Tristan Hallman and Tom Benning, Dallas Morning News
"Retired Dallas police Sgt. Tom Wafer recently received a call from a commander that “shocked the fool” out of him: The city can’t let him or any of his fellow retirees watch police surveillance camera feeds anymore when the year is over because of an obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act.
City officials say they had to cut Wafer, 74, along with two dozen other retired officers because the health care law put them in a costly bind. The layoffs also affect a few other city agencies but hit the Dallas Police Department hardest."
Phillip Bump, Washington Post
"In the blink of an eye, Obamacare enrollment numbers through August fell from 7.3 million to just under 7 million -- a level that dips overall enrollment under 2013 enrollment projections from the Congressional Budget Office. How'd it happen? In short, the administration combined Obamacare medical plan enrollment with dental plan enrollment for those August numbers -- while previous reports had kept the two numbers distinct.
Here's how the Department of Health and Human Services reported enrollments in a report last April. This shows only the last line of enrollments, but the number of plans with data on "metal level" (that is, the quality of the plan), is fairly close to the overall number of enrollments. Underneath, the number of people who got standalone dental coverage. 8 million; 1.1 million."
Dave Gram, Associated Press
"MONTPELIER, Vt. An economist who said "the stupidity of the American voter" helped pass the complex federal health care law has agreed to finish his work on Vermont's health insurance systems for free, a top state official said Wednesday.
But the state will continue to pay assistants working with Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised the Obama administration as it crafted the Affordable Care Act."
Elise Viebeck, The Hill
"Sparks flew Wednesday at a hearing on the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov as Republican lawmakers grilled former White House Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Todd Park about his role in the site's creation.
GOP members had sought for almost a year to bring Park before the House Science and Technology Committee, desiring to suss out his level of involvement in the debacle."
Chuck Loveless, Morning Consult
"So where do things stand with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now that the dust has settled from November’s midterm elections? With Republicans seizing control of the U.S. Senate and an expanded- and newly emboldened- conservative majority in the House of Representatives, expect a slew of new political attacks on the health care reform law. While Bill McIntyre and Elizabeth Harrington noted in their November 6 post for the Morning Consult that election night polling indicated that for most voters the ACA was not a major factor in their decision on how to cast their ballot, it WAS a huge issue for the Republican base."
Katie Pavlich, Townhall
"Over the past few years Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has been candid about how the Obama administration lied to misled "stupid" Americans in order to get healthcare legislation passed. We've seen countless videos that show Gruber talking about his close relationship with President Obama, how seniors are "terrible" at picking healthcare plans, describing how taxes were "mislabed" in order to dupe Americans into believing Obamacare wasn't a tax increase, how a lack of transparency was "critical" to passing Obamacare, how the redistribution of wealth from healthy to sick was covered up, etc. But when the folks over at Hannity confronted Gruber this week about his comments, he didn't have much to say other than "no comment.""
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air
"Imagine what would have happened in the midterm elections if the Jonathan Gruber videos had emerged a week before November 4th than the week after. Actually, we don’t have to imagine it, at least not entirely. There is one more Senate race still left to settle, and it looks like Gruber will play a big part in the finale for Mary Landrieu in Louisiana:
I included this in last night’s QOTD, but it’s worth its own look here. The attack strategy in the last two cycles of “Senator X was the deciding vote on ObamaCare” had a mixed track record. The exposure of Gruber’s remarks makes the attack work better than it did in the past, though. It makes each Democrat complicit in the lies and deceptions of ObamaCare which may resonate better than opposition to the law itself. The sheer arrogance of Gruber’s remarks will rub most voters raw."
Matt Vespa, Townhall
"Guy and Katie have been covering the fiasco regarding MIT professor Jonathan Gruber who said repeatedly that Obamacare’s passage relied on “the stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” to get it through Congress.
As the firestorm grew, Democrats began to distance themselves, or outright deny ever knowing Gruber, like Nancy Pelosi did, in order to prevent what’s quickly becoming a public relations nightmare."
Lisa Stiffler, Seattle Times
"State lawmakers on Tuesday voiced their continued frustration with the technical problems still afflicting the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange.
On Saturday, the first day of enrollment for the second round of insurance signups on the exchange, the site was live for only a couple of hours before a technical error was discovered and the exchange was taken offline for repairs. Meanwhile, first-round problems involving the transfer of payment information from the exchange to insurance companies have not been corrected, despite assurances they would be fixed by now."
Lynn Bonner, Raleigh News and Observer
"Any plan Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration presents for expanding Medicaid would have a tough time getting through the state legislature.
A key House member said Tuesday it would probably be premature to consider expanding Medicaid next year with the future of the federal health care law uncertain."