Archive for Barack Hippocrates Obama

The “Good” News on ObamaCare

Never let it be said we don’t present both sides:

The ranks of the uninsured plummeted in early 2014, as millions gained health insurance coverage through Obamacare, new government data released Tuesday found.

There were 41 million Americans lacking coverage in early 2014, down from 44.8 million last year, according to the National Health Interview Survey, the first official government look at the uninsured after Obamacare policies kicked in on January 1. The uninsured rate fell to 13.1%, from 14.4%.

Wow…a whole 1.3%. I haven’t seen such a “plummet” since riding the Cyclone at Coney Island.

Take a look:

Untitled

Caught your breath yet?

Just a couple of questions. If ObamaCare was the savior of the uninsured, how come the rate of decline in the uninsured predates the (lewd) act by a year? And if Obama thinks he can legalize five million illegal aliens with the stroke of a pen, why, pray tell, did we have to go through the legislative and bureaucratic train wreck of ObamaCare just to extend insurance coverage to 3.7 million? Throwing millions more off their plans in the process?

President Obama had a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. He could have expanded Medicaid in his first budget. His “soaring” rhetoric and adoring acolytes could have made anything happen. Heck, they passed ObamaCare.

Which tells you all you need to know. This wasn’t about the uninsured. It was about power. In that, the law (the Constitutional law, b*tches) is a success.

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Broken ObamaCare Promise No. LVXIII

Give or take a I or II:

More people newly insured by Medicaid under ObamaCare are seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms — one of the most expensive medical settings, a study released Monday concludes.

The analysis by the Colorado Hospital Association found that the average number of ER visits in states that expanded Medicaid increased by 5.6 percent, when the second quarter of this year was compared with the same period in 2013.

The increase was more than three times larger than experienced by hospitals in states that did not expand.

The jump was also outside the range of normal year-to-year fluctuations.

“When this newly insured population is trying to understand the system, they are using the easiest access point, and that is the ER,” said Chris Tholen, a vice president of the hospital association.

You can’t keep your plan, let alone your doctor. It isn’t bending the “cost curve” down, but up. The system, which we were warned was under-secured, was recently hacked. It may (or may not) be Constitutional (bitches).

And the newly insured are still hitting the ER, as they always had. Otherwise, it’s aces.

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BTL Therapy Session

I hate to burden my subjects with my personal issues, but I had the worst dream last night. I need to share.

It started like this:

Sticker shock is around the corner for many Americans with government-brokered medical coverage, as insurance companies are beginning to apply their first-year costs to next year’s premiums.

In the case of Florida, some consumers will pay as much as 23 per cent more when their plans are renewed in the fall, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

The numbers in virtually every state are all across the board, with the biggest rate hikes announced to date coming in states where the federal government runs the Obamacare marketplaces.

I woke up in a cold sweat. Once I had a glass of water, I tried to go back to sleep.

Until…

“The Obama administration on Friday appealed the ruling that some subsidies underObamaCare are illegal,” reports the Hill. “The Justice Department filed a petition with the full D.C. Circuit Court asking the judges to review the ruling in Halbig v. Burwell that overturned some of the subsidies distributed to help people pay for health insurance.”

A day earlier the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell filed an appeal petition directly with the Supreme Court, The Wall Street Journal reports. The cases raise the same question, but a three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the government. Both appeals were expected: The Obama administration has reason to expect a more favorable hearing from the D.C. Circuit, newly packed with Democratic appointees, than from the high court.

The Halbig court held that because the ObamaCare law expressly authorizes premium subsidies only for medical-insurance policies purchased on an exchange established by a state, it precludes a 2012 Internal Revenue Service regulation providing subsidies via the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, as well. Administration supporters seem to have given up arguing that the IRS rule is consistent with what the law actually says, so instead they’ve rested their case on congressional intent.

No! NO!!

Forget dreams about falling or being naked in public, this was petrifying. Somehow, a law was passed that forced rises in medical costs, yet subsidized fewer people. When did our country get taken over by rich, greedy bastards?

Once I convinced myself this was twisted fantasy, I allowed myself to try sleep again.

Big mistake:

[F]ederal health officials are finding themselves swamped as they fact-check a flood of paperwork from applicants seeking taxpayer subsidies.

The Department of Health and Human Services seems to be caught between critics on both sides as it confronts the task.

The department, which oversees the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, has gotten hit by audits showing it hasn’t done enough to crack down on fraudsters trying to scam the system. At the same time, some frustrated applicants say they have played by the rules — signed up on time and submitted the necessary paperwork — only to be caught up in bureaucratic red tape.

The scramble to verify eligibility comes on the heels of a Government Accountability Office report that raised fresh doubt about the ability of the health care program to prevent or intercept costly fraud schemes.

Government investigators posing as fake applicants were able to go online, purchase health plans using fake documents and set themselves up to receive undeserved federal subsidies.

Eleven of the 12 fictitious applicants were able to dupe the system using invalid Social Security numbers as well as inaccurate citizenship information, according to the report. The 11 were given the go-ahead to receive $30,000-a-year in health care credits and subsidies.

STOP! The government caught barely 8% of fraudulent applications? Over 90% of con men and grifters could score an easy 30k without breaking a sweat?

Was I going mad?

I passed out again, feverish:

Vermont, a bellwether for healthcare reform, has fired the main technology contractor behind its bungled health insurance website, dealing the latest blow to CGI Federal, the company that was axed over its disastrous jobs in making the federal healthcare exchange website and a similarly troubled site for Massachusetts.

With Vermont still lacking a fully functioning health website more than 10 months after its glitch-plagued debut last October, Vermont officials said late Monday that they were pulling the plug on CGI’s CGI Technologies and Solutions’ contract. CGI’s Fairfax, Virg.-based subsidiary had stood to make at least $83 million from its work for Vermont but will now make just $66.7 million, a figure that incorporates a $5.1 million penalty levied by the state for shoddy work.

Despite the tangles, Vermont is pushing ahead with plans to become the nation’s first system in which the state foots all health-care bills for all residents — what conservatives call “socialized medicine,” and others call “single-payer” or “universal financing.” Miller told Newsweek that “development of the Vermont universal coverage system is proceeding” and that the Shumlin administration would provide cost estimates and an operational plan to the state legislature in January 2015.

The grand plan will require more federal dollars, in the form of grants, and federal approval to effectively bypass the Affordable Care Act, the very law that Vermont Health Connect was built to comply with. Vermont, Miller told Newsweek, is working with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the federal agency overseeing the Affordable Care Act, “to submit requests for the waivers that will be needed.”

I am a changed man, a shell of myself. I went to bed thinking we had a health care system that worked for the vast majority of us. I woke up dizzy with the thought that we had passed some lurid gargoyle of a law that raised prices, cut subsidies, wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on botched websites, and was wide open to fraud.

Please tell me this isn’t so.

Please…?

Many of the eight million sign-ups in Obamacare exchanges nationwide already face more limited choices for physicians and hospitals than those in the private insurance market. But with low physician reimbursement rates, the problem could get even worse.

For a typical quick patient visit, Dr. Doug Gerard, a Connecticut internist, told NPR a private insurer would pay $100 while Medicare would pay around $80. But Obamacare plans are more likely to pay closer to $80, which Gerard says is unsustainable for his practice.

“I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates,” Dr. Gerard told NPR. ”You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.”

[Whimper... shudder...sob...whimper...]

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ObamaCareless?

So, did the long-awaited, much-anticipated court ruling(s) on ObamaCare actually decide anything? Not yet.

But let’s dismiss the idea that the intent of Congress was plain:

Some argued that the text of the law clearly permitted subsidies to flow to those who purchased plans on the federal exchange—this was the argument offered by the government in court. Others argued that while the text didn’t technically permit those subsidies, that was clearly the intent of the the law, and any textual omission was surely due to a “drafting error.”

That’s right: a drafting error.

Let’s take a step back to see how plausible that explanation is. There are two types of exchanges: state-established, and federally established. The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?

Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?

Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero. Was that yet another “drafting error”?

The specific phrase “established by the State under section 1311? can be found twice in the tax credit title of Obamacare. The first instances relates to the size and the second to the scope of the tax credit subsidy. How many times is the phrase “established by the Federal government/Secretary under section 1321? found? Zero. Was that also a “drafting error”?

The deliberate creation of a separate section to authorize a separate federal entity is not a drafting error. The repeated and deliberate reference to one section but not another is not a drafting error. The refusal to grant equal authority to two programs authorized by two separate sections is not a drafting error. The decision to specifically reference section X but not section Y in a portion of a law that grants spending or tax authority is not a drafting error.

The clear text of the law repeatedly demonstrates that plans purchased via federal exchanges were never meant to be treated the same as plans purchased by state-based exchanges. Despite its assertions, the IRS was never granted the statutory authority to hand out tax credits related to plans purchased via a federal health exchange.

The law expressly and intentionally omits HealthCare.gov from handing out subsidies—yet the IRS decides that it can.

How?

Obamacare was signed into law in March of 2010. It wasn’t until August of 2011 that the IRS decided to make tax credit subsidies available to plans purchased on federal exchanges. That’s a span of 16 months—an awfully long time to recognize and address a “drafting error.” Furthermore, actual “drafting errors” have to be corrected by new laws, not by executive fiat. Even when they are plainly obvious to everyone who sees them, that 3015 that should’ve been 2015 still has to be amended via a new law: passed by both Houses, and signed by the president. Yet, that’s not what this administration did.

In its May 2012 announcement of its official new rule which suddenly allowed subsidies to flow to federal exchange plans, the IRS never claimed it was a drafting error. It claimed the opposite: that the text clearly endorsed the IRS interpretation.

So why did the IRS wait nearly 16 months to spring this new interpretation on the public? That’s also an easy one. As of August 17, 2011, when its rule was first proposed, only ten states had passed laws establishing their own exchanges. Seventeen had outright rejected the Obamacare exchanges. All told, 40 states had by that point failed to do the administration’s bidding and set up state-based Obamacare exchanges.

Without exchanges in every state, Obamacare would surely fail as a policy matter. And without massive subsidies to offset the costs of Obamacare’s health plans, Obamacare would fail as a political matter. The IRS maneuver was a last-ditch attempt to paper over the law’s serious structural flaws.

Big government at work. Give me a sausage.

PS: And then there’s this.

According to the findings of an investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office which were presented to Congress on Wednesday, some of those taxpayer-funded subsidies are not merely legally problematic but are also subject to extensive fraud.

The GAO found that 11 of 12 applications for federal assistance while applying for insurance provided through the ACA using “fictitious identities” were accepted.

Who was the nimrod (fictitious nimrod) who didn’t get through? That guy wasn’t trying. Here’s a new slogan for EdselCare: 8.33% pure.

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The New Normal

OUT: You can keep your doctor, period.

IN: “Network restructuring is the new normal.”

National insurance giant UnitedHealthcare plans to cut up to 700 Massachusetts doctors from its physician network for seniors enrolled in its private Medicare plan as a way to control costs, according to company officials.

For elderly patients enrolled in the plan, the cuts mean they will have to find a new doctor or eventually switch to a new health plan that covers their current doctor.

UnitedHealthcare is the country’s largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, and the ongoing cuts have prompted lawsuits by doctors, state investigations, and recent federal policy changes to better protect consumers. There is also pending legislation in Congress to prevent health plans from cutting physicians mid-year.

“This phenomenon is nationwide and needs to be addressed,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said in an interview. “I’m reviewing possible legislation that would prevent this kind of draconian discharge of providers from networks serving Medicare Advantage patients.”

The changes come amid a gradual reduction of reimbursements to private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans as a way to offset costs associated with President Obama’s health reform law.

Right. If we had an independent press, instead of a gang of cheerleaders, we would have known this was coming. It’s the law of the land—what’s more, it’s Constitutional, bitches.

UnitedHealthcare officials say they hope that streamlining the pool of doctors will not just save money but ultimately improve the quality of patient care — and thus improve its chances of receiving bonus payments under a new federal rating system.

Cost savings could translate into more affordable care for patients, the insurer said, with the potential for lower out-of-pocket costs for prescription and office visit co-pays.

“Network restructuring is the new normal. It’s not just UnitedHealthcare, but that’s the way health plans will be operating in the future,” said Dr. Sam Ho, UnitedHealthcare’s chief medical officer, in an interview. “Healthcare is going through so many significant changes that it’s no longer a matter of doctors providing services and health plans paying claims, but a focus on the quality and cost effectiveness of those services.”

I think that’s nonsense, too, but what did people expect when Obama tipped over the health insurance apple cart?

A better metaphor:

“We’re really opposed to their actions because it’s going to limit access to care,” said Dr. Richard Pieters, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “We think the decisions on how they are eliminating physicians may well be arbitrary and not based on quality. It’s very unsettling. Potentially, this is just another domino starting to fall.”

Another domino. That’s it exactly. And Obama toppled the first one.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

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One Nation, Underwhelmed

If opposition to ObamaCare is racist (what else could it be?), we’re all racists now.

Or 86% of us, anyway:

About one month after the new healthcare exchanges closed with over 8 million new enrollees, there has been little substantial change in Americans’ perception that the healthcare law has helped them. Most Americans say the law has had no impact on their healthcare situation, while those who do perceive an effect are more likely to say it has hurt them rather than helped them.

I include even those who claim no effect among the racists. How dare they dismiss the president’s signature achievement? And the 3% who had no answer: they were just hiding their blatant racism. Only 14% of you are truly enlightened. Shame on the rest of us.

If this display of cynicism leads me to early dementia… what was I saying?

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While Obama Putted

[NB: Hat Tip to Keith Koffler's invaluable White House Dossier for most of these links.]

This was how the VA scandal broke:

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments.

That was on April 23, on CNN.

Dr. Foote explains himself in the New York Times today a day and a month later:

MY decision to become a whistle-blower after 24 years as a physician in a Veterans Affairs hospital was, at first, an easy one. I knew about patients who were dying while waiting for appointments on the V.A.’s secret schedules, and I couldn’t stay silent.

But there was no response to the two letters I sent to the Veterans Affairs inspector general, one in late October 2013 and one in early February. Going public would damage an institution I gave more than two decades of my life to, trying to make a better place for veterans to get their care. But I had to be able to sleep at night.

Any scandal that befalls the V.A. necessarily lands on the party that is in the White House. As this is an election year, we can expect that there will be significant pushback to delay and limit the discovery of negative information — which is why I expect my suggestions to be vehemently opposed by the White House and the V.A.’s upper management.

I am worried about the patients whose care is entrusted to the V.A., and I am skeptical about our chances of creating real, long-lasting reform — but I hope that this time we will. It is easy, especially on Memorial Day weekend, to pay lip service to the need to “support our troops” and our veterans. But it is much harder to actually do it.

Dr. Foote has little faith in President Obama’s leadership, a pretty cynical point of view when the president was described as “madder than hell”. But if we look at the intervening 31 days since the story broke, we may see the reason for the good doctor’s skepticism.

Obama was in Asia when the story broke (You remember, he told Malaysia that the US has “work to do” on human rights.) He returned to the White House on the evening of April 29th.

There was a lot of business to catch up on, as one might expect, but that’s what weekends are for—to work through the backlog of the nation’s business.

Eventually:

From the pool report:

POTUS motorcade departed WH at about 11:40 am and arrived at Fort Belvoir, Va. at 12:06 p.m., at which point motorcade pulled off from pool van. Pool did not see president.

Per White House, POTUS is playing golf with Marvin Nicholson, Joe Paulsen and Michael Brush.

Doubtless strategizing how to fix the VA. But he got busy the next week.

Fundraising:

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, May 7, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 6, 2014, 9:53 PM
10:00 am ET || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
11:05 am ET || Departs White House
12:35 pm CT || Arrives Arkansas
2:50 pm CT || Delivers a statement
3:35 pm CT || Departs Arkansas
5:00 pm PT || Arrives Los Angeles
6:55 pm PT || Delivers remarks and answers questions at a joint fundraiser for House and Senate Democrats; private residency, Los Angeles
8:10 pm PT || Attends USC Shoah Foundation dinner; Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles

The Shoah dinner as a cover for a fundraising junket—well played, sir!

And he wasn’t done yet!

Obama Schedule || Thursday, May 8, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 7, 2014, 8:26 PM
9:30 am || Participates in a DNC fundraiser; The Beverly Hilton
11:10 am || Departs Los Angeles
11:50 am || Arrives San Diego
1:15 pm || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser for congressional Democrats; private residence
2:30 pm || Departs San Diego
3:50 pm || Arrives San Jose
4:15 pm || Participates in a DNC fundraiser; private residence
6:30 pm || Speaks at a DNC fundraiser; Fairmont San Jose

A few more days pass—and it’s the weekend!

It’s the usual Saturday golf. President Obama and three White House aides – usual type players – arrived at the Joint Andrews course shortly after noon.

It’s the president’s 12th time out this year and the 169th round of his presidential golfing career.

Okay, he’s golfed enough, and fundraised enough—surely he’s over jet lag—it must be time to address the nation’s veterans.

But it’s not:

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, May 14, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 13, 2014, 10:26 PM
10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:20 pm || With the first lady, departs the White House
2:30 pm || Arrives New York City
3:25 pm || Delivers remarks on infrastructure; Tarrytown, NY
5:00 pm || Attends a DNC fundraiser; InterContinental Hotel, New York City

It’s been three week, sir: surely time to display that legendary Obama temper and kick some ass, no?

Not exactly:

Rob Nabors, a White House deputy chief of staff, will work with the VA temporarily to help assess its practices and develop recommendations on how veterans’ hospitals can increase access to timely care, the White House announced Wednesday.

“While we get to the bottom of what happened in Phoenix, it’s clear the VA needs to do more to ensure quality care for our veterans. I’m grateful that Rob, one of my most trusted advisors, has agreed to work with Secretary Shinseki to help the team at this important moment.”

Maybe he hides his anger:

TAPPER How on earth, can the president still have full confidence in him. People died.

McDONOUGH You heard what Gen. Shinseki had to say about this. He’s mad as Hell about this. Nobody’s more mad than the president.

Grateful, angry, what’s the difference? Either way, he got his man:

Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I thank Dr. Petzel for his four decades of service to Veterans.

“Four decades” should have been a clue: it turns out the guy retired, a couple of weeks early.

That done, it was back to the golf course:

A reporter got stuck in less than stellar surroundings Saturday. As President Obama golfed at the fancy Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., an exclusive course that has hosted four President’s cups, the reporter was put in a maintenance shed.

On the way to the shed, Houston Chronicle‘s Kevin Diaz first waited in the equipment shack cafeteria (whatever that means). Later, he was sent to a” maintenance shed” to wait out the President’s golf game.

As he noted in his White House Pool Report, “POTUS motorcade departed at 4:45 from the gated, lakefront campus of Robert Trent Jones’ signature golf course, which looked like a nice place to play golf, at least from the maintenance shed where pool spent the day.”

If the designated reporter is meek enough to sit on his ass in a maintenance shed, that’s probably where he belongs. What a useless lot the Washington press corps is.

FINALLY! Four weeks since the story broke:

Some of the problems with respect to how veterans are able to access the benefits that they’ve earned, that’s not a new issue. That’s an issue that I was working on when I was running for the United States Senate. Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency.

And dummy lists, Mr. President? Have they been “one of the causes of [your] presidency”? Military “folks” died waiting for access to your “issue”.

What are you going to do about it?

President Obama headed out unusually early this morning for his customary Saturday round of golf, motorcading to the course at Joint Base Andrews.

From the pool reports:

The president left the White House in his motorcade at 9:25 am. He is wearing a well-tailored pair of khaki pants, a white polo shirt, a navy blue windbreaker and no hat.

At least, that’s how it looked from the maintenance shed.

In the month-plus since the story broke, Obama has “retired” one bureaucrat, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Democrat Party, and golfed four times. Perhaps that explains Dr. Foote’s jaundiced view of affairs expressed above.

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Patients Without Patience

I’m still trying to figure out what President Obama meant when he said this:

And I think it is important to recognize that the wait times generally — what the IG indicated so far, at least, is the wait times were folks who may have had chronic conditions, were seeking their next appointment, but may have already received service. It was not necessarily a situation where they were calling for emergency services. And the IG indicated that he did not see a link between the wait and them actually dying.

Whatever that was supposed to mean (seriously, I haven’t a clue), I don’t think it means this:

Debbie Valle says her husband, Jerry, waited two months for chemotherapy, but died of prostate cancer.

Debbie Allen’s husband, Mel, endured a six-month wait before dying of bladder cancer.

Cindy Bordeaux’s husband, Jerry, had been waiting six weeks, when he died of liver cancer.

“And you never get over it because the proof’s right here of the lack of care,” she said. “These people didn’t care. He was a number.”

Yet the story continues incongruously:

None of the deaths in Phoenix has been formally linked to long wait times so far, but the Phoenix investigation has spread nationwide. The main allegation is that local VA officials have been hiding reports of when veterans cannot get doctors appointments within the goal of 14 days.

The delays cited above range from six weeks to six months. Unless my math fails me, that’s a whole lot longer than 14 days. And I’m guessing six months makes a big difference in the treatment of cancer.

In New Port Richey, Florida, Joseph Kramer is a Gulf War veteran. He was told two months ago of a cyst on his brain but since then nothing — no diagnosis and no treatment.

“Am I going to die?” he asked. “Is this treatable? Is this, I need to have an operation to take it out? What? I don’t know. I have no idea.”

At least you’re alive. What have you got to complain about?

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They’ll Call it “Repealed”

The namesake of ObamaCare doesn’t want his good name tarnished by his signature achievement:

At a fundraiser in Potomac, Md., Monday night, Obama backed off the term that his administration shunned, and then embraced.

“First of all, in five years it will no longer be called Obamacare.

He’s probably right. When its full effects are felt, it will be called by its true name, socialized medicine. Or redistribution. It will also answer to “Worthless POS”.

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eraCamabO

The inverse of ObamaCare:

[G]iven its unpopularity, the question should be: How can Obamacare not be repealed?

What’s more, Republicans, as the party of limited government, not only have an obligation to repeal Obamacare but would benefit politically from doing so. More specifically, they would benefit politically from putting forward the alternative to Obamacare that is the key to achieving its full repeal.

Americans are eagerly awaiting such a conservative alternative. A recent poll by McLaughlin & Associates asked, “If the Republicans were to propose a new plan of their own to improve health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare would you be more or less likely to vote for a Republican for Congress?” By a margin of 31 percentage points (48 to 17 percent), likely voters said they’d be more, not less, inclined to back a Republican in that event. Moreover, that margin was at least 25 points among independents, Hispanics, those under 40, those who make less than $60,000, and women—groups the GOP is supposedly courting.

On the generic congressional ballot, the McLaughlin poll showed Republicans trailing Democrats by 2 points among likely voters—43 to 41 percent. But the poll also asked whether likely voters would be more apt to support for Congress a “Republican who wants to repeal and replace Obamacare” or a “Democrat who wants to keep and fix Obamacare.” By a tally of 47 to 43 percent, respondents picked the Republican—a 6-point swing in the GOP’s favor (from 2 points down to 4 points up). That swing from the generic congressional ballot was even greater among independents (13 points in the GOP’s favor), Hispanics (7 points), those who make under $60,000 (7 points), and women (8 points).

To repeat the question, how can ObamaCare not be repealed?

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Bent Over the Cost Curve

As good a metaphor as any:

With millions of Americans gaining coverage through President Obama’s health care law, health care spending spiked by a staggering 9.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014 — the fastest rate since 1980 – according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

As I reported earlier this month, there were already signs of growing health care spending in the fourth quarter of 2013, when it jumped 5.6 percent, which had been the fastest clip since 2004.

Who was president in 1980? Can’t remember. But there is good news!

Were it not for the rise in health care spending, the economy would have contracted by 1 percent in the quarter, instead of growing at a meager 0.1 percent, according to Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, as quoted by Business Insider.

Out: Cash for Clunkers. In: Wampum for Websites. ObamaCare is the new stimulus, with the same results.

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Thirstradamus Strikes Again

I’d like to thank my family, and all the little people who made me possible.

Thirstradamus, April 18th:

[W]ith Obama doing a victory lap over the eight-millionth enrollee under ObamaCare (without any supporting evidence), how many of those 8,000,000 do you think were happy doing so? How many will remember the experience fondly? How many will remember it that way in November?

Okay, maybe I was citing someone else, maybe I was citing myself. Who remembers?

Thirstradamus also wrote this on April 1st:

They’ll trumpet this seven million [as it was then] as a celebration, a triumph. But all it really means is that five million, six hundred thousand—so far—had to go through the wringer thanks to an ill-conceived, wretchedly-implemented government program that didn’t have to be. The Democrats would have been better off with a smaller number, a much smaller number.

See you (wouldn’t want to be you) in November, chumps.

Washington Post, today (and, yes, I’m blushing):

Democrats face serious obstacles as they look to the November elections, with President Obama’s approval rating at a new low and a majority of voters saying they prefer a Congress in Republican hands to check the president’s agenda, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Obama’s approval rating fell to 41 percent, down from 46 percent through the first three months of the year and the lowest of his presidency in Post-ABC News polls. Just 42 percent approve of his handling of the economy, 37 percent approve of how he is handling the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and 34 percent approve of his handling of the situation involving Ukraine and Russia.

What’s my secret? How did I know that eight million people was the good news for us and bad news for them? Eight million people have eight million memories of getting the shaft (a horrible expression if you think about it, so don’t) eight million ways. The math ain’t that hard. Sorry to give away the trick.

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