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A Sadder and Poorer Tax Day

obama_taxesObama’s tax increases have diminished America’s spirit and prosperity.

by Grover Norquist

With the arrival and passing of yet another April 15th Tax Day, the federal government will consume 20.5 percent of America’s total income this year. It’s not as bad as in France or Greece, but somewhat worse than when we formed these United States. When we were Colonies under the British, the average tax burden on American colonists was 2 percent. That was considered unbearable, and the revolution was on.

There has been some slippage over the years. The 16th Amendment allowing the income tax opened the door to truly European, supersized government. [Read more...]

Why Aren’t Public Officials Held to Account for Lying?

obama washington liesby Jack Kelly

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman sentenced television pitchman Kevin Trudeau to 10 years in prison for making false claims in a weight loss book he wrote and was hawking on TV.

In infomercials for “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” Mr. Trudeau claimed food companies and the government had kept secret a “miracle substance” discovered by a British doctor. [Read more...]

US Sees Sharpest Health Insurance Premium Increases In Years

ObamaCare Big Governmentby Sarah Hurtubise

Americans have recently been hit with some of the largest premium increases in years, according to a Morgan Stanley survey of insurance brokers.

The investment bank’s April survey of 148 brokers found that this quarter, the average premium increase for customers renewing an insurance plan is 12 percent in the small group market and 11 percent in the individual market, according to Forbes’ Scott Gottlieb. [Read more...]

A Republican Plan for Healthcare Reform

bobby jindalPresident Obama has repeated claimed that the Republicans have only voted to repeal ObamaCare, but have no ideas or proposals of their own. This was, and is, entirely false – just like when Obama said, “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.”  You may ask why does he so consistently say demonstrably false things? Because the media won’t hold him accountable.  He does it because he can. Here’s just one of the many Republican plans for healthcare reform. 

by Philip Klein

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came to Washington on Wednesday with a message to those arguing that conservatives would have to operate within the policy framework created by President Obama’s health care law: “I absolutely do not think we can give up the fight to repeal Obamacare.”

The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate was in town to promote a new health care plan developed by his America Next policy group that would not only repeal Obamacare in its entirety, but also make sweeping changes to the system that existed prior to the law’s implementation.

Under Jindal’s proposal, Obamacare would be replaced with a system that equalizes the tax treatment of health insurance. Instead of merely giving tax advantages to those who obtain insurance through their employers, the Jindal plan would create a standard deduction for health insurance for all taxpayers. [Read more...]

Obama boasts 7.1 Million have signed up for Obamacare – but independent study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have purchased insurance

Obamacare Hurt• President took a major victory lap and took political shots at Republicans, but ignored shortcomings in his administration’s official numbers.

• Press secretary Jay Carney will only say ‘we’re aggregating a lot of data’ when asked how many enrollees have paid for coverage.

• Carney dodged questions about damning study that showed very few Obamacare customers were uninsured before the law took effect.

• Percentages from a RAND Corporation study suggest barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans have enrolled and paid premiums.

 

by David Martosko

A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America’s health care system ‘a lot better’ in a Rose Garden press conference.

But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.

Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.

Others were already insured, including millions who lost coverage when their existing policies were suddenly cancelled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s strict minimum requirements. [Read more...]

ObamaCare: Rhetoric Aside, It Is Still Falling Well Short

ObamaCare Cancelled Policiesby 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? [Read more...]

Making up good news about Obamacare

ObamaCare Costs Pork

ObamaCare Costs Pork

by Marc A. Thiessen

The Obama administration is celebrating that it has achieved its (downwardly revised) goal of signing up more than 6 million Americans for Obamacare by 11:59 p.m. March 31. Mission accomplished!

Not quite. The administration has not revealed how many of those 6 million people have paid their premiums. If you have not paid, you have not actually “enrolled.” It’s like putting merchandise in your Amazon cart but never clicking “buy.”

Besides, the number that matters is not how many Americans signed up for Obamacare but rather how many previously uninsuredAmericans signed up for Obamacare. By that standard, Obamacare may be headed for an epic failure.

Recall that between 5 million and 6 million Americans lost their health plans because of Obamacare last fall. If the administration now succeeds in signing up 5 million to 6 million previously insured Americans, it will have achieved . . . nothing. Breaking even is no great accomplishment. [Read more...]

They Blew Up the Healthcare System for This?

obamacare tire mudby Byron York

The Los Angeles Times, citing studies and information the Obama administration most certainly knows about but won’t release, reports that 9.5 million previously uninsured people now have health coverage because of Obamacare. Look for that 9.5 million, or perhaps a rounded-up 10 million, to be come the talking point for Obamacare supporters in coming days.

The Times says the numbers break down like this: 4.5 million previously uninsured people are now on Medicaid; 3 million previously uninsured young people are now covered because of a provision that allows them to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26; and 2 million previously uninsured people have purchased coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. In all, it is “the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century,” according to the Times. [Read more...]

We’re young, but we aren’t stupid

Obamacare-cartoonby Evan Feinberg

The White House is desperate to sign up Nevada’s Millennials for Obamacare. With the March 31 enrollment deadline closing fast, the latest figures show that only 22 percent of the state’s Obamacare sign-ups are between ages 18 and 34. That’s a far cry from the 40 percent that the White House wants.

Blame the Obamacare marketing team. Since the exchanges launched in October, the team’s attempts to persuade us to sign up have been inappropriate, incoherent and simply insulting.

The list of examples is long and painful, but the “Brosurance” ads, which have gone viral across the country, are the most famous flop by far. In print and social media, these ads paint the picture of Millennials as drunks and dolts. [Read more...]

A Pattern of Dishonesty about ObamaCare

Obamacare HurtSebelius keeps revising her script on the success of the Affordable Care Act.

Every time Kathleen Sebelius testifies before Congress, President Obama’s secretary of health and human services reminds us why she is unfit for her Cabinet post: She is a serial dissembler.

The latest example is her appearance this week before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Jim Renacci, an Ohio Republican, reminded her of the benchmark she set in September to adjudge the success of the Obamacare insurance exchanges. “Success,” she said, “looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.” [Read more...]

Politics drives repeated and unlawful Obamacare delays

Obamacare-DelayThe President aims to protect Congressional Democrats from the consequences of the law they passed.

The serial delays of Obamacare are coming so rapidly and for such obviously political reasons that the White House is barely even trying to mask its real mission of protecting vulnerable Democrats in the mid-term elections.

In announcing the latest postponement this week — this one allowing individuals to keep their existing health insurance policies through 2016 — the Obama administration carefully credited Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Barber of Arizona and 10 other vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.

All face tough reelection fights in the fall in races in which Obamacare is a key issue.

While it may be politically expedient, rewriting a law passed by Congress simply to avoid ballot box consequences is an outrageous abuse of executive power. [Read more...]

Media fact-checking ObamaCare victims, but not ObamaCare claims

 Obamacare-cartoonSo where were all the media fact-checkers on Obamacare? Asleep at the switch until it was far too late.

Leukemia patient Julie Boonstra is the latest American to get caught up in the media fact-checking frenzy. Her offense: Appearing in an anti-Obamacare ad for Americans for Prosperity, in which she said her out-of-pocket costs had become “unaffordable” since her insurance was canceled because of President Obama’s health care law. She also said Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., who is running for Senate, “jeopardized my health” by voting for it.

Within hours of the AFP ad’s initial broadcast, media fact-checkers pored over alleged inconsistencies between her comments in the ad and statements she’d made in interviews, then said her numbers didn’t add up. Liberal pundits suggested they knew what was good for her better than she did. Peters sent a letter to television stations running the ad threatening their licenses if the “questionable claims” in the ad were not proven. [Read more...]

Obamacare exemptions prove law’s folly

Obamacare-exemptionsIn his first inaugural address in 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant declared, “Laws are to govern all alike — those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”

Apparently, President Barack Obama agrees with the second sentence of that quote, if not the first. Which is why he continues to unilaterally prevent strict enforcement of the bad law that is his signature achievement: Obamacare.

The latest change came when the administration announced that the employer mandate, already delayed for one year, would be delayed another year for many companies. Now, businesses employing 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t be required to provide insurance until 2016, while companies employing 100 or more will be required to cover only 70 percent of employees in 2015. [Read more...]

From the Left: Why I’m Getting Sick of Defending Obamacare

Obama sadNote: Ron Fournier, like most of the left-leaning media, has been a strong defender of ObamaCare. But now, even he is admitting that it is a train wreck. 

Incompetence, politics, and delays frustrate advocates of health care reform.

by Ron Fournier

It’s getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation.

For the second time in a year, certain businesses were given more time before being forced to offer health insurance to most of their full-time workers. Employers with 50 to 99 workers were given until 2016 to comply, two years longer than required by law. During a yearlong grace period, larger companies will be required to insure fewer employees than spelled out in the law.

Not coincidentally, the delays punt implementation beyond congressional elections in November, which raises the first problem with defending Obamacare: The White House has politicized its signature policy. [Read more...]

Obama Delays Obamacare’s Employer Mandate – Yet Again

ObamaCare Obama DoctorDuring a visit to Monticello with the President of France on Monday, President Obama quipped, “That’s the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.”  Some would argue that President Obama was simply joking.  But more and more, it looks like the President believes he can do as he pleases and can enact and amend legislation all by himself. Also on Monday, the White House announced that Obama had changed the clear and unambiguous terms of the ObamaCare law and delayed the employer mandate yet again for certain select groups.

This is particularly odd because the President himself has repeatedly called ObamaCare the of the land and demanded that Republicans accept it and stop trying to reform it. Yet, the President doesn’t view the law of the land as any reason for him to respect the plain language of the law. Students of the Constitution find this usurpation of power deeply troubling. But it is also deeply cynical as the President continues to assure Americans that the roll out of ObamaCare is going well. Yet if it were, he would not be repeatedly postponing its mandates until after the next election cycle.

by Brett Logiurato

The Obama administration announced Monday that it will delay implementation of part of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate for the second consecutive year.

The Treasury Department said it will delay the mandate’s penalty another year for small businesses with 50-99 workers. It will also adjust some of the requirements for larger employers.

Under the new Treasury Department rules, businesses with 100 employees or more must offer coverage to at least 70% of full-time workers in 2015 and 95% in 2016, or face a penalty. [Read more...]

Inflated, inaccurate numbers

ObamaCare Brokenby Byron York

Democrats from President Obama on down have been touting Obamacare’s sign-up numbers. Even after the system’s disastrous rollout, they like to point out, roughly three million people have signed up for private insurance, while 6.3 million have signed up for Medicaid.

“Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, more than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage,” Obama said in the State of the Union speech. “Nine million.”

The number is a little larger now, since the figures are a few weeks old. But there is strong new evidence to suggest the administration’s claims are grossly exaggerated and deeply misleading. Obamacare is not doing nearly as well as the president wants you to believe. [Read more...]

Health-care myths we live by

Medicaid-Medicare-Medicine-Medical Policyby Charles Krauthammer

Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It’s already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you’d expect given the extravagant — and incessant — claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants.

In fact, they are either useless or harmful, conclude the editors of the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine: “Beta-carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful.” Moreover, “other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.” So useless are the supplements, write the editors, that we should stop wasting time even studying them: “Further large prevention trials are no longer justified.”

Such revisionism is a constant in medicine. When I was a child, tonsillectomies were routine. We now know that, except for certain indications, this is grossly unnecessary surgery. Not quite as harmful as that once-venerable staple, bloodletting (which probably killed George Washington), but equally mindless. [Read more...]

CBO: Devastating Obamacare Facts

ObamaCare IRS Cost CompassionThen Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said at the time of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that we had to pass it to find out what’s in it. At that time many public policy experts, myself included, warned that ObamaCare would be add to the deficit and national debt, that it would destroy jobs, that many Americans wouldn’t be able to keep their doctor or their insurance plan, that it would reduce incentives to work and that it would needlessly harm the overall quality of healthcare. The most recent CBO report substantiates our warnings and it proves the folly of heeding Pelosi’s advice to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. Next time, read the bill. Each of its harmful impacts was entirely predictable to anyone who read it. 

by Sean Davis

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its latest analysis of the country’s economic and budget outlook, and it’s a doozy. (Remember, this is the same CBO that the President quoted extensively when he thought it suited his purposes.) If you’re a Denver Broncos fan who watched in horror as your team disintegrated during the Super Bowl on Sunday, then you’ll have some idea of how Obamacare’s proponents will feel as they read this report.

Yes, it’s that bad. [Read more...]

Obamacare will reduce incomes of most Americans

Money ObamaCareThere’s no doubt the Affordable Care Act will redistribute wealth in America. People at the top of the income ladder will pay more; people at the bottom will benefit. But how, exactly, will that work?

A new study finds that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare.

In other words, Obamacare is going to cost some of the very people it was designed to help. [Read more...]

Why Do The Uninsured Hate ObamaCare?

ObamaCare BrokenA new survey shows that ObamaCare is less popular with the uninsured than with the public. How is this even possible?

The January Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll shows that just 24% of the uninsured approve of ObamaCare. That’s down from 40% the month before the reform officially launched in October, and it’s a full 10 points below the public’s overall favorable rating.

Incredibly, more than twice as many uninsured say they’re worse off because of ObamaCare than say it’s helped. What’s more, just 7% of the uninsured say they tried to get coverage through an ObamaCare exchange. Nearly 60% say they hadn’t done anything to get coverage over the previous six months. [Read more...]