899238/affordable-care-act-sign-ups-lag-in-texas
11/2/15
Texas' Changing Relationship To Obamacare

The online federal insurance marketplace opened for business Sunday. It's the third year of open enrollment for these subsidized plans, established by the Affordable Care Act. Many Texans still oppose the law, even though the state is home to the most uninsured people in the country.

For the moment, Texas Republicans still consider the Affordable Care Act to be political kryptonite. Sen. Ted Cruz continues to criticize it. Attorney General Ken Paxton just filed another lawsuit attacking part of it. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he won't consider the Medicaid expansion, because he considers Medicaid a dysfunctional entitlement program that should not be allowed to expand.

But the story on the local level is different. Harris County is home to Houston, where Judge Ed Emmett, a moderate Republican who is chief executive for the county, has supported it for years. The CEO of the taxpayer-supported Harris Health System, George Masi, says he needs the revenue that Medicaid expansion would bring. He's had to lay off more than 100 employees and cut back on charity care.

"What is even more profound is that money is going to other states that expanded Medicaid, like New York, California, Connecticut," Masi says. "And so the taxpayer of Texas is being penalized, if you will, for not taking advantage of that option."

By emphasizing the impact on taxpayers, Masi and others are framing the issue in terms of economics rather than humanitarian concerns.

"We call it a paradigm shift," Masi added. "It's a different way of thinking."

Government leaders and health advocates from across Houston point out that the costs of caring for the uninsured fall heavily on local institutions. Those patients strain the budgets of hospitals, first responders and even jails.

Last week, Masi welcomed Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell to Houston, where she toured a Harris Health clinic.

Burwell said she's willing to work with state leaders to craft a unique Medicaid plan for Texas. She's done that with other Republican governors.

She, too, dangled the economic benefits of accepting more federal money under the law. She pointed to Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid.

"In Kentucky alone, which is obviously a much smaller state than the state I'm now visiting, the expectation is we will see an increase of 40,000 jobs by 2021 and $30 billion into the state's coffers," Burwell said. "So that's something."

In 2013, the Texas Legislature took no action on Medicaid expansion. The same thing happened this year.

But more voices are starting to push for change, according to Ken Janda, who runs Community Health Choice, a not-for-profit insurance company in Houston.

Janda says the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association are both being more vocal on the issue, as is the Texas Association of Business. The federal Medicaid funds would help the state budget and inject revenue into the medical sector of the economy.

"Doctors' offices are able to hire more people," Janda says. "Pharmacies are able to hire more people. That becomes an economic multiplier."

County budgets would benefit as well, because they support safety-net clinics and public hospitals such as Ben Taub, part of the Harris Health system.

"If Texas expanded Medicaid, we would be able to look at reducing local property taxes across the board in all counties, or use those dollars for something besides health care," says Janda.

Janda says the new emphasis on economics could eventually bring the parties together. "There is some interest now by some Republican state senators because of the potential to reduce local property taxes," he adds.

Janda isn't naming names yet. He also says don't expect to see any movement on this issue until after the 2016 presidential election. But he says he is "guardedly optimistic" that Republicans will be willing to discuss a possible Medicaid expansion after that.

"The burden is particularly acute in states that have not expanded Medicaid," says Beth Feldpush, the senior vice president of policy and advocacy for America's Essential Hospitals.

Feldpush says the organization has not surveyed its members to find out how many other public hospitals have tightened eligibility as a way to induce patients to enroll in ACA plans.

But Feldpush says she is sympathetic to the budgetary pressures facing Harris Health.

"When you look at the states that haven't expanded Medicaid, hospitals there are really facing a double whammy," she says. "They've got cuts coming at them that are cooked into the law, and yet they don't see any increase to revenue from Medicaid expansion because it hasn't happened."
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« Reply #352 on: November 07, 2015, 11:56:58 am »

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« Reply #353 on: November 07, 2015, 05:18:35 pm »

^^ I don't agree with everything Bryan and Katherine said in this video - but nonetheless I found it very edifying, and learned some things in general.(biblically, that is)

With that being said - car and homeowner insurance is a must. God will provide and protect, but nonetheless there are a lot of crazy drivers, and busy work-drivers on the road, that one would be completely dumb to go without car insurance. And a number of things can go wrong in a home, especially with families. I don't think God will withdraw his protecting hand on your home just b/c you bought insurance on it.

As for insurance companies like Allstate that have Freemasonic logos on their companies - last I checked, a lot of companies and businesses are runned by Freemasons and Roman Catholics - does that mean we shouldn't work, and be bums on the street? Last I checked in scripture, if we don't work, and we don't eat, and (paraphrasing here)we give our even mean masters respect. And we're IN the world, but NOT OF it.

But with Obamacare - couldn't agree more - if anything, avoid anything that brings you under BONDAGE, period. Obamacare's rates are going to SKYROCKET next year - so if you're not insured, it'll be no different from getting Obamacare.
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« Reply #354 on: November 10, 2015, 02:07:08 pm »

Just curious - does everyone else think owning insurance(health, car, homeowners, or whatever) is biblical, or no?

Just wanting everyone's feedback here - but nonetheless I thought Bryan made some good points(he said he has family members in the insurance business, and have made a hefty penny scamming others), but at the same time I think he errs b/c it's not like car or homeowners insurance puts us under the bondage of this world.

Obamacare is another story - in addition, last I read if you're uninsured, you're better off than getting Obamacare b/c its rates are going to skyrocket next year. But just having health care is bad? Really?(Bryan thinks having health insurance period is unbiblical too)

Car insurance - again, a lot of crazed drivers out there - every time I go out, there's at least 1 or 2 drivers trying to cut in front of multiple cars. And I gave you the story with my mom 9 years ago.

Homeowners insurance - Bryan said God may not protect your home if you get homeowners insurance. Again, this doesn't make any sense. The example he gave in his video was one of his lost family members - seriously, if lost people have ZERO protection on their homes, then while haven't 90% of lost people's homes been burned down by now? Just a fact - a million things can go wrong in a home(ie-stove kept on, electrical wiring going haywire, etc). You better have that homeowners insurance!

Freemasons and Roman Catholics may run the insurance companies - but guess what, they pretty much run 90% of businesses and corporations in America! Same goes with the Organic Food stores. Should we boycott Organic Food stores, and eat at Chick-Fil-A instead b/c they're runned by (professing)Christians? Last I checked, Chick-Fil-A is in the GMO/Aspertame fast-food industry.

As for God protecting us - I believe scripture says he'll protect us from evil people, and commands us to sanctify ourselves from them. God also says to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
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« Reply #355 on: December 02, 2015, 12:00:45 am »

UnitedHealth CEO regrets entering ObamaCare

The CEO of UnitedHealthCare on Tuesday said he regretted the decision to enter the ObamaCare marketplace last year, which the company says has resulted in millions of dollars in losses.

“It was for us a bad decision,” UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said at an investor’s meeting in New York, according to Bloomberg Business.

UnitedHealth, the country’s largest insurer, announced last month that it would no longer advertise its ObamaCare plans over the next year and may pull out completely in 2016 — a move that sent shockwaves across the healthcare sector.

Hemsley’s remarks double down on his earlier warning that the ObamaCare exchanges remain weaker than expected after two years and that it will take far longer for insurers to profit from the millions of new enrollees.

The company had already eyed ObamaCare’s federal marketplace cautiously since it launched in 2013. UnitedHealth only began selling plans on the exchanges last year.

Now, UnitedHealth officials have said that move will result in a half-billion dollars in losses over two years.

Hemsley said it was smart to sit out of the exchanges for the first year, but that the company should have held out another year.

“In retrospect, we should have stayed out longer,” he said, adding that he believes the marketplace will take more than “a season or two” to develop.

“We did not believe it would form this slowly, be this porous, or become this severe,” he said.

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/261617-unitedhealth-ceo-regrets-entering-obamacare-marketplace
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« Reply #356 on: January 19, 2016, 04:34:04 pm »

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-01-19/obamacare-left-intact-as-u-s-supreme-court-rejects-appeal
1/19/16
Obamacare Left Intact as U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up a new constitutional challenge to Obamacare, turning away an appeal that said lawmakers used flawed legislative procedures to pass the measure.

Opponents of President Barack Obama’s health-care law were seeking to sway a court that has upheld core parts of the measure twice since 2012, most recently in June. In the latest case, they argued that the law violated the constitutional requirement that revenue-raising legislation start in the House before proceeding to the Senate.

In declining to hear that contention, the high court all but ensured that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will remain intact through the November election. The rebuff leaves health care as one of the core issues in the presidential and congressional campaigns.

The latest challenge was pressed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, an advocacy group based in Sacramento, California, on behalf of Matt Sissel, an Iowa artist and small-business owner.

The suit had gained little traction in the lower courts, even as it provoked a party-line divide on the legal reasoning. A federal trial judge in Washington upheld the law, as did a unanimous panel of three Democratic-appointed judges.

A larger panel of judges then voted not to reconsider the case. Although the four Republican appointees on the 11-member Washington appeals court would have heard arguments, they also said they would have upheld the law for different reasons.

At issue was a rarely invoked constitutional provision known as the origination clause, which says that “all bills raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

Revenue-Raising Bill?
Sissel’s lawyers said Obamacare qualified as a revenue-raising bill, in part, because of the 2012 Supreme Court decision interpreting the law as imposing a tax on people who forgo health insurance.

The three-judge panel rejected that argument, saying that under past Supreme Court cases, the origination clause applies only when a law’s “primary purpose” is to raise revenue. Judge Judith Rogers said money collected by the government was a “byproduct” of the law’s effort to encourage participation in the health insurance system.

The four Republican appointees, led by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, called that conclusion “untenable,” saying the measure would raise almost $500 billion over 10 years.

Kavanaugh said, however, that the law had met the requirement that it originate in the House. When the Senate took up the issue in 2009, it started with a House bill on an unrelated matter and substituted what became the core of Obamacare. The House then approved it, and Obama signed the measure into law.

“Congress’s longstanding practice has been to permit Senate amendments of exactly the kind at issue here,” Kavanaugh said.
The case is Sissel v. Department of Health and Human Services, 15-543.
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« Reply #357 on: January 26, 2016, 04:20:30 pm »

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/obamacare-will-be-responsible-for-pushing-national-debt-to-30-trillion-in-ten-years/
GAO SAYS OBAMACARE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUSHING NATIONAL DEBT TO $30 TRILLION IN TEN YEARS
Analysts said Obamacare will chase more workers out of the labor force over the next five years, adding pressure to an economy still struggling to spring to life more than seven years into the Obama recovery.

1/25/16

FEDS FORESEE $30 TRILLION DEBT, BLAME LOOMING TAX HIKES AND OBAMACARE

EDITOR’S NOTE: WHEN THE “NOT MUSLIM” BARACK OBAMA WAS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008, HE LAMBASTED GEORGE BUSH FOR ADDING $4 TRILLION TO THE NATIONAL DEBT, CALLING IT AN “UNPATRIOTIC” ACTION. SINCE THAT TIME, OBAMA HAS PERSONALLY ADDED OVER $8 TRILLION TO THE DEBT PLUS ANOTHER PROJECT $13 MILLION BY 2026 BRINGING THE TOTAL TO A POVERTY INDUCING $30,000,000,000,000.00 DOLLARS WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE. THIS WILL BE THE TRUE LEGACY OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.

The federal government will be flirting with $30 trillion in debt within a decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday, blaming an aging population, new spending and tax cuts approved on Capitol Hill, and the growing burden from Obamacare for erasing the progress Washington had made over the past few years.

Analysts said Obamacare will chase more workers out of the labor force over the next five years, adding pressure to an economy still struggling to spring to life more than seven years into the Obama “recovery”.

OBAMA SAID GEORGE BUSH ADDING $4 TRILLION TO DEBT WAS UNPATRIOTIC



The Affordable Care Act itself is still struggling to attract a customer base, the CBO said, lowering its estimate for the number of people who will sign up for the exchanges from 21 million to 13 million — a drop of nearly 40 percent in projections. Customers collecting taxpayer subsidies this year will be 11 million, down from the 15 million the CBO projected a year ago.

THE GRIM NEWS COMES WITH LESS THAN A YEAR LEFT FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA TO PUT THE LAW ON FIRMER FOOTING AS HE SEEKS TO HEAD OFF WHAT IS LIKELY TO BE A LAST EFFORT AT REPEALING THE ACT AFTER NOVEMBER’S ELECTIONS.

The economic front is somewhat brighter for Mr. Obama, who seven years into the recovery will finally see significant sustained growth of 2.5 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year, the CBO said.

That will be followed by a cooling off, with growth dropping below 2 percent in 2019 and 2020. The economic gains will continue to go disproportionately to the wealthy, helping boost income tax revenue but limiting payroll taxes, which will put even more pressure on the entitlement programs that are driving up deficits. source
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« Reply #358 on: February 19, 2016, 11:11:53 am »

http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2016/02/19/donald-trump-says-supports-obamacare-mandate/
2/19/16
Donald Trump Says He Supports the ObamaCare Mandate

Last night Donald Trump was on CNN with Anderson Cooper. The subject of health care came up. Naturally it resulted in a dumpster fire of nitwit-ish blather from Trump and cowed silence from Anderson Cooper.


TRANSCRIPT

COOPER: If Obamacare is repealed and there’s no mandate for everybody to have insurance what’s to… and why would insurance company not have a pre-existing insure somebody…

TRUMP: I like tne mandate. Okay, so here’s how I’m a little bit different. I don’t want people dying on the streets and I say this all the time. And I say this… Look I did five speeches maybe six speeches today we had a lot of rallies with thousands and thousands of people. I mean we get big crowds. Everytime I talk about this I get standing ovations. The Republican people, they’re wonderful people, they don’t want people dying on the streets. Sometimes they say, “Donald Trump wants single-payer.” Because there is a group of people, as good as these plans are, and by the way your insurance will go way down you’ll have better players, you’ll get your own doctor

COOPER: Which…

TRUMP: Obama lied. Remember this…

COOPER: A person with a pre-existing condition should be able to get insurance?

TRUMP: Yes. Obama lied when he said you’re gonna keep your plan, you get to keep your doctor. I was a pure lie. Frankly many democrats went along only because they believed him. He lied twenty-eight times. Twenty-eight times he said it. Twenty-eight times. If that were in the private sector you be sued for fraud. Okay? He lied to get the plan through. He got it through and it’s turned out to be a disaster. The wrong people are buying it. You know what’s happening. It’s dead. It’s gonna… Look, ObamaCare is dead. It’s gonna be repealed, gonna be replaced. But I will say this, Anderson, if we don’t do something quickly you can have a health care problem that you… like you’ve never seen before in this country. Now the new plan is good, it’s going to be inexpensive, it’s going to be much better for the people. But there’s gonna be a group of people at the bottom people that haven’t done well, people that don’t have any money that won’t be able to be taken care of. We’re gonna take care of them through maybe concepts of medicare. We have hospitals that aren’t doing well. We have doctors aren’t doing well. You cannot let people die on the street, okay? Now some people would say “that’s not a very Republican thing to say.” Every time I say this at a rally, or even today I said it, once again a standing ovation, I said, you know, the problem is everybody thinks that you people as Republicans hate the concept of taking care of people that are really, really sick and are gonna die. And that’s not single-payer, by the way, that’s called “heart.” We’ve gotta take care of people that can’t take care of themselves. But the plans will be much less expensive than Obamacare, they’ll be far better than Obamacare, you’ll get your doctor you get everything you want to get, it’ll be unbelievable. [Italics are mine, read this a couple of times.] But you’ve got to get rid of the lines. You’ve got to have competition. those people that are left, we gotta help them live and everybody likes it when I say it, and that includes Republicans and it’s not single-payer.

It is hard to get any further from the mainstream of conservative and Republican philosophy or the national mood than supporting the ObamaCare mandate. How the ObamaCare mandate, which rather requires you to have a job in order to pay the premiums, keeps anyone from “dying on the street” is a mystery. Likewise, the existence of a plan predicated on killing off the sick and vulnerable by neglect is new to me.

There are a few takeaways from this. First and foremost, Trump doesn’t have a freakin clue as to what he’s talking about. What he’s obviously done is extract a few focus group tested themes, like “dying on the street,” and “get rid of the lines,” and he simply says these over and over with connecting verbiage. The plan Trump refers to, the one that apparently suspends the idea of supply and demand and guarantees everyone a free lunch, simply does not exist. In the tech field it is a concept known as vaporware.

Trump is in favor of an ObamaCare that is more efficient. His support for the ObamaCare mandate should unsettle anyone who thinks they are not voting for an old style populist Democrat. This willingness to use the coercive power of the state to achieve an end is reminiscent of the experience of the widow in Atlantic City whose house Trump tried to take.


Indeed, Obamacare’s individual mandate is not only coercive but unconstitutional. Obama’s congressional allies claimed that passing it was a valid exercise of their authority to regulate interstate commerce, but the mandate was rejected as unconstitutional on those grounds by the Supreme Court—with Justice Scalia in the majority on this question—because in truth it was an effort to compel commerce, not regulate it. The mandate was rescued only because five of the Court’s nine justices decided that it could plausibly be reinterpreted as a constitutionally permissible “tax”—even though Obama had insisted all along that it wasn’t a tax, and even though the legislative text declares it to be an “individual responsibility requirement” paired with a “penalty” for noncompliance.

In fact, his support of the individual mandate makes him a fan of Chief Justice John Roberts which is in contrast to his criticism of Ted Cruz supporting Roberts’s nomination while he was Texas Solicitor General.

The other thing to notice is that Anderson Cooper follows Joe Scarborough’s lead during this interview. He asks one question, about pre-existing conditions and coverage for them, and accepts “Yes” as an answer. Can you imagine any other candidate, other than Hillary Clinton, getting away with this? What this election season is showing is that television networks with a small audience are prone to tossing any pretense at journalism aside when covering someone whom they perceive will increase that audience.
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« Reply #359 on: February 24, 2016, 05:07:54 pm »

http://www.naturalnews.com/053044_Obamacare_medical_treatment_hospital_bills.html
Here's your Obamacare: Hospitals now demanding patients pay up front before receiving treatment

Sunday, February 21, 2016 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Deductibles are soaring under Obamacare, and many U.S. hospitals are now attempting to collect medical payments before services are even rendered, according to new reports. The financial burden of medical care has increased so much as a result of Obamacare -- just as predicted -- that hospitals can now clearly see the writing on the wall: Many more people than ever before will be unwilling or unable to pay their medical bills.

According to CNN Money, Americans today are having to foot a much higher percentage of their medical bills than ever before due to ever-increasing deductibles. Five years ago, for instance, an individual, employer-sponsored policy had a deductible of just over $800. Today, that same policy carries a deductible of about $1,217, a rate more than 50 percent higher.

Similar increases have occurred for family plan deductibles, which the 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust report says have increased by 31 percent overall. Since 2006, family plan deductibles have nearly doubled, jumping from an average of about $1,034 per family to $1,947.


Obamacare deductibles significantly higher than private coverage
For those who didn't previously have healthcare coverage but now have Obamacare, the deductible sticker shock is even more substantial. Many lower-level enrollees, according to CNN Money, including those who signed up for "bronze" and "silver" plans, pay deductibles ranging anywhere from about $2,000 to upwards of $5,000.

"The bronze plans are scaring a lot of administrators because the patient liability is so large," stated Debra Lowe, administrator director of revenue cycle at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, about the travesty of Obamacare deductibles. "Patients are unaware they have this high deductible."

Since the consumer cost of Obamacare is so much higher than what is typical of private insurance, and because this cost is applied to some of the poorest members of society, many Obamacare patients are simply dodging their hospital bills. And these hospitals, in an attempt to recuperate at least some of the losses, are responding by attempting to bill patients early.

"We are trying to minimize the after-service bill shock and get them into financial assistance or some other program for more affordable care," said Andy Scianimanico, vice president for revenue cycle at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, the parent company of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.


Obamacare enrollees having to take out loans to pay medical bills
The irony of Obamacare is that it has turned out to be anything but affordable. Deductible payments are so high, in some instances, that enrollees are actually having to take out loans to pay for medical treatments. Isn't this scenario the type for which Obamacare was supposedly created to alleviate? Wasn't the whole idea to make healthcare more accessible to the poor?

Obviously, this is not the case, no matter what the media pundits would have us all believe. Obamacare is pulling the noose tighter around the neck of our nation's medical system, making it increasingly more difficult for this system to even function at a basic level. Consequently, heathcare providers are now treating all patients as if they are about to eat the meal without paying the bill, the medical equivalent of a restaurant dine-and-dash.

"t's far more difficult to get that $2,900 from an individual patient than it is from the Medicare program or from Blue Cross Blue Shield," said Richard Gundling, vice president of the trade group Healthcare Financial Management Association.

A report by Gundling's group states bluntly, "Today's high deductibles are tomorrow's bad debt."


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053044_Obamacare_medical_treatment_hospital_bills.html#ixzz4186Gb4XB
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