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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cruising the Web

The Social Security Administration backs down from the program that was seizing tax refunds of people who might have been overpaid when they were in children or whose parents might have been overpaid. The Washington Post had written about this last week and it just took the outrage that that story engendered for the Social Security Administration to rethink its policy. What I found funny from the original Post story was that this change in the law to allow the SSA to go after people decades later had been inserted into a farm bill in 2008 and no one will fess up that they were responsible for writing that provision. Perhaps it's time for all provisions in a law to have a footnote explaining which congressman or senator wanted that provision inserted into the law. That might produce some valuable transparency. Maybe some politicians would balk at some of what they do if it could be traced back to them. I would fully endorse such a change in congressional procedures.

The Supreme Court will hear the case next week on whether lying in politics is protected by the First Amendment. And former Senator Mike DeWine who is the attorney general of Ohio has produced briefs on both sides of the law.

Obamacare is increasing health-insurance premiums at the fastest rate in decades. And, as the LA Times notes, this especially burdens the working poor.

Mayor de Blasio seeks to mold New York City into his own version of what the ideals of progressivism should be.

Maybe Jay Carney could explain to President Obama why his wife chose flexibility over a higher salary. Obama doesn't seem to think that women want that.

ABC discovers the story of Halbig v. Sebelius, the case wending its way through the courts that could eventually gut Obamacare. The essential question is whether the words of the law matter.

The Lilly Ledbetter lie that will not die.

Ed Morrissey notes the one accomplishment of Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State - she helped Boeing sell jets to Russia. And scored a major donation from Boeing to her husband's foundation plus a fundraiser for her super PAC.

At least eight members of the House Ways and Means Committee of both parties have not paid some of their taxes. Of course.

The Daily Beast explains why being a doctor has become the "most miserable profession."

Meet the man whose goal in life is to make sure that the first primary takes place in New Hampshire.

Forget the health of the city and its economy or, of course, the taxpayers. This is what the SEIU is asking for of San Francisco for government employees.
-- A 15 percent raise over the next three years.

-- A $21-an-hour minimum wage for all city workers.

-- Fully paid health coverage for single workers, 98 percent paid coverage for couples and 85 percent coverage for families.

-- A free clinic just for city workers to go along with the health coverage.

-- A free $50,000 life insurance policy for SEIU workers. Seven other city unions already have free life insurance.

The union has dropped its call for a $76-a-month commuter subsidy and premium pay while off on paid holidays.

The city is countering with a 2.5 percent raise over two years, and no clinic, no free life insurance and a health care package of 93 percent coverage for singles and couples and 83 percent for families.
The average SEIU worker gets $33 an hour, plus benefits. But now they need more.

5 comments:

mark said...

Just for kicks:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/15/1292135/-Abbreviated-pundit-roundup-More-evidence-that-the-Affordable-Health-Care-Act-is-working

Rick Caird said...

Mark,

It had better be just for kicks. You have 5 deluded pundits, all from the far left, who are substituting blind hope for facts.


Robinson claims the CBO is saying the so called 54 million uninsured will be 22 million in 3 years. While he does not provide the reference, it is clear that the mandate is forcing people who could have gotten insurance from their employers, but didn't, to go ahead and do so. But, they were uninsured by choice. Others have been put on the extended Medicaid, but how long can a bankrupt Federal government pay for those people before they ask the bankrupt states to pay. Besides, it is hard to find doctors that take Medicaid.

Milman claims $104 billion less, but he is unaware of all things like the rescission of the Medicare Advantage cuts and the elimination of the employer mandate and ignores the fact that premiums will soar as well as how much more money will be needed for the risk corridors.

Krugman claims a surge in enrollments, but the 7.1 million the administration lies about is not supported by the Rand study.

Harry Reid has backed away from his claim the anecdotes are lies. Those anecdotes remain powerful.

Gabler provides an empty claim that the anecdotes are not the whole truth. But, Boonstra has been hurt and so have lots of others.

So, the Kos article (as usual) is useless. Thanks for the laugh, though.

mark said...

Rick,
Didn't you once claim here, citing your expertise, that there was no possible way to fix the healthcare.gov website?

What happened?

Conservatives here accept as fact any opinion or estimate unfavorable to Obamacare. Yet any good news is a lie, and any estimate favorable to Obamacare is dismissed since it hasn't happened yet.

mark said...

Perhaps the lies about the "death spiral" will be put to rest:

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/health-insurers-obamacare-105676.html?hp=t1

Rick Caird said...

It is nice to see the Politico cheerleading, but that is all it is. Like all cheers, it does not effect the game.

The story Betsy referenced was pointing out the huge cost increases. The cheerleading is because the projected costs are not as bad as they wee initially expected, but, give it time. The health insurers are banking on people being forced to buy their product no matter what the cost. But, we already know the insured pools are unfavorable with fewer healthy people and more sick people. It is highly doubtful the risk corridors to pay for insurance company losses have enough money to cover those costs. The death spiral is still in play. Putting on a happy face today, does not solve tomorrow's problems.

In addition, as I pointed out, the Obama numbers do not square with the Rand numbers. In fact, Rand has trouble finding 3.1 million who signed up. Besides, the administration tells us they have no idea who actually paid and who had insurance before and had to come to the exchanges to replace what they lost (at higher prices and higher deductibles). This is an administration that never considers the truth. They will say anything at any time if they think it will help them. Look at the mythical wage gap for the latest example.

You obviously do not understand programming. For one thing, a number of promised services, such as Spanish and employer exchanges were not implemented. Second, the transfer to the insurance companies of the data from the exchange is still quite suspect and the insurance companies are still have trouble reconciling the data. Third, security still has not been integrated. Do not confuse "patches" with fixes. Worse, as a program accumulates "patches", it gets hard to create the next patch without impacting previous patches. I doubt you used the exchanges, so you have neither programming experience or user experience. But, I will say again, the web site needs a total redesign and rewrite. How much more will that cost.

Another point is that ObamaCare as it is being implemented bears little resemblance to what was passed. Last week, the administration announced they were rescinding the Medicare Advantage cuts. But, those cuts were to go toward paying for the previously uninsured. So, where is the replacement money coming from?

ObamaCare is irretrievably broken. The only question is how long will take before that becomes obvious to the politicians. It is already obvious to the rest of us.