November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving and the New Hampshire Connection
Abolitionist Sarah Josepha Hale of Newport, New Hampshire spent years promoting the adoption of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. A letter from her to President Abraham Lincoln finally turned the trick.
Born in 1788, Hale lived nine decades. She spent much of her life editing women's magazines, including the widely read "Godey's Lady's Book," which featured writers including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Hale championed women's education and wrote an antislavery novel in the 1820s.
She spent many years pushing to elevate Thanksgiving to the federal level to standardize the holiday, celebrated by various states at different times. Hale wrote Lincoln in September 1863, prodding him on, and he issued a proclamation soon thereafter.
November 27, 2013
She was a deciding vote for ObamaCare, but now she'll have to claim she was mislead.
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-N.H.): ‘if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it’ “My understanding … is that … if you have health coverage that you like you can keep it. As I said, you may have missed my remarks at the beginning of the call, but one of the things I that I said as a requirement that I have for supporting a bill is that if you have health coverage that you like you should be able to keep that. …under every scenario that I’ve seen, if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it.” (Sen. Shaheen, “Health Care Questions From Across New Hampshire,” Accessed 11/13/13)
November 26, 2013
The Capitalists in Washington Strike Again
Have you heard the ads on the radio for 23andme? You can get your DNA tested and find out if you are predisposed to future suffering from any number of hereditary diseases.
Get to know you.
Health and ancestry start here.
- Reports on 240+ health conditions and traits
- Discover your lineage, find relatives and more
- Get updates on your DNA as science advances
This could be useful information for a lot of people, right? Well, not necessarily. And especially not if the FDA has anything to do with it.
In a warning letter on Monday, the FDA ordered 23andMe to "immediately discontinue marketing" its genetic tests. Consumers have been mailing in a saliva sample and $99, and the six-year-old Silicon Valley start-up analyzes their genome to reveal information about their predisposition for some 250 diseases, as well as inherited traits and ancestry.
The FDA lacks any specific statutory authority to regulate genomic sequencing technologies. President Obama knows this, because as a Senator in 2006 and 2007 he introduced bills that would regulate the genomics industry. They never passed. Yet in 2010 the FDA simply decreed by fiat that these tests are considered new medical devices that require premarket testing and approval.
23andMe has been working with the FDA on approval for years, and the agency's letter scolds the company for offering new tests and services before it has received permission for the older versions. Imagine an iPhone app that needed federal approval for every update. But behavior that would be considered visionary in Mountain View is the quickest way to offend the FDA establishment.
The FDA claims that 23andMe merely has to prove that its tests are safe and effective. But what does that even mean given that FDA's main concern seems to be what patients will do with the information the company provides?
By holding companies like 23andme hostage, the FDA and the Obama administration provide full employment for regulators, lobbyists, and lawyers. The economy stagnates but government for profit is booming in D.C.
November 24, 2013
It’s about jobs. Why did Majority Leader Harry Reid decide to get rid of the 60-vote rule on administrative and lower court nominations now? There are at least three theories. I’d like to add a fourth:
4. The D.C. Circuit, more than other circuits, is the central institution of America’s regulatory state, which is the basis for the booming economy of the entire National Capital area. Should this court become hostile to regulations, or capable of reviewing fewer of them, there might be correspondingly fewer reasons for corporations and other interests to hire connected D.C. lawyers to lobby government agencies to get the regulations they want, and to then defend those regulations when they’re challenged in court. And there’d be fewer reasons for young men and women to come to the capital to work in its agencies for a few years before moving into the private sector and becoming one of those lawyers corporations hire to manipulate the agencies they worked for.
Regulation is D.C.’s economic substructure, its mode of production, as Marx might say–even more so than legislation. Those big gleaming office buildings aren’t filled with Congressional lobbyists! They’re filled with administrative lawyers. Now, with a full 11 member court stacked to favor Democrats, there will be even more rules to litigate, more counsel to hire, more mansions to house them and restaurants to feed them. Whatever happens in the rest of America, the capital’s economic future is secure.
November 23, 2013
ObamaCare: Capitalism At Its Best?
That's what MrGrassroots thinks over at allvoices. He's talking about ObamaCare.
Health care stocks are even outperforming all the gold indexes. Gold is considered a safe "hedge" against bad economic times but this year, the "S&P Gold -Equity Spread Index," is down as much as 46.23 percent. That compared to a 42.42 percent rise in the "S&P 500 Health Care Index."
The end of the rally for the Dow and other major stock market indexes is not in sight, according to stock market history. Another bullish sign, Reuters notes, is that December is traditionally the best month for both the Dow and the S&P and has been since 1950.
Perhaps the Fox News crowd, the mouthpiece for the right, will have to find another label for Obamacare. It certainly isn't "socialized medicine."
Perhaps it is "capitalism at its best."
It's more like crony capitalism at its worst.
Take a quick glance at ObamaCare’s busted multimillion-dollar website and the 3.5 million health insurance cancelation notices hitting American mailboxes and you might be tempted to dub the whole thing a disaster. But it’s not -- at least not for the politically-connected crony companies and big money Obama fundraisers poaching your tax dollars to fix the debacle they helped create.
As CNBC recently put it: “Thanks to ObamaCare, the health-care industry is going to get a big makeover during the coming years and venture capitalists have wasted no time looking for ways to cash in.” Put simply, ObamaCare’s complexity and catastrophic rollout create rivers of cash for Obama’s cronies.
Big insurance put its bet on ObamaCare and hit the trifecta: massive profits all but guaranteed by an individual mandate and healthcare law subsidies for insurers who might suffer a loss, a made to order exit from the risky individual market, and protection against the forces of competition. ObamaCare makes theirs a captive market sending profits through the roof. What's not to like?
But cracking open the champagne may be a bit premature. The race is on for 2014 is still on because ObamaCare's backend payment system is not operational.
Press leaks suggest that the White House goal is for four of five people who want to sign up for insurance to be able to do so, including via a call center or paper application. Yet even that 20% error rate may be overpromising. Health and Human Services deputy Henry Chao told a House hearing this week that about 30% to 40% of the information technology that supports enrollment—such as the "back end" systems that send out monthly subsidies—still needs to be built.
Ah, those monthly subsidies, There lies the holy grail. Once that critical mass of comfortably subsidized insurees is achieved, so is Bill Clinton's vision as presented to the Netroots in 2009.
PITTSBURGH - Former President Bill Clinton told an audience of liberal online activists Thursday evening that the nation has “entered a new era of progressive politics” that could last for decades if Democrats can pass ambitious measures such as health care reform and climate change.
Here's how the era of progressive politics is sustained. Step one:
For those on the left who thought that ObamaCare would mean large health insurance companies might get their comeuppance, they might want to look at UnitedHealth. Wall Street analysts expect the giant to see its stock price rise 40 percent over the next two years, thanks to expanding profit margins. The company has also won big contracts to help implement the rollout. Quality Software Services, Inc., a major contractor for Healthcare.gov, is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth. One of President Obama’s most reliable fundraisers in both 2008 and 2012 was Anthony Welters, executive vice president of UnitedHealth. He raised more than $500,000 for the 2012 election, according to opensecrets.org
Another big ObamaCare winner is tech giant Qualcomm. In 2011, the company created a subsidiary called Qualcomm Life specifically designed to profit off ObamaCare changes. The company offers products to securely transfer data between wireless health care devices. Thanks to ObamaCare, company executives believe that “wireless solutions are going to be looked at more prominently.”Former Qualcomm Chairman Irwin Jacobs raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s re-election in 2012.
Lest we think it is all carrot and no stick for insurers, let's harken back to an earlier day in the healthcare industry takeover when Humana took it upon itself to notify policy holders of the potential impacts of ObamaCare.
Earlier this month, Humana sent a one-page letter to its customers enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans, which offer private options to Medicare beneficiaries. Humana noted that, because of spending cuts proposed by Democrats, "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable." The Kentucky-based company also urged its customers to contact their Representatives. Pretty tame stuff, as these things go.
Mr. Baucus took it as a declaration of war. He complained to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal health-care agency, which on Friday duly ordered Humana to cease and desist. CMS claimed the mailer was "misleading and confusing" and told the company it has opened an official probe as to whether the mailer violated laws about how the insurers that manage Advantage plans are allowed to communicate with their customers, as well as other federal statutes.
"Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions," CMS concluded, ominously. Humana could be fined or booted from Medicare Advantage altogether.
Obama has harnessed the health insurance industry's biggest players to the Democratic Party wagon, legislatively and regulatorily conferring huge profits on those willing to play along, and promising bankruptcy and ruin on those who refuse. So the campaign contributions roll in, a half million dollars at a time.
But will that be enough in the face of such ObamaCare driven discontent among the voters? That's where the subsidies come in. Subsidies are the carrot for the unsuspecting. You may recall Obama's persuasive argument in his budget negotiations last summer.
President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.
"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.
Pretty persuasive, I'd say. And we have little doubt who the bad guys are in such negotiations. It's that other party. Why, Obama is even blaming Republicans for the disastrous rollout of his own law. So here's what to expect in the next budget negotiation should Republicans try to cut into the astronomical deficits run up by Obama: Your healthcare is at risk! Republican obstuctionism is going to cost lives! Children will die! There will be no way for Obama (or a future president of Obama's philisophical bent) to guarantee that subsidies can be paid. Voters will be duly outraged over Republican callousness.
That's the goal. Democrats standing as gatekeepers between voters and their healthcare services, villifying Republicans for supporting a healthcare system where there are no such gatekeepers.
Let's step back for a moment and consider all the money in healthcare. Naturally doctors, nurses, hospitals, and the rest of the people and organizations that actually provide healthcare have to get paid. But look at all the other players cashing in.
It begins with insurance which began as a protection against the unanticipated expenses of catastrophic illness and injury. It has since morphed into a system of paying for routine care. But consider that insurance companies make a big profit on healthcare. That profit is a slice of the healthcare dollar that you pay your doctor.
Then there is the lawsuit industry, which is enabled by the insurance industry. There are huge profits in suing doctors, hospitals, and any other deep pocketed bystander for somebody's illness. Malpractice insurance gives some protection for healthcare providers, but who pays the premiums which have become huge? We do, when we pay the doctors in whatever way we pay them.
And look at all the campaign contributions and the half million dollar bundlers contributing to both parties in hope of having some impact on legislation or regulation of their industry. Where does that money ultimately come from?
Add to all these players the Democratic Party which stands to hit the healthcare jackpot if only ObamaCare can be made to hang in there for just a little while longer. Just enough time for the subsidy checks to start rolling out, and then it really will be time for Democrats to break out the champagne.
And to think that this is somebody's idea of capitalism at its best.
November 17, 2013
Did you hear Obama say the other day that he was "not informed directly" that the ObamaCare website didn't work?
Second question. (Laughter.) You were informed or several people in this building were informed two weeks before the launch of the website that it was failing the most basic tests internally; and yet a decision was made to launch the website on October 1st. Did you, sir, make that test (sic)? And if so, did you regret that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: OK. On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to. Ha[d] I been informed, I wouldn't be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work.
I suppose it's possible that nobody told him, but I think it's more likely he knew there were problems with the website, but decided to ignore them and go ahead with the October 1st rollout. When he realized how badly he misjudged, he went to the line about how he's not that stupid.
While there might be plenty of evidence to support you, it's generally not a good idea to disagree with Obama on that point. For one thing you're immediately branded as racist. That hasn't bothered Mark Steyn.
Ooooo-kay. So, if I follow correctly, the smartest president ever is not smart enough to ensure that his website works; he’s not smart enough to inquire of others as to whether his website works; he’s not smart enough to check that his website works before he goes out and tells people what a great website experience they’re in for. But he is smart enough to know that he’s not stupid enough to go around bragging about how well it works if he’d already been informed that it doesn’t work. So he’s smart enough to know that if he’d known what he didn’t know he’d know enough not to let it be known that he knew nothing. The country’s in the very best of hands.
Unlike Steyn, I think Obama's miscalculation is not stupidity. As we read further down in Obama's press conference I think it becomes obvious that Obama's faith in his own brilliance is blinding. Look at this admission he offered up in the guise of humility.
What we're discovering is that part of the problem has been technology, hardware and software, and that's being upgraded. But even if we get the -- the hardware and software working exactly the way it's supposed to with relatively minor glitches, what we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.
Well, OK. Admitting to making such a discovery it this late stage may have been stupid. Just imagine yourself in private industry as the sponsor of a large IT project, one that's been taking three years to get off the ground, and when it finally debuts as a production system it's a complete disaster. Now imagine yourself explaining to the stakeholders that you've just now come to realize that the business is... well, it's complicated.
Since you're not Obama you'd have been expected to know, not only that it's complicated, but how complicated and how your system was designed to address such complexities. Not knowing is not doing your job. Somehow, Obama is oblivious to what his belated realization really means.
If it has only recently occurred to him that buying insurance might be complicated, it's pretty clear that he hasn't given a thought to what else might be complicated about insurance. How about the complications involved in devising an insurance plan and putting together all of the managerial, technical, and financial resources so that premiums can be collected, claims can be paid, customers and the company can be protected from fraud, and it can continue in business? Failing to consider all of the possible complications is not stupidity, it's arrogance. It's the absolute conviction that he, Barack Obama, knew all that he needed to know.
Baby steps, I suppose. At least he's acknowledged that there was this one time something he didn't know. But even though he admits that it turned out, after all, to be important, I doubt that he thinks that he, Obama, should be expected to have understood it beforehand — somebody beneath him, maybe, though to inform Obama directly might be asking too much.
For the sake of perspective, it's important to note that Obama's goal has always been the transformation of America. By comparison ObamaCare is somewhere down the list of priorities. So the healthcare website doesn't work? That can be fixed. It's just a tool for implementing ObamaCare as ObamaCare itself is just a step towards the ultimate transformation of America. Obama's goal is for America to be a utopian paradise. He remains impervious to any argument that it would be the world's first, after hundreds of years of attempts. There have always been these complications, you see. But Obama remains confident. He's smartest guy in the room and he means to pull it off. What could possibly go wrong?
November 11, 2013
They Still Fight For UsI first posted this on Veterans Day, 2007. Let's remember our veterans.
Speaking of Disingenuous
Lawrence Summers has written a column for the Washington Post on the Immediate lessons from health-care reform. You'll be shocked, shocked to learn that the root cause of ObamaCare's disastrous October 1st rollout is none other than the Republican party. Oh, he concedes there are other factors. The "dismal track record of the implementation of large-scale information technology initiatives," unexpected obstacles, lack of oversight, and maybe we can throw in some unrealistic expectations. But opposition to Obama is Summers' real concern, the one that he says is a threat to democracy no less.
These are old truths that those responsible for implementing Obamacare should have heeded. Yet fairness requires recognizing the equally important, and in some ways more fundamental, factor behind the problems implementing Obamacare: the systematic effort of the president’s opponents to delegitimize and undermine the project.
To begin with, there is very little that's legitimate about ObamaCare. Resistance to ObamaCare was so intense that the healthcare reform bill was passed without a single Republican vote. The people of Massachusetts, in an all too rare showing of good sense, elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to the Senate seat once held by the sainted (in progressive circles) Ted Kennedy, himself a champion of universal healthcare entitlement. Brown campaigned on the promise that he would be the 41st Senate vote against the Obama's healthcare reform bill. When that promise carried the special election, Congress broke its own rules so that the the bill could be passed without Brown ever getting the opportunity to vote against it. "Deem and pass" was the gimmick they used.
After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.
Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.
This meant that the original Senate healthcare bill, passed before the special election that sent Brown to the Senate, was accepted unchanged by the House. Deeming the Senate bill passed meant that there was no separate House version to be reconciled with the Senate bill in conference committee, which meant the Senate would not have to vote on it again. Had there been such a vote, ObamaCare would have been dead. Scott Brown's vote would have given Republicans enough for a successful filibuster.
Funny how the democratic process is a threat to democracy when progressive power grabs are at stake. Noticeably missing from Summers' analysis something more threatening to democracy — the word "keep," as in "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Period." If Obama, as the CEO of an insurance company, made a claim so deliberately and demonstrably untrue, he would very likely be spending the rest of his life in prison. But let's leave aside the fraud part of it. Obama's dishonesty reveals his absolute certainty that the American people would never agree to this healthcare mess that was foisted upon us — solely by the Democratic party. Obama knew he had to lie about it. He knew there was no other way to get it through.
Four years ago in September — the date was September 12, 2009 — about a half million people gathered for a peaceful demonstration against the healthcare law in Washington D.C. Even though the healthcare reform law was still in the proposal stage, resistance to it was intense.
We see more Tea Party predictions coming true. in response progressives like Summers argue that opposing Obama's policies is more than just racist. It's a threat to democracy as well. Summers believes that Republicans should simply drop all opposition to it. To do otherwise unpatriotic and undemocratic.
It is disingenuous for those who stood ready to turn any regulatory detail into an attack ad to profess outrage when guidance was not provided during an election campaign. It is hypocritical for those who held up confirmations of key officials with responsibility for managing federal health-care programs and whose behavior deterred many people from coming into government to lash out at the incompetence of government management. And it is indefensible to refuse to appropriate money to carry out a program and then attack it for being under-resourced.
Talk about disingenuous. A Republican attack on ObamaCare for being underfunded? Quite the opposite, it's way overfunded from the Republican perspective. Underfunded would be the best thing about it.
There is a danger here that goes far beyond delays in access to health insurance. The risk is of a vicious cycle in which poor government performance leads, on the one hand, to overly bold promises of repair and, on the other hand, to reduced funding and support for those doing the work. This generates unmet expectations and disappointment, setting off the cycle anew. In the end, government loses the ability to deliver for citizens and citizens lose respect for government. Our democracy is the loser.
I see no threat to democracy from the recognition that government can't do everything. Citizens may lose respect government, not because of an inability to deliver but instead because government is intruding to much. The greater threat to democracy in America is ObamaCare itself and the lies that are repeated trying to justify it.
Obama’s premeditated, repeated, nationally televised lies about the “Affordable Care Act” are integral, indeed essential, to his presidency and to the workings of the US government. The outcome of two national elections depended on it.
Even more significant is his contention that he never said what he said, and that what he said was true anyhow. In interpersonal relations, such a contention is an insult that makes civility impossible; because to continue to treat with someone who makes such affronts is self-degradation of which few are capable. In political life, such an insult is a declaration of war.
The greater threat to democracy is posed by a party whose political goals are more important than the truth. That's been the Democratic party for these last twenty years.
November 10, 2013
Holding Down Cost?
No. David Cutler hails the success of ObamaCare. It's a success, he says, because it is slowing the increase in Medicare costs.
The Affordable Care Act is a key to the underlying change. Starting in 2010, the ACA lowered the annual increases that Medicare pays to hospitals, home health agencies and private insurance plans. Together, these account for 5 percent of the post-2010 cost slowdown. Medicare payment changes always provoke fears — in this case, that private plans would flee the program and that the quality of care in hospitals would suffer. Neither of these fears has materialized, however. Enrollment in private plans is up since the ACA changes.
In reality, ObamaCare is simply a refusal to pay for Medicare services.
Despite the constant political rhetoric that Medicare payment reductions affect only providers and not beneficiaries, funding cuts for Medicare services will directly affect those who depend on those services. If Obamacare’s major reductions are implemented by Congress over the coming decade, seniors’ ability to access Medicare services will surely diminish. In fact, the Medicare Trustees project that the lower Medicare payment rates would cause 15 percent of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies to become unprofitable by 2019, and this percentage would reach roughly 25 percent in 2030 and 40 percent by 2050.
This means that seniors would have an increasingly difficult time accessing care. As the Trustees explain:Medicare’s payments for health services would fall increasingly below providers’ costs. Providers could not sustain continuing negative margins and would have to withdraw from serving Medicare beneficiaries or (if total facility margins remained positive) shift substantial portions of Medicare costs to their non-Medicare, non-Medicaid payers.
Fewer Plan Choices
In addition to the provider payment reductions, Obamacare significantly reduces payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by an estimated $156 billion from 2013 to 2022. About 27 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in MA plans, a system of regulated and private plans competing against each other as an alternative to traditional Medicare. MA plans are attractive to beneficiaries because they offer more generous and comprehensive coverage than traditional Medicare by capping out-of-pocket costs and offering drug coverage.
This claim that healthcare costs are being contained is nonsense, but the administration really has no choice. They simply can't stop lying about ObamaCare and expect it to survive. But this brings us to the cost of administration lies. Andrew McCarthy writes that a CEO who deceives consumers as Obama has deceived the American people would be guilty of a serious federal felony.
‘If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” How serious was this lie, repeated by Barack Obama with such beguiling regularity? Well, how would the Justice Department be dealing with it if it had been uttered by, say, the president of an insurance company rather than the president of the United States?
Fraud is a serious federal felony, usually punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment — with every repetition of a fraudulent communication chargeable as a separate crime. In computing sentences, federal sentencing guidelines factor in such considerations as the dollar value of the fraud, the number of victims, and the degree to which the offender’s treachery breaches any special fiduciary duties he owes. Cases of multi-million-dollar corporate frauds — to say nothing of multi-billion-dollar, Bernie Madoff–level scams that nevertheless pale beside Obamacare’s dimensions — often result in terms amounting to decades in the slammer.
It doesn't matter that Obama's fraud can be proven. It's an inescapable fact. There is just no chance that Obama will be impeached, prosecuted, or in any way made to pay a penalty for what under the laws that the rest of us live under would be a federal crime. Laws are not for Obama, or the rest of the ruling class for that matter.
November 07, 2013
The Perfect Obama Supporters
Yesterday ProPublica carried a story under the headline Loyal Obama Supporters, Canceled by Obamacare that told a familiar story. Somebody, happy with their healthcare insurance policy, found that they couldn't keep it, contrary to Obama's promise — a promise that he punctuated with the word, "Period."
Hammack recalled his reaction when he and his wife received a letters from Kaiser in September informing him their coverage was being canceled. “I work downstairs and my wife had a clear look of shock on her face,” he said. “Our first reaction was clearly there’s got to be some mistake. This was before the exchanges opened up. We quickly calmed down. We were confident that this would all be straightened out. But it wasn’t.”
This plan was ending, Kaiser’s letters told them, because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. “Everything is taken care of,” the letters said. “There’s nothing you need to do.”
The letters said the couple would be enrolled in new Kaiser plans that would cost nearly $1,300 a month for the two of them (more than $15,000 a year).
Lee Hammack and his wife JoEllen Brothers may be shocked and disappointed, but they can find consolation in their rescue from a bad-apple insurance company — Kaiser Permanente.
“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.”
The new Kaiser policy will cost Hammack and Brothers more than twice as much as the one they had, but the couple believe they can adapt. If Hammack can reduce his income to under about $62,000, which for a family of two would four times the federal poverty level, he can qualify for subsidies that could reduce his premiums to zero. He’s giving it serious consideration. He can take a lower salary or contibute more to his retirement account.
In spite of all that Hammack and his wife keep faith in Obama and ObamaCare.
“We’re not changing our views because of this situation, but it hurt to hear Obama saying, just the other day, that if our plan has been dropped it’s because it wasn’t any good, and our costs would go up only slightly,” he said. “We’re gratified that the press is on the case, but frustrated that the stewards of the ACA don’t seem to have heard.”
They may have bought into Obama's lies: First that they could keep their insurance, "Period," and second that what he had always said was they could keep their coverage if the policy didn't change. Or they might think being lied to is fine when the cause is Obama's idea of social justice.
ProPublica doesn't say if either Hammack or Brothers have given any thought to what other conclusions might be drawn from their plan to reduce income and qualify for subsidies. Theirs is only a small drain on the treasury, the reduced tax revenue as a direct result of the couple's lower taxable income along with the higher spending for this brand new insurance premium subsidy.
As we all know, a financial hit on the treasury is never a problem for progressives like Hammack and Brothers, or for ProPublica either. There is no spending problem, according to enlightened folks such as they, only a revenue problem that will be solved when those greedy bad-apple insurance executives and employees can be made to pay their fair share in taxes.
Oh, and by the way, what becomes of the employees of those bad-apple insurance outfits like Kaiser? The ones who support the individual market that ObamaCare was designed to eliminate? No problem. Time Magazine assures them that ObamaCare is having no impact whatever on jobs. Never mind that actual company surveys say quite the opposite.
More Workers Will See Their Hours Cut: “Some employers will minimize the number of newly eligible employees by cutting back on hours for at least a portion of their workforce – 11% of all large employers say they will do so.”
Progressives see no connection between our continued feeble economic growth and the regulatory burdens imposed by Obama and ObamaCare. In reality our slow growth has a negative impact on tax revenue and all this new spending is going to pile up the debt, But I can see it now. Any attempts to even slow down the spending increases, never mind cut into the debt, will have Hammack and Brothers villifying the Republicans for threatenting their health care subsidy. That would be the one they would never have needed had it not been for ObamaCare.