The official name of ObamaCare is the “Affordable Care Act.” So, as it enters its third year, how is it living up to its moniker? Not every well, according to a new Gallup poll. Cost and access to care remain the top concern of 42% of Americans, which is actually up from 2013, the year before ObamaCare went into effect, when 39% cited these as top concerns. And it’s far above 1997, when just 22% listed cost and access as top health concerns.
It’s not hard to understand why. Even those getting generous subsidies through ObamaCare exchanges often find that they can’t afford treatments because of the health plans’ high deductibles.
The New York Times found that more than half the plans offered through the federal Healthcare.gov exchange had deductibles of $3,000 or more. In some states, the median deductible was $5,000 or more.
Sky-high deductibles like that high used to come with extremely low premiums. But thanks to ObamaCare’s many rules and regulations and fees, such plans are a thing of the past.
The Times notes that an Albuquerque, N.M., woman pays $4,800 a year for a plan with a $6,000 deductible. Before ObamaCare, a plan with a $2,500 deductible was available in that state for just $1,625 a year, according to aGovernment Accountability Office review of pre-ObamaCare premiums.
IBD’s Jed Graham found that deductibles for the cheapest ObamaCare plans in 37 major markets climbed an average 7.4% to more than $5,600.
Then, of course, there are the premium spikes many will find when they go to sign up or renew their ObamaCare polices. Not to mention the increasingly narrow doctor networks and other hidden costs imposed by insurers to keep premiums from going up even more.
Yes, health care premiums are way, way up. Obama told us during his election campaigns that health care premiums would go down an average of $2,500. How did he intend to achieve that? By reducing choice and competition, and require insurance companies to cover more stuff, like drug addiction therapy, onto every health care plan.
Here he is promising things to young voters:
The young people believed his honeyed words, and did not ask for evidence to prove the claims that made them feel good. After all, if the words made them feel good, then the words must be true, right?
So what happened? Health care premiums went up, because the more stuff that your health care plan has to cover (e.g. – drug addiction treatment) the more you have to pay for that health care plan. And so, as I blogged about before, health care premiums have actually gone up $4,865 on average, per year. Yes, this is another case of keep your doctor / keep your health plan claims. Either Obama knows that what he says is false, and says it anyway (evil Obama) or he does not know what he is talking about, but says things that will make people like him anyway (imbecile Obama).
It’s been a fun game for conservatives over the last 7 years to try to decide whether we elected an evil man or a stupid man. My view has always been that Obama is a stupid man, and that’s because unlike every other politician, he’s never released his transcripts. I can pretty much guarantee you that it is all Fs straight down the line. We elected a moron, who just says whatever makes him look good. He has no more idea what he is talking about than a parrot trying to explain the stock market. But he made Democrat voters feel good – and that’s what mattered to them.
The story began with Politico, which ran with the audacious headline, “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship.” Even I was taken in by the headline – after all, that’s a pretty bold claim!
Politico began thusly:
Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The key word here is “fabricated.” Did the Carson campaign admit any such thing? Absolutely not. The facts reported by Politico don’t even support this interpretation of the Carson campaign’s response. According to Politico, Carson said in his 1992 memoir Gifted Hands that he was offered a “full scholarship” to West Point after dining with General William Westmoreland in 1969. Here’s the relevant passage from Carson’s autobiography:
At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, We had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.
That’s the entire relevant portion of Carson’s account. He reiterated that account last month in an interview with Charlie Rose, when he said, “I was offered a full scholarship at West Point, got to meet General Westmoreland and go to Congressional Medal of Honor dinners. But decided really my pathway would be medicine.”
Politico followed up on this story. They reported one additional piece of information that seems to conflict with Carson’s story: Carson never applied to West Point, and was never extended admission.
But Carson never said he applied. He said he was extended a full scholarship offer. What’s more, West Point doesn’t offer scholarships: all admission is free contingent on serving in the military afterwards. It thus seems probable that Westmoreland or another military figure tried to recruit Carson, telling him that he wouldn’t have to pay for his education – and that Carson read that as a “full scholarship,” and never applied.
In fact, that’s exactly what Carson’s campaign manager said to Politico in an email:
Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit. In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer. He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.
But here’s how Politico editorialized: “When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.”
Just to be clear, that is the part where Politico lied. The Carson campaign never admitted that the story was false.
That’s nonsense. They did no such thing. They provided details that corroborated Carson’s story and explained his loose use of the language. If someone told you that you could go to college for free, you might reasonably conclude that you had been offered a full scholarship to attend that university. But Politico would call you a liar if you used such language to describe the exchange.
Now, some on the right are saying that Carson should be held to a higher standard here than other candidates because he’s running as an “outsider.” But this is a basic case of misinterpreting facts, not an outright lie. Carson served in ROTC. Prominent people wanted him to go to West Point. He wouldn’t have had to pay. He didn’t apply because he didn’t want to go. Those facts are not in dispute. It’s the specific wording over which media have decided to crucify him.
This is a textbook example of a left-wing media hit. Politico would never editorialize about any Democrat who issued such a response to a factual inquiry in this manner. Politico won’t even conclude that Hillary Clinton lied about her attribution of the Benghazi attacks to a YouTube video despite email evidence that she knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack entirely unrelated to a YouTube video.
But for Ben Carson, they’ll make an exception.
Shapiro is updating the post as developments occur. For one thing, in the same book (“Gifted Hands”) that Politico cites, Carson explicitly says that he NEVER applied nor was he accepted to West Point:
Politico is accusing Carson of saying that he applied to West Point and was given a full scholarship, but Carson’s own book says that he never applied and therefore was never given a full scholarship. The offer that he is talking about is an informal offer by General Westmoreland, saying that if he applied, then he would be given a full scholarship – because of his grades and other qualifications. Nowhere did Carson ever say that he made a formal application, and received a formal offer of a full scholarship. On the contrary, he makes clear in his book that it was an informal offer over dinner.
Ben notes that Carson’s campaign has responded to the Politico smear via the New York Times:
I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me – they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine. It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’
The Carson campaign is calling the POLITICO story: “an outright lie“. POLITICO needs to retract the story, apologize for their attack on a black conservative, and fire the journalist.
The left is in full-blown smear-Carson mode. He is, after all, the left’s worst nightmare — a black Republican who is brilliant, kind and widely admired, including by many blacks.
It is a rule of left-wing life that black Republicans must have their names and reputations destroyed. The left knows that if blacks do not vote overwhelmingly Democrat, Democrats cannot win a national election.
Personally, I believe the smear was motivated by a desire to destroy Carson because he is a black conservative. Leftists cannot stand black conservatives. As a non-white conservative, I have often had to face the most vitriolic attacks from Democrats, and in my experience, the hatred is much worse for Republicans who don’t fit their mold. Conservative blacks and conservative women mess up the liberal stereotype of conservatives being exclusively white and male, and so they must be destroyed by any means necessary.
This article is from the Daily Caller, and was pointed out to me by one of my secular leftist co-workers.
Obamacare exchanges had a net loss total of 238,119 enrollees in 29 states and the District of Columbia within the three-month period between the end of March and end of June.
According to analysis the Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), numbers released from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show that enrollment in all 50 states and DC as of June 31 is at 9.9 million. This number is down from 10.2 million on March 31.
Florida lost 101,091 enrollees, Georgia 34,925, North Carolina 32,300, Pennsylvania 29,487, Texas 23,194, New Jersey 14,273, Indiana 13,268, and Arizona 10,905.
“The poor performance of the program is bad news for the long-term sustainability of the federal and state Obamacare exchanges given their reliance on paying enrollees to meet costs,” ATR explained.
“Exchanges typically fund their operations through a fee on premiums: the federal exchange that provides 37 states with coverage charges a 3.5 percent premium, while state exchanges are free to choose their own rate. Fewer enrollees could signal the beginning of a death spiral for the Obamacare exchanges,” according to ATR.
Many state exchanges, however, are also reportedly in disarray. Reason Magazine reports that while the federal government “spent billions on creating Obamacare’s exchanges” it did not track the money appropriately, and many of the state-run exchanges are not working.
According to a Government Accountability Office report, only Vermont completed work on technology to send data to the IRS, while only 10 other states were partially complete. Additionally, Hawaii and Minnesota performed no testing at all on their exchange systems.
Government shouldn’t be running health care, that is something best left to health care specialists in the free market, who have skin in the game and have to compete with other providers in order to produce products and services that people actually want. It’s not working, and it’s costing us too much to move forward with a failed plan.
National Review reports on released e-mails from a FOIA request by Judicial Watch.
From the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides were advised that the compound was under a terrorist attack. In fact, less than two hours into the attack, they were told that the al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility.
These revelations and others are disclosed by a trove of e-mails and other documents pried from the State Department by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The FOIA litigation focuses on Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the government actions before, during, and after the Benghazi attack, in which Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was murdered by terrorists. Also killed in the attack were State Department information management officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were contract security employees and who had fought heroically, saving numerous American lives. At least ten other Americans were wounded, some quite seriously.
At 4:07 p.m., just minutes after the terrorist attack began, Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief-of-staff, and Joseph McManus, Mrs. Clinton’s executive assistant, received an e-mail from the State Department’s operations center (forwarded to her by Maria Sand, a special assistant to Secretary Clinton). It contained a report from the State Department’s regional security officer (RSO), entitled “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi is Under Attack.” The e-mail explained that approximately 20 armed people had fired shots at the diplomatic mission, that explosions had been heard as well, and that Ambassador Stevens was believed to be in the compound with at least four other State Department officials.
About a half-hour later, another e-mail — this one from Scott Bultrowicz, then director of diplomatic security (DSCC) — related:
15 armed individuals were attacking the compound and trying to gain entrance. The Ambassador is present in Benghazi and currently is barricaded within the compound. There are no injuries at this time and it is unknown what the intent of the attackers is. At approximately 1600 [4 p.m.] DSCC received word from Benghazi that individuals had entered the compound. At 1614 [4:14 p.m.] RSO advised the Libyans had set fire to various buildings in the area, possibly the building that houses the Ambassador [REDACTED] is responding and taking fire.
At 6:06 p.m., another e-mail that went to top State Department officials explained that the local al-Qaeda affiliate had claimed responsibility for the attack:
Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU): “(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and call for an attack on Embassy Tripoli”
Despite this evidence that her top staffers were informed from the start that a terrorist attack was underway and that an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group had claimed credit for it, Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
Here she is lying to the American people on camera about the nature and cause of the attack:
In the video above, Obama promised the American people that his health care plan would not add one dime to the deficit. And the low-information voters who voted for him believed him. Just like they believed that they could keep their doctor, that they could keep their health care plan, that Obamacare would lower the costs of health care, that Benghazi was caused by a YouTube video, and so on.
So how much did Obamacare add to the deficit?
The UK Daily Mail has the latest numbers from the Congressional Budget Office.
It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.
The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook.
The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.
Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.
The numbers are daunting: It will take $1.993 trillion, a number that looks like $1,993,000,000,000, to provide insurance subsidies to poor and middle-class Americans, and to pay for a massive expansion of Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) costs.
Offsetting that massive outlay will be $643 billion in new taxes, penalties and fees related to the Obamacare law.
That revenue includes quickly escalating penalties – or ‘taxes,’ as the U.S. Supreme Court described them – on people who resist Washington’s command to buy medical insurance.
It also includes income from a controversial medical device tax, which some Republicans predict will be eliminated in the next two years.
If they’re right, Obamacare’s per-person cost would be even higher.
Did Obama know that he was lying when he said that his health care plan would not add one dime to the deficit?
Well, his buddy Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, certainly did:
But we should not be surprised, either by the low intelligence levels of Democrat voters or by the lies of Democrat politicians. After all, they want single payer health care – look what Harry Reid says:
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
And they know – from looking up North to Canada – that single-payer health care will necessarily involve massive increases in taxes.
CTV News describes a recent study on the costs of single-payer health care in Canada:
A typical Canadian family with two parents and two kids will pay up to $11,786 for public health care insurance this year, according to a new study from the conservative think tank Fraser Institute.
Using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the Fraser Institute study estimated the amount of taxes Canadian families will pay for public health insurance this year.
What do you get for $11,786?
You get to be on a waiting list for a primary care physician, and you get to wait months for treatment. You can pay taxes your whole life, and then wait behind people who want sex changes – people who have never paid a dime into the system. And sometimes, you die while waiting for treatment. That’s “fairness” and “equality”. And that’s where the Democrats want to take us.
Remember when Obama said that we could keep our health care plans and our doctors?:
Democrats voters looked at this man, and they just knew – without any studies or any evidence – that he was telling the truth.
But the Congressional Budget Office says that TEN MILLION people will lose their employer health plans under Obama by 2021.
The Congressional Budget Office now says ObamaCare will push 10 million off employer-based coverage, a tenfold increase from its initial projection. The “keep your plan” lie just gets bigger and bigger.
The latest CBO report is supposed to be a big win for the Obama administration because the projected costs are 20% below what the CBO first projected in 2010.
But the CBO report also shows that ObamaCare will be far more disruptive to the employer-based insurance market, while being far less effective at cutting the ranks of the uninsured, than promised.
Thanks to ObamaCare, the CBO now expects that 10 million workers will lose their employer-based coverage by 2021.
This is in addition to the FOUR MILLION who already lost their health care plans in 2013.