Friday, October 7, 2016

Despite its Bitter Taste, Clinton Wants a Second Helping of Obamacare!

Townhall.com ^ | October 6, 2016 | Devon Herrick 

The leading presidential candidates’ positions on health reform could not be farther apart. Donald Trump wants to repeal Obamacare it in its entirety. Hillary Clinton wants to expand it. If elected, she plans to prop up Obamacare with more taxpayer subsidies. The Obama Administration is already looking for ways to bail out insurers as they flee the federal and state marketplace. Clinton now wants to boost subsidies to low-income households as well.
Expanding Obamacare. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government pays all premiums in excess of 2 percent to 9.5 percent of income, based on a sliding scale. The individual mandate forced many families to select cheaper plans with high-deductibles. This was an unforeseen turn of events that bothers the collectivists. Clinton wants to lower the premium cap so no one in the exchange pays more than 8.5 percent of income. She also wants to break the bank by giving a $2,500 (individual) /$5,000 (family) tax credit to cover out-of-pocket costs (and exchange plan premiums) that exceed 5 percent of income, for those ineligible for public programs. If you think your premiums are too high, she also wants the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to regulate premiums, even in the state exchanges. If there is a more direct way to turn the exchange into a costly, high-risk pool for poor, sick people, I’d be hard pressed to think of one.
Speaking of bad ideas; the Clinton campaign wants to bolster enrollment in the exchanges by opening them up to illegal immigrants. Unless she also plans to subsidize the plans, it’s unclear why a demographic that tends to shun health coverage would want high-priced exchange coverage unless they were already sick. I wonder if she understands what the term adverse selection means?
Although she does not explain it this way, Clinton would trash Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). She wants to require health plans to provide three “free” office visits (for illnesses, not prevention) before deductibles are met. Providing even nominal benefits below the statutory limit ($1,300 per individual, $2,600 family in 2016) will disqualify plans from being HSA-compliant. Trump would encourage people to use HSAs to pay out-of-pocket costs -- which is already allowed current law.
Clinton would forbid insurers from charging higher out-of-network copays when patients patronize an in-network hospital and get hit with a balance bill from an out-of-network provider. This is a disastrous attempt to solve a problem with other peoples’ money. Providers unaffiliated with your health plan could bill it whatever they want and force your insurer to pay it (which insurers will respond to by raising your premiums). In no time all, hospital-based physicians would drop out of networks and raise prices.
Both Clinton and Trump favor greater price transparency. Big deal! So does every politician, employer and consumer. Making a law forcing providers and insurers to reveal prices will merely expose list prices in the form of billing code gibberish. Both candidates also would get rid of the Cadillac Tax. That’s arguably one bad idea they both have in common.
Expand Medicaid. Under Clinton, states that have not expanded Medicaid could do so at any time and receive three years with 100 percent federal matching funds, just as the early adopters did. Clinton would not reform Medicaid or otherwise change the structure. The bloated, wasteful programs would remain bloated and wasteful. By contrast, Trump would repeal Medicaid expansion and convert Medicaid federal matching funds into a block grant. Trump would allow states to experiment, design their own Medicaid programs and make most of their own coverage decisions. This is something Clinton should consider.
Expand Medicare. As if the program isn’t going broke fast enough, Clinton wants to allow 55 to 64 year olds to buy into Medicare at bargain basement prices. She gives lip service to expanding the use of value-based purchasing. But whenever Medicare tries a new experiment likely to save money, Congress caves to lobbyists and blocks the experiment.
Clinton believes HHS should dictate the prices for drugs for the Medicare program -- especially specialty drugs and other high-cost drugs. (Donald Trump backed away from this bad idea months ago). If price controls are not enough, Clinton also would require drug makers to cough up rebates to the Medicare program similar to what Medicaid receives.
Drug Proposal is a Bitter Pill. Clinton wants to allow Americans to import drugs from abroad for personal use, but only from certain countries. This proposal is similar to one advocated by Donald Trump early in his campaign. Although illegal, personal importation already occurs on a small scale. Presumably Clinton would expand the current policy of Customs looking the other way when seniors order unlicensed, generic blood pressure meds (drop-shipped from India) from fake Canadian pharmacies located on webservers in Belize the or Seychelles Islands.
Clinton would “Cap the Copay” on prescription drugs at $250 per month. Only about 1-2 percent of drugs would be affected. Without cost-sharing to discourage high-cost drugs, over time this percentage could likely grow as drug makers raise their prices. Clinton also opposes “pay-for-delay” agreements by drug companies fending off generic competition. She also proposes a cash-grab by eliminating tax deductions for direct-to-consumer advertising. It is arguably little more than campaign rhetoric, but Clinton would make drug makers justify their price increases. She also favors reducing the exclusivity period for biologics from 12 years to seven. Coupled with her price controls, this would ensure there will be far fewer new biologics.
The presidential candidates’ health proposals are a hodgepodge of diverse ideas. As you would expect Trump relies on the free market, but provides few details. Clinton has a veritable plethora of bad ideas composed of government interventions, campaign rhetoric and wishful thinking.

What's so wrong with Trump?

10/6/2016 | Glenn Hefferan 

Perhaps I am late to this thought process...so please forgive me. But I have to ask the question, what's so wrong with Trump for President?
Eight years ago, this country elected Barrack Obama, not vetted, no historical background, self-descried "Community Organizer"... no real work experience, never had to make a payroll, raise capital....and has made bad decision nearly every day of his Presidency.... we are mess right now.... ObamaCare - broken, $20 trillion debt by the time he leaves, race relations at their worst in 50 years, a defeated attitude, weakened military, broken VA, corruption at the IRS, DOJ, FBI, State Department, our standing in the World is beaten down....and he know wants to pass the baton to someone that he said 8 years ago was corrupt, inept, etc.... but now, she's the best possible choice....all keep the status quo.
So that brings me to Trump. Many successes, a few failures and many great men have had lots of failures in their life...he speaks straight up... his kids are nearly beyond reproach.... no drug or booze issues in their past... respectful, hard-working...aren't our kids a reflection of our work, efforts, and values we instill with them?
The Media owes the American People an apology.... I won't hold my breath and neither will any of you.... but every one of us needs to contact and launch a campaign of sort against the media and hold these liberal ideologues accountable. Remind them that their job isn't to shape the news, but to report the news. They don't do that anymore.
I truly believe that we are on the last precipice... if we don't win this election, keep Hillary out of the White House, keep the House and Senate, the country that we once knew will never be recovered and America we love will be gone forever.
Trump vs Obama - resume side by side, its not even close. yet the media will twist and distort...and I can't even understand how anyone thinks this country will be better with Hillary. Its beyond comprehension.
We can't let that happen.
Thoughts?

Obama Admin Hiding Secret Hostage Docs Signed With Iranian Intel Officials!

Wash. Free Bacon ^ | 10/6/16 | Adam Kredo 

Key documents relating to the Obama administration’s secret negotiations with Iran, including a $1.7 billion cash payment, are being stored at a highly secure site on Capitol Hill, preventing the public and many in Congress from accessing them, according to multiple sources who described the situation to the Washington Free Beacon.
The documents are not technically classified but are being kept in a “secure reading space” where the majority of congressional officials cannot access them. Those cleared are forced to relinquish their cellular devices and are barred from taking notes, undermining the ability of staffers to brief their lawmakers on the contents, according to the sources.
Sources further disclosed that joint U.S.-Iranian signatures across the three documents add up to a package deal between Washington and Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, the country’s internal spy agency. Sources familiar with a closed-door January briefing by senior Obama administration officials told the Free Beacon they were informed the United States negotiated with “the Iranian intelligence apparatus.”
(Excerpt) Read more at freebeacon.com ...

Watchdog group accuses Clinton campaign of election law violations!

yahoonews.com ^ | Oct. 4, 2016 | Michael Isikoff 

A nonpartisan watchdog group Thursday called for a federal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s campaign committee, accusing it of illegally accepting millions of dollars worth of “opposition research” and other assistance from Correct the Record, an outside super-PAC, in violation of U.S. election laws.

The Campaign Legal Center also filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission to initiate probes of Donald Trump’s campaign, and two super-PACs backing it, for similar violations of laws barring “coordination” between political campaigns and outside groups.

But the Campaign Legal Center’s detailed 52-page complaint against Hillary for America and Correct the Record — part of the sprawling political empire run by Clinton backer David Brock — is likely to get special attention, given Clinton’s repeated advocacy of campaign finance reform. She has vowed to “curb the influence of big money in American politics” and to push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United — the controversial ruling that opened the door for groups such as Correct the Record to accept unlimited donations to benefit political candidates.

Correct the Record, which has taken in over $6 million in this campaign from hedge-fund executives, plaintiffs’ lawyers and other wealthy donors, has effectively become a “parallel shadow” arm of the Clinton campaign, said Larry Noble, who served for 13 years as the chief legal counsel for the FEC and is now chief counsel of the Campaign Legal Center. “They’re training people [for the Clinton campaign], they’re doing research for it. They’ve really pushed the envelope in this case, and ripped it open.”
(Excerpt) Read more at yahoo.com ...

Clinton Foundation files three years of missing tax forms

RT (Russia Today) ^ | 06 October 2016 

The Clinton Foundation refiled three years of tax forms after it emerged that the charity failed to disclose all of its donors.
Both the Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and Clinton Healthcare Access Initiative (CHAI) re-filed financial statements on Tuesday.
Foundation officials told CNN that the charity may not have filed “certain supplementary financial information” for three years.
(Excerpt) Read more at rt.com ...

ObamaCare’s Meltdown Has Arrived

The Wall Street Journal ^ | 10/6/2016 | ANDREW OGLES and LUKE HILGEMANN 

Tennessee is ground zero for ObamaCare’s nationwide implosion. Late last month the state insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, approved premium increases of up to 62% in a bid to save the exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act. “I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse,” she said.
Then last week BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced it would leave three of the state’s largest exchange markets—Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville. “We have experienced losses approaching $500 million over the course of three years on ACA plans,” the company said, “which is unsustainable.” As a result, more than 100,000 Tennesseans will be forced to seek out new coverage for 2017.
BlueCross is only the latest insurer to head for the exits. Community Health Alliance, the insurance co-op established under ObamaCare, is winding down due to financial failure, leaving 30,000 people without coverage. UnitedHealthcare said in April it is departing Tennessee’s exchange after significant losses. That’s another 41,000 people needing new plans.
All told, more than 60% of our state’s ObamaCare consumers will lose their coverage heading into 2017. When they go in search of a replacement plan, they will confront two unfortunate realities: a dearth of options and skyrocketing costs.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...

What Kind of Genius Loses $6 Billion, Hillary?

American Thinker ^ | October 6, 2016 | Daniel John Sobieski 

Behold Hillary Clinton’s hypocritical harrumph at the revelation from leaked private and personal tax records being published in the New York Times. Her umbrage at Trump reporting a carried-over nearly $1 billion loss on his 2015 tax return is phony and ignores that this is a common practice legally taken advantage of by many, including herself. Looking on page 17 of her 2015 tax returns, we find the righteously indignant Mrs. Clinton claiming a nearly $700,000 capital gains loss on assets held for more than one year.
The New York Times, as it turns out, also used the net loss provision of the tax code, and why not? The purpose of the provision is to let businesses survive in rough times and to keep their employees employed. Without it small businesses would die in infancy and larger businesses would teeter in tough times. This provision was put into the tax code to stimulate investment and encourage the risk-takers who create jobs. Trump was right when he said he had a fiduciary responsibility to investors and employees to pay as little tax as legally possible. The first objective of business is to stay in business, something which someone who never created a job or met a payroll might not grasp.
What kind of genius loses nearly a billion dollars? A genius like Obama buddy Warren Buffett reported a pre-tax loss of $873 million for tax year 2013. And, as the blog Flopping Aces reports, the New York Times also has used the ability to offset taxes with losses:
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Conservative reps see more clout in Trump presidency

The Hill ^ | Oct. 6, 2016 | The Hill Staff 

Several conservative lawmakers say the election of Donald Trump as president could advance their agenda. Despite Trump's history of liberal policy stances, Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores says that the GOP presidential nominee is embracing key issues in the House GOP's "A Better Way" agenda on the campaign trail.
"Donald Trump's been going at it in his own interesting way of doing it ... he talks about repealing and replacing ObamaCare ... he's talking about tax reform. It's not the tax reform in [our agenda], but he's talking about tax reform, so we can sit down and work those out," Flores, a Texas Republican who’s a former businessman himself, says in an interview with The Hill's Molly K. Hooper. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a fellow conservative who was co-chairman of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign, also points to Cruz's recent endorsement as a positive sign that Congress and a Trump White House could get things done. "It helps the two of them be able to work together. If Trump is president, Cruz will be a more effective senator because of this endorsement he's making," King says in an interview.
(Excerpt) Read more at origin-nyi.thehill.com ...

Robin Hood Economics Falls Flat in Debates

Townhall.com ^ | March 7, 2016 | Michael Barone 


Robin Hood is dead. Or at least seriously ailing. The politics of taking from the rich and giving to the poor -- the politics that philosophers from Aristotle to James Madison dreaded -- just doesn't seem to be working as it used to.
That's not to say that the United States is about to give up on progressive taxation. With its graduated income tax, the American tax system is by some measures the most progressive in any advanced country.
For a generation, the jousting between Republicans and Democrats has been waged within a pretty narrow range. The former want a top rate of 33 percent, the latter 42 percent. However, Hillary Clinton, evidently trying to win over wary Bernie Sanders fans, now says she wants to raise it to 65 percent.
What's apparent from the first presidential debate and the vice presidential debate is that the arguments for this Robin Hoodism aren't persuasive. The two gimmicky catchphrases enunciated by the members of the Democratic presidential ticket seemed to land with a thud.
"Trickle-down economics all over again," Hillary Clinton characterized Donald Trump's tax plan. "I call it trumped-up trickle-down because that's exactly what it would be." A clever phrase, but not one she repeated as the debate went on.
Tim Kaine came prepared with a novel formulation: "Do you want a 'you're hired' president in Hillary Clinton, or do you want a 'you're fired' president in Donald Trump?" Mike Pence congratulated him on his gimmicky turn of phrase, and viewers didn't hear the line again.
Kaine's phrase at least had a somewhat contemporary reference point, Trump's trademark line in his reality TV show. Clinton's "trickle-down" political shorthand, with an ancient lineage, once triggered a more elaborate argument familiar and persuasive to many working-class Democratic voters.
It would have been readily understood, for example, by the 125,000 people -- mostly men, mostly white, mostly union members -- who gathered in downtown Detroit's Cadillac Square to hear Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy speak on Labor Day in 1960. You don't see rallies like that in the now-renamed Kennedy Square anymore.
They believed that the high tax rates imposed by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s (top rate 63 percent) and then by bipartisan consensus during World War II and left in place thereafter (top rate 91 percent) were a way of taking the outsize gains of a few corporate bosses and movie stars and distributing the proceeds to ordinary workingmen and their families.
As it happens, as president, Kennedy didn't make that argument at all. Recognizing that high tax rates encourage tax avoidance and discourage growth, he proposed what became the 1964 tax cuts, which were a model for former actor Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
The problem with "trickle-down" and "hire/fire" is that they are addressed to a segment of the electorate that no longer exists -- or at least is no longer a plausible target for Democratic candidates. One recent poll showed non-college-graduate white men voting only 17 percent for Hillary Clinton. Trump does better than that with Hispanics.
The era of boss-vs.-worker politics, in which the key issue was economic redistribution, has long been over. For at least a generation, maybe two, we have been in an era of identity politics, in which cultural issues divide voters.
Democrats were able to squeeze a few votes as the tribune of workers versus bosses in Midwestern target states in 2012 against Mitt Romney, the son of an auto executive. But that hasn't been working against Trump.
Downscale whites don't see Trump as a boss who would fire rather than hire them. They see him as a champion who might somehow fire the cultural elitists who look down on them as waste material in a "basket of deplorables," vermin infected with "implicit racism."
Trump does arouse fears among many voters -- fears of impulsive foreign initiatives, trade wars, attacks on political enemies. Multiple provocative comments have provided some basis for those fears.
But they don't fear the specter that Clinton and Kaine sketched out, that his tax cuts would produce financial collapse. No serious economist -- liberal or conservative -- believes those Democrats' preposterous theory that the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts led inexorably to the 2008 financial collapse.
Clinton and Kaine seek to rally a coalition of blacks, Hispanics, young people and college-educated single women large enough to total 50 percent. Robin Hood economics, as they seemed to recognize as they dropped "trickle-down" and "hire/fire," doesn't get them there.

FBI Agents are ready to revolt over the cozy Clinton Probe

The New York Post ^ | October 6, 2016 | Paul Sperry 

Veteran FBI agents say FBI Director James Comey has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his “cowardly” whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private e-mail server. Agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation. Comey has turned a once-proud institution known for its independence into one that bows to election pressure, hands out political immunity to candidates and effectively pardons their co-conspirators. He’s turned the FBI into the Federal Bureau of Immunity and lost the trust and respect of not only his agents but the country at large. He ought to step down.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...

Largest Voter Fraud Investigation in Texas History Underway in Tarrant County

empowertexans ^ | Oct 6, 2016 | Ross Kecseg 

A massive investigation is underway in Tarrant County as law enforcement officers from the Texas Attorney General’s Office investigate a vote-harvesting scheme alleged to involve as many as 20,000 ballots.
Last month, Texas Scorecard reported that Tarrant County Elections administrator Frank Phillips disclosed the AG’s office had launched a criminal investigation into voting abnormalities inside Tarrant County.
The investigation was the result of a complaint filed by Aaron Harris, of Direct Action Texas, an organization that also uncovered significant errors in Hill County’s primary election results.
Today, Harris confirmed that AG investigators have been spotted on the ground in Tarrant County interviewing witnesses. In a statement released online, Harris claimed the investigation is into a vote harvesting scheme involving as many as 20,000 ballots.
(Excerpt) Read more at empowertexans.com ...

Why the Texas Electric Grid Matters to U.S. Security

Townhall.com ^ | October 7, 2016 | David Grantham 

The second presidential debate might mention that a Russian state newspaper predicted direct confrontation with the United States over Syria. Neither candidate will probably note that the escalation comes as solutions to protect America’s frighteningly vulnerable electric grid system languish on Capitol Hill. Each should be reminded that an increasingly popular target for U.S. adversaries sits largely unguarded. Thankfully, Texas can take the lead. As the only state with a self-contained grid, Texas finds itself in a remarkable position to protect the nation by protecting itself.
The primary concerns involve electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and cyberattack. An EMP is a tremendous burst of energy caused by naturally occurring solar storms or the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear device. Such an event would cause irreparable damage to the grid and other electronic-based equipment over a wide geographical area. The congressionally mandated EMP Commission concluded in 2008 that such an event would cause a year-long blackout, leading to cascading devastation and the possible deaths of an estimated 90 percent of all Americans from starvation, disease and anarchy.
Canada experienced a natural EMP in 1989, causing a day-long blackout across half the country. Another in 1921 damaged electronic railroad switches throughout North America. The most powerful on record, known as the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859, which impaired telegraph systems worldwide and destroyed the intercontinental telegraph cable at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
(Editors’ note: This column is co-authored by NCPA Research Associate Luke Twombly)
The second presidential debate might mention that a Russian state newspaper predicted direct confrontation with the United States over Syria. Neither candidate will probably note that the escalation comes as solutions to protect America’s frighteningly vulnerable electric grid system languish on Capitol Hill. Each should be reminded that an increasingly popular target for U.S. adversaries sits largely unguarded. Thankfully, Texas can take the lead. As the only state with a self-contained grid, Texas finds itself in a remarkable position to protect the nation by protecting itself.
The primary concerns involve electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and cyberattack. An EMP is a tremendous burst of energy caused by naturally occurring solar storms or the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear device. Such an event would cause irreparable damage to the grid and other electronic-based equipment over a wide geographical area. The congressionally mandated EMP Commission concluded in 2008 that such an event would cause a year-long blackout, leading to cascading devastation and the possible deaths of an estimated 90 percent of all Americans from starvation, disease and anarchy.
Canada experienced a natural EMP in 1989, causing a day-long blackout across half the country. Another in 1921 damaged electronic railroad switches throughout North America. The most powerful on record, known as the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859, which impaired telegraph systems worldwide and destroyed the intercontinental telegraph cable at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Two boxes of Clinton emails unaccounted for! (surprised?)

The Hill via Yahoo ^ | 10/7 | Yahoo 

The FBI's notes on its investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server raise questions about two "bankers boxes" of printed emails that went missing in the course of the probe, Fox News reported.

Among the FBI's lengthy report are its notes from a 2015 interview with an unnamed Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) employee, which were heavily redacted.

The notes say that IPS officials were told that there were 14 bankers boxes of emails at Clinton's home, but when they were picked up from her lawyer's office, there were only 12.

The report also points out that emails dated from early 2009, at the start of her term, were missing. The FBI said it's not clear if she was using another email address at that time.
(Excerpt) Read more at yahoo.com ...

Head for the hills

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Killing

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Chop Shop

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How Stupid!

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Target

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Dangerous

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7-11 not 9-11

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Crazy?

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Tax Exempt

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Billions

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Border Guards!

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Liberalism

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Mental Illness!

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Candy Kaine

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Please Know!

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Dunk It?

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OCD

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