Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pelosi won’t run on Obamacare: ‘While we’re proud of the Affordable Care Act, we now pivot to jobs’!

Daily Caller ^ | Aril 2 2014 | No Attribution
While Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took an Obamacare victory lap Tuesday afternoon, she appeared hesitant to make the law the central plank in her party’s push to win in 2014, telling reporters that “while we’re proud of the Affordable Care Act, we now pivot to jobs.”
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Obama May Want To Put Cork Back In Champagne Bottle After He Sees These ObamaCare Numbers

IJReview ^ | April 2, 2014 | Mike Miller
Now that Obama has taken a victory lap and popped the champagne cork over hitting the ObamaCare enrollment goal, it looks as if it might be time to put the cork back in the bottle.Results of a RAND Corporation study suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million, as claimed by Obama – had paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by the Monday night deadline. The study also indicates that only one-third of exchange sign-ups were previously uninsured.Yes, millions of enrollees were previously insured, including those who lost coverage when their existing policies were cancelled because they didn’t meet ObamaCare’s minimum requirements.
Still, Obama claimed that “millions of people who have health insurance would not have it”‘ without ObamaCare. The numbers simply do not support that claim.Moreover, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a shot at Republicans “who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it.” Obama also thanked Democrats, who passed the “Affordable” Care Act without a single Republican vote.
“‘We could not have done it without them, and they should be proud of what they’ve done.”
Yeah, they’re proud as punch, Mr. President. We’ll see how proud they are as they run away from ObamaCare as fast as they can during this year’s campaign season.By the way, in addition to subtracting the number of those who have applied for ObamaCare but not paid for it from the 7.1 million number the White House touts, there are Medicaid adjustments to be made to Obama’s fuzzy math as well.
  • The White House counts Medicaid enrollees in its numbers. Through December, between 1 and 2 million ObamaCare enrollees actually signed up for Medicaid vs. health insurance.
  • Moreover, when states report Medicaid enrollment data to the federal government, they don’t break down the number between the “gained Medicaid because of Obamacare” population and the “would have gotten Medicaid anyway” group.
So, while the White House will most certainly continue to pat itself on the back for a “job well done,” the only “job” is the snow job being perpetrated on the American public.


Should women be serving on the front lines in combat?

The Libertarian Republic ^ | 4/2/2014 | Austin Petersen
The Freedom Report podcast today takes on the issue of female marine officer candidates who can't pass the physical requirements to serve in combat roles. Although 3 enlisted female marines have reportedly passed the less rigorous infantry training course, no women have been able to make it through the stricter infantry officer course. In a piece for the Washington Post, Second Lt. Sage Santangelo argues that the reason that female officers are not passing the test is because they are not being trained to the same standards as men. She believes that women are more than capable of doing the pullups required if the initial training programs were made to suit their biological difference in upper body strength. Santangelo claims to be able to do 16 pullups. Female warriors have a long and fierce history in combat throughout history. One woman by the name of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester won the Silver Star by leading a counterattack that killed 27 insurgents, three of them with her own rifle. And in the Israeli military in 2007, one woman saved the life of a fellow soldier by crafting a tourniquet out of her bra. So should women be serving in combat? And should we be holding men and women to different standards? All that and more on the Freedom Report podcast!

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Powerline ^ | April 2,2014 | PAUL MIRENGOFF
Now that President Obama has completed his end-zone dance for perhaps signing up more people for health insurance than have been dropped from coverage due to Obamacare, it’s time for a sober look at the costs of his signature program. Our friend Tevi Troy, head of the American Health Policy Institute (AHPI), provides that look in a study called “The Cost of the Affordable Care Act to Large Employers.” The study is based on internal cost data from more than 100 large employers (10,000 or more employees each) doing business in the United States. It offers the first-ever look at how these organizations believe Obamacare has impacted the current and future cost of providing health care to their employees. The study’s main findings are that over the next decade: Obamacare will cost large U.S. employers between $4,800 to $5,900 per employee. Large employers expect overall Obamacare-related cost increases of between $163 million and $200 million per employer, or an increase of 4.3 percent in 2016 and 8.4 percent in 2023 over and above what they would otherwise be spending. Based on these data, the total cost of Obamacare to all large U.S. employers will amount to between $151 billion and $186 billion, or 5.9 percent more than what they would otherwise be spending. Tevi concludes that “these data demonstrate that the added mandates, fees and regulatory burdens associated with the ACA are increasing the cost of employer-sponsored health care plans, with implications for both employers and employees.” I’ll say. Staffing decisions will, of course, be among the “implications.” If the estimates contained in the AHPI study are even close to accurate, Obamacare will likely prove to be a significant job-killer.
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Paul Ryan's Budget Exposes Democrats' Bankruptcy Of Ideas

IBD ^ | 04/02/2014 | Editorial
Whatever objections anyone might have to various details in Rep. Paul Ryan's bold new plan to cut $5 trillion of government waste, one fact trumps all else: Unlike Democrats, he offers solutions, not denial. The one thing that stands out in the long-term budget plan unveiled Tuesday by House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan, R-Wis., is his acceptance of a fact Democrats want to hide: You can't squeeze enough extra money out of the rich to pay for our endlessly expanding entitlement programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Tax revenue over many decades has been relatively unchanging . And it will slam straight into the steep mountain of growing entitlements, with the crash and burn taking place in the late 2020s. Deny that and you might as well deny the law of gravity, too. On Medicare, for instance, the Ryan plan points out what you never hear Democrats admit: "Without reform, the program will end up causing exactly what it was created to avoid: millions of America's seniors without adequate health security and a younger working generation saddled with enormous debts to pay for spending levels that cannot be sustained." Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" provides the parachute Democrats insist the country doesn't need.
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The ACA: Still Falling Short -- Seven million enrollees (even if true) won’t save Obamacare!

National Review ^ | 04/02/2014 | James C. Capretta
The Obamacare open-enrollment season (supposedly) closed yesterday, so it is good time to step back and assess where things stand with the law and its first-year implementation. Interestingly, Obamacare remains something of a Rorschach test for journalists and health-policy analysts. Looking at the same set of facts, two observers can reach very different conclusions. For instance, Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times writes that Obamacare “has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century.” Meanwhile, health consultant Howard J. Peterson, writing at the Philadelphia Inquirer news site, says “the first four years of Obamacare has led to solving about 10 percent of the problem of uninsured citizens.” He expects no further improvement in the coming years. So which is it? Is Obamacare on track to be an historic achievement? Or is it falling well short of the lofty goals set for it by the administration? The Obamacare exchanges reportedly will have enrolled at least 7 million persons in health insurance plans through the end of March. As the Obama administration predicted, there was a large increase in sign-ups in the final days of the open-enrollment period, pushing the total enrollment numbers up even beyond the 6 million estimate touted by the president just last week. This is without question good news for the law’s supporters and a significant turnaround since last November. After the first two months of shaky enrollment numbers, I expected the first year sign-up totals to be far short of projections. I was clearly wrong about that. Administration officials realized when the fiasco was unfolding last fall that nothing mattered in the first year except getting people on the program — and so they did whatever was necessary to to make signing up easy. Those fixes are likely to lead to a large percentage of erroneous subsidy payments, as controls and other checks were turned off. That’s clearly a price the administration will gladly pay to get more people onto the program. Seven million is also an overstatement of true enrollment in the insurance plans. About 20 percent or so of the enrollees have failed, or will fail, to continue payment of their required premiums, according to insurance-industry observers. So 7 million sign-ups translates into a little less than 6 million people who are expected to receive coverage. And who are these enrollees? Remember, Obamacare forced the cancellation of many millions of insurance plans sold in the individual insurance market. The president later indicated that these plans could be reopened, but only in states with insurance regulators willing to go along with the president’s last minute change of heart. Some number of people with canceled plans likely ended up in the exchanges because they had no other real choice. Thus, several surveys have unsurprisingly shown that a relatively small percentage — perhaps one-third or lower — of the enrollees in the exchanges were previously uninsured. That implies that, so far, enrollment in the exchanges has reduced the ranks of the uninsured by about 2 million people. It is also clear at this point that there are large state-by-state differences in enrollment experience. In states with activist governments pushing hard for enrollment, such as California and New York, the enrollment numbers are relatively high. But in large parts of the country, the numbers are far lower. For instance, at the end of February, enrollment in the California exchange had reached 2.3 percent of the state population. Meanwhile, in West Virginia, it was just 0.6 percent, and in Oklahoma it was just 0.9 percent. The numbers will obviously go up with March added to the enrollment totals, but the state disparities are unlikely to disappear entirely. Each state is its own insurance market, whether it uses the federal exchange system or not. These state differences could mean that the Obamacare exchanges are viable in some states and regions of the country, while in other states and regions the numbers remain too low to sustain a stable insurance pool. The administration also touts the Medicaid expansion as helping to reduce the uninsured. But most of the millions of new sign-ups in Medicaid are by people who were previously eligible for the program anyway. The number of people now on Medicaid who would otherwise have been uninsured is likely around 3 million or so at this point. The original goals for Obamacare were far more ambitious. At the time of enactment, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that Obamacare would lower the ranks of the uninsured by 19 million in 2014. Even as recently as last May, CBO estimated the reduction in the uninsured would be 14 million this year. Moreover, for every newly insured American, there are several others who are now getting far worse health coverage than they had last year. Their premiums have gone up. They are facing much higher deductibles. And they are being forced to pay for mandated benefits that they would rather not have. This is the reason that Obamacare’s poll numbers continue to sink, and are unlikely to be buoyed by encouraging enrollment numbers. At its heart, Obamacare was a large-scale redistribution program. It provides large new subsidies to lower-income households and to those with previously expensive insurance due to risk rating of their premiums. These subsidies are paid for by raising premiums on many millions of previously insured households, raising taxes significantly, and cutting Medicare. The end result will be a reduction in the uninsured of some magnitude, that’s for sure. But it was never going to be hard to reduce the uninsured if that was all that concerned policymakers. Massive public subsidies and expansion of free public-insurance programs can expand insurance enrollment, so long as others were willing to pay for it. But that wasn’t what was promised. Americans were told that reform would lower costs for everyone, and that no one would lose the policies they previously held and liked. People are dissatisfied with Obamacare because they’ve realized the law will never deliver on these promises. Indeed, just yesterday it was announced that health-care costs rose at the fastest pace in a decade in the last three months of 2013. Most Americans are seeing no benefit whatsoever from Obamacare, and in fact are paying much more than they ever have before. In its first year, Obamacare did not completely collapse from lack of support or interest. That’s true. But that’s not the same thing as saying the law is out of the political woods and on track to be broadly accepted by the American people. Far from it. — James C. Capretta is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Fallon On ObamaCare Goal: 'It's Amazing What You Can Achieve When You Make Something Mandatory'!

Newsbusters ^ | 04/02/2014 | Jeffrey Meyer
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon had some tough words for ObamaCare following the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Speaking on Tuesday April 1, Fallon joked that regarding the 7 million Americans that have signed up for health insurance, “It's amazing what you can achieve when you make somethingmandatory and fine people if they don't do it and then keep extending the deadline for months.” [See video below.]
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Democrat big minimum wage increases keep the cycle of poverty and enslavement going!

Coach is Right ^ | 4/2/14 | Kevin "Coach" Collins
The best explanation of what the Yiddish word “chutzpah” means goes like this: A guy who has just been convicted of killing his parents begs the judge for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan. “Chutzpah” is acting with extreme, barefaced shamelessness. When it comes to their handling of financial matters Democrats can be classified as acting either in extreme ignorance or with extreme chutzpah. We know Democrats align themselves with job killing unions and champion job killing regulations; but whether they are ignorant of how economies actually work, just practicing their usual level of chutzpah or a combination of both is always a question. What is not in question is that Democrat controlled Blue States often have weak...
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The College Education Scam ^ | April 1, 2014 | Rightwingerpatriot
For the last few decades, students have been fed a whopping lie. This falsehood is that you'll need a college education to succeed in the marketplace and have a successful job or career. To that end, enrollment has skyrocketed, and along with that surge has been the increase of price of going to college. To pay for college, students take out student loans and go massively into debt. The sad fact is that after graduation, they find themselves with a normally worthless degree and tens of thousands in the hole. They've fallen prey to the college education scam. From 1985 to 2010, enrollment in colleges nearly doubled and with that came a huge influx of revenue for the colleges. As restrictions on student loans lessened, it became easier and acceptable for students to go massively into debt to fund their education. Colleges began to swell with idiotic courses and professors teaching nonsense such as trans-gender cultural biases through the medium of popular culture and other such junk. Tuition has skyrocketed because colleges know they can charge essentially whatever they want and students will just take out more loans to pay for it. In my home state of Florida, I paid $40 a credit hour in the early 1990s, Fast forward twenty years, that credit hour will now cost you $210 (if you're paying in-state tuition). From kindergarten onward, the mantra of having to go to college is drummed into our heads. Only idiots forgo getting higher education. Studies are touted that show that college graduates earn $17,500 more per year than those who do not go to college. In my personal opinion, that stat is misleading on several levels. The first is that not all college degrees are equivalent. A person getting a medical degree or one in law will definitely be a high earner during the course of their lifetime. But if you look at other degrees, such as in the liberal arts, then those earnings plummet in comparison. In fact, we've been told that a college degree is our ticket to success, but the reality is that only a few degrees are worthwhile. Many degrees really aren't worth the paper they're printed on when you're out in the job market. Major in history, psychology, sociology, or literature, and find out where that gets you. In fact, there are many high paying jobs that don't require a college degree. Plumbers have a median income of $49,000, while steelworkers earn $46,000. Car mechanics average $39,000 a year. These jobs can be learned in trade schools or through apprenticeship. The cost difference between a trade school and a four year college is astounding. Going to college averages $15,000 a year in total costs for in-state students at four year public institutions (the cost goes much higher for private colleges). In fact, the average bachelor's degree costs a grand total of $127,000. The average cost for going through a trade school is $33,000. When you compare trade school wages to college degree wages, trade schools average only $3,000 a year less than four year graduates. If you factor in being able to work two years earlier and the roughly $94,000 in savings in the cost of education, the argument that colleges are the only way to go falls apart. We also have to consider student debt. Most students graduate with anywhere from $26,000 to $29,000 in debt. If you add in interest over the course of the debt's lifetime, the amount goes even higher. Right now, 70% of college students take out student loans to fund their education. The total amount of outstanding student loan debt is over a trillion dollars, higher than credit card or auto loan debts. So why the college education scam? The easy answer is that it boils down to money. Colleges rake in billions by creating the false demand for college degrees. The government and other lending institutions make money by giving out student loans. The only person who gets screwed is the student. Once they enter the workforce, many find unable to get a job with their degree. Many jobs are not high-tech like we've been led to believe. In fact, the government has been trying to fill positions at Hoover Dam for years, but has had trouble due to the fact that the facility is low tech. My brother works at a hospital power plant that is run by boilers. He and his coworkers are all ex-Navy who learned their trade in the military and do not have a college degree. The sad fact is that colleges do not prepare students for earning a living. They're only about enriching themselves as much as they possibly can. It's a wise decision to look at a two year school, the military, trade schools, or apprenticeships in order to learn a trade. We have a vast shortage of tradesmen in our country and those jobs pay damn well. Such facts are hidden as those in power wish to perpetuate the higher education scam in order to fatten their bank accounts. You don't need a college degree if you're capable, have a great idea, or are willing to work hard to succeed.

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