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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Obama Breaking His Own Law- and More "Obamises/Obamises"

"[Barack Obama's]...violation of the proper limits of executive power has become breathtaking. It’s not just making recess appointments when the Senate is in session. It’s not just unilaterally imposing a law Congress had refused to pass — the Dream Act — by brazenly suspending large sections of the immigration laws.

We’ve now reached a point where a flailing president, desperate to deflect the opprobrium heaped upon him for the false promise that you could keep your health plan if you wanted to, calls a hasty news conference urging both insurers and the states to reinstate millions of such plans.

Except that he is asking them to break the law. His own law. Under Obamacare, no insurer may issue a policy after 2013 that does not meet the law’s minimum coverage requirements. These plans were canceled because they do not.

The law remains unchanged. The regulations governing that law remain unchanged. Nothing is changed except for a president proposing to unilaterally change his own law from the White House press room.

That’s banana republic stuff, except that there the dictator proclaims from the presidential balcony.

Remember how for months Democrats denounced Republicans for daring to vote to defund or postpone Obamacare? Saboteurs! Terrorists! How dare you alter “the law of the land.”

This was nonsense from the beginning. Every law is subject to revision and abolition if the people think it turned out to be a bad idea. Even constitutional amendments can be repealed — and have been (see Prohibition).

After indignant denunciation of Republicans for trying to amend “the law of the land” constitutionally (i.e. in Congress assembled), Democrats turn utterly silent when the president lawlessly tries to do so by executive fiat.

Nor is this the first time. The president wakes up one day and decides to unilaterally suspend the employer mandate, a naked invasion of Congress’s exclusive legislative prerogative, enshrined in Article I. Not a word from the Democrats. Nor now regarding the blatant usurpation of trying to restore canceled policies that violate explicit Obamacare coverage requirements.

Even if you forget that Obama is illegally shape-shifting "the Law of the Land" to suit his own needs, the website—one day past Obama's latest broken promise to have it fixed by November 30th—is far from "fixed."

Remember ABC News reporting on Oct. 25th? "White House Promising to Fix Obamacare Website Problems By Nov. 30"

That was the same day the just-appointed-three-days-before, new tech guru, Jeff Zients, committed to the public that "by the end of November, the vast majority of consumers will be able to successfully and smoothly enroll through" (at the 1:00 mark below):

Note CNBC's report in that video: "On the top of the [punch-list of things to correct], right now, is those end results that are going to the insurers, to make sure those are correct."

Remember, on Oct. 30th, US News (owned by NBC News) also reported, "The Obama administration has pledged to fix the site by Nov. 30"?

Remember Obama saying on Nov.6th (skip to 0:50 mark) that " the end of this month, we anticipate that [the website] is going to be working the way it's supposed to."

Remember The Washington Post writing this on Nov. 12: "Troubled unlikely to work fully by end of November"?

Then, on Nov. 16, Obama and company at The White House moved the goalposts again, as reported by The WaPo: " goal is for 80% of users to be able to enroll for insurance."

Remember Chuck Todd and company at NBC News, on Nov. 18, writing this?

"White House has 12 days to go to get the website fixed"

"While 39 Democrats broke ranks and supported the GOP [Upton] bill, that was a far smaller number than the White House had been bracing for. More than anything else, that party unity -- as fragile as it might be -- bought the White House additional time to get to that self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to fix the website. But as we’ve said a million times these last few weeks, it all comes down to that website. In fact, going forward, there’s little point in covering the bits and pieces regarding the health-care law until Nov. 30. Everything right now comes down to meeting that deadline. Fail to meet that deadline and the survival-of-the-fittest instinct that every politician feels when they run for office will kick in..." [emphasis this blogger]
Now it's a day after that deadline. Just listen to the "NPR Reporter Frustrated by WH’s Transparency: ‘Have to Take Their Word’ on Obamacare Site Fixes"

Now, they've conveniently forgotten their promise to "fix it" by November 30th; now they crow that they've reached their goal of having "80 percent of visitors" be able to enroll.

How do they count visitors? Those are different from actual enrollees. If you can't get past the first homepage, are you still a "visitor?"

CNN tried it, presumably today, and it crashed after they thought they'd entered the entire application:

Even the liberal Washington Post admitted yesterday, Nov. 30th:

Officials admit they are still having trouble with the files that transfer enrollment information to insurers.
And that's the part that was on "the top of the punch-list of things to correct" since Oct. 25th?? (see more below, for the 5% bad data still being transferred to insurers)
Other parts of the site’s back end [blogger's note: you know, the all-important "accounting systems, the payment systems") still aren’t built. It was right — but not encouraging — that the Obama administration extended the date by which people have to apply to get coverage that starts on Jan. 1. Even that, though, is risky: Insurers will have only eight days to work out the logistics of enrolling those signing up late this month.

Timing has become the most urgent implementation issue. Late last month the Commonwealth Fund estimated that the country is roughly 3 percent of the way to its goal of enrolling 7 million people through new marketplaces by the end of March, when 2014’s enrollment period ends for good. The program must reach people who are very far from policy debates; a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 38 percent of the uninsured had heard “nothing at all about” the new health-insurance marketplaces the law is setting up for them.

Ninety-seven percent of 7 million, or roughly 6.8 million, is Obama's goal to sign up in the next four months. After about 210,000 have signed up (or so they think) so far, in the first two months. That means going from an average rate of about 100,000 per month... to a sustained, four-month rate of 1.7 million per month. The front-end of the website still "needs more work", according to the WaPo, and 30% to 40% of the back-end processing isn't. even. built, most importantly, the payment systems:

“That’s like setting up an online bank without setting up a way to make deposits,” an industry source told CNBC. This can’t be fixed before late January at the earliest, say industry experts. To have insurance coverage Jan. 1, the first premium must be paid by Dec. 15.

So administration officials are “walking back” the president’s promise.

And they think the American public is going to fall for yet another "Obam-ise" (Obama-Promise) being "walked back"??
“The 30th of November is not a magic go, no-go date,” Ms. Sebelius says now. Breathing new life into the old saw, “close enough for government work,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that if works 80 percent of the time, the administration will consider it fixed.

“In what other line of work is 20 percent failure considered a success?” asked Ron Fournier of the National Journal. “If one out of every five meals served by a restaurant is inedible, the joint goes out of business.”

Word games and goalpost moving won’t quell panic in the caucus, predicted Democrat strategist Chris Kofinis, a former Senate aide. “If you’re not going to meet the deadline, you have to come out there and say why,” he said. “If you keep playing the spin game, it only ends up blowing up in your face.”

CNN: Insurers Worried People Will Pay For Obamacare But Not Get Insurance

Slate's article "Punch Me: is supposed to work soon. Democrats are preparing for more bad news:"

Insurance company sources tell the National Journal that there is still about a 5 percent error rate in the information the site submits to insurance companies on behalf of those picking a new insurance plan. If the site is fixed but this problem is not, the problem could get worse. People would sign on, fill out the forms, and insurance companies would be flooded with bad data. That would delay insurance companies sending out bills, which is the necessary step required for a person to actually have insurance by Jan. 1. For those in the individual market who have coverage now, if they don’t sign up by that deadline, they will be exposed...The administration says the problem—the so-called 834 forms—is at the top of the "punch list," but they have been saying that for months and aren’t saying how much progress has been made.
One of the problems with the back-end issues insurance companies are facing is the problem of "orphan records"—people who think they've signed up on the web site but the information never actually made it to the insurance company. Those people are going to assume they're covered on Jan. 1, 2014. That's a possible anecdote factory of people who need care, were covered before, thought they'd switched to the new program, and are now are shocked and panicked because they're not. Another potential headache that needs to be managed is the president's promise that people can keep their doctor if they would like to. That won't be the case for many people as insurers restrict the choice of doctors to keep costs down.

MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews' Smerconish: "For the last month and a half, I've been in healthcare purgatory", describing his trying to get healthcare from the Obamacare website as a "nightmare."

That nightmare also has consisted of "...spouses being listed as children, or multiple enrollments being sent for one person, and enrollments being repeatedly cancelled and resent from[and in] Washington State, ...8,000 enrollees and applicants on its state-run Obamacare marketplace were told they were eligible for higher tax credits to offset the cost of their insurance than they actually qualified for. Washington said that in some cases its exchanges was [sic] transmitting those applicants' monthly incomes to the federal data hub — which verifies subsidy eligibility — as opposed to annual incomes, which resulted in the erroneously high subsidy calculations."

Bloomberg News also highlights ObamaCare's resulting destruction of religious freedom in the U.S., noting how it was deliberate, political, and made no financial or feminist-equality-sense whatsoever, nor does that part of it really have a leg to stand on, as we're finding out in the courts now. In this piece, writer Megan McArdle is expressly addressing those who support Obama and ObamaCare:

There was a lot of outraged talk about how corporations aren’t people, of course, but a lot more about employers trying to control their employees’ sex lives, treating women as second-class citizens and so forth. To judge from these reactions, you would think that birth-control pills were a scarce resource that could only legally be obtained through employers. In fact, generic birth-control pills are available for $25 a month through a Costco pharmacy, $50 if you want a brand name.

“But that’s expensive for a young woman on a budget!” you are about to cry. And I am about to answer that it doesn’t get less expensive because an insurer buys it. Regular, predictable expenses such as birth-control pills cannot be defrayed by insurance; they can only be prepaid, with a markup for the insurer’s administrative costs. The extra cost is passed on by the insurers to your employer, and from your employer to you and your fellow workers, either by raising your contribution or lowering the wage they are willing to offer.

The administration didn’t force employers with a religious objection to offer contraception because it made financial or medical sense; they did it because it had great symbolic value to Barack Obama’s political base. And much of that symbolic value seems to actually come from the willingness to coerce people who object to buy the stuff. You can imagine that in an intra-left debate over what mandatory services should be covered, some of the people now professing outrage at Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (one of the parties involved) would see the logic of ditching birth control if it lowered premiums by $15 a month and thereby increased access.

But, in fact, if you want to make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act viable for the long term, you’re going to need the support of folks like Hobby Lobby as much as you need low premiums. There are many religious people in America, and if you want to keep stirring up active opposition to the law, one good way is to suggest that this law forces them to pay for something they are convinced is morally wrong. (Hobby Lobby’s objection is not to contraception in general, but specifically to products that could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.) If you want to still be fighting Obamacare in the trenches 40 years from now, the best way I can think of is appending it to the argument over abortion.

I understand that you may think Hobby Lobby’s position is ridiculous, or that contraception is a fundamental human right, but here’s the problem: Hobby Lobby’s owners, and millions of other Americans, hold the opposite opinion at least as strongly. In a pluralistic society, they have the right to fight you on it every step of the way. (emphasis this writer)

Dr. Charles Krauthammer also explains:

And Ramesh Ponnuru as well, in his piece today, "War on Contraception? No, an Attack on Religion".

From the pop culture standpoint, Saturday Night Live is finally covering some aspects of ObamaCare the way it has been known to do for almost 40 years:

Here's Alphonzo Rachel's unique take on ObamaCare:

But it took a group called Reason Today to come up with this great summary, in the Too-True-To-Be-Really-Funny Category:

For the last word, the eloquent Bill Whittle on

And for the last LYRIC you've just listened to (thanks to the 80s band Naked Eyes):

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NATIONAL REVIEW Online's The Corner ~ Kathryn Jean Lopez links to Ap blog, 1/22/07

Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: Banno On Boxer and the Illegal Abortion Deaths Urban Legend

San Diego Union Tribune: more Boxer Urban-Legend-Debunk coverage

Ellen Goodman retraction impetus: Aa blog initiates The Straight Dope coverage...and is listed in National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru's book The Party of Death, p. 255, Chap. 3 Endnote #11,   4/2006

NY Daily News: "Atheist's Site Is All The Rave

"After Abortion, by Emily Peterson and Annie Banno, two women who had abortions in the 1970s, ...tries to avoid the political tug-of-war that tends to come with this turf. They concentrate instead on discussing the troubling personal effects of abortion on the mothers." ~ Eric Scheske, Godspy contributing editor, in NC Register's "Signs of Life in the Blogosphere", 2/2006

"Godbloggers could, in the best of worlds, become the new apologists...[including] laymen with day jobs: Emily Peterson and Annie Banno, for instance, at the blog After Abortion..."~ Jonathan V. Last, The Weekly Standard online editor, in First Things's "God on the Internet", 12/2005

Amy Welborn, at BeliefNet, links to AfterAbortion blog's Crime & Abortion Series

Catholic News Service: Silent counterprotest at the March For Choice

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"I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion...[many are] aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and [do] not doubt that it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace...You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child..."

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Obama On Abortion: A Summary 1990-2009

1) Obama Is 2nd-Highest-Paid Politician by Fannie Mae, Taking $126,346 in only 4 years as Senator; Now Derides GOP/Bush for Allowing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac To Do Business, When It Was Democrat Presidents Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter Who Passed The Law Requiring Fannie & Freddie To Give Out Bad Subprime Loans To Those Who Couldn't Afford Them, Which Caused The Entire Financial Meltdown … 2) Jim Johnson (Obama VEEP vetter and former Fannie Mae executive who made millions there) Backpedal … 3) Obama's hiring, connection, support of ACORN, which supported that very law and whose staff have been involved in voter fraud … 4) Rezko's Favor A "Boneheaded" Mistake … 5) Jeremiah Wright Backpedal … 6) Fr. Michael Fleger Backpedal … 7) NAFTA Backpedal … 8) Campaign Financing Backpedal … 9) Mr. "Negotiates-With-Terrorist-States" … 10) Bittergate … 11) Hamas' Chief Political Adviser Hopes BO Will Win Election … 12) Banning Handguns Backpedal … 13) Who Exactly Are "The Rich" He's Going to Sock it to? … 14) Flag Pin Backpedal … 15) Once Open to School Vouchers That Work, Now Deadset Against … 16) Now OK with residual force in Iraq...up to 50,000 troops. … 17) First voted against a law protecting babies who survive an abortion procedure, then lied saying he didn't, then finally forced to admit that he did vote to deny such born babies protection. 18) … "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." ~ MO

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