Morning Action: As Pace Slows in Washington, Obamacare Tensions Remain High Across the Country
“When I got this bill, I was outraged,” CBS quotes a 56-year-old Florida resident who got dropped from her health care plan.
Her new plan will be 10 times higher than what she’s paying now, jumping from $54 a month to $591.
“What I have right now is what I’m happy with, and I just want to know why I can’t keep what I have,” says the woman. “Why do I have to be forced into something else?”
GOP PLAN. While the pace is slowing down in Washington, lawmakers are still trying to figure out what to do about Obamacare and the upcoming budget battle:
After an exhausting October full of late-night and weekend votes, the slower pace is a sharp change for the House.
Having just gotten through a grueling debt ceiling and government funding fight, the next big deadline is Dec. 13, when a bipartisan group of House and Senate budget negotiators are scheduled to report whether they have reached an agreement.
The future of Obamacare — and how far to go in trying to undo the 2010 Affordable Care Act — remains at center stage for House Republicans.
On Monday, House GOP chiefs of staff are meeting with leadership and the House Administration Committee on how members and staff will handle enrollment in the health care exchanges mandated under ACA.
In the meantime, it appears that the House will — once again — vote to delay portions of Obamacare, setting up another fight with Senate Democrats and the White House.
IRONY. President Obama was “in no mood” to talk about Obamacare on his way to church on Sunday:
President Obama was not in the mood to field questions about ObamaCare during his walk to church on Sunday.
“C’mon guys. I’m going to church,” Obama reportedly said when asked if the law’s troubled enrollment website would be ready by Nov. 30.
The exchange comes after a tough week for the White House on ObamaCare.
Obamacare’s HHS mandate tramples on religious freedom in America:
On Monday, hundreds of thousands of public comments flooded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as individuals and groups expressed concern with the Obama Administration’s continued trampling on a fundamental freedom. Many public comments expressed continued opposition to the coercive HHS mandate that requires almost all employers to provide health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices, contraception, and sterilization—regardless of moral or religious objection.
After more than a year of public outrage, over 50 lawsuits against the anti-conscience mandate, and a federal judge’s demand that HHS fix its coercive mandate, the Administration published a “notice of proposed rulemaking” (NPRM) on February 6. That proposed rule neither changes the underlying mandate finalized in law and currently in effect nor provides any workable or adequate solutions to the mandate’s trampling on religious liberty.
WEBSITE FAILURES. Things aren’t getting better for HealthCare.gov; they’re getting worse:
The troubled roll-out of the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul faced mounting problems when a key computer service failed yesterday, two days after the government said its insurance exchange website would take another month to function smoothly.
The data services hub, a system that supplies tax information to websites run by the U.S. and 14 states to sell medical coverage, was unavailable yesterday evening after a malfunction at the center that hosts it.
The center, operated by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) unit Terremark, lost connectivity after workers tried to replace a broken networking component, Joanne Peters, U.S. Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail. Peters didn’t say when the failure happened or how long it would take to repair.
#MORETHANAGLITCH. More and more people are beginning to realize that the problems with Obamacare extend far beyond the website:
The range of issues and potential issues runs the gamut, from the truly glitchy — the small and likely solvable — to much more serious threats to the viability of the health exchanges at the heart of Obamacare.
White House officials insist all will work once the website is up, running and easy to use. But the intensity of the national focus on the website has saved them from having to answer questions about other potentially damaging issues that have arisen either outside the virtual confines of healthcare.gov or in conjunction with troubled portal.
Consumers are suffering from sticker shock; a major cross-section of previously insured Americans are finding out that their plans are changing to conform with Obamacare even though the president promised they wouldn’t; evidence of customer satisfaction is anecdotal; and there’s still no guarantee that the young “invincibles,” who must make up 20 percent to 30 percent of the pool to make the exchanges work, will actually enroll.
The Heritage Foundation warned of this sticker shock effect in recent research that indicates premiums will go up in most states under Obamacare:
Many individuals will experience sticker shock when shopping on the exchanges. It is clear that many policies and cross-subsidization within Obamacare will lead to upward shifts in premiums. These policies include the health insurance tax, essential health benefit and actuarial value regulations, less allowed age variability in premiums, community rating, and guaranteed issue. However, real uncertainty, amidst a rocky start, surrounds what enrollment will look like in the exchanges.
AMNESTY. A number of liberal corporate executives and lawmakers have joined forces to push for amnesty on Capitol Hill:
Several corporate executives have joined forces with prominent local lawmakers, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and George Soros’ National Immigration Forum (NIF) to organize a campaign on Monday to target GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill to get them to try to support amnesty.
Those executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Boeing CEO and chairman Jim McNerney, Marriott hotels chairman and CEO Bill Marriott, NewsCorp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, and Disney president and CEO Bob Iger.
Ballmer, McNerney, Marriott, Murdoch, and Iger, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro form the “Partnership for a New American Economy.” That group, along with Zuckerberg’s FWD.us and Soros’ NIF, are paying for activists to make it appear to lawmakers as though there is conservative support for comprehensive immigration reform in America. They are conducting a “fly-in” campaign, where those special interest figures will be paying to get people who support their position on immigration reform up to Capitol Hill on Monday to pressure House GOP lawmakers to support such a plan. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also reportedly supporting the effort.
We have a profile on George Soros and the types of causes he’s supported in the past:
Upon President Obama’s reelection, George Soros stated his win meant Americans had “rejected extremist positions.” Soros donated $1 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA in 2012. If his dedicated support of President Obama isn’t enough to demonstrate his progressive ideology, he has invested heavily in the promotion of other things that would make most conservatives cringe.
When Soros married Tamiko Bolton earlier this year, the couple asked that their 500 wedding guests make donations to a number of organizations, including Planned Parenthood, in lieu of gifts. Planned Parenthood “celebrated” 97 years in the lucrative abortion business this October – and over that time they’ve killed 6,300,000 babies. In 2010, Planned Parenthood killed 329,445 babies, raking in about $550 per baby, or $181 million.