Thursday, October 17, 2013

ObamaCare's Black Box: Why the exchanges are worse than even the critics imagined

The Wall Street Journal ^ | October 16, 2013 | Staff

The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act's October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success. But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable.
This isn't some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department's usual incompetence. The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling.
***
The health industry and low-level Administration officials warned that the exchanges were badly off schedule and not stress-tested despite three years to prepare and more than a half-billion dollars in funding. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her planners swore they'd be ready while impugning critics and even withholding documents from the HHS inspector general for a routine performance audit this summer.
Yet the launch has been worse even than critics predicted. The rare users who weren't locked out experienced crashes, delays and error messages. Mrs. Sebelius initially claimed this was merely servers crashing under unexpectedly high demand. She called it "a great problem to have."(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

Was the Point Republicans Made in the Shutdown Worth the Price?

Wall Street Journal ^ | October 16, 2013 | Gerald F. Seib

The Republican Party's tea-party adherents believe they made an important point by setting in motion the events that led to this month's government shutdown, ill-fated though that shutdown might have been.

The question they and the rest of their party now are left to ponder is this: Was the price paid worth the point made? That question, in fact, now lies at the heart of what figures to be a full-fledged struggle over the soul of the party, and over who really leads it.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

The Launch

RELAX?

You First, Obama!

If they were honest...

National Socialist Park Service

Worker's Paradise

Never open!

Reps

Perhaps...

American taxpayers betrayed by chicken-hearted RINOs

Fox News ^ | 10-16-13 | Todd Starnes

American taxpayers have once again been trampled by establishment Republicans – a thundering herd of chicken-hearted Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) galloping to the Left.
The debt ceiling deal struck between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a victory for President Obama and Democrats.
ObamaCare is still the law of the land. The government is still spending money it does not have. And thousands of government workers just got a two-week vacation courtesy of the taxpayers.
I’m sure we will hear establishment apologists calling the events of recent days a compromise. But seeing how the president refused to compromise, it’s more likely the Grand Old Party was the only one bending.
Establishment Republicans always talk about doing the right thing for the nation, no matter the price. But when push comes to shove, they always throw in the towel. And Wednesday, McConnell and his band of merry moderates heaved their towels in an epic demonstration of lily-livered cowardice.
But you’ve got to hand it to Sen. Ted Cruz for standing his ground. He held the line and ultimately paid the price. His good name was smeared by Democrats as well as McConnell’s band – most notably Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

Advancing. Ever Advancing.

Red State ^ | 10/16/2013 | Erick Erickson

Much cynicism has been expressed over the past month about the effort, led by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, to fight Obamacare. It was about money or defeating Republicans or something other than what it was about — undermining Obamacare with a united front.
It was always about undermining Obamacare, despite the claims of others. But, those of us who were in this fight against Obamacare, have been quite open that we knew there were side benefits. This fight would expose conservative activists to the frauds they have funded.
Men like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and others have preached a great sermon against Obamacare, but now conservatives who supported them see that these men have refused to actually practice what they’ve been preaching. They’ve refused to stand and fight with the rest of us.
The fight was always about Obamacare. Today we know we must keep fighting and fight harder against even our own supposed side. But we always knew the fight would force the charlatans of the GOP out of the shadows into disinfecting sunlight. It has happened as I wrote it would almost a month ago.
Now conservatives can keep advancing. They should not be disheartened.
In reality, the GOP of a decade ago would never have fought like it has fought now. The party that gave us No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and TARP would never have stood for two weeks embarrassing Democrats with short term spending bills.
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee may not have been able to strike a death blow to Obamacare today, but they were able to fight a fight that would have been impossible before them. They have now made it less and less possible for Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to fix or stabilize Obamacare.
So we must advance. Two Republicans in the Senate caused this fight that their colleagues would have surrendered on more quickly but for them. Imagine a Senate filled with more. We have an opportunity to replace Mitch McConnell in Kentucky with a better conservative. We should do that. We have the opportunity to send a strong conservative from North Carolina and we should do that. Same in Colorado. Kansas looks to be in play. Chris McDaniel will declare his candidacy for the Senate in Mississippi. Conservatives will rally to him quickly. Tennessee could be in play too.
The establishment has given conservatives a brilliant opportunity to advance against them and then against the Democrats. As Obamacare now goes into full swing, conservatives can show that they tried to stop it while Mitch McConnell and so many others sat and watched from a cozy booth the Capitol Hill Club leaving the fighting to others while they did everything possible to undermine the fight.
As more Americans watch Obamacare fail them through the Republican primary season, conservatives will be able to put the focus on Republicans who funded Obamacare instead of fighting it. Whether they like it or not, Republicans in Congress will find their names on ballots in 2014. They cannot hide or escape fate.
Conservatives must advance — ever advancing against the Republicans who have folded in the fight against Obamacare. We will not win all the fights. But Ted Cruz and Mike Lee show we do not have to win them all. We just need reinforcements.
The last time the major leaders of an American political party tried to compromise their way to power, the party broke apart giving us the Republicans. This fight too will break apart the GOP. There will not necessarily be a new party from it, but there will be a fundamentally altered party of new faces fueled by a grassroots movement now able to connect with each other and independent from Wall Street and K Street funders.
Never before have the people been less dependent on a party apparatus to play in primaries. Conservatives now have groups like Heritage Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, For America, and others to fund and rely on.
Grassroots upset about this fight should be encouraged. We’d have never gotten this far with the GOP before 2010. Imagine now the possibilities in 2014 if we make examples of a GOP that refused to fight Obamacare.
2014 must now be about advancing, ever advancing, even through the ranks of the GOP to have the fights that must be had.