Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Tag: Obamacare

U.N. Says Obamacare Repeal Might Violate Human Rights

One more reason to just dump the U.N.

The Post reported that the Feb. 2 memo was sent from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

“Recent reports have assessed the negative impact that this reform may have on the right to health of almost 30 million people in the U.S.,” the letter says.

“I wish to express serious concern over the impact of these measures on the rights to the enjoyment of the highest sustainable standard of physical and mental health and the right to social security of the people in the United States of America.”

Dainius Puras, the “special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” signed the memo.

Xabier Celaya, an OHCHR spokesman, told the Post that Puras signed the letter but cannot comment on it until it becomes public.

Puras reportedly plans on discussing the inquiry at the U.N. Human Rights Council’s next session in June.

House GOP Looks at Repeal Plan B

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Washington (CNN)Republicans insisted they had no “Plan B” for their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. But a few days later, after crashing into what might be the new third rail of American politics, Republicans are talking publicly and privately about … Plan B.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke with several House members over the weekend to discuss a path forward, a senior administration official and Republican official with knowledge of the discussions told CNN. And House Speaker Paul Ryan — despite saying Friday that “Obamacare is the law of the land” — appears ready to keep going as well.

Trump himself isn’t giving up.

“I know we’re going to make a deal on health care, that’s such an easy one,” Trump told a bipartisan group of senators and spouses at a White House reception Tuesday night.

Obamacare Repeal Dead

Seriously… why even bother supporting national Republicans?

“Hello, Bob,” Trump began. “So, we just pulled it.”

Trump was speaking, of course, of the Republican plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, a plan that had been languishing for days amid unrest throughout the party as the president and his allies courted members and pushed for a vote.

Before I could ask a question, Trump plunged into his explanation of the politics of deciding to call off a vote on a bill he had been touting.

Republicans withdrew the American Health Care Act moments before a scheduled vote on March 24, after failing to woo enough lawmakers to support it. Here are the key turning points in their fight to pass the bill. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

The Democrats, he said, were to blame.

“We couldn’t get one Democratic vote, and we were a little bit shy, very little, but it was still a little bit shy, so we pulled it,” Trump said.

There’s a lot of blame to go around. In no particular order, those responsible are:

  • Trump and his supporters. Trump is not a conservative and supported the continuation of some Obamacare provisions like forcing companies to cover preexisting conditions, keeping kids on their parents’ plan until 26, etc. This forced the House to create a bill that pleased nobody.
  • House conservatives who refused to vote for a 90% repeal bill thus leaving all of Obamacare in place. Idiots.
  • Senators Paul and Cruz who agitated the House members in order to build their own egos and national profiles.
  • Speaker Ryan. He has a strong majority and couldn’t get this through his own caucus. He needed to be a Speaker that would crack heads, replace committee chairmen, campaign in his members’ districts, etc. in order to get this done. I think he just doesn’t have enough bully in him to do what needed to be done.
  • And finally, Trump is right. Democrats are also to blame. They don’t give a rip about the people being harmed by Obamacare and didn’t even pretend to work on fixing it. They are willing to sacrifice them on the altar of socialized healthcare. Socialists are always to sacrifice people.

Obama won. Obamacare is here to stay. Our nation is worse off for it.

GOP Releases Obamacare Repeal Plan

The real fight begins.

Washington (CNN)House Republicans introduced their bill to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate that also aims to maintain coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26.

The measure would offer individuals refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance and restructure the country’s Medicaid program so that states receive a set amount of money from the federal government every year — changes experts warn could result in millions of people losing access to insurance they received under the Affordable Care Act.
It also largely would keep Obamacare’s protections of those with pre-existing conditions, but allows insurers to charge higher premiums to those who let their coverage lapse.
In my perfect utopia, they would just repeal Obamacare, tear down some of the regulatory barriers that were driving up the cost of health insurance before Obamacare (like allowing insurance across state lines), and let the free market go to work providing coverage to the American people. But we are far, far from my utopia.
In the real world, Trump has indicated that a repeal must preserve some Obamacare provisions, like forcing insurers to accept those with pre-existing conditions. Also, Obama was successful in establishing yet another entitlement in the form of insurance subsidies. While they don’t amount to much money for most people, they will still be angry if we wrench them away before the market can make more affordable health insurance plans available.
Given the realities in play, I would encourage Congressional Conservatives to fight to mitigate some of these Obamacare relics, but get this passed. Perhaps they can get some of these provisions scaled back or put a sunset date on them. But in the end, they must repeal Obamacare before winter or it will never die.
Make the arguments. Take the vote.
Get. It. Done.

GOP Working on Obamacare Repeal

Get. It. Done.

House GOP lawmakers are preparing to introduce their bill to repeal major portions of Obamacare, with a committee markup expected the week of March 6, leadership sources told CNN.
Republicans are still planning to include “replacement” measures in the repeal bill that involve the expansion of Health Savings Accounts, significant changes to Medicaid and tax credits, sources said.
The strategy allows the GOP to move simultaneously on repealing and replacing some parts of the healthcare law and attempt to quell widespread opposition to rolling back Obamacare without any clarity on an alternative.
Top policy aides last week continued drafting legislative language while consulting with the Congressional Budget Office on how much elements of the bill would cost and how many people would be insured, according to sources. The price tag of the Obamacare repeal legislation and the impact on coverage will be critical to whether party leaders can sell the proposal to rank-and-file members across the board.
Here’s the thing… repealing Obamacare is going to be messy. The Democrats intended it to be difficult to undo and had years to make it so. But those same Democrats weren’t too concerned with the details, unintended consequences, costs, or any other such niceties when they passed it. Remember how we had to “pass it to see what’s in it?” So these same Democrats are being utterly hypocritical and disingenuous when they criticize Republicans for not having a fully baked replacement plan with every T crossed.
Rip off the band-aid and trust the American people and economy. Get. It. Done.

Obamacare Repeal Stalling


There has been a 30-point drop in the probability that the individual mandate will be repealed by April 30. The current estimate is a 35 percent chance. As I noted a month ago, the 65 percent figure was about equal to Chris Webber’s free-throw percentage in the NBA. The new estimate is a little lower than the worst free-throw percentage in NBA history, that of Andre Drummond.

Of course, to advocates of the ACA, even a 1-in-3 chance may be “too high,” which is why continued efforts to be “up in grills” are planned for the coming congressional recess.

Nevertheless, the shift in the forecast is a large one, reflecting the challenges of agreeing on an alternative to the ACA and moving it through the labyrinthine legislative process while simultaneously having to spend substantial time confirming Trump’s Cabinet nominees. As Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) put it: “There seems to be a coalescing around principles; I don’t think it’s gotten deep in the weeds about what it will actually include yet.”

Republicans have been running on the repeal of Obamacare for six years. They have had ample time to have a road map ready to get this done. If they fail to keep their promise, I guarantee that Trump will have a Democratic Senate in 2019 – and probably a Democratic House too.




Trump Begins Tearing Down Obamacare

True to his word.

The order says Cabinet heads “shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” any provision in the Affordable Care Act that would impose a “cost, fee, tax, penalty or regulatory burden.”

The order also directs the agencies to provide relief to the states, which could be a nod toward expanding an Obamacare waiver program that would give states more freedom to implement the health law.

Senate Moves First on Repeal of Obamacare


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led Senate is poised to take a step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law despite anxiety among GOP lawmakers over the lack of an alternative.

Senate approval — expected late Wednesday or early Thursday — and then House passage as early as Friday would trigger committee action to write repeal legislation that could come to a vote next month. A full replacement would follow sometime after that, presuming Republicans can come up with one.

“We must act quickly to bring relief to the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Senate Republicans Go Wobbly on Obamacare Repeal


A group of moderate Senate Republicans introduced an amendment Monday to give Republicans additional time to repeal Obamacare.

Sens. Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy and Rob Portman want to extend the deadline for a repeal bill until March 3 under an arcane budget procedure called reconciliation that prevents a Democratic filibuster. The existing resolution’s deadline is Jan. 27, although none of the deadlines are binding.

Corker told POLITICO that he wants to slow down the entire process so that lawmakers have the chance to think through several factors, including the impact of repealing the law on the budget. He also said President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for HHS secretary, Rep. Tom Price, is unlikely to take office this month.

For six years the Republicans whined and moaned that they couldn’t do anything about Obamacare unless America gave them control of the legislative and executive branches of government. America delivered. If the Republicans can’t deliver on the signature promise to repeal Obamacare, they can get bent.

New Rules

Notice how the media sets a different standard for Republicans?

(CNN)Republicans warned seven years ago that a health care law passed only by Democrats — with no support from the other party — would struggle to survive. The party-line vote to pass Obamacare, they said, was arrogant and reckless.

Now, the GOP is in charge, and poised to run afoul of its own warnings.
It was OK for the Democrats to ram through Obamacare by changing Senate rules and passing it without a single Republican vote in either house of the legislature, but the Republicans must have bipartisan support to repeal it.
Repeal it. Now.

Democrats Love Pottery Barn

Um, it’s already broken. Republicans found it broken in the aisle and are kind enough to sweep it up.

Democrats have an emerging strategy to defend the Affordable Care Act from Republican assault, daring their opponents to defy the “Pottery Barn rule”: They’re about to break the health-care system, and that means they will own it.

Senate Republicans Want to Delay Obamacare Repeal


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican senators are leaning towards a plan to delay the effective date of an Obamacare repeal for three years, a senior Republican said on Wednesday.

But some conservatives in the House of Representatives think that is too long to wait for the end of the Affordable Care Act, as President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program is known.

“In the Senate, there’s consensus for three years,” Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the chamber’s finance committee, told reporters, saying it could take that long to work out a replacement for Obamacare. “It takes time to do things around here.”

Republicans in both the House and Senate say they want to repeal Obamacare early in 2017; it will be the first order of business in the Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said on Tuesday.

SMH. These Republicans never learn. They need to learn from the Democrats and ram it through while they have the votes. You may notice that 3 years is after the mid term election and the GOP may not control the Senate then. Heck, if they pull this stuff, they may not control the House either.

Trump Backs Off of Full Repeal of Obamacare

Sigh… here we go.

He told the Wall Street Journal he favours keeping two main parts of the bill because “I like those very much”.

One is a ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The other provision that the president-elect told the newspaper he favours allows young adults to be insured on their parents’ policies.

Mr Trump told the Journal it was his hour-and-a-half meeting with Mr Obama that had made him reconsider his calls for an all-out repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Apparently, Trump’s convictions are so firm that a chat with Obama will make him fold like a cheap tent. It hasn’t even been a week and he’s already backed off of two campaign promises.

Obamacare Premiums Explode

Oh, the spin. Makes my head hurt.

When the fourth open-enrollment period begins Tuesday, most people who buy health insurance on the marketplaces set up through the Affordable Care Act will see little, if any, change in their monthly costs.

But the tens of thousands of people throughout the state who don’t qualify for federal subsidies — most of whom have already seen the cost of their health insurance jump in recent years — will be in for additional pain.

They will pay the full cost of double-digit premium increases. Several insurers, including at least four in the Milwaukee area, are raising premiums by more than 20%.

Do you see what they did there? They downplay the rate increase by saying that most people won’t be affected by it. Why won’t most people be affected by it? Because they receive federal subsidies to offset the premiums. And who pays for those subsidies? Why, federal taxpayers do, thanks for asking. And who are the federal taxpayers? All of us who don’t get subsidies for Obamacare and some of them too.

So we all get to pay for the massive Obamacare premium increases, but we aren’t supposed to be too concerned about that because the folks getting subsidies should be OK. 

And here’s the paragraph that tells you that the reporter simply regurgitated the spin from some Obamacare bureaucrat:

About 85% of the 224,208 people who bought health plans on the marketplace as of March 2016 were eligible for subsidies. The percentage may be higher now.

The first sentence is true. It is a fact and it duly reported as such. The second sentence is something that someone trying to minimize the impact of the increases would say. Yes, that percentage may be higher now. It may be lower. It may be about the same. Why even include that speculation if not to try to give the impression that even fewer people would be paying for the premium increases themselves?

But remember that massive premium increases because of Obamacare are a feature – not a bug. It is an intended consequence designed to push us to full socialized medicine as advocated by Clinton and the rest of the Left.

Obama Leaves Mess of Policy for Next President

Yes, Obamacare is a hot stinking mess that Obama foisted on America.

(CNN)President Barack Obama leaves the White House in 12 weeks, but the law that bears his name will polarize politics long after he’s gone.

Big price hikes to Affordable Care Act premiums announced this week mean that Obama’s proudest legislative achievement will fail to resolve the decades-old controversy surrounding the government’s role in managing the cost of and access to health care.
It will fall to the next administration whether to fix Obamacare’s shortcomings — including rising premiums and deductibles, slowing enrollment growth and the increasing number of insurers pulling out of the ACA marketplaces — or to trash the system and start again. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have laid out a detailed plan for how they would revise or replace the law or how they would navigate the toxic politics that surface in Washington whenever health care is on the agenda.

Obamacare Premiums Skyrocket While Choices Disappear

If only someone could have warned us about this. Oh wait, they did.

Federal regulators opened the federal exchange  for consumers to browse for plans on Monday, as they announced that rates will be up 25% for the plans for which the tax subsidies are calculated.

The Department of Health and Human Services also warned that more than one in five consumers using the site will only have one insurer from which to choose coverage.

Obamacare Continues to Collapse

It’s happening a bit faster than expected, but it was expected nonetheless.

A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise.

At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s marketsfor individual coverage.


t may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink. As of March 31, the law covered 11.1 million people; an Oct. 13 S&P Global Ratings report predicted that enrollment next year will range from an 8 percent decline to a 4 percent gain.

Remember how Obamacare was created, disrupting millions of people and their healthcare, in order to make sure that some 46 million uninsured people got insurance? It didn’t even come close to meeting its goal, but the damage more than exceeded expectations.

Minnesota Governor Slams Obamacare

If only someone could have predicted this… if only someone would have warned him

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act is “no longer affordable,” a stinging critique from a state leader who strongly embraced the law and proudly proclaimed health reform was working in Minnesota just a few years ago.

Gov. Mark Dayton made the comments while addressing questions about Minnesota’s fragile health insurance market, where individual plans are facing double-digit increases after all insurers threatened to exit the market entirely in 2017. He’s the only Democratic governor to publicly suggest the law isn’t working as intended.

Dayton’s comments follow former President Bill Clinton’s saying last week that the law was “the craziest thing in the world” before he backtracked.

“The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people,” Dayton said, calling on Congress to fix the law to address rising costs and market stability.

Clinton Slams Obamacare

I stand with Bill Clinton.

Speaking at a Democratic rally in Flint, Michigan, the former president ripped into the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for flooding the health care insurance market and causing premiums to rise for middle-class Americans who do not qualify for subsidies.
“So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Clinton said.

Fewer Options For Obamacare Customers in Wisconsin

Only one option in many counties.

Arise Health Plan, a subsidiary of WPS Health Solutions, said Thursday that it will not sell health plans on the marketplaces set up through the Affordable Care Act next year, becoming the latest company to abandon the market.

Arise and WPS Health Insurance also will sell only high-deductible health plans for individuals and their families off the marketplace, and those plans will be available only in a limited number of counties.

The two health insurers will renew so-called transitional plans – health plans sold before 2014 that don’t comply with the regulations imposed by the Affordable Care Act – through next year.

For now, the marketplace for Milwaukee County next year will have four companies offering health plans: Molina Healthcare; Network Health Plan, owned by Ascension Wisconsin and Froedtert Health; Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative; and Children’s Community Health Plan.

Waukesha County tentatively will have those companies as well as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin and Dean Health Plan.

The two counties – and others in Wisconsin – are in a better position than many throughout the country. Roughly a third of the counties are expected to have only one company offering health plans on their marketplaces as insurers have pulled out after incurring large losses.



Pin It on Pinterest