As Obamacare was being pushed through Congress in 2010, the Obama administration and its allies were unequivocal in two claims: If you like your doctor and you like your current health care plan, you can keep them both. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi backed the president fully in this regard. The White House even went so far as to post a "Health Insurance Reform Reality Check" on its website, where "Linda Douglass of the White House Office of Health Reform debunks the myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors." President Obama upped the ante, putting the promise in the form of a "guarantee":
THE PRESIDENT: Here is a guarantee that I've made.If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor. Nobody is trying to change what works in the system. We are trying to change what doesn't work in the system.
While there has been sniping back and forth between the administration and its detractors about the real-world application and implementation of Obamacare, the new Healthcare.gov website has taken some of the mystery out of the controversy. And President Obama and his administration do not fare well in this latest "reality check." Among the questions that HHS recently added to the website: "Can I keep my own doctor?":
"Depending on the plan you choose in the Marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor." The bottom line is that Obamacare guarantees neither. Doctors may be only available through certain networks, just as in the current system. And only plans that existed in their current form on March 23, 2010, are even eligible to be "kept." The vast majority of plans will be new, subject to a raft of new regulations, requirements, and restrictions.
Now that Health and Human Services has confirmed that the suspicions of Obamacare opponents were justified, the Obama administration will have some explaining to do to friends and foes of the law alike. Because now everyone is finding out "what's in it."
The reality is, the President and his supporters were wrong, and the voices on the Right were correct. What else is the President wrong on with Obamacare?
"We were startled because we know that employers were concerned about the Affordable Care Act and the effects it would have on their business, but we didn't realize the extent they were concerned, or that the businesses were being proactive to make sure the effects of the ACA actually were minimized," said attorney Steven Friedman of Littler Mendelson. His firm, which specializes in employment law, commissioned the Gallup poll.
"If the small businesses' fears are reasonable, then it could mean that the small business sector grows slower than what economic conditions otherwise would indicate. And small businesses have been a growth engine in the economy," Friedman told CNBC.
Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered "yes" when asked if they had "reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act."
The poll was taken by 603 owners whose businesses have under $20 million in annual sales.
Another 38 percent of the small business owners said they "have pulled back on their plans to grow their business" because of Obamacare.
Those are "some pretty startling answers," Friedman said.
"To think that [nearly] 20 percent of small businesses have already reduced the numbers they have in their business because they're concerned about the medical coverage is significant, and a bit troubling," Friedman said.
No shit, Sherlock.
If only a group of folks had warned us about this happening before it was Rahmed through Congress..
At first the current stall out of global warming was due to the ocean cycles turning back to cold. But something much more ominous has developed over this period. Sunspots run in 11 year short term cycles, with longer cyclical trends of 90 and even 200 years. The number of sunspots declined substantially in the last 11 year cycle, after flattening out over the previous 20 years. But in the current cycle, sunspot activity has collapsed. NASA’s Science News report for January 8, 2013 states,
“Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 [the current short term 11 year cycle] is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.”
That is even more significant because NASA’s climate science has been controlled for years by global warming hysteric James Hansen, who recently announced his retirement.
But this same concern is increasingly being echoed worldwide. The Voice of Russia reported on April 22, 2013,
“Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.”
That report quoted Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory saying, “Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease. The 11-year cycle doesn’t bring about considerable climate change – only 1-2%. The impact of the 200-year cycle is greater – up to 50%. In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.” In other words, another Little Ice Age.
“He eats lunch when he arrives at work at 2 p.m. Then, like clockwork, he goes to sleep with a cup of soda on the table and the straw in it,” said Marvin Robbins, a union vice president.
“Then he wakes up, looks at his watch and says, ‘I have to get out before the traffic gets bad.’ He’s usually out by 4 p.m. after being at the office two hours.”
Rosenthal is a former Parks Department employee who rose to power campaigning to rid the union of corruption in the late 1990s.
He last made embarrassing headlines in 2009, when he inspired a City Council bill requiring jumbo-size ambulances for morbidly obese patients after he had a stroke at City Hall.
Since then, he hasn’t been making much of an effort to give the city’s ambulances a break and slim down. Union officials say he racks up $1,400 in monthly food bills on the union dime.
Much of the 5-foot-7, 400-plus-pound Rosenthal’s food tabs are for catered union events and meals he writes off as “union business,” board members claim.
They say he significantly overorders at eateries like Dallas BBQ, the Stage Door Deli and Pine Restaurant in The Bronx, a hangout for local politicians, and takes the extra food back to his Bronxdale apartment.
“He’s always walking off with a doggie bag or extra boxes of food,” said another executive board member.
Rosenthal, who earns $156,000 annually, yesterday denied being a free spender— and insisted he works “12-to-14-hour days.”
He says the allegations are “part of a smear campaign” by a faction trying to get another Local 983 vice president, Joseph Puleo, elected president in a June 5 showdown.
He said it’s normal for executives to take “power naps.”
He also blamed his meetings with the sandman on the effects of pain medication he takes for backaches he has suffered since he fell through a chair at a McDonald’s last year.
“The chair broke because I’m big,” Rosenthal said.
It was impossible for the Bomber Brothers to shoot at police, because neither one of them had a license to own a firearm. In fact, it was illegal for the younger brother to even apply for a permit. So how were they able to have gun battles with police?
But neither brother appears to have been legally entitled to own or carry firearms where they lived, a fact that may add to the national debate over current gun laws. Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases, legislation that opponents argued would do nothing to stop criminals from buying guns illegally.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in the shootout with police, would have been required to apply for a gun license with the local police department where he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
But there is no record of him having done so, according to Cambridge Police Department spokesman Dan Riviello.
Even if he had earlier received a gun license from somewhere outside Cambridge, that license would have to be registered with Cambridge police upon becoming a resident of the city, Riviello said. In Massachusetts, gun licenses are issued by municipal police departments.
"There is no record of him having a license to carry," Riviello told Reuters.
Tsarnaev's younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, who was captured alive on Friday after the manhunt, would have been too young to get a handgun license. Under state law, residents under 21 may only apply for a so-called firearms identification card, which allows the holder to own only rifles that hold 10 rounds or less and shotguns.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had no record of a firearms ID card in Cambridge. The police department in Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar was a student, said they had no record of gun licenses or ID cards for either brother.
It's almost as if those that are intent on breaking the law will ignore laws currently in place or something.
IN 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. Among other stringencies, it banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.
“Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”
I guess that only applies to legal gun owners.
I do find it interesting that as of 7:46 pm MST, Huffington Post, in all of its Boston Bombing coverage, neglects to mention that the brothers weren't legally able to carry firearms in Massachusetts. I wonder why?
After telling us for weeks how the Obama Sequester would cause immediately loss of jobs for DoD workers, the Federal Government somehow found a way to ease the impact:
Defense officials say the Pentagon will sharply cut the number of unpaid furlough days civilians will have to take in the next several months from 22 to 14, reducing the financial impact of the budget cuts on as many as 700,000 workers.
Officials say Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the decision Wednesday. Military and defense leaders continue to work through the details, trying to decide how to allocate the more than $10 billion Congress shifted to operations accounts. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Interesting that when faced with a crisis of damaging political capital, this Administration was able to find other places to cut spending.
Now can they begin to apply that same determination to find other areas of waste within the budget?