Monday, April 7, 2014

The Obama Administration Engages in Contortions to Claim that Obamacare Is a Success

Daniel J. Mitchell | Apr 07, 2014

I’ve observed, reported, mocked, written, and explained that Obamacare is a cluster-you-know-what.
So I’m rather bemused and frustrated by the latest pro-Obamacare spin that the law is a “success” because there are now 7 million people who have picked a plan.
There are lots of reasons for normal people to have a what-the-expletive-deleted response to this declaration of victory. For instance:
The goal of Obamacare was to insure the uninsured, yet that number has barely budged, so why is the Administration allowed to move the goalposts to something far more modest?
Obamacare also was supposed to lower premiums by $2500 and allow everyone to keep their plans and their preferred providers, so what happened to those goals?
And why should we even believe the White House spin when we have no idea whether people who have picked a plan have actually paid for that plan?
Moreover, what’s so impressive about getting some people to sign up for plans when they can get something that’s subsidized by taxpayers or other consumers?
But here’s an image put together by Senator Cruz’s office that may be the best – and certainly most amusing – look at the Administration’s supposed “achievement.”
Obamacare Broken WIndows
Amen. People are being both coerced and bribed to sign up for Obamacare, in many cases after the law forced the cancellation of plans that they liked.
So why are we supposed to applaud the fact that a small fraction of the population has chosen the only possible option?
That’s the same mentality that allows politicians to brag about our “voluntary” tax system. As if any of us send our hard-earned money to the crooks in Washington for any reason other than the fact that otherwise we would get arrested.
P.S. Since I commented on our acquiescence to the IRS and our “voluntary” tax system, I will admit thatWashington Tax I’m amused and chagrined by this poster. It’s minimized since it uses a sometimes-inappropriate synonym for wimps.
P.P.S. Since this post was about the “broken window” theory of Obamacare, let’s make sure to give ultimate credit to Bastiat, who came up with the original broken windows analogy (as captured by this cartoon mocking Keynesian economics).

When will Obama make call on Keystone?

The Hill ^ | April 7 | By Laura Barron-Lopez
Like a blockbuster movie that never quite arrives, President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been “coming soon” for years. He has been weighing whether the project should be built since he first entered the Oval Office, and rationalizations for further delay are thin on the ground. After a February White House meeting between Obama and a number of governors, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) told reporters that Obama had said he expected to make a call “in a couple of months.” But the White House has not even acknowledged that such a suggestion was made, let alone whether its implicit commitment would be kept. White House press secretary Jay Carney declined at the time to comment on the specifics of the conversation. If Obama gives construction of the oil-sands pipeline a green light this spring or summer, he could frame it as an example of his support for North American energy production, a boost for the economy, and a helpful concession to vulnerable Senate Democrats who support the $5.4 billion project. But he could go the other way. A flat-out rejection of the pipeline might enthuse the Democratic base for the midterm elections in November, which will hinge on turnout. Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/202775-when-will-obama-make-keystone-call#ixzz2yEc9bdq8 Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...

Advantage Healthcare cuts canceled after Dem complaints!

The Hill ^
Posted on Monday, April 07, 2014 4:28:01 PM by Sub-Driver
April 07, 2014, 05:15 pm Healthcare cuts canceled after Dem complaints By Jonathan Easley The Obama administration announced Monday that planned cuts to Medicare Advantage would not go through as anticipated amid election-year opposition from congressional Democrats. The cuts would have reduced benefits that seniors receive from health plans in the program, which is intended as an alternative to Medicare. Under cuts planned by the administration, insurers offering the plans were to see their federal payments reduced by 1.9 percent, which likely would have necessitated cuts for customers. Instead, the administration said the federal payments to insurers will increase next year by .40 percent. The healthcare law included $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage over 10 years, in part to pay for ObamaCare. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) on Monday said changes in the healthcare market meant it did not need to make those cuts to Medicare Advantage this year. It cited an increase in healthy beneficiaries under Medicare, which it said has lowered projected costs for that program. CMS separately is delaying a risk assessment proposal that was set to take affect under ObamaCare. The announcement comes after insurers spent millions on a public relations blitz seeking to head off the cuts, and after dozens of Democrats joined Republicans in calling on the administration to keep MA rates flat to avoid cutting benefits for seniors. Monday’s announcement is “significantly better for health plans” than the initial proposal in February, CMS administrator Jonathan Blum said in a conference call with reporters. “The policies announced today will provide improved benefits in Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Plans while keeping costs low for Medicare beneficiaries,” Blum said. “We believe that plans will continue their strong participation in the Medicare Advantage program in 2015 and beneficiaries will continue to have access to a wide array of high quality and affordable Medicare health and drug plans.” America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the nation’s largest health plans industry group, was among the most vocal critics of the proposed cuts, backing ads reminding Washington that “seniors are watching.” The rates are also a victory for insurers and Republican lawmakers who lobbied hard to ward off any changes to MA payment rates, and for vulnerable Democrats, who flocked en masse to oppose the cuts, even though many of them have opposed the program in the past. In February, the Obama administration argued that the proposed cuts would help strengthen the program -— an increasingly popular private alternative to traditional Medicare — and guard against waste. White House officials had pushed back at criticism of the pending cuts, noting that Medicare Advantage’s enrollment has spiked to an all-time high since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and that premiums under the plan have fallen by 10 percent.

US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel

economic times ^ | 7 Apr, 2014, 08.00PM IST
WASHINGTON: The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack. The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion. All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather. The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost. Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: "It's a huge milestone for us." "We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it. "We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel," added Cullom. "Basically, we've treated energy like air, something that's always there and that we don't worry about too much. But the reality is that we do have to worry about it." US experts have found out how to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater. Then, using a catalytic converter, they transformed them into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes. That means instead of relying on tankers, ships will be able to produce fuel at sea. The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater. Dr Heather Willauer, an research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, can hardly hide her enthusiasm. "For the first time we've been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously, that's a big breakthrough," she said, adding that the fuel "doesn't look or smell very different." Now that they have demonstrated it can work, the next step is to produce it in industrial quantities. But before that, in partnership with several universities, the experts want to improve the amount of CO2 and hydrogen they can capture. "We've demonstrated the feasibility, we want to improve the process efficiency," explained Willauer. Collum is just as excited. "For us in the military, in the Navy, we have some pretty unusual and different kinds of challenges," he said. "We don't necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel, our gas station comes to us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship. "Developing a game-changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that reinvents a lot of the way we can do business when you think about logistics, readiness." A crucial benefit, says Collum, is that the fuel can be used in the same engines already fitted in ships and aircraft. "If you don't want to re-engineer every ship, every type of engine, every aircraft, that's why we need what we call drop-in replacement fuels that look, smell and essentially are the same as any kind of petroleum-based fuels." Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.

Army’s injectable bandage can stop heavy bleeding during ‘golden hour’

DefenceSystems ^ | Apr 07, 2014 | Kevin McCaney

It’s a surprisingly straightforward invention that could go a long way toward saving lives on the battlefield—a syringe-like device that essentially injects bandages into deep wounds to prevent bleeding. Developed by the Combat Casualty Care Research Program of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Md., the XSTAT looks like a large syringe and contains small cellulose sponges that, once injected, expand to fill a wound. Designed for use against large, deep injuries, it’s intended to be used on wounds around joints such as the shoulder or groin, where medics couldn’t apply a tourniquet, or wounds that are too deep for a dressing, according to Army researchers.XSTAT last week received Food and Drug Administration approval and will be available commercially, via manufacturer RevMedx, which worked on its development, as well as to the military to address an important need. Military medics, like those working in domestic crews, are familiar with “the golden hour,” the critical time after a traumatic injury that often determines a victim’s fate. Getting care to a victim in that first hour can be the difference between life and death, and stopping the bleeding can be the most import part of that care. Researchers at the Army Institute of Surgical Research found that, between October 2001 and June 2009, hemorrhage was the primary cause of battle-related deaths in 80 percent of the cases classified as potentially survivable.



(Excerpt) Read more at defensesystems.com ...

New Yorker Cover Features Dr. Obama Giving Medicine to 'Petulant Children' Cruz, Boehner, McConnell

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True Revolt ^ | 7 Apr 2014
On Monday, The New Yorker revealed its newest cover: President Obama as a doctor spooning medicine to smiling children – Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). The cover was designed to push Obamacare’s supposed great success, with artist Barry Blitt stating, “The whole enterprise was just an elaborate excuse. I enjoyed drawing Ted Cruz, John Boehner, and Michele Bachmann as petulant children – and I especially wanted to draw an open-mouthed Mitch McConnell being spoon-fed his meds.”
(Excerpt) Read more at truthrevolt.org ...

IRS agents’ testimony: NO progressive groups were targeted by IRS!

Daily Caller ^ | April 7, 2014 | Patrick Howley
IRS agents testified before Congress that the agency’s political targeting did not apply to progressive groups as Democrats and the media have claimed, according to a bombshell new staff report prepared by the House Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa.  IRS agents testified before Oversight that ACORN groups were scrutinized because the agency thought they were old organizations applying as new ones. Emerge America was scrutinized for potential “improper private benefit.” No evidence exists that the IRS requested additional information from any Occupy Wall Street group.  “Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons,” according to the Oversight staff report, which was obtained by The Daily Caller.  “[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts. Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”  “[T]here is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny because its application reflected the organization’s political views,” the report stated.

Get Ready For The Real Obamacare Disasters As People Start To Use It

Forbes ^ | April 5, 2014 | By Jeffrey Dorfman
We have finally (almost, sort of) reached the end of Obamacare signups. The White House is claiming over seven million people have signed up with several million more now on the Medicaid rolls. Democrats are desperate to find a success somewhere in the Obamacare narrative, so reaching seven million is the story of the moment. However, as bad as the open enrollment period and its infamous healthcare.gov website was, the real problems are about to begin. Now people are going to try to use their new insurance. The problems that will create the next headlines will come in three main flavors: lack of access to doctors, failures of the system to verify coverage and pay claims, and the incredibly high deductibles and co-pays on many of the exchange insurance policies. Insurance companies believed that people shopping for health insurance on the government exchanges were very price sensitive so that low prices were needed to attract buyers. Thus, the insurers only signed up doctors and hospitals willing to agree to low reimbursement rates to their exchange-offered plans. That means that many of the plans, especially the silver and bronze ones, come with much more limited networks than Americans are used to. The newly insured are likely to find that, similar to Medicaid patients, it will be hard to find doctors who accept their new insurance. Having health insurance does not mean you can get care; you actually need a doctor for that, and a lot of people are in for a nasty surprise when they realize how limited their choices of providers are. U.S. Senator Tom Coburn finding out his cancer doctors were not part of his new Obamacare plan is just one famous example of this access issue. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...

MOOCH

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For the masses

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Your attention

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Don't call him "Obama"

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CHANGE

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A Miracle

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O P M

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While I'm at it...

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Obama Defects!

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SUCKS!

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More Time?

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Was it worth it?

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The Koch Brothers

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BORDERS?

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A Psalm of Obama

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Sacrifices

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Back End

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Parental Consent

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Trust me!

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Which one?

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Good News

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We built it...

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Is Obama a psychopath?

WND ^ | 06 April 2014 | Gina Loudon
It is safe to say that most politicians these days could be diagnosed with a range of mental conditions, and many would likely be labeled sociopaths or psychopaths. The terms psychopath and sociopath are often used interchangeably, even by mental health professionals. The symptoms are somewhat consistent between the two: lack of conscience, no moral compass, manipulative, low range of emotions, interpersonally insensitive. The psychopath is deadly. He is well spoken, charismatic, fearless, controlling, socially potent, a habitual liar, calm to a disturbing degree in the face of chaos and cold hearted. He is a master at blaming others. David Freeman, in an Huffington Post science piece, quotes clinical psychologist Dr. Stout, who points out that though the psychopath may not feel “higher emotions” like love and guilt, they may not have actual consciences, but they study those of us who do – and “simply pretend.” Psychologists say early signs of psychopathy include compulsive lying, blaming others for any failures or shortcomings and often torture of animals for curiosity sake. Psychopaths tend to do things to study consequences, without concern for long-term impact. I know, it sounds like most politicians today. And it probably is, not to mention any names. As Mr. Freeman points out in his article, psychopaths make a great first impression. He points to other characteristics, too. He points to the initial popularity of Pol Pot, Hitler, Ceausescu and others, but the golden boy image quickly fades to one of a ruthless, inhumane manipulator with very dark intentions.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...