A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Federal Budget/Deficit"

Obamacare's Three-Legged Stool Of Deception Regarding Employer Health Plans

Chris Conover
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Anyone who has listened to the Gruber tapes has heard Prof. Gruber’s repeated references to the “three-legged stool” that forms the core of Obamacare.[1] However, those who pay close attention to his remarks–variously characterized as “arrogant” (Charles Krauthammer), “ careless” (New York Times), “dumb” (Ezra Klein) “ ill-advised and indefensible” (Times Argus), “offensive” (New York Times), and “stupid” (David Axelrod)–may have detected that Gruber enthusiastically endorses (and Obamacare contains) a more sinister three-legged stool of deception regarding employer health plans."

Latest Official Figures Show The Obamacare Exchange Performance Was Worse Than We Thought

Chris Conover
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-26
"The Obama administration has admitted to erroneously inflating the count of Exchange enrollees by incorrectly including 380,000 dental subscribers. Instead of 7.1 paid enrollments in the Exchanges as of mid-October, the correct figure should have been only 6.7 million. For the same reason, the reported number of paid enrollments in August should have been only 6.9 million rather than the 7.3 million figure originally reported. It’s a bit disappointing that this goof might never have been discovered but for the investigative efforts of Republican staffers for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, using data that took weeks of negotiations to secure from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That said, it’s encouraging to see DHHS Secretary Burwell take the position “The mistake we made is unacceptable. I will be communicating that clearly throughout the department.”"

Obama order extends benefits to immigrants

Elise Viebeck, The Hill
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Illegal immigrants protected from deportation under President Obama's executive action will be eligible for Medicare and other benefits once they enter the federal system. The sweeping White House announcement last week means that up to 5 million people will be considered lawfully present in the United States despite having entered the country illegally. This status makes them eligible for programs such as Medicare and Social Security if they work and submit payroll taxes that flow to those programs. This fact was noted Tuesday in a report by The Washington Post."

ObamaCare architect Gruber set to testify at December House hearing

Fox News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Jonathan Gruber, the controversial MIT professor and ObamaCare architect caught on video calling the American people stupid multiple times, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month on the lack of transparency surrounding the Affordable Care Act. In a letter to Gruber, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House committee, asked him and Marilyn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service administrator, to appear and answer questions on repeated transparency failures and outright deceptions involving the Affordable Care Act. The hearing will be held Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m."

A Quarter Of Uninsured Say They Can’t Afford To Buy Coverage

Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Just days before the health law’s marketplaces reopened, nearly a quarter of uninsured said they expect to remain without coverage because they did not think it would be affordable, according to a poll released Friday. That was by far the most common reason given by people who expect to stay uninsured next year, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Forty-one percent of individuals without health insurance said they expected they would remain uninsured, while about half said they plan to get coverage in the coming months."

Obama Officials Seek To Clarify Abortion Coverage Rules

Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"The Obama administration is seeking to clarify rules for the coverage of elective abortion in health insurance exchanges. That is the issue that almost scuttled the Affordable Care Act before it became law. A complicated compromise that got the final few anti-abortion Democrats to agree to vote for the measure in 2010 required every exchange to include health plans that do not cover abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the pregnant woman. Plans that do offer abortion other than in those cases are required to segregate funds and bill for that abortion coverage separately."

Obamacare: Most-Used Plans Face Double-Digit Average Premium Increases

Guy Benson
Townhall
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Please consider Friday's 'Obamacare losing streak' post officially updated. Behold, the 'Affordable' Care Act at work. Congratulations, "beneficiaries" (via The Hill): The average price of the most popular ObamaCare health insurance plans rose 10 percent for 2015, according to a new study of premium figures published Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...Not only are premiums increasing, but if consumers do not pick a different plan, they could pay more due to annual changes in how subsidies are calculated."

CMS reminds insurers that ObamaCare money can't pay for abortions

Elise Viebeck, The Hill
Mon, 2014-11-24
"The Obama administration is seeking to tighten how insurers segregate funds for abortion coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges after a scathing government investigation found the rules have been widely ignored. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided additional detail Friday about how health plans should go about charging women for abortion coverage that is handled separately from their other health benefits obtained on the exchanges."

New video surfaces with controversial Obamacare consultant

CBS News
Sun, 2014-11-23
"WASHINGTON - A new video has surfaced showing economist Jonathan Gruber, who made controversial comments about how the Affordable Care Act was written, talking about states' opposition to the Medicaid expansion in the law, and the role poverty may play in its success or failure. "There's larger principles at stake here," Gruber said in the video, which appeared on the website Healthinsurance.org in April. "When these states are not just turning down covering the poor people, but turning down the federal stimulus that would come with that. "They're not just not interested in covering poor people, they're willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. I mean, it really is just almost awesome in its evilness.""

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