Saturday, November 9, 2013

Media Pans Obama's "Apology"




Townhall.com ^ | November 8, 2013 | Guy Benson 


The president's passive-voice expression of vague regret was so half-assed and self-serving that conservatives can simply sit back and let the mainstream media tee off on its inadequacy. He's not sorry for lying repeatedly in furtherance of his political goals, and he's certainlynot sorry that people are losing their coverage. His law required that outcome. His promise was an intentional lie. Let the MSM opprobrium flow:

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "The lowest low of the Obama presidency."

National Journal's 
Ron Fournier:
I'm sorry, too, Mr. President...I'm sorry you campaigned for reelection on the famous false promise: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan. Period." I'm sorry your aides debated whether to tell the full truth (that people could keep their insurance only if it hadn't changed and if it met your standards) and decided instead to institutionalize the lie. I'm sorry that when Americans recognized the deception you tried to reinvent history: "What we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed." No, no, no, no, no—that's not what you guys said. I'm sorry you didn't trust Americans with the truth.

Former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan:



The Chicago Sun Times' Lynn Sweet:
Meanwhile, the website selling health insurance under Obamacare in Illinois and other states — Healthcare.gov — is still not fully functional and never has been since the Oct. 1 launch. A remarkable feature of Todd’s interview with Obama — whose hair is noticeably grayer — is the president’s inability to sincerely express empathy. I know he tried, but is that the best he’s got?Given that people are freaking out when they get a notice their policies are being dropped — a horrible, frustrating life experience.


Hotline's Josh Kraushaar:

Kraushaar isn't the only person who doubts Healthcare.gov will be fixed by the administration's own do-over deadline. Add Howard Deanto the list of skeptics, which includes numerous IT experts. Stories like this don't inspire much confidence either:
Today's "Operational Update on the Health Insurance Marketplace" was not especially good news: As capacity problems at the start of HealthCare.gov get fixed, tech workers are finding new capacity problems later in the application process -- ones that, up until now, they didn't know about. "Essentially what is happening is people are going through the entire process," Medicare spokeswoman Julie Bataille, who runs the daily call, told reporters. "As we have fixed certain pieces of functionality, like the account creation process, we're seeing volume go further down the application. We're identifying new issues that we need to be in a position to troubleshoot." That means that, as the HealthCare.gov team ticks items off its "punch list," it's also adding new ones that need to be addressed.


Welcome to 404 error whack-a-mole hell. Obama's tech surge czar has confirmed these obstacles and acknowledges that the site isn't even close to being fixed. Uh oh. The public is growing restless. Bear in mind that these new numbers from Pew are among adults, a pool that tends to skew more pro-Democrat than registered or likely voters:



His disapproval on healthcare is at 59 percent. And that's before the potential (likely?) missed November 30th deadline (and all of itsrelated fallout), and the arrival of pending access shock. Not to mention the fresh round of dropped coverage and premium hikes due to arrive just before the next election. Obama's overall job approval sits at 40 percent among men and 43 percent among women. Not much of a gender gap there, folks. Dan has more on the survey here.

GOP on Obamacare rollout: "This is what betrayal looks like" (Obama lied, healthcare died)

cbs ^ | 11/9/2013 | By JAKE MILLER

Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., slammed President Obama for committing "betrayal" in the weekly Republican address on Saturday, claiming the president misled Americans when he assured them that, under the new health care reform law, they could keep their insurance plan if they liked it.
Young relayed stories of Indiana residents whose insurance has been canceled or become more expensive under the new law. "This is what betrayal looks like," he said. "Here you have hardworking people who were repeatedly told not to worry, that their coverage would stay the same and - if anything - their costs would go down. Just the opposite is happening."
"Adding insult to injury, the White House - the president - isn't leveling with us," Young added. "He's trying to cover his tracks, claiming he never really made these promises. No wonder a member of his own party called this a 'crisis of confidence.'"
On Tuesday, veteran Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski warned that the problems with the health care law's website and the stories of people losing their insurance due to the new law's minimum coverage standards have created a "crisis of confidence." She urged the administration to right the ship before the law sinks.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...

Popular provision of health law fuels sticker shock

Monterey Herald ^ | 11/07/2013 | Julie Appleby

When setting premiums for next year, insurers baked in bigger-than-usual adjustments, driven in large part by a game-changing rule: They can no longer reject people with medical problems.

Popular in consumer polls, the provision in the health law transforms the market for the estimated 14 million Americans who buy their own policies because they don't get coverage through their jobs. Barred from denying coverage, insurers also can't demand higher rates from unhealthy people and those deemed high risks because of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure or a previous cancer diagnosis.
But the provision also adds costs. To a larger degree than other requirements of the law, it is fueling the “sticker shock” now being voiced by some consumers about premiums for new policies, say industry experts.
(Excerpt) Read more at montereyherald.com ...

Where do Jobs come from?

American Thinker ^ | 11/01/2013 | Howard Hyde

I have some bad news. No one gives you a job because you deserve one. No one gives you a job because you need one. Not because you are a good person, not because you are breathing, can fog a mirror, and/or are entitled. The 'free market' doesn't mean you get stuff for free.

You get a job because someone needs some work done and is willing and able to pay you for it.

Let's elaborate just a bit. Someone needs some work done and is willing and able to compensate you with wages, working conditions, benefits, opportunities for advancement and intrinsic rewards just enough to persuade you to turn down all competing offers and accept the job; and willing to put up with your human deficiencies in getting the work done. He or she does this because you present the education, skills, experience, personal hygiene, judgment, grooming, intelligence and social skills adequate to get the job done and most important, to return to the employer value in all of the above that exceeds what it costs him/her to compensate you; and to do so consistently and for the duration of your employment, whether a weekend part-time temp fill-in contract or a 40-year gold watch career.
'Willing' and 'Able' require some further explanation. Let's start with Able.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

First Whig Party Candidate Elected Since Reconstruction

Big Government ^ | 11/9/2013 | JARRETT STEPMAN

Modern Whig Party candidate Robert “Heshy” Bucholtz, a 39-year old software engineer, was voted in as an election judge in the Democratic bastion of Rhawnhurst in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
This is one of the first Whig candidates elected since the party became defunct in the 1860’s, and Bucholtz is the only Modern Whig currently in office. The last Whig politician to serve in Philadelphia was Robert Conrad, who was mayor of the city from 1854-1856.
Bucholtz won by a vote of 36-24. He is now responsible for overseeing equipment and procedures at the polls.
The Modern Whig Party portrays itself as the moderate alternative to the Republican and Democrat parties, emphasizing its opposition to “corruption, ineffective leadership, and ideological paralysis.”
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Ted Cruz to Jay Leno: 'What I'm Trying to Do is Do My Job'

NewsMax ^ | 11/08/2013 

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz made his late night television debut Friday, where he and Tonight Show host Jay Leno talked about his opinions on Obamacare, same-sex marriage and his future ambitions.
Leno wasn't easy on the freshman senator, who has become one of the loudest critics of Obamacare, and whose efforts to defund the president's health insurance plan was one of the factors leading to October's partial government shutdown, CNN reports.
"Don't believe everything you read," Cruz told Leno, in response to questions about complaints from both Democrats and Republicans that he is "aggressive, arrogant and abrasive."
"What I’m trying to do is do my job,” he said. “And occasionally people don’t like it.” Cruz, while discussing Obamacare, reiterated his belief that the law is both harmful and destructive, but denied he wants to eliminate health care reform.
"I'm a big believer in health care reform" Cruz told Leno. "I think we ought to reform health care so it's personal, it’s portable, it’s affordable. We ought to empower patients rather than government bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor.”
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...

How Billy Graham became an American icon

CNN ^ | November 9, 2013 | Molly Worthen, special to CNN

Under ordinary circumstances, Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch are probably not in the habit of attending the birthday parties of elderly Christian preachers in the North Carolina mountains.
But they were both among the hundreds of well-wishers at the party on Thursday marking Billy Graham’s 95th birthday.
Graham spent his career leading revivals around the globe, following a long tradition of evangelists who have traveled far and wide to urge sinners to accept Christ. But his birthday guest list shows that he is no ordinary preacher. He is a cultural icon, the most famous face of traditional Protestant Christianity.
“We need Billy Graham's message to be heard, I think, today more than ever," former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the crowd.
What, exactly, is that message—and what accounts for its mass appeal? Now that Billy is 95, I wonder: is there anyone who can fill his shoes?
Graham rose to success in the God-fearing years of the early Cold War. In 1949, the year of Graham’s first big revival in Los Angeles, President Harry Truman told Americans that “the basic source of our strength as a nation is spiritual. ... Religious faith and religious work must be our reliance as we strive to fulfill our destiny in the world.”(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at religion.blogs.cnn.com ...

Obama’s Not Really Sorry Obamacare’s Making Americans Lose Insurance!

Life News ^ | November 8, 2013 | Dave Andrusko

NBC News’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd is hardly one of us nor is he a reporter looking for opportunities to hammer President Obama. In fact, most of the time, Todd excels at making up excuses for Mr. Obama, no matter how far-fetched.
But the fiasco which is the rollout of ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges—the near impossibility of getting on the website and the truth that millions of people are going to lose the insurance they want—has even Todd in a cranky mood.

Nowhere was that better illustrated than when he appeared on a MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program panel and tried to get an honest response from Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House advisor for Health Policy. Emanuel told such a series of breathtaking, bald-faced lies that Joe Scarborough, the host, said more than once, “This is so beneath you” (to which Emanuel responded, “No, it isn’t”). After Todd offered a devastating rebuttal and Emanuel robotically stuck to the same talking point, Todd rolled his eyes and smiled in utter frustration.
Part of that may explain why President Obama sat down with Todd for an “exclusive” interview. The conventional line was (to quote the headline in the Washington Post) “President Obama apologizes to Americans who are losing their health insurance.”
And it IS true that the President expressed regret: “I am sorry that [people who've lost their health insurance] are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” That presumably is a reference to his oft-spoken, now-thoroughly discredited promise that (as he told the AMA in June 2009), “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
What can be said?
For starters, early in the interview, Todd deferentially asked –with an excuse built into the question– “Feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading them, even if you didn’t intentional do it?” That is giving the President a HUGE benefit of the doubt.
Also Obama keeps insisting “it’s a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged.” (A) It’s not small, it’s in the millions; (B) The same problem will crop up as ObamaCare sinks into the economy in the years to come, this time affecting many times more millions of Americans.
Here are some other responses to Mr. Obama’s “apology.” The first is from Ron Fournier of the National Journal who wrote
“I’m sorry that when Americans recognized the deception you tried to reinvent history: ‘What we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.’ No, no, no, no, no—that’s not what you guys said.
“I’m sorry you didn’t trust Americans with the truth.”
There is no reporter anywhere on the planet more sympathetic to Obama than Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, who has followed his career for years. With respect to those millions who will lose their health insurance and (to be polite) insincere answers Obama and his administration have offered, she wrote:
“The Obama team has been relying on legalistic technicalities in keeping the misleading language in his remarks.”
Well, yes.
Sweet also hit on something those of us who’ve watched Obama closely from 2007 on knew almost instantly. As Sweet notes, Obama’s no Bill Clinton who famously claimed to “feel your pain.” Instead
“A remarkable feature of Todd’s interview with Obama — whose hair is noticeably grayer — is the president’s inability to sincerely express empathy. I know he tried, but is that the best he’s got? Given that people are freaking out when they get a notice their policies are being dropped — a horrible, frustrating life experience.”
Actually, that probably IS the best he has.
One other comment. From the Washington Post story, written by Juliet Eilperin, there is this backhanded admission that truth was the first casualty:
“Over the past two weeks, the president and his aides have emphasized that the cancellations stemmed largely from decisions by insurers, rather than from the law.
“In a speech in Boston on Wednesday, Obama said that letting people keep their plans “was part of the promise we made” but that part of the law’s purpose is to help consumers upgrade their plans. On Monday night, he suggested that the promise really applied only to people who bought their plans before the health-care overhaul was enacted.
“Several insurance officials, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue, said in interviews that the way the regulations were written after the law’s passage gave them little choice but to issue the cancellations. They said that the old policy could continue in effect only if very few changes were made and the price remained about the same.”
In other words, they smeared the insurance industry for making changes ObamaCare made it impossible for them to avoid.
The interview resulted in a number of reporters/columnists mentioning that Obama doesn’t do apologies well, which ranks right up there with the most obvious statements of the new millennium. He no more feels responsible for this disaster than he does for every other mess that has occurred on his watch.
That’s just who he is.

House Dem accuses Issa of selectively leaking Obamacare documents (Truth is crushing the Rats)!

cnn ^ | 11/8/2013 | Jim Acosta

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused the panel's chairman, Representative Darrell Issas R-California, of selectively leaking documents related to testing done on HealthCare.gov, the troubled Obamacare website.
Rep. Elijah Cummings D-Maryland, made the allegation Friday amid a battle over Issa's request for testimony from the Obama administration's top technology officer, Todd Park, at a hearing scheduled for next week. Issa has hinted he may subpoena Park to compel his testimony.
Earlier this week, Issa released a statement saying stress tests conducted on HealthCare.gov one day before its launch concluded the site was only "able to reach 1100 users before response time gets too high."
Issa said that performance stands in contrast with previous statements made to the committee by Park who insisted the site could handle a much larger workload, close to 60,000.
(Excerpt) Read more at politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com ...

Anti-rape underwear sparks controversy


KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Efforts to build a company marketed as selling anti-rape underwear has created controversy.
The product is called AR Wear, which stands for anti-rape.
Two women are trying to get their business off the ground, saying the panties, shorts, knickers and tops are designed to prevent a rapist from gaining access to a woman's body. They said the product will give females additional power over their bodies in the event of an assault.
But some advocates for rape victims are crying foul.
The New York women have launched a campaign on the crowd-funding site, IndieGoGo.com. The promotional video features a slim, young woman admiring herself in the mirror while wearing a pair of boy shorts. She then slips into a snug black dress.
"We wanted to provide a product that will make women and girls feel safer when out on a first date or a night of clubbing, taking an evening run, traveling in another country or in other potentially risky situations," the voice on the commercial intones. 
Sexual assault awareness groups and feminist groups have taken issue with what they fear will be a mistaken message. They worry that women assume that rape stems from "risky situations," when experts say the vast majority of sexual violence in the United States involves people who know and trust each other.
"Given their risk scenarios that they outline," said rape victim advocate Amanda Thompson. "I think it does perpetuate the idea that it's not rape unless it's a violent attack in that area of the body."
Thompson works for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. She worries the product launch reinforces misinformed stereotypes about rape.
"If these become mass produced," Thompson said, "and certain people can fit into them and certain people can't and certain people can afford them and certain people can't, we don't want that to turn into another instance where people can reference, ‘Well, I didn't have my anti-rape wear on. Maybe it was my fault.'"
The inventors, who use only their first names, have faced similar criticism worldwide.
"We abhor the culture of male violence in society and wish we could invent a magic formula to end rape," said Ruth, one of the women behind the campaign. "Our product line does nothing to undermine efforts to educate the public and change rape culture. It offers another tool of defense that might work in some cases of assault. Providing a new option for protection from sexual assault is not victim blaming, nor does it perpetuate rape myths. We are sorry that some disagree."
Women on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza had mixed feelings about whether they would use the underwear, but generally the opinions ranged on whether they believed it would be useful, not whether the campaign was harmful.
"If it works, then I think it's great," said Robin Yakaitis, "But how could it work? I keep running through the scenarios and I don't see how it could work."'
Others said they see the need. They are also grateful that the topic is being discussed. 
"I could've used a pair of those before," said Francie Biggs. "I think that's kind of cool. I like what they're doing. I think it sends a good message out there."
Biggs said she cares a great deal about stopping sexual violence and took offense at any criticism about some unintended negative message that could come from the product campaign.
The inventors seem to have anticipated having their motives questioned. The very first paragraph of the product pitch page contains the following statement:
"The only one responsible for a rape is the rapist, and AR Wear will not solve the fundamental problem that rape exists in our world. Only by raising awareness and education, as well as bringing rapists to justice, can we all hope to eventually accomplish the goal of eliminating rape as a threat to both women and men. Meanwhile, as long as sexual predators continue to populate our world, AR Wear would like to provide products to women and girls that will offer better protection against some attempted rapes while the work of changing society's rape culture moves forward."
The investors are about 20 percent short of their $50,000 goal. You can see more by clicking here. 
Ruth issued the following statement to KCTV5 about the controversy:
"We appreciate your interest, but do not feel it is productive to engage in a debate about whether providing a product that some women would want to use for protection in some circumstances should be seen as 'victim-blaming.' I believe that we make our position very clear in the 'Preface' text of our campaign page.
"We do not claim to be providing a product that prevents rape under all circumstances. We do not use victim blaming or rape myths in our campaign, nor do we place the responsibility for ending rape on women or assume that the only type of rape is stranger rape. We abhor the culture of male violence in society and wish we could invent a magic formula to end rape. Our product line does nothing to undermine efforts to educate the public and change rape culture. It offers another tool of defense that might work in some cases of assault. Providing a new option for protection from sexual assault is not victim blaming, nor does it perpetuate rape myths. We are sorry that some disagree."
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

The Crocodile Tears of Obama!

RightWingPatriot.com ^ | November 8, 2013 | RightWingPatriot

The official Crocodile Tears of President Obama Tour is rolling right along. Earlier this week, he gave a speech where he lied about the fact that he repeatedly lied to the American people about being able to keep their health insurance. Suddenly, we went from "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan...period!" to "your substandard, trashy plan is being replaced by a better one that you'll love and worship." (Ok, I added the love and worship part.) Now the latest tidbit is Obama's interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, where once again Obama displays false sadness and pain over the plight of Americans that his ObamaCare is shafting.
Obama opines in the interview, "You know-- I regret very much that-- what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want 'em, as opposed to because they're forced into it. That, you know, we weren't as clear as we needed to be-- in terms of the changes that were taking place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position-- a better position than they were before this law happened.
Keep in mind that most of the folks who are going to-- who got these c-- cancellation letters, they'll be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new marketplaces. Because they'll have more choice. They'll have more competition. They're part of a bigger pool. Insurance companies are going to be hungry for their business.
So-- the majority of folks will end up being better off, of course, because the website's not working right. They don’t necessarily know it right. But it-- even though it's a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged, you know, it means a lot to them. And it's scary to them. And I am sorry that they-- you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that-- they know-- we hear 'em and that we're going to do everything we can-- to deal with folks who find themselves-- in a tough position as a consequence of this."
Now you know Obama is lying as his lips are moving. He's happy that people are losing their insurance as he wants the private sector destroyed. His collective heart can't wait to have everyone totally dependent upon the government and his mission is to make sure that happens. The Obama administration knew for years that ObamaCare would destroy the individual market, which represents over 15 million people, and it has now been reported that the government estimates that 66 percent of small employer plans and up to 45 percent of large employer plans will lose their grandfather status by the end of 2013. So be prepared for your employer to look for you to either pick up a lot more of the tab or the distinct possibility of having your insurance cancelled outright. So far, over 3.5 million individual plan holders have been cancelled and the pain is just beginning. It's starting to get so bad than even hardcore leftists are starting to complain as they're actually getting punished by Obama's policies. Dylan Ratigan, who has been on MSNBC as an anchor, found his insurance cancelled due to ObamaCare and that his new plan would cost $430 more every month. He tweeted, "I bought a catastrophic health policy for $170/mo when I left MSNBC. Obamacare cancelled the policy. New rate $600/mo. Thnx Mr. President!" Well, he and other progressive liberals covered for Obama and did everything they could to re-elect him. so they're laying in a bed of their own making.
On a side note, notice how Obama always portrays himself as an outsider, gazing into the interior of Washington while standing outside a window? He's always frustrated by how things aren't working right, angry with those responsible, and that he'll get to it and figure out what's going on and the best way to fix it. Yet, the simple truth is that Obama is responsible. It's his agenda that his progressive liberal allies have been pushing for years. What kind of psychological neurosis does he have where nothing is ever his fault and he's somehow never connected to what's going on? My six year old niece shows far more maturity and responsibility than Obama does as a grown man and the President.

Seniors lose insurance and doctors under Obamacare [Thank you, AARP]

The Daily Caller ^ | 11/8/2013 | Evan Gahr

Retired chemist Edward Schokowitz was incredulous when he received a letter from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey early last month saying his Medicare Advantage Plan, which had no premium, would be eliminated next year.
“They took all the senior citizens and threw us out of the plan. They now want to give us the same plan for $153 [per month],” he told the Daily Caller. “The President said you can’t be kicked out of your plan. He lies.”
Schokowitz is one of many Medicare beneficiaries now learning that — like Americans who buy insurance on the individual market — they are losing their insurance, and in some cases their doctors, under Obamacare.
Private insurance companies that cover patients with government funds under the Medicare Advantage program have quietly started to dump doctors and patients because of Obamacare budget cuts.
Schkowitz, 75, who lives in a senior citizen complex near Atlantic City, would also pay more for prescription drugs under the new plan. The co-pay for a three-month supply of one of his medications increases next year from $7.50 to $54.00.
Thousands of New Jersey residents are suffering the same fate . Currently, 74,000 Garden State residents are enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage. Nearly half have zero-premium plans.
But in 2014, New  Jersey Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield is eliminating all zero-premium plans with prescription drug coverage and all but two of its other plans with monthly fees.
New Jersey Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesman Tom Vincz tells the Daily Caller that “due to rising health care costs and cuts to Medicare Advantage we had to make these product changes.”
The company is asking elected officials to avoid further cuts to the program, “We’ve been lobbying Congress to help insure that Medicare Advantage is appropriately funded to avoid further increases in premiums and changes in the product,” Vincz told TheDC. “We are hoping to make this a one time experience.”
Federal payments to Medicare Advantage HMOs will decrease seven to eight percent in 2014, according to one prominent health care industry analyst.
Overall, the Affordable Care Act slashes Medicare Advantage funding by $156 in ten years, a reduction that Democrats and many journalists long insisted would not harm patients. Republicans, however, have continually warned of dire consequences.
Now, insurance companies, feeling squeezed, are nixing doctor contracts and patient plans to save money. Medicare Advantage plans are being dropped all over the country.
Nearly 4,000 UnitedHealthCare Medical Advantage members in Hawaii will have their plan terminated next year, according to the Honololu Star-Advertiser.
UnitedHealthCare Medical Advantage is also eliminating two plans in Broward County, Florida.
In Portland, Oregon, Providence and Humana are nixing their PPO plans, which allow patients to see any Medicare doctor. HMO plans, on the other hand, give patients access to only doctors in the network.
UnitedHeatlhCare is also dropping two of the plans it offers Western Pennsylvania residents.
Avalere Health, a consulting group, said in a little-noticed report this September that patient access to Medicare Advantage Plans will decline next year because of the Obamacare cuts.
Relying on data provided by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Alvalere concluded, “A majority of the counties across the country will see a decrease in the number of MA plans available from 2013 to 2014.
“Approximately 80 percent of counties in the South and Midwest will see a reduction in MA plan options, while slightly more than half of the counties in the Northeast and West will have fewer plan options.”
Avalere said the total number of plans will decrease by 5.3 percent. Before Obamacare the number of plans was increasing.
Medicare Advantage patients accustomed to seeing any Medicare doctor they wish are going to be particularly hard-hit under further Obamacare budget cuts.
Avalere chief executive officer Dan Mendelson tells the Daily Caller, “There are going to be fewer PPOs in the program. That product is difficult to maintain.”
Even when insurance companies continue to offer the same Medicare Advantage plans some are increasing prices.
Plan pricing varies by locality, right down to the zip code.
The Aetna Medicare Advantage Standard HMO plan for West Philadelphia residents in the 19104 zip code now costs $39 per month. In 2014, the premium increases to $75.50. Another plan will increase from $140 to $172.
As prices increase for some Medicare Advantage patients their access to doctors withers.
Medicare Advantage HMOs last month started to inform doctors nationwide that their contracts will not be renewed.
Noted Obamacare critic Betsy McCaughey tells the Daily Caller that the cancellation of contracts decreases costs for Medicare Advantage HMOs by reducing doctor utilization. Fewer doctors available will make it harder for patients to get appointments.
“This is happening all over the country,” McCaughey said.
Lazlo Weiss, a Brooklyn ophthalmologist, learned early last month that his Medicare Advantage contract with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is being canceled. “You have patients that you have a relationship with some over many years and you know their problems and they know you and then all of a sudden they are no longer your patients,” he told the Daily Caller. “I hope something can be done before there is more harm to these people.”
New York State Medical Society president Sam Unterricht said that United Health Care Medical Advantage is canceling the contracts of 2,100 New York providers. Emblem Health is also axing doctors but Unterrich has no exact figures.
“We think [Congress] should investigate to see if anything can be done,” Unterrich said. “This affects a lot of patients and physicians adversely.”
Unterricht says the New York State Medical Society has written the entire New York Congressional delegation asking for help. The office of Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York told Unterricht’s  staff members that they will look into the matter.
In Ohio, UnitedHealthCare Medicare Advantage it is cutting doctors loose because of Obamacare.
UnitedHealthCare spokesman Kevin Shermach told the Springfield News Sun that the company is “dealing with the financial pressures created by severe cutbacks in Medicare Advantage funding.”
Shermach did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
It is unclear how many doctors are being axed. But Ohio State Medical society official Todd Baker told the Daily Caller it is happening across all specialties.
SAS Surgery and Vein Specialists, a four physician practice in Springfield, Ohio, just had its UnitedHealthCare Medicare Advantage contract canceled, leaving more than 400 of its patients in the lurch. Some had been under the care of their doctors for decades.
Becky Browning, the office manager for the practice, tells TheDC, “Patients have expressed concern and fear about losing the doctor they are comfortable with. The senior citizens don’t understand why this is happening.”
UnitedHealthcare Medical Advantage has also terminated the contracts of doctors in Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey. Exact numbers could not be determined for those stats.
But Rhode Island Medical Society spokesman Steve DeToy says UnitedHealthCare informed him that the group is cutting 20 percent of its Medicare Advantage doctors.
DeToy told the Daily Caller that dermatologists, rheumatologists and endocronologists who remain in the program are worried they will not be able to handle anymore patients.
“This is creating tremendous havoc,” he said.
Democrats and many journalists have long insisted that Obamacare cuts to Medicare would not harm patients and dismissed Republican objects as partisan grandstanding.
The Affordable Care Act cuts $717 billion from Medicare–$156 from Medicare Advantage–over ten years.  Obamacare supporters claimed the government pays more to insure seniors under Medicre Advantage than it does under traditional Medicre so the cuts were justified.
The Romney presidential campaign last year repeatedly attacked Obama for taking the axe to Medicare. But journalists sided with Obama.
Last year, Time magazine staff writer Kate Pickert said the Romney campaign assertions were patently false. Her October 12, 2012 “Fact Check” post for the magazine’s Swampland blog said the notion “that the Affordable Care Act struck a dangerous blow to Medicare that will change the program in fundamental ways is untrue.”
Pickert insisted that the Medicare Advantage cuts were a prudent cost-saving measure.
Mitt Romney also charged during the campaign that Obama was “destroying the Medicare Advantage program.”
Traditional Medicare covers 80 percent of the fees for any doctor that accepts Medicare. Patients buy “Medigap” insurance to cover the rest. They must also obtain separate prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage HMO plans cover 100 percent of the cost for in-network providers only and generally include drug coverage. Medicare Advantage PPOs allow patients to visit any doctor who accepts Medicare but they pay out of pocket and then get partially reimbursed.
Zero-premium plans sound free but they are not. The government deducts $104.90 from the monthly social security payments to everyone enrolled in both Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare
28% of all Medicare beneficiaries receive coverage through Medicare Advantage.
One of them is the mother of Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
In August Rubio, who frequently expresses concern that his mother will suffer under Obamacare, said that “the chances are that soon seniors will open up the mail to the bad news that your Medicare Advantage…has been changed in negative ways because of Obamacare.”
Time magazine’s Pickert last month  likened Rubio and other Republican critics of the Medicare cuts to chicken littles.
“Back in 2009 and 2010, one of the harshest criticisms of President Obama’s health care law was that it would hurt seniors,” she opined on October 14.  “Four years later, with the ACA in place, it appears that worries about the future of Medicare Advantage have not come to fruition — at least not yet.
“But Republicans have not given up. Some still say the program is in jeopardy thanks to Obamacare.”
But warnings about Obamacare’s threat to seniors were not just coming from politicians.
According to Forbes magazine, Citi health industry analyst Carl McDonald told clients on February 18 that he expected 7 to 8 percent cuts to the Medicare Advntage program in 2014.
He said the funding reductions would be “enormously disruptive to Medicare Advantage, likely forcing a number of smaller plans out of business and creating disarray for many seniors.”
MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, architecht of the Massachuseets health insurance law that was the model for Obamacare, told the Daily Caller that seniors who stand to lose their doctors and Medicare Advantage plans must be sacrificed for the greater good.
“It is a tiny effect compared to the benefits of this law.  There is small fraction of Americans who might need to change doctors or plans because of the law.”
Medicare Advantage covers 14.4 million people.
Asked if Obama had betrayed seniors with his famous promise to Americans that they could keep their doctor and health plan Gruber insisted that, “He was not really talking about seniors.” But in fact, the president’s promise, in dozens of televised speeches was all-inclusive and unqualified. (Related: Obama denies ‘you can keep it’ videotaped promises)
Pressed further, Gruber, who is normally quite expansive with journalists, said, “I have to go” and hung up the phone. (Related: Media skip disclosure of paid Obamacare shill)
Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said another aspect of the Affordable Care Act has also sparked changes to doctor networks and Medicare Advantage policies. The new health insurance tax is “extremely disruptive” to the industry, forcing companies to find new ways to cut costs, he contended.

Report: White House might expand eligibility for ObamaCare subsidies!

The Hill ^ | 11/08/2013 | Elise Viebeck

The White House might broaden the availability of federal discounts on healthcare coverage under ObamaCare to help consumers whose premiums are going up, according to a report.
The administration is considering expanding the premium tax credits that are available to some people purchasing insurance coverage on the new exchanges, according to Huffington Post.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...

Obama Apologizes for Taking Advantage of People's Stupidity!

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 8 Nov 2013 | John Semmens

Unable to persuade everyone that the numerous recordings documenting him promising that those who like their current health insurance could keep it were doctored to cut off a qualifier limiting the promise to “only if it hasn't changed since the Affordable Care Act was passed,” President Obama apologized for “taking advantage of people's stupidity and abusing their trust in me.”
“If I had said at the outset that tens of millions of Americans would be forced off of insurance plans that we consider sub-standard we never would've been able to get Congress to pass the law,” Obama explained. “It should have been obvious to anyone who gave the matter any thought that a huge portion of existing plans, especially those that only covered catastrophic events in exchange for low premiums, would be rendered null and void by the new law. Many of those holding those policies are now experiencing feelings of regret that they supported me and my program. I'm sorry if these people feel they've been duped, but it was necessary for the good of the country.”
In related news, reports critical of the launch of the Obamacare website that point out that we landed more people on the moon than we've registered through the websites in Delaware, Kansas and Alaska combined were labeled “unfair comparisons” by Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney. “The missions to the moon were all financed and directed under a 'single-payer' plan. If you recall, the GOP opposed a single-payer approach to healthcare insurance. Without this opposition all the key decisions would've been totally in the hands of the Government. We wouldn't have to deal with individuals bungling their sign-up or declining to participate.”

So Far… More Americans Lose Health Care Than the Population of 24 States!

Gateway Pundit ^ | November 8, 2013 | Jim Hoft

So far, more Americans have lost their health care plans thanks to Obamacare than the population of 24 states.

According to FOX News more than 4.2 million Americans have now seen their health insurance policies canceled due to the new regulations.
That’s more people than the population of 24 states.
(CHART-AT-LINK)
Related… In North Dakota only 35 people have signed up for O-Care while 35,000 have lost their insurance.

Old Friend Fired

Black Youth Unemployment 393% Higher Than National Unemployment Rate!

Cybercast News Service ^ | November 8, 2013 - 10:17 AM | Ali Meyer

The black youth unemployment rate for ages 16-19 is 393% higher than the national unemployment rate, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
As of October 2013, the unemployment rate for this demographic was 36.0 percent, an increase over last month’s rate of 35.1 percent. The national unemployment rate currently stands at 7.3 percent. …
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...

Paul Krugman: ‘Death panels and sales taxes is how we do this’

Economic Collapse News Blog ^ | November 8, 2013 | Andrew Moran

There is no doubt that the United States is in financial disarray and the future seems quite bleak. In the next decade or so, the U.S. will face extreme difficulties paying for healthcare, making Social Security payments and pretty much keeping entitlement programs afloat. What is the solution?
In a speech made earlier this year in D.C., world-renowned Keynesian economist Paul Krugman concurred that the federal government does have a financial problem. When you add an aging population and rising healthcare costs, the government lacks the necessary revenue to pay for pretty much anything.
According to the Nobel Laureate, the answers to the nation’s problems are death panels and sales taxes.
Here is a snippet from the video, which only recently began to make the rounds after Austrian economist Robert Murphy posted it,Economic Policy Journal cited it and Policy Mic reported on the dangerous remarks.
“Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising…there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give….We’re going to need more revenue….We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes…on the middle class, maybe a value added tax….And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits. So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble, is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”
(VIDEO-AT-LINK)
Death panels initially became a media sensation after former Republican Alaskan Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin claimed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, would establish death panels. She was heavily criticized in the media and PolitiFact named it “Lie of the Year.”
The question is: do death panels really exist? Many countries do in fact have death panels: Canada, the United Kingdom, to name a couple. But mainstream media outlets are continuing to promote the idea of death panel rationing.
Slate published an article about how it’s “a good thing” the Great White North has death panels. Here is a brief statement from the piece:
“When taxpayers provide only a finite number of acute care beds in public hospitals, a patient whose life has all but ended, but whose family insists on keeping her on life support, is occupying precious space that might otherwise house a patient whose best years are still ahead.”
Sales taxes, meanwhile, will be another failed economic policy generated to grow the size and scope of government without actually addressing the budgetary matters and the national debt. Canada also has sales taxes at the federal and provincial level – some mayors and local politicians have been proposing municipal sales taxes for years.
Of course, when a politician proposes a federal sales tax, he or she will start off with a low figure. Indeed, as history has shown with the income tax, as soon as a tax is instituted it will go up year after year.
This is just another example of how Krugman and others want to enlarge the federal government. Remember, the intellects of our society think they know what’s best for the low, common citizenry.

Impeaching Himself, Period!

American Thinker ^ | November 9, 2013 | Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

The side-by-side comparisons of President Obama's statements then and now are devastating. Especially the "period." Period here is no punctuation mark. It's a way of underscoring the word of the President of the United States.

If you like your health care plan you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away. No matter what. - June 15,2009
And I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me. - November 7,2013
For him to have made such unqualified assurances to the American people--not once but dozens of times--and for us to learn that he always knew that promise could not be kept--will haunt his presidency. He has impeached himself.

[snip]
Of course, many opponents of this president will raise the specter of impeachment. The legislative process for enactment of ObamaCare was surely debauched by these knowingly false assurances. Of that there can be no doubt.
But we can set aside all talk of impeachment. In the latest campaign book, Double Down: Game Change 2012, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, we learn that President Obama never gave serious thought to dropping Joe Biden from the ticket. Small wonder. Joe Biden is Mr. Obama's best insurance against impeachment.
Few noted it at the time he was selected, but the very choice of Joe Biden by then-senator Barack Obama was evidence of his inexperience. Obama had not hung around the Senate cloakroom long enough to discover what his colleagues thought of Joe Biden. In his nearly forty years in the Senate, not one of his fellow Democrats had ever suggested making Joe Biden their Senate leader. They all knew him too well.
[snip]
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...