Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gallup: Young voters not engaged on ObamaCare

Hotair ^ | 12/03/2013 | Ed Morrissey 

If there’s one thing that feeds the ObamaCare beast, it’s young, healthy consumers — the same people who voted and worked to put Barack Obama in the White House twice. In order for the system to work, insurers need to get them into the system, paying exorbitant premiums for services they will likely never use, in order to keep prices down for older, less healthy Americans who not coincidentally tend to be more politically engaged. Gallup inadvertently tested that hypothesis and proved it its latest survey:
Americans younger than 30, a key group targeted by the Affordable Care Act, continue to be the least familiar with it. Another important group, those with lower incomes, are less familiar with the healthcare law than are those with higher incomes.
The new healthcare law’s success will rest at least partially on young Americans’ enrollment rates, given the need to have uninsured but healthy younger people sign up for insurance to help subsidize the cost of healthcare for those who are older and more likely to require benefits. These young people need to be familiar with the law if they can be expected to respond to its mandate requiring them to have insurance. There is clearly still work to be done on that front — with younger Americans significantly less acquainted with the law than those who are older.
That may be a blessing for Obama, since this law tends to get less attractive the more one becomes familiar with it:
Those who are familiar with the healthcare law are significantly more likely to oppose it than those who are not familiar with it. Among those familiar with the law, net approval is -19 percentage points, slightly more negative than is the case for the overall population. Those who are unfamiliar with the law are evenly divided, with 41% approving and 43% disapproving.
The overall approval rating for ObamaCare is now 40/54, and there is still plenty of downside left among the low-information adults in the survey. Just wait until most of them lose their employer-based coverage before the midterm elections, eleven months from now or sooner.
The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan doesn’t think that the ignorance of youth is a good sign for Obama, though. The President needs young voters to become activists for his law, and — more importantly — make themselves subject to it:
A new Gallup poll shows that Americans age 18-29 are less familiar with the federal health-care law than any other age group. While 63 percent say they are familiar with the law, that’s nine to 12 percentage points lower than older demographics. An August Kaiser Family Foundation poll, meanwhile, showed that 43 percent of Americans age 18-25 and 41 percent of those between 26 and 35 had heard nothing about their new state insurance exchanges. By comparison, just 33 percent of all adults said the same thing.
Why does the lag matter? In short, because Obama needs a lot of young, healthy people to enroll in plans offered through the exchanges in order to keep premiums down and make the system work as it was designed. Specifically, he needs about 40 percent of enrollees to be younger than 35. (Sarah Kliff gives you everything you need to know about these so-called “young invincibles” over on Wonkblog.)
It certainly doesn’t help the president that young people seem to be the least attuned to the new law. What’s more, early problems with the federal health-care exchange Web site didn’t make it an easier for the administration to woo the young people it badly needs to sign up for coverage. …
Thanks in large part to the young, Obama won two terms in office. Now, the same youthful demographic will decide whether his signature legislation succeeds or falls flat.
When they see that they will have to pay thousands of dollars for comprehensive coverage they don’t need and spend thousands of dollars on deductibles before the first benefit is paid, young Americans will likely opt to pay retail and the fine and save themselves a lot of money. If disaster strikes, they can buy insurance at that point to cover it, thanks to the law Obama passed. Obama’s only real hope is that the youth remain ignorant and follow like sheep into the shearing yard. They’ve done it twice so far for Obama even with the economic incentives clearly marked out for them the second time, and there’s no reason to think they’re wising up yet.
Update: Right on time, here comes a pivot attempting to keep them distracted.

Video: Sticker shock greets those who successfully navigate Healthcare.gov

Hot Air ^ | December 3, 2013 | ED MORRISSEY 

“Now that those glitches have been taken care of,” Newsnet 5′s Debora Lee reports, one Ohio woman finally went shopping for health insurance on Healthcare.gov — and wishes she hadn’t. “I thought it was supposed to help,” Liz Binns told Lee, but now she asks, “How can I pay this kind of money out?”
Welcome to the (kinda) fully functional ObamaCare (via The Right Scoop):
Binns had been trying to navigate the government’s health care website since October to find affordable insurance for her husband, a 60-year-old who has a pre-existing condition and whose job doesn’t offer coverage.
What she finally found for him Monday carries a premium of more than $400 a month and a $5,000 annual deductible.
“How can I pay this kind of money out?” she asked. “It’s going to take at least a second job and praying that I would make enough on a second job just to pay for this health insurance.” …
“I thought this was going to be the miracle for us,” she said, “and it’s not.”
It’s not the website. The website has been a distraction for Americans.
It’s the bill coming due that Obama will have to explain … every day until
the midterms.


(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...

Polls Show ObamaCare Wave Building Against Senate Democrats

breitbart.com ^ | 12/3/13 | John Nolte 

Recent polling shows that an election wave of anti-ObamaCare sentiment is growing, and it is not only likely to hand the GOP control of the United States Senate, but might wipe out as many as 12 Democrat seats--many of which looked safe just a few months ago.
Back in July, Five Thirty Eight's election guru Nate Silver believed that control of the Senate was a tossup. That has all changed now that voters got their first real look at the brutal consequences of ObamaCare.
Starting with the generic ballot that simply pits Republican lawmakers against their Democrat counterparts, the movement towards the GOP has been striking. In the Real Clear Politics average of these polls, going back as far as the beginning of the year, Democrats have consistently led by 3 to 4 points. During the government shutdown, Democrats leaped to 6 and 7 point leads. Since the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, though, Republicans are not only in the lead by 2.5 points, they have led in every poll but one since November 10.
This generic polling is reflected in the available polling of individual Senate seats.
Keep in mind that in order to win control of the Senate, Republicans need only pick up 6 seats, and with Democrat incumbents retiring in the redder than red states of South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana, Republicans pretty much have three Senate pick-ups in the bag. But thanks to ObamaCare and vulnerable Democrat Senators refusing to put their own promises and the well being of their constituents above slavish devotion to Obama, picking off another three should be fairly easy.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Open thread: America to fall in love with ObamaCare all over again at 2:30 ET

Hot Air ^ | December 3, 2013 | Allahpundit 

Not sure yet which cable nets are carrying O’s speech, but since this is being billed as O-Care’s big comeback, MSNBC should have it. In case you missed it earlier in Headlines, now would be a fine time to remind yourself just how much damage Obama’s willing to do to his partners in this boondoggle in the name of covering his and his party’s asses:

In the last few weeks, the Obama administration has changed the rules to let people keep their existing health insurance longer, delayed the open enrollment period for 2015 by one month, and extended the 2013 deadline for when individuals would have to enroll in order have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014…

Steve Zaharuk, senior vice president of the U.S. Insurance team for Moody’s, told ABC News that over the next year, the uncertainty posed by last minute changes from the Obama administration could expose insurance companies to higher administrative costs and uncertainty about the effects of the changes on the composition of healthy and sick people they insure…
Zaharuk also warned that two changes could be significant for insurance companies if the Obama administration decides to go forward with them, as some in Congress have advocated: delaying the individual mandate or extending the open enrollment period beyond March 31, 2014.
“At that point, insurance companies might want to reassess their position in the exchanges and possibly even lobby to have the premium rates changed,” Zaharuk said. “We’d consider those very significant rule changes.”
And so, barely two months into implementation, we’ve already got the inner circle of one of America’s credit agencies nudging insurers to abandon the exchanges if Democrats try to pull the rug out from under them any further. A fine backdrop to this afternoon’s O-Care pep rally. As for the inevitable “80 percent of the time, it works every time” cheerleading by O to come, here’s some helpful perspective:
Obama administration officials acknowledged today that some of the roughly 126,000 Americans who completed the torturous online enrollment process in October and November might not be officially signed up with their selected issuer, even if the website has told them they are…
For those who thought they enrolled in a plan through the federal exchange since October, the Obama administration now advises that individuals contact their insurance company to verify coverage and if none exists, to start all over again.
“Consumers should absolutely call their selected plan, confirm that they have paid their first month’s premium and that coverage would be available to them, beginning January 1st,” said Julie Bataille, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.
I thought it’d take a week for the White House to swallow its pride and start encouraging consumers to double-check that their enrollment went through by calling insurers directly. It took a day. They won’t disclose the 834 error rate (although, thanks to WaPo, we know it now anyway) but the fact that they’re publicly urging people to follow up gives you a clue about the magnitude of the problem.
While we wait, here’s “white hat” hacker David Kennedy in a segment recorded before Thanksgiving telling CNBC that Healthcare.gov is a smoking volcano of security problems. And now, after the “fix,” it’s allegedly even worse. Security is a strange X factor in the rollout: The warnings about it from tech experts like Kennedy are more dire than any of the rhetoric about the site’s many, many “glitches,” but the White House and Democrats seem relatively unperturbed about it. You hear lots and lots about extending deadlines for enrollment and solving the back-end problems, not so much about the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have exposed themselves to government-enabled identity theft or worse. No one knows when Vesuvius will finally blow. Good luck, champ.
Update: How desperate is Obama for some good publicity right now? This desperate.

Obama: 'We're not going back'

The Hill ^ | November 3, 2013 | Justin Sink 

President Obama declared Tuesday that ObamaCare "is working" and that "we're not going back," as the White House looked to reboot its efforts to sell Americans on the president's signature healthcare law.
Obama said that "poor execution" of the rollout of HealthCare.gov had "clouded" the benefits of the bill, but said he would not allow technical glitches to undermine a program that was providing financial security for many Americans.
"If I've got to fight another three years to make sure this law works, that's what we'll do," Obama said.
"We're not repealing it as long as I'm president," he added. "I want everybody to be clear about that. We'll make it work."
The president, flanked by supporters who had benefited from aspects of the law, vacillated between a defense of his embattled program and a sales pitch intended to highlight some of ObamaCare's benefits for ordinary families.
Obama shared stories of individuals who had been helped by provisions of the law that allowed those under 26 to remain on their parents' health insurance, or receive free preventive care.
Acknowledging that the benefits of the program had "gotten lost a little bit," the president urged attendees to tell their friends and families about the law's success stories.
"It's working better now and it's just going to keep on working better over time," Obama said.
In his remarks, the president shied away from directly addressing more recent critiques of the ObamaCare website, including reports that the portal was continuing to provide insurers with error-riddled enrollment information. Obama did say that as new problems arose, the administration would address them.
"Whatever comes up, we're going to fix it," he said, adding later that the White House had " learned not to make wild promises about how perfectly smooth it's going to be."
The president also chastised critics of the law, saying Republicans "haven't presented an alternative" that would address flaws of the pre-ObamaCare system. He singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying the Republican leader "refused to answer" when asked what his alternate proposal was.
"He just repeated 'repeal' over and over and over again," Obama said.
Earlier Tuesday, McConnell said the president's "campaign-style event won’t solve the myriad problems facing consumers under ObamaCare."
“The American people have been learning about the impact ObamaCare will have on individuals and families in the form of higher premiums, disrupted insurance, and lost jobs—more broken promises from the administration. And they’re becoming increasingly aware of the fact ObamaCare is broken beyond repair," McConnell said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the president's event was the first of many in a "renewed effort to refocus the public and the public's attention on the benefits of the law."
Carney said that in the coming days, the president and other White House officials would talk about existing benefits under ObamaCare, including insurance plans mandating free preventive care, ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and the curbed growth in healthcare costs.
The White House spokesman said that sales effort would use "a number of different venues," including press events and Internet advertising campaigns.

"This is an opportunity now that the website is functioning effectively for the vast majority of users and we are seeing high volume and high volume being handled effectively by the website and people enrolling that it's an opportune time to talk about, again, the actual benefits that are provided by the law," Carney said.

All The King's...


Every Nation


Double Barrel


Great Minds


The Truth


Tell us more...


George Washington




an unborn


Turn White




You Racisit


Fire 'em all


Big Deal


Your Doctor is a VET!


Don't Worry




This is ObamaCare!


Living Large


Dropping Numbers




The Ancient Mariner


I told you so!






Sucker Punched


Free Speech




Dear John Kerry...


Obama Goes Back To Selling ObamaCare

Political Realities ^ | 12/03/13 | LD Jackson 

Let me provide a simple translation of the title of this post. It means President Obama is going back to full campaign mode. It is a mode he rarely leaves, but was forced out of when it became apparent that the ObamaCare website was a complete disaster. Let's see, I believe that was on October 1, during the celebrated roll out of ObamaCare and its heralded website. It didn't take long for most Americans to realize just how large the failure was going to loom over the President's signature legislation. But as I pointed out in a previous post, ObamaCare is more than just a website.
We are now seeing conflicting claims about the website. President Obama and company are quick to point out it isn't perfect, but is running a lot better. They are so encouraged that they are kicking off a campaign to sell the benefits of the law to the American people.
Politico - President Barack Obama will launch a coordinated campaign Tuesday by the White House, congressional Democrats and their outside allies to return attention to why the Affordable Care Act passed in the first place.After two months of intense coverage of the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, the president will host a White House event kicking off a three-week drive to refocus the public on the law’s benefits, senior administration officials told POLITICO.
The White House will take the lead in emphasizing a different benefit each day until the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage. The daily message will be amplified through press events and social media by Democratic members of Congress, the Democratic National Committee, congressional campaign committees and advocacy organizations, officials said.
The fresh push is an attempt to get back to the game plan that Democrats wanted to pursue before the faulty website forced them into full-time damage control. The president needs to rebuild confidence in the law among the public and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill, who have threatened to roll back aspects of Obamacare if the insurance marketplace didn’t improve quickly — and refocus attention on what would be lost if it were repealed.
Now that the website appears to be mostly functional, the West Wing thinks it has the ability to return to sales mode.
Obama Snake OilLet's look at the facts. President Obama is kicking off a concerted attempt to feed more lies to the American people. Faced with the multiple failures of ObamaCare, he is about to start, again, lying to the American people. He is going to tell them how great ObamaCare really is, as if we are children who have to be told to eat our vegetables. In light of that, I would like to know something.
How is he going to get past the facts? The health insurance plans being sold on the ObamaCare website are turning out to be mostly more expensive and providing less coverage than the plans previously held by the millions of Americans who have received cancellation notices. I've lost count of how many people we have heard who are having to purchase insurance plans that have about $6,000 in out-of-pocket expenses before the benefits even start to kick in.
The facts of ObamaCare simply do not add up to the rhetoric we have heard. This upcoming sales pitch on which the President is about to embark will be no better. The best description I can think of is a snake oil salesman. Remember the old western television shows? Many of them featured a traveling salesman at one point. He was usually selling one concoction or another that he professed would cure all the ails of the good townsfolk. The one thing that could be depended on is the salesman was lying through his teeth to sell a product that was nothing like he was portraying.
Get ready people. The traveling salesman known as the ObamaCare Snake Oil Salesman is about to hit the road. We are in for another round of lies and rhetoric as President Obama tries to convince us the medicine he is selling is actually good for us. I don't know about you, but I'm just not buying what he is selling.

Why Liberalism Is On The Wrong Side Of History

Townhall.com ^ | December 3, 2013 | John Hawkins 

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." -- C.S. Lewis

”One of the overriding points of Liberal Fascism is that all of the totalitarian ‘isms’ of the left commit the fallacy of the category error. They all want the state to be something it cannot be. They passionately believe the government can love you, that the state can be your God or your church or your tribe or your parent or your village or all of these things at once. Conservatives occasionally make this mistake, libertarians never do, liberals almost always do.” -- Jonah Goldberg

Liberals dream of one day seeing all Americans permanently locked in the smothering, cradle-to-grave death grip of the nanny state. Nothing excites a liberal more than the idea of controlling where you go to school, regulating your work and play, deciding what type of health care you're going to have and then deciding when you get to retire and how much money you have when you do. Even if you want to choose, you can't. Even if you want to break free, you're stuck. You're not allowed to make different choices because liberals have made it illegal.
What if you're pro-choice on spending your tax dollars on a private school instead of a public school? What if you'd prefer to keep your current health care plan instead of a much more expensive new plan that provides coverage you don't need? What if you'd rather invest your own Social Security money instead of giving it to the government? Sorry, but you don't get a choice. You get the same antiquated 1920s style mentality that prompted Henry Ford to say, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."
It's a kinder, gentler version of George Orwell's horrific "boot stamping on a human face - forever." In the liberal version, it's a boot gently pressing you to the ground, forever, "for your own good" -- as if liberals have the slightest idea of what "your own good" might be. Certainly, they believe they know what's best for you. It's what they were told by their college professors, the New York Times and their friends. There's a whole echo chamber dedicated to telling them exactly what they want to hear about how other people should be living.
The problem with that is not so much liberals living how they want to live; it's that liberals want to force everyone else to live how they want to live. They don't like guns; so no one should have guns. They like gay marriage; so everyone must be forced to like gay marriage. They like PBS; so everyone should be forced to pay for PBS.
Once, when the planet was mostly made up of illiterate people who engaged in subsistence farming and were ruled by noblemen, that sort of thinking made a certain kind of sense. Today, liberalism's hunger to control people is an anachronism that's out of place in the modern world. If California wants to go billions into debt, welcome illegal aliens and have more people on welfare than working, that's its mistake, but the real problem with liberalism is that liberals insist on trying to force it to become EVERYONE'S MISTAKE. It's not enough for California, New York and Illinois to destroy themselves; liberals insist on trying to use the federal government to force citizens in Texas, North Carolina and Utah to embrace the same destructive policies. It's a one-size-fits-all philosophy in a world that's giving consumers more choices every day.
If Justin Bieber is at the top of the pop charts, should EVERYONE be forced to listen to Justin Bieber? If Duck Dynasty is popular, should EVERYONE be forced to watch Duck Dynasty? If the two most popular foods in America turn out to be hotdogs and chocolate ice cream, should EVERYONE have to eat those two foods at every meal? We laugh at this sort of thinking in the marketplace, but that's exactly the philosophy liberals have with government.
Liberals like expensive health care plans that pay for birth control and maternity care; so EVERYONE has to have those plans or be taxed. Liberals love abortion; so they believe EVERY STATE must make abortion legal, even the ones that are pro-life. Liberals want to control how your children are educated; so they refuse to allow parents to choose whether they want to spend their tax dollars on public or private schools. Most people have hundreds of options on TV, on the Internet and in the grocery store; yet liberals want to use the federal government to take all of your choices away when it comes to guns, education, your retirement and your health care.
It's why Congress has an approval rating of 6%. It's why Obamacare is wildly unpopular. It's why D.C. and our court system have devolved into partisan warfare. It's because liberalism is a non-functional, imperious philosophy that is out of step with the modern world and on the wrong side of history.

The Danger of Maxine Waters Running the Banks is Real

Townhall.com ^ | December 3, 2013 | John Ransom 

Inflation has been tame in the U.S. during the Obama administration, at least in regards to things the government is worried about, like wages.
If one looks at the official CPI measurements, inflation isn’t a problem. Deflation however could be, according to the Fed’s Politburo of Governors.
Falling prices, which presumably would give the rest of us relief at the checkout counter, if it wouldn’t do anything to add to our paycheck, is the biggest danger to the safety of our Republic, say central bankers.
“The Consumer Price Index… decreased 0.1 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.”
That puts inflation just between one and none for the year.
Officially, anyway.
But the system of measurement that the government uses is geared to only record inflationary pressures in areas the government would like to control, like how much your paycheck and my paycheck is growing.
For the Fed, the ultimate sin of the economy is rising wages. When wages start to go up, look out. That’s when the Fed will start to hike interest rates to “cool” things off.
If you look at the way inflation was calculated prior to either the “reforms” in calculating CPI made by the government in 1990 or 1980, says the economic site ShadowStats, inflation is running near 5 percent or 9 percent respectively.

That rate includes the things that matter to you and me like food, energy, rents and clothes.
You know? The little things in life.
And those rates are quite unsettling considering how anemic our economy is.
I would say that anything above 10 percent inflation as calculated using the “prior to 1980” formula is likely a strain on the economy. The strain could cause—likely would cause-- the country to eventually go into a recessionary spiral no matter how low our wages remain or how anemic economic velocity is here at home.
The chart above tends to confirm that there was some link between spiking inflationary pressures and the financial crash of 2008.
As I have said before, I think the culprit was rising gas prices. Others may disagree.
Certainly consumers and producers are getting some relief today by lower gas prices, but that relief could be short term as long as our government pretends that low cost energy isn’t beneficial for the country.
But here’s the part that has me a little concerned and it’s tinged with good news and bad news: The good news is that bank lending is up and it’s helping both business and consumers.
Reports Reuters:
"I think what we're seeing in the U.S. is that capital ratios have improved. We're now seeing pretty robust lending," Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the United Arab Emirates on financial regulation.
Asked where U.S. bank loans were going, he replied: "It's going both to the C&I, commercial and industrial, sector - it's also going to the consumer sector. That's exactly what you'd want to get with what we're doing with monetary policy, with the banks providing lending to both the households and the firms."
The bad news is that that means that all that money that has been pumped into the system by the Federal Reserve through quantitative easing and other monetary stimulus efforts—a record amount of money now sits in accounts in the United States—will start to increase monetary velocity, meaning it will change hands more frequently.
And when that happens, inflation will surely follow.
Now imagine how bad things will get if Maxine Waters ends up running the financial services committee in the United States House of Representatives while we have an inflationary peak and the economy is in another crisis.
Today the essential element of inflation is the availability of credit, not necessarily money supply.
And Congress can put pressure on banks to loan money regardless of circumstances, income, credit or risk.
“We must ensure that reform of this complicated market is accomplished in a manner that provides opportunity to Americans on all income levels," said Waters recently about her proposal for the government to guarantee the housing market, "protects taxpayers and consumers, and brings equity and accountability to all actors within our financial system."
Note her omission of Congress when it comes to accountability.
Inflation, generally speaking, happens in a flash. Where there is no inflation, suddenly in a period of six months or so, inflation becomes a problem.
For example, from December of 1977 inflation went from a relatively mild 4 percent annualized rate to 12 percent by June 1978. And then it took until 1981 to stabilize and reverse the inflation trend.
One way of looking at it—I explain this especially for Rep. Maxine Water who WILL be the US House chair of the financial system if Dems win a majority in the House-- is to think of the money supply as fuel in a propane tank, the banking system as the hose that carries the fuel and inflation as the fire. If you suddenly expand the size of hose by loaning more money, you will add more fuel to your fire.
The mistake the government types are making has been they have been adding more fuel as a substitute for taking care for the size of the hose—the hose being the banking sector.
The private economy has a way of adapting, however, even to government policies that we have today. It wants a larger hose and will eventually get one by its own efforts. In the meantime the government has pumped the tank with more fuel under higher pressure.
When that record fuel under higher pressure meets that expanding hose, a conflagration is what we’ll get.
And it will be years in taming. Maybe decades if Maxine Waters gets her shot.