Tag Archive: Republican

Warren Increases the Pain Factor for Choosing Corporate-Friendly Democrats

Unofficial _Sources

Sep. 8 2015, 4:11 p.m.

A little-noticed report on candidates for an open spot on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reaffirms that the reformist wing of the Democratic Party is winning the tactical battle over financial regulatory personnel.

Luis Aguilar, one of three Democratic SEC commissioners on the five-member panel, announced he would step down in May. Initially, the White House floated as a replacement Keir Gumbs, who has passed through the revolving door, from SEC staff to the white-collar corporate law firm Covington & Burling.

Covington & Burling counts most major U.S. banks among its clients, and is the home of former Attorney General Eric Holder and several of his top deputies. While at Covington, Gumbs allegedly gave CEOs tutorials on how to avoid disclosing their corporate political spending. He also represented the American Petroleum Institute before the SEC.


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Despite Chris Christie’s emphatic win in New Jersey governor’s race, it was a bad night for conservative factions in the GOP

Chris Christie

Chris Christie won decisively with a campaign that appealed to moderates but alienated the conservative wing of his party. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz /Reuters

Republicans were considering the implications of a night of mixed electoral fortunes on Wednesday, capped by the re-election of New Jersey governor Chris Christie who won decisively with a campaign that appealed to moderates but alienated the conservative wing of his party.

Christie’s emphatic win in New Jersey cemented his position as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and provided a boost to moderates in the GOP who have been battling with hardline conservatives.

The victory in New Jersey contrasted with defeat in Virginia, were the Tea Party-backed Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The race was closer than expected, but nonetheless represented a blow to Republicans; the first time since 1973 the party in the White House has won the state’s gubernatorial race.

The New Jersey and Virginia races differed in significant ways, and analysts cautioned against drawing hard-and-fast conclusions about the wider political landscape for Republicans.

But it was symbolic moment: a centre-right, pragmatic Republican triumphed in New Jersey, a solidly Democratic state, while a staunchly conservative Republican lost in Virginia, a traditional swing-state he had been tipped to win just a few months ago.

Polls indicated that anger over the government shutdown, which was sharply felt in parts of northern Virginia, as well as discomfort with Cuccinelli’s deeply conservative views, handed the race to McAuliffe, a controversial Democratic fundraiser and close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In New York, a Democrat won the race for city mayor for the first time in 20 years, with a landslide victory for Bill de Blasio. In Alabama, a closely-watched Republican primary was won by Bradley Byrne, in what was considered a victory for the party establishment against another Tea Party-inspired candidate, Dean Young.

Christie, who is due to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), was the most high-profile winner of the night. His election, which drew the support of African American, Latino and women voters who have elsewhere been deserting Republicans, catapults Christie to the ranks of front-runners in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Other likely candidates include senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who have all adopted staunchly conservative positions that appeal to their base but alienate the moderates and independent voters generally seen as essential to take the White House.

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GOP Congressman Makes Park Ranger Apologize for Shutdown


Published on Oct 3, 2013

In an astounding confrontation that took place yesterday at the World War II Memorial in DC, a Tea Party congressman from Texas appeared to blame the Park Service for denying veterans access to the facility — and then made a Park Ranger apologize for the shutdown.

“How do you look at them and … deny them access?” Rep. Randy Neugebauer asked the unidentified Ranger in an incredible exchange that was caught on camera by NBC Washington.

In fact, the Park Service has been invoking the First Amendment in order to allow vets into the memorial despite the shutdown making it illegal for the department to do so.

“It’s difficult,” the Ranger replied. “Well, it should be difficult,” scorned the congressman. “It is difficult,” the Ranger repeated. “I’m sorry, sir.”

“The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves,” said Neugebauer. “I’m not ashamed,” the Ranger retorted.

“You should be,” sneered Neugebauer.

The good news is that, despite the GOP’s best efforts to divert blame to literally anybody else, most Americans know full well who’s truly to blame.

A just-released CBS News poll found that 44% fault the Republicans for the shutdown, while 35% fault Obama and the Dems.

Meanwhile, a whopping 72% disapprove of holding the entire budget hostage over Obamacare, including nearly 50% of all Republicans surveyed.

The day before he was taped harassing a Park Ranger for doing her job, Neugebauer went on The Chad Hasty Show to state that he will keep the government shut down for “as long as it takes” to ensure that Obamacare is not funded, claiming it was the will of the American people.

NBC Washington

Congressman Confronts Park Ranger Over Closed WWII Memorial

By Mark Segraves
|  Thursday, Oct 3, 2013

Conflict over the responsibility for the government shutdown got personal at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Wednesday when a member of Congress confronted a U.S. Park Service Ranger over access to the closed park land.

The congressman was Randy Neugebauer, a Republican representing Texas. He confronted the ranger in the middle of a crowd of tourists as she was keeping most of the public out of the closed World War II memorial.

The Park Service has been allowing World War II vets who have traveled from all over the country to enter the memorial, even though it’s closed during the government shutdown; the rangers say they are exercising their First Amendment rights as they let the veterans in.

But they are keeping the rest of the public out of the facility, which is officially closed. And that did not sit well with the congressman, reported News4’s Mark Segraves, who witnessed the confrontation.

“How do you look at them and… deny them access?” said Neugebauer. He, with most House Republicans, had voted early Sunday morning to pass a funding measure that would delay the Affordable Care Act, a vote that set up a showdown with the Senate and President Barack Obama. With the parties unable to agree on how to fund the federal government, non-essential government functions shut down Tuesday.


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Published on Sep 22, 2013

“The reason that Republicans cannot win Latinos – or other minorities for that matter – is because Republicans counter liberal ‘Santa’ version of big government with what I call the ‘Darth-Vader’ idea of big government, ” says Shikha Dalmia, senior analyst at the Reason Foundation, during FreedomFest 2013 in Las Vegas.

“What Republicans show Latinos and other voters is not the humane and kind version of limited government.”

Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, joined Dalmia in discussing how the GOP’s anti-immigration rhetoric and political position is pushing minority voters to the left.

About 36 minutes.

Edited by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Paul Detrick and Alex Manning.

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Image Source  :  WIkimedia . org

United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., USA   Poco a poco


MedCity News

September 14, 2013 1:46 am by

At long last, Republicans have presented an alternative to the Affordable Health Care Act: DeMintcare.

No, it’s not an herbal remedy involving mint. Or the removal of mint. It doesn’t even involve care, actually.

But — bless ’em — it’s a plan. For that, we should all be grateful.

The man with the plan is Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina who left the U.S. Senate at the start of the year to become president of the Heritage Foundation. (Bigger office, apparently.)

Heritage, you’ll recall, is the conservative think tank that first proposed the basic framework for today’s health care reform and loved, loved, loved it when it was implemented in Massachusetts as Romneycare.

But when it became Obamacare — not so much.

DeMint recently elaborated on the intricate nature of this not loving, loving, loving it anymore.

“I cannot think of anything that’s more un-American than national government-run health care,” he said. “Those who believe in those principles of socialism and collectivism we’ve seen over the centuries, they see as their holy grail taking control of the health care system.”

To reiterate, the basic design of this grail wasn’t anything that came from a collective operating at the Heritage Foundation.

When the thinkers at that think tank proposed the framework — the “individual mandate,” requiring insurance for everyone — it was sound, fiscal policy. When it re-emerged from the White House, it was something vaguely Kenyan.

So, what does DeMint propose as an alternative?

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Mass Tea Party Mass Tea Party

Published on Jul 26, 2013

Obama’s Second Term Scandals “Phony?” – Sarah Palin & Michele Bachmann On The Record

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House Passes Republican Farm-Policy Bill Without Food Stamp Aid

Farmer Bill Maupin, left, confers with landowner Norman Sandelbach while inspecting freshly planted corn seeds in a field outside of Henry, Illinois.

House Republicans passed a five-year U.S. farm-policy bill that retains subsidies to farmers and strips out food-stamp spending, costing it Democratic support.

The plan was approved today 216-208, with all Democrats and 12 Republicans in opposition. The measure also would repeal underlying provisions that potentially would double milk prices when a new law isn’t passed. The measure, scaled back after the House defeated a bill that included food stamps three weeks ago, is “extremely flawed,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Farmer Bill Maupin, left, confers with landowner Norman Sandelbach while inspecting freshly planted corn seeds in a field outside of Henry, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

“The bill passed by the House today is not a real farm bill and is an insult to rural America,” the Michigan Democrat, who will lead Senate negotiators to work out a final bill with House lawmakers, said in a statement after the vote.

The legislation, which benefits crop buyers such as Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) and insurers including Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), has been working through Congress for almost two years. The Senate on June 10 passed S. 954, a plan that would cost $955 billion over a decade. Current law begins to expire Sept. 30.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the farm measure that excludes food stamp and nutrition programs.

Action Stymied

House action has been stymied largely by disagreements on food stamps. The legislation rejected last month, H.R. 1947, would cut spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, responsible for more than three-quarters of the bill’s costs, by about 2.5 percent, roughly $2 billion a year. Democrats who balked at the reductions joined Republicans objecting to the plan’s cost to scuttle the bill. Republican leaders revived the measure in scaled-back form.

The stripped-down plan gained support from Republicans willing to deal with food stamps later. “It’s not a secret I am not a fan of the farm bill,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who opposed the June version and supported the bill today. “I’ve learned around here that you rarely get to vote for success but you can vote for progress.”



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US Senate passes sweeping immigration reform

In a vote hailed by US President Barack Obama, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform on Thursday that would help 11 million people gain citizenship, but is expected to be blocked by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

By Halla Mohieddeen (video)
News Wires (text)

The U.S. Senate approved a landmark immigration bill on Thursday that would provide millions of undocumented immigrants a chance to become citizens, but the leader of the House of Representatives said the measure was dead on arrival in the House.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed the bill by a vote of 68-32, with 14 of the Senate’s 46 Republicans joining all 52 Democrats and two independents in support of the bill.

But any air of celebration was tempered by House Speaker John Boehner, who hours before the vote emphasized that Republicans would “do our own bill,” one that “reflects the will of our majority,” many of whom oppose citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

Any bill in the Republican-controlled House is expected to focus heavily on border security and finding immigrants who have overstayed their visas.

“Immigration reform has to be grounded in real border security,” Boehner said.

Republican divisions over immigration were evident throughout the U.S. Capitol. While Boehner was putting the brakes on the Senate bill, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, delivered a passionate speech urging passage of the measure that he helped write.

After recounting his parents’ difficult lives in Cuba and their struggles after immigrating to the United States, Rubio said: “For over 200 years now, they (immigrants) have come; in search of liberty and freedom, for sure. But often simply looking for jobs to feed their kids and the chance of a better life.”

At the end of the Senate debate, a packed gallery of supporters, who have labored decades for such a moment, witnessed the vote that came after three weeks of sometimes heated discussion. More than 100 children of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents hugged each other when the bill passed.

President Barack Obama, praising the bill, said it contained tough border security requirements and “earned citizenship” for about 11 million undocumented residents.

“Today, the Senate did its job. It’s now up to the House to do the same,” Obama said in a statement.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Senate bill “has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Mexicans living in the United States today.”

The Senate vote came after several unsuccessful attempts in the past decade or so to overhaul a U.S. immigration law enacted in 1986. The goal has been to improve an outdated visa system and help U.S. firms get easier access to foreign labor ranging from farm and construction workers to high-skilled employees.

Business and labor groups reached a deal on the new visa system, which is part of the Senate bill. But controversy raged over how much new border security was needed and how long the 11 million should wait before becoming legal residents and then citizens.


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Local Advocates Watch Cautiously As Immigration Reform Heads To The US House

June 28, 2013 6:52 AM
SEIU members rally for immigration reform at LOVE Park (Credit: Molly Daly)

SEIU members rally for immigration reform at LOVE Park (Credit: Molly Daly)

Reporting Cherri Gregg

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The immigration reform bill sailed through the United States Senate yesterday, offering hope of citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants across the country (see related story). Local advocates are a little nervous as the bill gears up to move into the House.

“It’s a little bit of a bitter sweet pill I think right now,” says Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos. She says the community is happy the bill is moving forward, but afraid that if it ever passes the United States House it won’t resemble the Gang of 8 proposal originally lauded by immigration reform advocates.

“We see these concessions happening around this bill, so it just raises our concern as we move into the House,” she says.

Concessions like adding tens of billions of dollars for stepped up border security and adding more red tape to the path to citizenship. Natasha Kelemen of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition says the only recourse is to continue to push lawmakers.


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***Please  do not  proceed if  you are  easily  offended  by  political  humor ***



Barack Milhous Obama



Mark Levin Eviscerates The RINO Establishment



Candidate Obama debates President Obama on Government Surveillance

SaveTheFourth Amendment SaveTheFourth Amendment


Republicans On Legitimate Rape – Todd Akin, Paul Ryan (TJDS)

townsquare townsquare


Republican Rep: Todd Akin Was ‘Partly Right’ About ‘Legitimate Rape’!


Published on Jan 11, 2013

Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey has come out to “half – endorsed” Tod Akin’s rape theory. Making matters somewhat more disturbing is he’s an OB-GYN. Sam responds and plays a classic Gingrey bit from the Break Room Live days with Marc Maron…


Mayor Embarrasses Himself In Interview (Oh My God!)

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Mayor Embarrasses Himself In Interview (Oh My God!)
townsquare townsquare

Dumb Elitist Liberal.mpg

StryperTheCat StryperTheCat


Dennis Miller Reflects Upon The ‘Geniuses’ on the Left

welovesarahpalin welovesarahpalin


Dennis Miller: Why Criticizing Obama is Not Racist

Kyle Becker Kyle Becker


What makes the Republican position on Medicaid expansion truly sick

In their ideological vendetta against Obamacare, red states seem more willing to let low-income people die than get healthcare

US health insurance, Medicaid

Republican-controlled states argued before the supreme court that the ACA law’s expansion of Medicaid is unconstitutionally coercive. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you want to get a sense of the enfeebled and wanton state of the modern Republican party, there really is no better place to start than on the issue of Medicaid, the federal program that provides healthcare coverage for the poor.

In a desperate effort to undermine the law they hate, Obamacare, Republican governors and state legislatures in half the states have either rejected or intend to reject a key part of the president’s signature domestic initiative – namely, billions in federal dollars to extend Medicaid coverage to their poorest citizens. While Republicans argue they are acting out of highminded fiscal rectitude, the reality speaks to something else altogether – petulance and hyper-partisanship.

Accepting billions in federal dollars and expanding care to the uninsured would mean tacitly accepting the reality of Obamacare. And that is tantamount to treason in the Republican party. So, as a result, when the law goes into full effect next year, millions of Americans will be left on the outside looking in, denied coverage for no other reason than the misfortune of residing in a red state.

If we lived in a country where both major political parties shared a sense of social empathy, the Medicaid expansion piece of Obamacare would be among its least controversial provisions. Under the law, Medicaid coverage would become available for those living below 138% of the poverty line. The federal government would fully pick up the bill for the first few years of the law, and then eventually cover 90% of the costs.

But when the US supreme court upheld Obamacare last year, it overturned the provision of the bill that gave the federal government authority to penalize states that did not agree to expand Medicaid coverage. Though this decision gave states the right potentially to reject the expansion, few at the time thought this would be an issue. Ron Pollack, director of the consumer group Families USA, expressed the views of many:

“I think the states are going to pick this up. It would be an act of fiscal malpractice for states to turn this down.”

Considering the billions of Medicaid dollars that would be pumped into state coffers, it was hard to disagree. But what liberals had not fully countenanced was the continued refusal of Republicans to come to grips with Obamacare.

Indeed, a year after the supreme court ruled on the legality of the law, congressional Republicans are continuing their futile struggle to scrap it. Earlier this month, House Republicans voted for the 37th time to repeal Obamacare. Beyond such peevish symbolic gestures congressional Republicans are trying to put as many roadblocks as possible in front of the healthcare law’s rollout. They refuse to consider any technical corrections to the bill in order to assist with its implementation.

Prominent Republicans, such as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, claim the bill is simply too broken to be fixed and repeal is the only option. But the unlikely possibility of repeal is a figleaf for the GOP’s real interest: sabotaging the bill in order to gain a political advantage in the 2014 midterm elections. The more Obamacare is seen as a disaster, the better chance of voters punishing Democrats at the polls, or so the political argument goes.

The problem is that this obstructionism is having real and enduing consequences. According to a survey maintained by the Kaiser Foundation (pdf), fewer than half the states have agreed to fully partake in the Medicaid expansion, with 20 not moving forward at this time.

What do all these states have in common? Either a Republican governor or a legislature controlled by Republicans. In some states, even the support of a GOP governor has not been enough to bring along recalcitrant legislators. In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer – no friend of the Obama administration – is locked in a heated battle with her state legislature over the issue and has threatened to veto every bill that comes to her desk until the Medicaid issue is resolved.

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Reverse LePage: Conservative Arizona governor threatens to veto all bills if lawmakers don’t OK Medicaid expansion

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, shown here greeting delegates Aug. 28, 2012, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., is one of several Republican governors pushing state legislators to approve Medicaid expansion allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Brian Cassella | MCT
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, shown here greeting delegates Aug. 28, 2012, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., is one of several Republican governors pushing state legislators to approve Medicaid expansion allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Posted June 02, 2013, at 9:52 p.m.

Republican fissures over the expansion of Medicaid, a critical piece of the 2010 health-care law designed to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, continue to deepen, with battles in Arizona and elsewhere showing just how bitter the divisions have become.

Despite expressing distaste for the new law, some GOP governors have endorsed an expansion of Medicaid, and three — Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan — are trying to persuade their Republican-controlled legislatures to go along. The governors are unwilling to turn down Washington’s offer to spend millions, if not billions, in their states to add people to the state-federal program for the poor. But they face staunch opposition from many GOP legislators who oppose the health-care law and worry that their states will be stuck with the cost of adding Medicaid recipients.

In one of the most explosive of the internal Republican battles, Brewer, a firebrand tea party favorite who once famously wagged her finger at President Barack Obama, has declared a “moratorium” on all other legislation until her Medicaid plan, which would add 300,000 Arizonans to the program, is approved. She has backed up her threat by vetoing five unrelated bills.

In Ohio and Michigan, the governors are pressing for last-minute compromises before their legislatures adjourn this summer. In Florida, the legislature, which has adjourned, rejected Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to expand Medicaid.

These conflicts over the health-care law illustrate a larger divide within the Republican Party over an array of issues, including immigration and automatic budget cuts.

The Medicaid expansion is one of the two main ways the health-care law would provide coverage to the uninsured. The other is through health insurance exchanges, which will sell policies to individuals whose incomes are too high for Medicaid; many of those people will receive subsidies to buy the health plans.

Medicaid eligibility varies from state and to state and depends on income and other factors. The health-care law, in an effort to make eligibility uniform, mandated that anyone earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level, or $15,856 in 2013 dollars, be eligible for the program. But last June, the Supreme Court, while upholding most of the health-care law, ruled that states could refuse to expand their Medicaid programs. That set the stage for bitter debates — ones ruled as much by ideology and politics as by financial realities — that have been occurring in state capitals nationwide.

Under the law, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of newly eligible Medicaid recipients for the first three years, beginning in January. After that, the federal contribution will taper, leveling off at 90 percent for 2020 and beyond.

Twenty-three states and the District have agreed to the Medicaid expansion. Nineteen states have decided against the expansion and eight are debating it, according to Avalere Health, a consulting firm. States that decline to expand Medicaid now could still sign up in later years.

The debate over Medicaid has been emotional and vitriolic in many states. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, R, was heckled during a recent speech for opposing an expansion. In Montana, chaos erupted after a lawmaker accidentally voted against expanding the program, causing the measure to fail. Pro-Medicaid advocates in some states, frustrated by inaction from their elected leaders, are working to put the matter to voters in the form of ballot initiatives.

The hostility is evident in Arizona, where authorities are investigating a threatening phone call and emails directed at lawmakers who support expanding the program. Opponents of the expansion have condemned the alleged threats.

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Democrats’ New Argument: It’s A Good Thing That Obamacare Doubles Individual Health Insurance Premiums

Bridge across North Lake, Woodbridge, Irvine, ...

Irvine, California, where health insurance premiums for the average 25-year-old who purchases insurance for himself will nearly double under Obamacare. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it’s been an interesting week in health care land. For a while now, independent analysts—and conservative critics—have raised concerns that Obamacare will dramatically increase the cost of individually-purchased health insurance for healthier people. This would, of course, contradict President Obama’s promises that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” and that the cost of insurance would go down “by $2,500 per family per year.” What’s new is that liberal columnists, facing reality, are conceding that premiums will go up for most people in the individual market. But they’re justifying it by saying that “rate shock” will help a tiny minority of people who can’t get insurance today. If they had said that in 2009, would Obamacare have passed?

Last month, progressive pundits were trumpeting news out of California that the cost of health insurance under Obamacare in that state was surprisingly low. “Well, the California bids are in,” wrote Paul Krugman on May 27. “And the prices, it turns out, are surprisingly low…So yes, it does look as if there’s an Obamacare shock coming,” the shock that Obamacare will work just fine.

It turns out, however, that Krugman was uncritically regurgitating California’s misleading press release. In fact, the average 25 and 40-year-old will pay double under Obamacare what they would need to pay today, based on rates posted at eHealthInsurance.com (NASDAQ:EHTH). More specifically, for the typical 25-year-old male non-smoker, the average Obamacare “bronze” exchange plan in California will cost between 64 and 117 percent more than the cheapest five plans on eHealth. For 40-year-old male non-smokers, it’s between 73 and 146 percent more.

Democrats now: It’s ok if premiums double for average people

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, in response to my article on this topic, checked out the eHealth rates for plans in his hometown of Irvine, California, and compared them to a similar website sponsored by the government at healthcare.gov. He found that the third-cheapest plan there cost only $109 a month, “if they’ll sell it to you for that price.” According to the government, Ezra notes, 14 percent of people who tried to buy that plan—Health Net’s IPF PPO Value 4500—were turned away. Another 12 percent were asked to pay more than $109.

To Ezra, it’s galling that three-fourths of his compatriots can pay $109 for health insurance, because 12 percent were not eligible for the plan, and another 14 percent had to pay somewhat more. This is why Obamacare is a great achievement, he says, because Health Net will have to serve all comers, regardless of prior health status.

And I appreciate Ezra’s perspective. I, too, am a supporter of universal coverage, so I understand Ezra’s passion for providing health insurance to the sick. But what we didn’t know last week—and we do now—is how much more the healthy will have to pay for that insurance, under Obamacare. In Orange County, where Irvine is located, the three-fourths of the 25-year-old population that is in good health will have their premiums jacked by 95 percent.

And that’s for Obamacare’s “catastrophic” coverage; the more comprehensive “bronze” plan increases premiums by 130 percent. For the fraction—one-eighth of the total—who, under the old system, would have been charged more, the premium increase due to Obamacare will be somewhat less.

And the vast majority of those who were turned away are able to find insurance—albeit at a higher price—elsewhere. Based on enrollment in Obamacare’s high-risk pool program, the number of people in America who are truly uninsurable is closer to 150,000. That’s a pretty small number in a nation of 300 million. Previous estimates of the uninsurable population came in around 2 to 4 million people, but it’s likely that for many of these individuals, the principal problem is not that they’re denied coverage, but that the premiums are high.

Experts in the economics of health insurance understand that this has been Obamacare’s central flaw from the beginning. The law’s heavy-handed approach to the health insurance market massively drives up premiums for the average person.

Ezra makes another accurate point that is important to emphasize: these increased premiums affect people who shop for insurance on their own. If you get insurance through your employer, especially if your employer is large, you should be significantly less affected. But an increasing number of people shop for insurance on their own, because fewer and fewer employers are sponsoring health coverage. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2022, around 25 million people will be purchasing coverage for themselves, and another 25 million will be enrolled on the exchanges. That’s a lot of people. And it doesn’t include the 30 million that will remain uninsured.

Universal coverage, done right, can address these problems in a way that makes insurance affordable for everyone. But Obamacare’s sops to special interests—from the various services all plans are required to cover, to the fact that the law forces young people to pay more to subsidize well-established older people—is not the right way, because it makes insurance too costly.

Democrats then: Rate shock is a right-wing myth

The key thing to remember is that back when Obamacare was being debated in Congress, Democrats claimed that it was right-wing nonsense that premiums would go up under Obamacare. “What we know for sure,” Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber told Ezra Klein in 2009, “is that [the bill] will lower the cost of buying non-group health insurance.” For sure.

In 2009, was Ezra saying that it’s ok that premiums will double for the average person, because a minority of people will pre-existing conditions will benefit? No.

Earlier that year, AHIP, the private insurer trade group, commissioned a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers to analyze the impact of Obamacare on health insurance premiums in the individual market. That report, which I reviewed here and elsewhere, found that the version of Obamacare then being considered by the Senate Finance Committee would increase premiums by 14 to 32 percent, depending on the year you looked at. In retrospect, the PwC report was a bit optimistic.

But Ezra described the PwC analysis as “the insurance industry’s deceptive report,” comparing it to sham research put out by the tobacco industry and Big Oil. Ezra did concede at the time that “buying better insurance will cost somewhat more,” because insurers would no longer be able “to sell a deceptive and insufficient product.”

But high-deductible, catastrophic insurance isn’t cheaper because it’s dishonest. It’s cheaper because it’s more efficiently designed. And it’s precisely that sort of efficiently-designed insurance that Obamacare abolishes.

Businesses in competitive markets can’t survive by cheating

This idea that high-deductible insurance, freely purchased in a voluntary exchange, is a “dishonest” product is an article of faith in some quarters. My good friend and Forbes colleague Rick Ungar recently dedicated an entire blog post to the subject. The numbers that come out of eHealthInsurance.com, Rick says, are lies. What data does Rick cite to prove this? He doesn’t cite any actual numbers. Instead, he cites…anonymous reviews on the internet.

Rick went to epinions.com, and pulled out quotations from people who were unhappy with eHealth’s customer service. And eHealth should certainly do what it can to address customer’s complaints. (The company, however, isn’t directly responsible for the customer service of the insurers whose products it sells.) Remember that, unlike with Obamacare, eHealth is a private business. No one is forced to use their services. Those who do have a bad experience on eHealth can go elsewhere, like healthcare.gov. eHealth, unlike the government, has an economic incentive to make its customers happy. Indeed, the default setting at eHealth is to sort the listed plans by customer popularity.

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GOP lawmakers battle GOP governors over Obamacare

WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s Republican vs. Republican in the latest round of political battles over health care.

Conservative Republican legislators in major states are trying to block efforts by more pragmatic governors of their own party to accept health insurance for more low-income residents under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Unlike their congressional counterparts, who’ve misfired in repeated attempts to torpedo the law, state Republicans may well sink the expansion of Medicaid in populous states such as Florida and Michigan.

That would mean leaving billions of dollars in federal matching funds on the table and hundreds of thousands of the poor uninsured. Expansion opponents say it’s an issue that goes to their core beliefs.

“It’s an ideological principle piece to us on the conservative side,” said state Rep. David Gowan, majority leader in the Arizona House of Representatives. “We don’t believe in the expansion of Medicaid itself – it’s within the process of mandating health care. We don’t believe it’s the government’s duty to do that. It should be open for people to go get their health care.”

Nine Republican governors supported or accepted the Medicaid expansion, a major component of the health care law taking effect Jan. 1. It’s designed to provide coverage to about 20 million uninsured people if all states accept. Washington would pick up the full cost for the first three years and 90 percent over the long haul.

Those helped would mainly be low-income adults with no children at home, people working jobs that pay little and don’t come with health insurance. For uninsured adults below the poverty line, expanded Medicaid is the only way to get coverage under the new law. But middle-class people will be eligible for subsidized private insurance.

Overall, 23 states plus the District of Columbia, are planning to expand their Medicaid programs. About a dozen are undecided.

The nine GOP governors supporting expansion are Jan Brewer in Arizona, Rick Scott in Florida, Terry Branstad in Iowa, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Brian Sandoval in Nevada, Chris Christie in New Jersey, Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Jack Dalrymple in North Dakota and John Kasich in Ohio.

Initially, some observers saw a shift toward pragmatism among Republicans and predicted the governors would get their way. Now experts are not so sure.

Four of the GOP governors have run into real battles. Expansion prospects are flickering in Florida and Michigan. In Ohio, Kasich’s legendary deal-making abilities are being tested. In Arizona, Brewer is trying to stare down Republicans in the state House, and the coming week may determine who prevails.

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Bridenstine on Repealing Obamacare

RepJimBridenstine RepJimBridenstine

Published on May 14, 2013

Rep. Jim Bridenstine speaks on the House floor concerning the repeal of Obamacare.