Saturday, January 25, 2014

Brown’s State of the State: It’s Morning in California

The theme of President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign was: It’s Morning in America. He won 49 states, losing only rival Walter Mondale’s native Minnesota.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address this morning kicked off a similar theme in what effectively was his re-election pitch. He didn’t imitate Reagan and say, exactly, “It’s Morning in California.” But the meaning still was there. The governor enthused:
“What a comeback it is. A million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions and a minimum wage rising to $10 an hour! 
“This year, Californians have a lot to be proud of. For a decade, budget instability was the order of the day. A lethal combination of national recessions, improvident tax cuts and too much spending created a financial sink hole that defied every effort to climb out. But three years later, here we are – with state spending and revenues solidly balanced, and more to come.”
Of course things are better than when he took office three years ago to clean up the wreckage of the disastrous Schwarzenegger administration. But unemployment in California remains stubbornly high, at 8.5 percent, sixth worst in the country; and well above such rivals as Texas at 6.1 percent and Florida at 6.4 percent. Both those states lack a state income tax, compared to the hefty top California rate of 13.3 percent because of Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase.
The increase in the minimum wage Brown touted also likely will kill jobs, making unemployment worse.
And a November study by the U.S. Census Bureau found that, when California’s sky-high cost of living was figured into calculations, the state suffered the country’s worst poverty rate.

Via: California Political Review

Friday, January 24, 2014

ObamaCare D-Day in March

A document coming from the administration has recently come to light that discloses the entire ObamaCare program is in jeopardy of collapse.  Of course, the White House did not inform the American people of this prospect but was compelled to post the news on a federal website -- away from the inquiring minds of millions of Americans who may suffer even more from ObamaCare.  So much for Barack Obama's boast that his administration would be the most transparent in history.
While the web portal of Healthcare.Gov has received a lot of attention, the true problem lies like an iceberg underneath the public face of the website.  This is the "back end" of the website: the part that transmits information to insurance companies.
There have been scattered reports that there has been "a failure to communicate" between the portal, the insurance companies, and the government, but the scope and the severity of the problem has been barely covered.  The administration and its flacks have routinely dismissed previous problems as "glitches" (see this Monty Python "Just a flesh wound" skit as symbolic of this Pollyannaish strategy), but will have a tougher time downplaying this man-made disaster in the making.
From the non-partisan The Hill in a column titled Document: ObamaCare contractor faces mid-March deadline or disaster:
If the ObamaCare contractor brought on last week to fix the back-end of the portal doesn't finish the build-out by mid-March the healthcare law will be jeopardized, according to a procurement document posted on a federal website.
It says insurers could be bankrupt and the entire healthcare industry threatened if the build out is not completed....
"There is limited time to build this functionality and failure to mid-March 2014 will result in financial harm to the government," the document says.
"If this functionality is not complete by mid-March 2014, the government could make erroneous payments to providers and insurers," it continues.  "Additionally, without a Financial Management platform that accounts for enrollments and associated program costs that integrates with the existing CMS Accounting platform, the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized."
Many of those who have signed up for ObamaCare are eligible for federal subsidies, which the government pays directly to the insurers.  The document says that failure to complete the project by mid-March can result in "inaccurate issuance of payments to health plans which could seriously put them at financial risk; potentially leading to their default and disrupting continued services and coverage to consumers."
Via: American Thinker
Continue Reading....

Monday, January 20, 2014

Grieving Father Receives OfficeMax Mailer Addressed ‘Daughter Killed in Car Crash’

Mike Seay of Antioch Illinois received a mailer from OfficeMax recently, one of the many random pieces of mail that get slid through the slot every day. But something was very wrong with this one: it was addressed to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash or Current Business.”
Seay’s 17-year-old daughter Ashley was killed in a car crash last year.
“Why would they have that type of information?” Seay asked. “What purpose does it serve anybody to know that? And how much other types of other information do they have if they have that on me, or anyone else? And how do they use that, what do they use that for?”
Seay contacted the manager of OfficeMax’s call center, and eventually received a statement from the company:
“We are deeply sorry that Mr. Seay and his family received this mailing from us, and we are reaching out to Mr. Seay to convey our sincerest apologies on this unfortunate matter. This mailing is a result of a mailing list rented through a third-party provider. We have reached out to the third-party mailing list provider to research what happened. Based on a preliminary investigation today we believe this to be an inadvertent error; and we are continuing the investigation.”
This is all the more reason to do away with mailers entirely.
Continue Reading.....

Woman Spent Six Weeks Trying to Get Out of Obamacare Insurance

A Missouri woman spent six weeks trying to unenroll from Obamacare using its “navigators” and online help.
Lesli Hill was stuck talking to multiple Obamacare navigators who would transfer her calls over the month-and-a-half time period, Fox News reported. After being deferred to multiple navigators, both online and by phone, Hill drove to her insurance company in Kansas City to deal with the problem.
Hill’s experience stands as a cautionary tale to anyone who, for whatever reason, is trying to bow out of insurance they purchased on the exchanges. Hill’s troubles started last fall, after the high-risk pool coverage she had was discontinued due to the health law. For lack of options, she went on the exchange and bought a policy with a $950-a-month premium. [..]
However, shortly afterward Hill, 62, learned she could once again purchase an individual plan — with better benefits — outside the exchange. She checked with Blue Cross Blue Shield in early December and was told she’d have to cancel her ObamaCare plan first. [...]
Hill first tried the help line, and “literally was on hold for several hours a day,” she said. After multiple attempts, without much luck, she tried the online chat. She was redirected back to the help line. The “script” that operators were reading from did not seem to address how someone could actually cancel a plan. 

Continue Reading..... 

ObamaCare’s Attack on the Elderly

The president’s macabre new year’s gift: paying hospitals not to treat seniors

In October of 2012, the Daily Mail exposed the highly disturbing realities of the Liverpool Pathway (LCP), the series of guidelines for treating terminally ill patientsdeveloped for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

The most egregious of those realities concerned cash incentives paid to hospitals to ensure a certain percentage of hospital patients would be put on the regime. As healthcare expert Besty McCaughey reveals, a similar horror show is occurring on this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of ObamaCare. Beginning the the same time the LCP scandal was being exposed, the Obama administration began awarding hospitals bonus points for spending the least amount of money on elderly patients. Even worse, the idea was sold to the elderly as a good thing during the 2012 presidential election campaign.

During that campaign, Obama promised seniors that $716 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade, used to fund the $1.9 trillion in new healthcare spending that expanded Medicaid and created the healthcare exchanges, wouldn’t affect them. When Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney ran an ad attacking the cuts,Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith called it hypocritical. ‘The savings his ad attacks do not cut a single guaranteed Medicare benefit,’ she declared.

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