The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday declared a "significant milestone" for President Obama's health care law by claiming that 4 million Americans had now signed up for coverage. But a closer examination of the numbers suggests that the pace of sign-ups is slowing.
In a similar blog post on Jan. 24, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, praised the "milestone" of 3 million sign-ups. That represented a gain of 800,000 individuals since the end of December, when HHS had put the number at 2.2 million.
But the Tuesday claim of 4 million sign-ups represents a smaller 700,000 gain from the 3.3 million total the administration reported as of Feb. 1.
Those paying attention also recognize that the definition of an enrollee is somewhat broad, and neglects to point out how many signed up only because they lost their old coverage:
The HHS numbers include only those who have selected a plan through one of the exchanges, rather than the number who have paid -- which is typically how insurers measure enrollment. As a gauge, last week California reported that 20 percent of those who signed up in the state as of Jan. 31 hadn't paid first month's premiums.
Additionally, HHS does not reveal how many of those signing up for insurance through the exchanges were previously covered. Millions of Americans received insurance cancellation letters last fall, as insurers were forced to discontinue policies that didn't live up to Obamacare's guidelines.
Consider that for a second. Obamacare needs 7 million uninsured people to sign up, to kep the boat afloat. They can't even muster half of that by cancelling people's plans, forcing them to become "members".
Failure at every turn with this crew. If only the American Voter had been warned.
On the surface, one might think that a black eye on the UAW for getting beat in Tennessee was the big story. It's not. The big story is what happens next:
No wonder they wanted card check: I remember, toward the end of the last Bush administration, whippersnappers all the confident young Dem policy warriors repeating labor’s talking points about the need to allow the secret ballot in union recognition elections to be replaced by “card check,” a system in which workers sign cards in the presence of union organizers. Without card check, management would “coerce” workers by pointing out the downside of unionization in mandatory propaganda meetings.
Wasn’t it possible that workers who turned down unions simply looked at what Wagner Act unionism had done, say, to Detroit, and decided for themselves that this wasn’t what they wanted to happen to their company? Nah.
Now we know different: At Vokswagen’s Chattanooga factory, the UAW was actually welcomed by the employer. No union-busting propganada sessions. VW, which already has a powerful union back home in Europe, wanted to set up German-style “works councils,” where rank and file employees could have a say in production decisions. But, according to many U.S. labor lawyers, it needed a union partner — otherwise, under the Wagner Act the works councils would be considered an illegal “company union.” The UAW seemed ready to be that partner. UAW organizers were allowed in the plant to make their case. Management didn’t argue back.**
The most interesting part comes next: If Volkswagen now goes ahead and starts its works councils anyway, without the UAW, will organized labor sue to have them declared illegal? That would give the Roberts Court a precious opportunity to interpret the Wagner Act in a way that actually allows non-legalistic, non-adversarial forms of worker participation in management (despite the “company union” prohibition). In effect, the courts could help VW create what those on the left have been (correctly) demanding of the right: a reasonable alternative to traditional unionism, giving workers a voice without subjecting every management decision to a war of bargainers and lawyers and (ultimately) the formalized pitched battle of a strike.
Now that would be a threat to Big Labor. Which is why they might not sue.
**–Though local politicians, like Sen. Bob Corker, did. President Obama sided with the UAW, at least behind closed doors.
***–The cards apparently contained distracting language about wanting to join VW’s works council. If the union did have a majority of cards, of course, it has now provided us with a near-textbook example of the difference between a) a secret ballot and b) signing a piece of paper in the presence of union representatives.
So if VW moves forward, and sets up the Works Councils, the UAW has a choice to make: Do nothing, and appear weak to your members (and other organizations that have UAW members working there), or sue, and quite possibly lose.
More than 1 million cancellation notices have been sent to Californians as the Affordable Care Act begins allowing individuals to buy insurance through exchanges, Jones said. The federal law requires policies to offer minimum levels of coverage, forcing companies to terminate many existing plans. But Jones said that under the law, insurers have another year to do so.
Benghazi, Fast and Furious, NSA spying, IRS, the list of scandals surrounding this Administration go on and on. While each is damaging and disgusting on its own accord, they don't "stick" with the average American for one reason-they don't affect the average American.
They are "merely" stories in the paper or online, ones that upset people, but to quote the Democrat 2016 frontrunner, "what difference does it make"? Most of us were unlikely to be touched by the scandals mentioned (beyond disgust, that is), so what politically fallout exists? Maybe a few demonstrations that get minimal media coverage, but it's mainly preaching to the choir.
The difference with Obamacare? It's affecting millions of folks, Republican, Democrat, and Independant. It's also affecting folks in the Media, who can't ignorethe ramifications of the implementation of this poorly written law:
Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he'd be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect. But the 64-year-old recently received a letter notifying him the plan was being canceled because it didn't cover certain benefits required under the law.
The Griffins, who live near Philadelphia on the Delaware border, pay $770 monthly for their soon-to-be-terminated health care plan with a $2,500 deductible. The cheapest plan they found on their state insurance exchange was a so-called bronze plan charging a $1,275 monthly premium with deductibles totaling $12,700. It covers only providers in Pennsylvania, so the couple wouldn't be able to see the doctors in Delaware whom they've used for more than a decade.
"We're buying insurance that we will never use and can't possibly ever benefit from. We're basically passing on a benefit to other people who are not otherwise able to buy basic insurance," said Griffin, who is retired from running an information technology company.
As much as Obama and his friends try and spin "if you like it, you can keep it" into "of course some policies will have to be scrapped, but only a small amount", the average American recalls what he saw and heard Obama proclaiming over and over on the campaign trail. It's likely a substantial reason many voted for Obama in the first place.
With the other scandals, they don't really "hit home". A cancellation notice sent to your mailbox, telling you your policy is going away specifically because of Obamacare does.
It started with the letter from his health-insurance company informing him it was canceling his plan and offering him a new one that’s nearly twice as expensive. Then the 60-year-old retiree from Mount Vernon heard about more people like himself with canceled plans and soaring premiums. Finally, he spent hours on the phone and computer trying — and failing — to find a new option that he likes.
“This whole experience has converted a lifelong Democrat into a foot soldier for the Republican Party,” Fullner said.
He’s not alone in his frustration.
In Washington, most of the 290,000 people covered by insurance plans they purchased on the individual market received letters this fall telling them that their plans are going away.
Senate Democrats, including those up for reelection in 2014, voted three years ago against removing a grandfather rule from Obamacare. Because that rule remains in the law, insurance companies are being forced to cancel policies that don't comply with the Obamacare regulations. CNN's Chris Frates reports:
Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.
In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it....
On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.
The rule set up the criteria for what insurance plans would be grandfathered, or exempted, from the new Obamacare requirements. Democrats argued then that the rule was necessary to insure that insurance companies weren’t able to drastically change their plans and still remain exempt from Obamacare.
I'll be sending a few bucks to whomever faces these clowns in the General election.
Poor Huma. Married to one of the biggest clowns on the planet, and now she’s got to choose between her loser husband or this screeching harpy.
Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has been given an ultimatum: dump serial-sexting hubby Anthony Weiner, or get out of Clintontown.
“Huma has a choice to make,” a close associate tells New York magazine. “Does she go with Anthony, or does she go with Hillary?”
Abedin’s decision over whether to leave the “Clinton bubble,” where she’s seen as Hillary’s most trusted aide, has emerged as “the biggest question among Hillary’s circle” as the former Secretary of State mulls a 2016 run for the White House, the magazine reports.
The Clinton camp was blindsided by revelations over the summer — during Weiner’s disastrously failed New York mayoral run — that he’d kept up his secret online sexting even after resigning from Congress in shame in 2011. Abedin was quickly advised to keep her distance from her scandal-scarred mate, and vanished from Weiner’s side for the rest of the campaign. The candidate’s bird-flipping parting shot to reporters after his humiliating defeat this month made a bad situation even worse, according to New York.
She’s probably better off just fleeing the country. You know how messy these love triangles can be.
Funny how the lady that stood by the lying guy that got hummers in the Oval Office, feels she can pass judgement over a fellow woman with an equally creepy husband.
Maybe Huma will wake up, and ditch the whole lot. I bet she'd be happier in the long run.
Today, teachers in Kenosha, Wis., voted to decertify their union, the Kenosha Education Association, by a margin of nearly two to one. Only 37 percent of the teachers opted to retain the union in an election made possible by the labor reforms enacted under Gov. Scott Walker (R). The result goes to show that when workers have a choice on whether to join a union instead of being forced into one by law, they often choose to vote down the union.
“Gov. Walker’s bold and effective reforms have loosened the grip of unions on Wisconsin's public purse, to the benefit of taxpayers and to the detriment of Big Labor bosses. The news today proves what unions have long feared - that when workers are actually given a free and fair choice, they will often choose opt out of union membership altogether.
Walker's stock is rising for 2016. He turned a massive deficit into a surplus, lowered property taxes, and did it without all the dire predictions from the Left coming true. He's proven that financial conservatism works, and that the sky didn't fall.
According to a memo circulated by the FBI and a correction posted online by the Justice Department, the number of defendants, the number of victims and the size of the losses are, in reality, a fraction of what officials claimed last October.
Attorney General Eric Holder and other law enforcement officials claimed in early October that the initiative charged 530 criminal defendants on behalf of 73,000 victims who suffered over $1 billion in losses. The so-called Distressed Homeowner Initiative, which targeted fraud schemes against distressed homeowners, was highlighted in a press release and press conference at the time.
Holder, talking to the cameras on Oct. 9, called it “a groundbreaking, year-long mortgage fraud enforcement effort.”
The real numbers, it turns out, were far smaller. The feds now admit that the number of criminal defendants charged was more like 107, not 530. The number of victims was 17,185 — still a large number, but roughtly one fourth the size of the original headcount. And the losses totaled $95 million — not $1 billion, as originally claimed.
Me either. What has become of the Press in this Country?
The President doesn't even have to lie. He can let the truth come out, knowing his willing partners in the MSM will do nothing to advance outrage and scandal, and he goes about his business. Or on vacation.