Monday, April 28, 2014

Palin: If I were president, 'Waterboarding is how we'd baptize terrorists'

Yahoo News ^ | 4/28/14 | Dylan Stableford
Sarah Palin would like all terrorists to know that if she were in charge, waterboarding is how the United States would baptize them. At least that's what the former Alaskan governor and ex-vice presidential nominee told thousands of attendees this weekend at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Indianapolis. "If I were in charge," Palin said Saturday during a Stand And Fight rally at Lucas Oil Stadium, "[our enemies] would know that waterboarding is how we'd baptize terrorists." Palin mocked what she called the Obama administration's coddling of suspected terrorists
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Latest Obamacare worry for Dems: Where's My $2,500 Savings?

NewsMax ^ | 27 Apr 2014 | Greg Richter
As the midterm election approaches, vulnerable Democrats have a new worry that may be difficult to spin: Where did the promised $2,500 savings in health insurance premiums go?

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama repeatedly said his healthcare plan would reduce the typical family's annual premiums by up to $2,500 per year. Often, he did not include the caveat "up to," simply saying the "typical" family would save about $2,500 a year on premiums.

But now, a month past the signup deadline for coverage, comparisons for the typical family's then and now premium costs are difficult to come by. The Obama administration isn't issuing such numbers. At best, it has said the costs are "lower than projected," reported most recently by the Los Angeles Times.
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ObamaCare Exchanges at Risk ^ | April 28, 2014 | Michael F. Cannon
President Barack Obama says he has enrolled 7.1 million Americans through his new health insurance exchanges. If so, that may prove to be the easy part: the Affordable Care Act creates so many incentives for enrollees to drop their coverage that maintaining those enrollment numbers may start to resemble something like pushing millions of people up a greased poll.

For Obamacare to work, people must enroll and stay enrolled. An estimated 20 percent of those who signed up have yet to pay their first premium, and as many as 5 percent stopped paying after the first month. If too many drop out, premiums could climb until the exchanges collapse.

Unfortunately, those numbers may rise as Americans learn about the financial incentives Obamacare creates for healthy people to drop their coverage, save their money and wait until they get sick to re-enroll.
For most healthy people, going uninsured before Obamacare, at least for a time, was already a safe bet. They saved thousands of dollars per year. The odds that they would have to deal with unmet medical needs or unpaid medical bills were low. Obamacare makes going uninsured an even safer bet. It increases premiums for healthy people and the penalty for not buying health insurance is largely toothless. So if you earn too much to qualify for subsidies or you take steps to avoid paying the penalty, going uninsured will save you even more money than before. Obamacare even more dramatically reduces the downside of going uninsured. For example, suppose the day after you cancel your health insurance, you receive a serious diagnosis like diabetes, or cancer. Pre-Obamacare, you would not be able to buy coverage for that illness. Under Obamacare, however, insurers are required to cover you at the same premium they charged when you were healthy. You may have to wait until January for that coverage to take effect, but even so the downside risk of going uninsured is much smaller. And in many cases, you can get coverage before January. There are even ways to enroll in Obamacare coverage immediately:
  • If you live in one of the 25 or so states implementing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, you can get coverage immediately by reducing your income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,102 for a single adult). You can then restore your income when you enroll in an exchange plan in January — or even earlier, depending on how often your state verifies eligibility.
  • If you don’t live in a Medicaid-expansion state, you can move to one, as this Idaho family did.
  • If you’re pregnant, you can use one of these Medicaid options for immediate prenatal care, and/or enroll in exchange coverage effective the day your child is born.
I get viscerally anxious when I hear from intelligent, responsible people that they have dropped their family’s health insurance because Obamacare so significantly increased their premiums. But I cannot dispute that Obamacare has made that choice safer and more rational than ever before.
Keeping people at the top of a greased pole is hard enough when they want to be there. It’s a lot harder when they don’t.

Sarah Palin soldiers on as a diminished figure in the Republican Party

Wash Post ^ | 04/28/2014 | Robert Costa
Inspired by the possibility of a Sarah Palin presidential run, Peter Singleton moved to this suburban community from California in November 2010 and booked an extended stay at the Days Inn on 114th Street. Palin was a tea party queen-maker at the time, and true believers like Singleton could sense a bid for the White House. For the next 10 months, he traversed his adopted state on her behalf, rallying Iowans to the cause. But there would be no second political act for Palin, and these days many followers like Singleton have moved on. He said Friday at an ice cream social at nearby Faith Baptist Bible College that he still admires the former Alaska governor and follows her on Facebook, but, politically, she holds little sway over him. Singleton didn’t even bother to attend Palin’s Sunday afternoon speech a short drive from here because he disagreed with her endorsement in Iowa’s Republican Senate primary. “It’s one of those things,” Singleton said, sticking his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. “I have great respect for her, but this isn’t about a person, it’s about a set of principles and values.”
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