Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby oldtoby » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:02 pm

. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don't qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.


Oh boo Hoo poor babies. I earn 30k a year and pay $250 a month. So don't tell me someone making more than 2x that cant afford it.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:47 pm

80k in CA is not that much. However, she is a woman a lawyer and in California. I think statistically it is likely she voted for Obama. If so, it should be poor baby, you voted for him, so you take it good and hard.
I wonder if she will continue to vote Democrat.
"She said, 'I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'" Kehaly said


If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
'And everybody will have lower rates'.
Lies on top of lies.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby portia » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:21 am

The Heretic wrote:If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
'And everybody will have lower rates'.
Lies on top of lies.


Well, if you cannot find something new to complain about, the system must be getting straightened out.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:12 am

portia wrote:
The Heretic wrote:If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
'And everybody will have lower rates'.
Lies on top of lies.


Well, if you cannot find something new to complain about, the system must be getting straightened out.



Indeed.

Meanwhile, here's a very insightful article, showing why thoughtful forward thinking Conservatives (assuming any remain) should be very concerned about the problems with so-called Obamacare, and how this bodes ill for their own plans to transform Medicare and Social Security. In a nutshell, the article describes how the elements that are causing the most problems with the Obamacare rollout - specifically the means-tested subsidies, privatization of services, and devolution onto the states - are all central elements of Conservative plans for overhauling two major programs which work quite well, and which are jealously loved, even by large swaths of the Tea Party base, folks like my retired parents.

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/28/what_the_tea_party_misses_if_you_hate_obamacare_youll_really_hate_what_the_right_wants_to_do_to_social_security/

Here's a taste, but it's worth reading the entire piece:

The smartest thing yet written about the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s federal exchange program is a post by Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute at his “Rortybomb” blog at Next New Deal. Konczal makes two points, each of which deserves careful pondering.

The first point is that to some degree the problems with the website have been caused by the overly complicated design of Obamacare itself. Instead of being a simple, universal program like Social Security or Medicare, the Affordable Care Act system is designed as if to illustrate Steven Teles’ notion of “kludgeocracy” or needless, counterproductive complexity in public policy. By using means-testing to vary subsidies among individuals and by trying to match individuals with private insurance companies, the ACA requires far more information about people who try to sign up than do simpler public programs like Social Security and Medicare. If Congress had passed Medicare for All, the left’s preferred simple, universal alternative to the kludgeocratic ACA mess, signing up would have been a lot easier and the potential for website snafus correspondingly less.

Konczal’s second point is even more important — the worst features of Obamacare are the very features that conservatives want to impose on all federal social policy: means-testing, a major role for the states, and subsidies to private providers instead of direct public provision of health or retirement benefits. This is not surprising, because Obamacare’s models are right-wing models — the Heritage Foundation’s healthcare plan in the 1990s and Mitt Romney’s “Romneycare” in Massachusetts.

This point is worth dwelling on. Conservatives want all social insurance to look like Obamacare. The radical right would like to replace Social Security with an Obamacare-like system, in which mandates or incentives pressure Americans to steer money into tax-favored savings accounts like 401(k)s and to purchase annuities at retirement, with means-tested subsidies to help the poor make their private purchases. And most conservative and libertarian plans for healthcare for the elderly involve replacing Medicare with a totally new system designed along the lines of Obamacare, with similar mandates or incentives to compel the elderly to buy private health insurance from for-profit corporations.



I also appreciate the bit where the author refers to the willful delusion shared by Conservatives amongst themselves that Obamacare is some how NOT entirely rooted in Conservatism. Hell, we've seen that here, as posters deny the similarity of Obamacare and the Heritage Foundation plan, even when the specific details are provided for them from the Heritage website.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:34 am

Since someone keeps repeating a certain GOP talking point, like a parrot endlessly demanding a cracker and proclaiming himself to be a Good Boy, perhaps it might be instructive to investigate what the President actually said, when he said it, and to what sort of question he was responding when he made the comment.

Basically, the quote about being able to keep your health plan if you liked it was made during a press conference in 2009, in response to a question about from a reporter named Jake Tapper about the risk that Employers might cancel their health care plans and shunt their employees out into a "public option" insurance plan, which was being considered at the time for inclusion into the law, but which ultimately never came to fruition. Mr. Obama's answer was basically that, no, that wasn't going to be able to happen, that the government wasn't going to force employers to put employees into the "public option", but Mr. Obama ALSO said in his answer that employers can and do change insurance plans all the time, they just weren't going to be able to force employees into the "public option".

Here's the politifact article on this, in which they rate the President's statement as "half true".

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/aug/11/barack-obama/barack-obama-promises-you-can-keep-your-health-ins/
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:00 am

And since we're so concerned about lies and all, here's another doozy that just won't die.

http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2013/oct/15/david-dewhurst/dewhurst-suggesting-obamas-impeachment-airs-ridicu/

David Dewhurst told a group that President Barack Obama ought to be impeached, saying later that his reasons include Obama standing by while the White House fielded live video of the fatal Benghazi attacks, the Texas Observer reported.

Dewhurst, the third-term lieutenant governor faced with three challengers for the 2014 Republican nomination, suggested Obama’s impeachment while speaking Oct. 14, 2013, to the Northeast Tarrant County Tea Party, which also heard from the other GOP candidates.

"This election is about protecting you and your freedoms, which are given to you by God, but which are being trampled on by Barack Obama right now. I don’t know about you, but Barack Obama ought to be impeached," Dewhurst said, according to the Observer. "Not only for trampling on our liberties, but what he did in Benghazi is just a crime."

Afterward, Dewhurst elaborated on his criticism of the administration’s handling of the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, which killed Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stephens. "I’m very concerned about Benghazi, in which all of the national news reporting indicated that live video was streaming into the White House," Dewhurst told Observer reporter Christopher Hooks. "That means that there was an overhead platform, probably a drone in the area. At least that’s what it tells me," he said. "And for not mobilizing some response to protect the ambassador and those three Americans is just outrageous to me. Just outrageous."

We asked Dewhurst for the basis of his reference to a live video feed of the attacks reaching the White House and didn’t hear back.

It didn’t take us long to find that the "Benghazi live stream" claim has already been debunked by the Snopes.com "urban legends" website.

That Snopes post, last updated Nov. 1, 2012, traces the claim to an Oct. 24, 2012, Forbes magazine op-ed article, which opened: "Just one hour after the seven-hour-long terrorist attacks upon the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began, our commander-in-chief, vice president, secretary of defense and their national security team gathered together in the Oval Office listening to phone calls from American defenders desperately under siege and watching real-time video of developments from a drone circling over the site. Yet they sent no military aid that might have intervened in time to save lives."

The Forbes article did not provide a source for writer Larry Bell’s reference to real-time video.

In its article, Snopes noted that a CBS News story also posted Oct. 24, 2012, stated that the FBI and State Department had reviewed video from security cameras that captured the attack on the consulate. The CBS News report continued: "The audio feed of the attack was being monitored in real time in Washington by diplomatic security official Charlene Lamb. CBS News has learned that video of the assault was recovered 20 days later from the more than 10 security cameras at the compound. The government security camera footage of the attack was in the possession of local Libyans until the week of Oct. 1," CBS News said.

Earlier, on Oct. 12, 2012, the Daily Beast quoted two unidentified U.S. intelligence officials as saying that video taken the night of the attacks, showing a military-style assault took place, had been recovered the week before from the site of the attacks.

"The Obama administration has been studying the videos, taken from closed-circuit cameras throughout the Benghazi consulate’s four-building compound, for clues about who was responsible for the attack and how it played out," the story said.

The story did not mention any live stream into the White House, though it said that in "addition to the footage from the consulate cameras, the U.S. government is also poring over video taken from an overhead U.S. surveillance drone that arrived for the final hour of the night battle at the consulate compound and nearby annex."

Our search for news stories on such a live stream, using the Nexis database, led us to an Oct. 29, 2012, Slate news story noting a claim by Charles Woods, whose son, Tyrone, died in the attacks, that the White House watched the attacks on a live stream over seven hours. The story also notes the CBS News report of a drone flying over the fatal scene hours after the attacks began. Slate quoted a White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, as saying: "No one watched video of the attack at the White House as it happened."

Separately, as documented by Erik Wemple, who writes a "reported opinion blog" on the news media for The Washington Post, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity repeatedly incorrectly stated that the State Department watched live video as the attacks occurred. In a Jan. 23, 2013, news story, Wemple said that earlier that day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked before a House committee about live video feeds to the agency and replied: "There was no monitor, there was no real time."

Earlier, on Oct. 26, 2012, Fox News said it had learned that "there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real-time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers." The story did not say any video was watched inside the agencies.

Our ruling

Dewhurst said live video of the Benghazi attacks reached the White House as the attacks occurred.

That’s not confirmed by news reports we found, while the White House said in October 2012 that no one there watched a live video feed.

Given that this claim has been debunked for about a year, we see it as incorrect and ridiculous. Pants on Fire!



Liar Liar, Pantalones en fuego! Really, why are today's conservatives so easily, even willfully, deluded into believing this crazy nonsense?
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:22 pm

portia wrote:
The Heretic wrote:If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
'And everybody will have lower rates'.
Lies on top of lies.


Well, if you cannot find something new to complain about, the system must be getting straightened out.

As I noted above: I'm not complaining I'm laughing about the supporters getting it good and hard. I'm also laughing at Obama's desperate apologists.
========

"She said, 'I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'" Kehaly said

So, if Obama, Pelosi etc had actually been honest instead of lying to you, would you have rethought your vote?

" America -- Americans will be able to compare the price and quality of different plans, and pick the plan that they want. If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that: If you like your plan, you'll be able to keep it."

Liar.

Democrats built this. They own it.
For the record, the President has consistently lied that if you like your insurance plan, your doctor, or both, you will be able to keep them.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:59 pm

Sue Klinkhamer has a problem.
It’s called Obamacare.
And the irony of her situation is not lost on her. In a recent email addressed to her former boss, Illinois Congressman Bill Foster, and other Democratic colleagues, she wrote:

“I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.”

For Klinkhamer, 60, President Obama’s oft-repeated words ring in her ears: “If you like your health plan, you will keep it.”

Well, possibly not.

When Klinkhamer lost her congressional job, she had to buy an individual policy on the open market.

Three years ago, it was $225 a month with a $2,500 deductible. Each year it went up a little to, as of Sept. 1, $291 with a $3,500 deductible. Then, a few weeks ago, she got a letter.

“Blue Cross,” she said, “stated my current coverage would expire on Dec. 31, and here are my options: I can have a plan with similar benefits for $647.12 [or] I can have a plan with similar [but higher] pricing for $322.32 but with a $6,500 deductible.”

http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/2335 ... rance.html
Would you still have supported Obama if you knew he was lying to you?
You made your bed, you lay in it.

“No matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.”
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby ILvEowyn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:54 am

As I noted above: I'm not complaining I'm laughing about the supporters getting it good and hard. I'm also laughing at Obama's desperate apologists.


I'm not sure what you think there is to laugh at? That you find something funny implies that you think the supporters are under some great misfortune they can't get out from.

Rasmussen House generic ballot: Democrats 43/Republicans 37

I assume you're just rolling on the ground in side-splitting delight over that one eh?

“No matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.”


And I get that you see this as a lie. You've stated so repeatedly. Others have explained why they don't think so. So this line of discussion seems moot at this point.
Last edited by ILvEowyn on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:00 am

And I get that you see this as a lie. You've stated so repeatedly. Others have explained why they don't think so. So this line discussion seems moot at this point


Yep, we have all agreed that contrary to the sweeping general statements made early in the process of crafting the health reform law, many subscribers who were on bare-bones individual plans will have to take new plans that comply with the minimum standards set forth in the new law, although the law DOES include a grandfather clause which allows anyone who had a plan as of the date the law went into effect to keep that plan, even if it does not meet the minimum standards. The folks who are getting cancellation notices now have plans which do not meet the grandfather clause, because the insurance companies have apparently been making substantial changes made to those plans since the 2010 effectivity dates. Other individual plans are being cancelled as insurers consolidate their "high risk" pools into regular insurance pools through the plans offered on the exchanges, which will actually be a GOOD DEAL for those subscribers, but that is just a pesky detail. . .


If one is intellectually lazy and not particularly interested in discussing real issues and presenting any ideas for real solutions, indeed if one expresses anger and umbrage merely at being asked if one HAS a plan, then one is likely to continue to mindlessly repeat the charge that Obama has "lied", without making meaningful contributions to the discussion.

And really ILvEowyn, those poll numbers showing that REPUBLICANS are the ones in real trouble are just numbers, and Math is just one of those sciency things that real Conservatives don't believe in any more.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby portia » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:59 am

I really am amazed at the short memories of the Republican leadership. A plan that is largely modeled on THEIR ideas in response to the Clinton Plan, and on Romneycare is denounced as "socialism" and anyone reminding them of the ancestry of the plan is loudly denounced. Do they think that their constituents also have no memories?

I would prefer, as a philosophical position, that things like paying for medical care not be in the government's sole control. But, as a practical person, I also think that there are economies of scale and of procedure with government control. We are going to be working through this for a while.

If someone's claim is thoroughly debunked, and the person keeps repeating it, does that mean that the person has a reading defect?
Or is it a symptom of . . . .well, you know.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby ILvEowyn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:20 am

I watched some of the House hearing with respect to the ACA today and will say that Paul Ryan asked some thought-provoking questions in a constructively critical way, although I didn't necessarily agree with the points he was trying to make. The rest of it was stupid partisan sloganeering.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:23 am

portia wrote:I really am amazed at the short memories of the Republican leadership. A plan that is largely modeled on THEIR ideas in response to the Clinton Plan, and on Romneycare is denounced as "socialism" and anyone reminding them of the ancestry of the plan is loudly denounced. Do they think that their constituents also have no memories?

I would prefer, as a philosophical position, that things like paying for medical care not be in the government's sole control. But, as a practical person, I also think that there are economies of scale and of procedure with government control. We are going to be working through this for a while.

If someone's claim is thoroughly debunked, and the person keeps repeating it, does that mean that the person has a reading defect?
Or is it a symptom of . . . .well, you know.



And the problems with the roll out will be solved eventually, and when they are, what THEN will be the Republican talking points? They have talked. . . sorry. . "shouted". . themselves into a blind corner with no strategy to move ANYWHERE should their dire predictions turn out to be false (or at best only temporarily true, and then only for a small segment of the population).
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:37 am

Now, on to another subject, here's a great article on the true nature of poverty.

These days, Conservatives talk about those living in poverty almost exclusively in terms of how They - that is allegedly hard working, mostly White, mostly "patriotic" Republican Conservatives - are being victimized by Them - that is lazy, shiftless, mostly minority, universally Democrat, Poor People. You hear it all the time, how money is being stolen from decent ( read "White Republican") Americans, and given to the unworthy (read "Poor Unemployed mostly Black Democrat Socialist Commies who hate America"). We've heard the same language on this thread, where several posters have complained bitterly about how their money has been forcibly confiscated to give free healthcare to other people.

This article addresses the lies that Conservatives have been telling themselves, and explains the true subtleties and nuances of the situation, showing how it isn't all as Black and White as the Tea Party types wish it were. This is just the opening sentence, you owe it to yourself as an American to read the entire piece:


If you believe that poverty is the domain of the comfortably poor, black, unemployed, unmotivated and uneducated among us, you have been sadly misled. Prepare to be astonished by numbers that tell a very different story



http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12264?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer76b18&utm_medium=twitter
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:23 pm

ILvEowyn wrote:I watched some of the House hearing with respect to the ACA today and will say that Paul Ryan asked some thought-provoking questions in a constructively critical way. . . .


I would be genuinely curious as to what sort of questions he was asking that you found thought provoking. And I am not saying that in a snarky way, I mean I would like to hear some genuinely thought provoking questions from the other side, as opposed to what we've been getting, which is mostly people screaming "SOCIALISM" and stuff. Can you give an example or two of Ryan's questions that you found interesting?
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby ILvEowyn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:15 pm

I wish I could recall exactly what he was asking so I could quote, but I can't at the moment. It was something about the issue of people potentially taking a tax hit if they, for example, are told when they apply for Obamacare that they are eligible for a subsidy and get it, and then the IRS decides differently and says they were not eligible; i.e. they would then take a tax hit for the amount that had been subsidized. The lady who was testifying (not Sebellius) seemed to offer a reasonable explanation as to why that wouldn't happen, and that seemed to be that for the most part. He didn't do the "Obamacare is slavery" rant, and it sounded like he asked in reasonable way that suggested he was willing to listen to a reasonable answer.

At least that was my personal take on it.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:36 pm

ILvEowyn wrote:
As I noted above: I'm not complaining I'm laughing about the supporters getting it good and hard. I'm also laughing at Obama's desperate apologists.


I'm not sure what you think there is to laugh at? That you find something funny implies that you think the supporters are under some great misfortune they can't get out from.

I am laughing at the people who supported Obama and Obamacare losing the health insurance plans they liked, and being forced into plans to plans the did not want.
Rasmussen House generic ballot: Democrats 43/Republicans 37

I assume you're just rolling on the ground in side-splitting delight over that one eh?

Why assume it? Is there some reason to? Am I supposed to care about it?
“No matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.”


And I get that you see this as a lie. You've stated so repeatedly. Others have explained why they don't think so. So this line of discussion seems moot at this point.

Moot to you, but no one is forcing you to do so.
I however will keep posting about the lies of Obama and his lackeys.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:46 pm

portia wrote:If someone's claim is thoroughly debunked, and the person keeps repeating it, does that mean that the person has a reading defect?

If a person says "someone's claim is thoroughly debunked" then it should be a relatively simply task that person to demonstrate the debunking.

Much like you, Portia, asserted:
"Since some of the problems you posted turned out to be--well--fake, I am suspicious of the rest."
And when I challenged your assertion:
Which ones turned out to be fake?
Please quote them.
You were unable to do so.
But go on, show us how it is done, demonstrate these debunkings and fakes.

Or is it a symptom of . . . .well, you know.

No, I don't know. A symptom of what?
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:59 pm

Top Democrat Concedes: ‘We Knew’ Some People Would Lose Their Health Insurance

Speaking with the press on Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) conceded that Democrats and President Obama should have been “more precise” when making the initial promise that if Americans like their current healthcare coverage, they would be able to keep it under the Affordable Care Act.

Controversy has erupted as hundreds of thousands of Americans have reportedly received cancellation notices from their insurers since Obamacare went into effect earlier this month. This seemingly runs contrary to a promise the president made in 2009 when he declared that “If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period.”

“We knew that there would be some policies that would not qualify and therefore people would be required to get more extensive coverage,” Hoyer said in response to a question from National Review.

Hoyer told another reporter that the Democratic promises were not “misleading,” per se, and that “I don’t think the message was wrong. I think the message was accurate. It was not precise enough.” He added that it “should have been caveated with – ‘assuming you have a policy that in fact does do what the bill is designed to do.’”

http://www.mediaite.com/online/top-demo ... insurance/

Obama administration knew millions could not keep their health insurance

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date -- the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the policy would not be grandfathered.
....
“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” said Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consultant who works for health industry firms. Laszewski estimates that 80 percent of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies and will have to buy insurance that meets requirements of the new law, which generally requires a richer package of benefits than most policies today.

http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news ... rance?lite

Knew it and wrote the regulations to actually force it.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:30 pm

Sebelius is supposedly going to following the Waxman talking points and blame the contractors for the Obamacare website woes:
A week after the contractors who built HealthCare.gov blamed the Obama administration for the site's failures, the administration is shifting the blame right back.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will tell a House committee tomorrow the site's botched rollout was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations – not bad management at HHS, as the contractors suggested.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-c ... e-20131029

The contractors are hitting right back:
First on CNN: Obama administration warned about health care website
Washington (CNN) -- The Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live, according to a confidential report obtained by CNN.

Read documents
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/image ... to.cms.pdf

The caution, from the main contractor CGI, warned of a number of open risks and issues for the HealthCare.gov web site even as company executives were testifying publicly that the project had achieved key milestones.
...
But the CGI document, which describes "top risks currently open" and "outstanding issues currently being mitigated" says the testing timeframes are "not adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities" and lists the impact of the problems as "significant."

Another element is listed as " not enough time in schedule to conduct adequate performance testing" and given the highest priority.
...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/29/politics/ ... index.html

Obama, October 22:
"Remember, nobody ever expected this would be easy. Change never is. It takes time and effort and dedication."
Obama, September 26:
"Now, this is real simple. It’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health insurance plans, side-by-side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak -- (laughter) -- same way you shop for a TV on Amazon. You just go on and you start looking, and here are all the options."
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby GlassHouse » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:09 am

Some of the news about these things is in fact, old news. IOW some of this is not a bug but a feature.


http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1153 ... ded-fixing

The big story of the last 24 hours is an NBC News “investigation” into Obamacare, based on “sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act.” The breathless tone doesn't quite match the revelatory content. The story's big scoop turns out to be a federal regulation that was publicly announced three years ago and discussed extensively at the time.

But the underlying issue is real. It’s the same essential transformation getting less sensationalist attention elsewhere and that I wrote about yesterday. Insurers are refusing to renew existing insurance policies for hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of Americans, usually because those new policies do not satisfy Obamacare regulations that take effect in 2014. The people losing insurance have a chance to get modified or new policies that typically offer better, more secure coverage. But the prices they are seeing tend to be higher than what they are paying now. These people are asking a lot of hard questions, which Republicans are amplifying today. Why can’t these people simply keep the policies they had before? Didn’t President Obama vow that Americans who like their insurance would get to keep it?

Yes, he did. And he was wrong to make that promise, at least in such clear-cut terms. It applies perfectly well to the overwhelming majority of Americans who get insurance from an employer, Medicare, or Medicaid, since these plans and programs aren't really changing in ways that most consumers would notice. But people who buy coverage on their own, through brokers or directly from insurers, are in for some big changes. They constitute a tiny portion of the population but, because this is a large country, they are still a sizable group in raw numbers. (Somewhere between 10 and 20 million, depending whose estimates you believe.) Many of them are the ones hearing from insurers now.

It would have been perfectly fine for Obama to say most Americans get to keep their coverage or to qualify his statement in some other way. And administration officials offered such nuance when asked. But Obama offered more absolute and ironclad promises when he spoke publicly—and, distressingly, some of his advisors are making similarly sweeping statements now. Such declarations lie "somewhere between an oversimplification and a falsehood," as Jonathan Chait puts it. In short, the president's critics have a point.

But ultimately the more important question is about what’s actually happening to these people losing their current policies—and why. This transformation is not just a consequence of Obamacare. It's very much the intent. And for very good reason.

By nearly everybody's reckoning, the "non-group" market is the most dysfunctional part of the American health insurance system. The dysfunction takes two primary forms. First, insurers have been selective about whom they would cover and how—charging higher premiums, covering fewer services, or simply denying benefits outright to people with pre-existing medical conditions. About half of all Americans have at least one such condition, according to official estimates, so roughly speaking about half the population couldn't reliably find comprehensive, affordable coverage if they had to buy it on their own.

The second big problem with the non-group market has been the lack of protection it provides even those people who think they have good insurance. At worst, plans in the non-group market border on fraud. They are “mini-med” plans that cover no more than a few hundred dollars of bills, which will last you about ten minutes if you visit the emergency room. But even the better, more respectable plans can exclude whole categories of services, like maternity care, rehabilitation, mental health, or prescription drugs. Typically they also have high deductibles and co-payments.

These policies may seem alluring, because they don’t cost much upfront. But these premiums are notoriously unstable. From time to time, insurers will “close” blocks—in other words, they stop letting new people into the plan—and then jack up rates once a few of the insured get sick. The paperwork on the plans is also opaque. While some people have trustworthy insurance brokers to help them, many rely on less informed counselors or attempt to sort out the confusing insurance options on their own. When they end up in the hospital, they discover they still owe tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills—sometimes, enough to force them into bankruptcy.

These problems help explain why, in a survey from the Center on Health Research and Transformation, 45 percent of people with non-group coverage rated it “fair or poor” and 61 percent said they had a “negative experience.” Both figures were the highest among the types of insurance studied. Consumer Reports summarized the situation well in an article last year:

    Individual insurance is a nightmare for consumers: more costly than the equivalent job-based coverage, and for those in less-than-perfect health, unaffordable at best and unavailable at worst. Moreover, the lack of effective consumer protections in most states allows insurers to sell plans with ‘affordable’ premiums whose skimpy coverage can leave people who get very sick with the added burden of ruinous medical debt.

snip...

A major goal of Obamacare is to end these insurer practices and get those less protective policies off the market. The law prohibits insurers from withholding benefits, charging higher prices, or denying coverage altogether to consumers because they have pre-existing medical conditions. It sets a minimum standard for “essential benefits” that all policies must cover—including, yes, maternity care and mental health. It bans annual and lifetime limits on what policies will pay. And it limits the out-of-pocket costs consumers can pay in one year.



[more...]
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby ILvEowyn » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:54 am

My point about the interesting and legitimate questions Paul Ryan was asking stands in contrast to a what a GOP Rep. did later with Sebelius.

Seblius takes the blame

House Republicans have been demanding that Sebelius testify about the problems with HealthCare.gov since its Oct. 1 launch. Not surprisingly, many took the opportunity to trash Obamacare on the whole. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), for one, came to the hearing ready for a fight.

Blackburn pressed Sebelius to explain why some people are being terminated from their individual health insurance plans when President Barack Obama promised during the Obamacare rollout that people would be able to keep their current health care plans if they like them. Sebelius tried to explain that insurance companies have the right to cancel individual insurance policies as they please, but Blackburn was soon talking over her.

"Some people like to drive a Ford, not a Ferrari. Some people like to drink out of a red Solo cup, not a crystal stem," Blackburn fumed. "You're taking away their choice."

Things got testy when Blackburn relentlessly asked Sebelius to name the person in charge of the website's development. After several exchanges, Sebelius named Michelle Synder, the chief operating officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

"Michelle Snyder is the one responsible for this debacle," Blackburn concluded, to audible groans from Democrats on the committee.

"Excuse me, congresswoman," Sebelius responded with agitation. "Michelle Snyder is not responsible for the debacle. Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible."


So Blackburn, imo, is an example of someone not willing to listen to reasonable answers and not there to actually help solve any of the problems that are or may actually be before us with respect to the ACA.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:18 am

So Blackburn, imo, is an example of someone not willing to listen to reasonable answers and not there to actually help solve any of the problems that are or may actually be before us with respect to the ACA


None of the Republicans want to address the problems and find solutions, they want to dismantle the entire system and make political hay for themselves. This is an extremely short sighted strategy, I think.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:16 pm

ILvEowyn wrote:I wish I could recall exactly what he was asking so I could quote, but I can't at the moment. It was something about the issue of people potentially taking a tax hit if they, for example, are told when they apply for Obamacare that they are eligible for a subsidy and get it, and then the IRS decides differently and says they were not eligible; i.e. they would then take a tax hit for the amount that had been subsidized. The lady who was testifying (not Sebellius) seemed to offer a reasonable explanation as to why that wouldn't happen, and that seemed to be that for the most part. He didn't do the "Obamacare is slavery" rant, and it sounded like he asked in reasonable way that suggested he was willing to listen to a reasonable answer.

At least that was my personal take on it.


Okay, but then, isn't that the same risk any tax filer takes when they claim any tax credit? And where subsidies are concerned, is Ryan suggesting that the government will first hand out a subsidy, and then later, retroactively, determine that the subsidy was unwarranted, and so tax that subsidy as income? Wouldn't they be more likely to demand the subsidy money back, if a determination was made that the money had been awarded improperly? I will grant that it is, at least, a genuine question, but doesn't seem to be very well thought out.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:21 pm

Earlier we were treated to the defense of Obama's lie by the very biased PolitiFraud, which even they could only rate it 'half-true'.

Lets take a look at a fact-checker less biased than PolitiFalse:
The Fact Checker at the Washington Post:
The Facts

The president’s pledge that “if you like your insurance, you will keep it” is one of the most memorable of his presidency. It was also an extraordinarily bold — and possibly foolish — pledge, unless he thought he simply could dictate exactly how the insurance industry must work.
...
One might excuse the president for making an aspirational pledge as the health-care bill was being drafted, but it turns out he kept saying it after the bill was signed into law. By that point, there should have been no question about the potential impact of the law on insurance plans, especially in the individual market.

As we have noted, a key part of the law is forcing insurers to offer an “essential health benefits” package, providing coverage in 10 categories. The list includes: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Kessler addresses the grandfathering:
The law did allow “grandfathered” plans — for people who had obtained their insurance before the law was signed on March 23, 2010 — to escape this requirement and some other aspects of the law. But the regulations written by HHS while implementing the law set some tough guidelines, so that if an insurance company makes changes to a plan’s benefits or how much members pay through premiums, co-pays or deductibles, then a person’s plan likely loses that status.

If you dig into the regulations (go to page 34560), you will see that HHS wrote them extremely tight. One provision says that if co-payment increases by more than $5, plus medical cost of inflation, then the plan can no longer be grandfathered. (With last year’s inflation rate of 4 percent, that means the co-pay could not increase by more than $5.20.) Another provision says the co-insurance rate could not be increased at all above the level it was on March 23, 2010.

Made them extremely tight. This would be 'a feature'. That being Obama lying to and misleading the American people is A-Okay, cause otherwise they might make the wrong decision, and the nanny state knows best.

How does the less biased Fact Checker rate Obama's promise, compared to PolitiFraud:
The Pinocchio Test

The administration is defending this pledge with a rather slim reed — that there is nothing in the law that makes insurance companies force people out of plans they were enrolled in before the law passed. That explanation conveniently ignores the regulations written by the administration to implement the law. Moreover, it also ignores the fact that the purpose of the law was to bolster coverage and mandate a robust set of benefits, whether someone wanted to pay for it or not.

The president’s statements were sweeping and unequivocal — and made both before and after the bill became law. The White House now cites technicalities to avoid admitting that he went too far in his repeated pledge, which, after all, is one of the most famous statements of his presidency.

The president’s promise apparently came with a very large caveat: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan — if we deem it to be adequate.”

Four Pinocchios

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fac ... n/?hpid=z1

Also less biased than PolitiFraud, FactCheck.org, gives a recount of their ratings:

Reality Confronts Obama’s False Promise
...
That’s why we listed Obama’s “you can keep your plan” refrain as one of the health care “whoppers” in 2010, one of the “Whoppers of 2012” and — just last month — one of several “Obamacare Myths.”

http://www.factcheck.org/2013/10/realit ... e-promise/

Meanwhile Robert Laszewski of Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review:
Mr. President: I like My Health Insurance and I Would Really Like to Keep It––Can You Help Me Out Here?

How many times have I talked on this Blog about rate shock, the millions of people who would be getting cancellation letters from their current health plan, and the problem of people having to put up with more narrow networks?

And, how many times have those predictions been met by push back and spin: Today's policies are just junk and people will be better off finding lower cost health insurance under Obamacare.

I have been in this business for 40 years. I know junk health insurance when I see it and I know "Cadillac" health insurance when I see it.

Right now I have "Cadillac" health insurance. I can access every provider in the national Blue Cross network––about every doc and hospital in America––without a referral and without higher deductibles and co-pays. I value that given my travels and my belief that who your provider is makes a big difference. Want to go to Mayo? No problem. Want to go to the Cleveland Clinic? No problem. Need to get to Queen's in Honolulu? No problem.

So, I get this letter from my health plan. It says I can't keep my current coverage because my plan isn't good enough under Obamacare rules. It tells me to go to the exchange or their website and pick a new plan before January 1 or I will lose coverage.

First, the best I can get in a Blue Cross network plan are HMOs or HMO/Point-of-Service plans. In the core network those plans offer, I would have to go to fewer providers than I can go to now in the MD/DC/VA market. And, the core network has no providers beyond my area. I can go to the broader Blues network but only if I pay another big deductible for out-of-network coverage.

Now, my plan covers about everything. Never had a procedure for either my wife or myself turned down. Wellness benefits are without a deductible. It covers mental health, drugs, maternity, anything I can think of.

The new plan would have a deductible $500 higher than the one I now have and a lot more if I go "out-of-network" inside the rest of the Blue Cross national network.

And, wait all you people telling me rate shock does not exist, the new far more restricted plan costs 66% more than our current monthly premium. Mr. Rate Shock got rate shocked––and benefit shocked to boot.

Now here's the real corker; Maryland has been bragging they have the lowest premiums of all of the exchanges. More, I figured being an old fart the age rating rules, that force younger people to pay more so older people pay less, would help me. Didn't work out.

There are other plans on the exchange (Maryland is one of the few that work) but every comparable plan had much higher premiums.

Thankfully, my Blue Cross plan is offering me an "early renewal" which means I can keep this plan I really like until December 2014––at which point my beloved health plan is toast. My health insurance company is doing everything they can––this is not their fault.

Mr. President: I really like my health plan and I would like to keep it. Can you help me out here?

http://healthpolicyandmarket.blogspot.c ... rance.html
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby GlassHouse » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:37 am

Interesting. The Obama admin has said that a primary cause of people losing policies are business decisions made by the insurance companies in light of the fact that some (mostly individual) policies do not meet the minimum requirements of the new law. But perhaps part of the problem is that insurance companies are doing what they do best - profiteering off the misfortune of others.

If Insurers Are Using Obamacare to Trick Their Customers Into Expensive Plans, They Need a Nice Letter from the FTC

Via Kevin Drum, Paul Waldman presents a truly epic pair of posts demonstrating that many insurers’ claims that rates are going up because of the Affordable Care Act are misleading and deceptive. The press seems to have been duped into thinking that thousands of people are seeing their rates go up because insurers are telling them so. But in fact, Waldman writes, many of the so-called Obamacare victims will actually benefit from the law.

What’s happening, according to Waldman, is a classic insurer bait-and-switch:

    I want to talk about the thing that spawns some of these phony Obamacare victim stories: the letters that insurers are sending to people in the individual market….There’s something fishy going on here, not just from the reporters, but from the insurance companies. It’s time somebody did a detailed investigation of these letters to find out just what they’re telling their customers.

    …If the woman I discussed from that NBC story is any indication, what the insurance company is offering is something much more expensive, even though they might have something cheaper available. They may be taking the opportunity to try to shunt people into higher-priced plans. It’s as though you get a letter from your car dealer saying, “That 2010 Toyota Corolla you’re leasing has been recalled. We can supply you with a Toyota Avalon for twice the price.” They’re not telling you that you can also get a 2013 Toyota Corolla for something like what you’re paying now.


[......]



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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby portia » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:18 am

Unfortunately, many of these scare stories are not being investigated properly. I suspect that a lot of them (maybe most) would fall apart, if they were checked into.

There is also the problem of insurance that doesn't meet the requirements of the law. The reason for the requirement that existing conditions must be covered is obvious, and doesn't need to be repeated. There are enough stories around about people being denied payment for conditions that were written into their policies have been common for years and have spawned many lawsuits. Denial of coverage for such things tends to raise an issue of fraud. Certainly, people had the right to choose policies that were illusory, but if even the things that were promised were not provided, then we have fraud. And the rest of us may be required to pick up the tab.

If someone is inclined to complain about being protected from fraud, I have no sympathy. Protection from fraud is certainly a core responsibility of government. Maybe the policyholders of some illusory plans will be OK as they will not get hit by a bus, or develop Cancer, or even have severe bout of the flu that costs much more than their insurance provides, or will actually pay. But, I suspect that, as they grow older they will realize that such polices are illusory, or even fraudulent.

And, of course, someone will complain about being charged more than they want to pay, for their rent, or mortgage, or car insurance or "double sweet latte mocha "coffee. All that is old news and not worth much. Give it a few years and many of those people will be grateful for Obamacare, as it saved them from possibly fraudulent policies, which would not have covered whatever sudden illness they suffered from. A lot of those people would have simply cast the charges on to the rest of us.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby Minardil » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:21 am

I think that while many of the stories will turn out to be bogus (for example, the couple on Sean Hannity who complained about Obamacare, but then said that they had never even been to the Website because they were opposed to it on principle, or the people who are claiming huge increases, but not factoring in their subsidies, or who are already on medicare and so aren't eligible to buy insurance form the Exchange anyway. . . ), there are also no doubt going to be many thousands, maybe even a few million, cases of people who are going to loose their insurance because their plans were obsoleted by the new rules. Likewise, there will be many thousands, maybe millions, of subscribes who will be victims of scams by insurance companies that are trying to jack up their own profits while blaming "Obamacare". The matter requires real discussion of real practical solutions from everyone with a stake in this matter, which is all of us.
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:00 pm

Obama leadership style raises question of 'who is in control?'

President Barack Obama’s seemingly hands-off management style is raising fresh questions and concerns that could upend his second-term legacy.

Claims by the administration and other Democrats that Obama didn’t know about sensitive matters in his own administration -- such as problems with the health care website and revelations of National Security Agency surveillance on foreign leaders -- have many in Washington scratching their heads.

It all fits as part of a pattern. Who is in control? Who is running things? There are a lot of questions,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helps conduct the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which Wednesday showed Obama’s approval rating dropping to an all-time low.

Obama has been hammered for being unaware of potential glitches that disrupted the launch of the online marketplace for Americans to browse and purchase health plans. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN last week that Obama wasn’t aware of the we problems until “the first couple of days” after its launch.

Even Democratic allies of the administration question why Obama didn’t know about the serious problems, and express concern about his personal response.

“I think he might have been better off by standing up and saying this happened up on my watch and take responsibility for it. I think that's better than saying he didn't know,” said veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum. “I think people expect the president, on his signature program, to be on top of it.”

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/20 ... ntrol?lite

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronted with missteps in his own administration, President Barack Obama has frequently pleaded ignorance — suggesting he could not be at fault about things he did not know.

It’s an argument with clear benefits but also inherent risks for the White House. Used too often, the tactic emboldens critics who claim the president is incompetent, detached and not fully in control.

http://www.boston.com/2013/10/30/for-ob ... story.html
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Re: Democrats, dost thou know where thou art?

Postby The Heretic » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:16 pm

CNN) – President Barack Obama tried to log onto the Obamacare website, according to Vice President Joe Biden, who added his name to those apologizing for the online snafu that has rocked the introduction of the administration's sweeping health care initiative.

"The President tried to get online and my daughter tried to get online. I did not, because it was clear that I wasn't getting online," Biden told CNN's sister network HLN on Wednesday.

The Vice President said Obama was told several weeks before the October 1 launch that the website was "ready to go."

Who told him that, and why has that person not been fired?

“Neither he and I are technology geeks, and we assumed that it was up and ready to run.”

Assumptions, assumptions. Smells familiar.
Although:
"In the 2008 election, President Obama’s advisers talked of their boss’s belief that it was time for an “iPod government.” Obama, a technology addict who tools around on his iPad before going to sleep and who fought the U.S. Secret Service bureaucracy for the right to carry a smartphone..."
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/20 ... logy#r=rss

The fact that it crashed and has experienced other problems since its debut is "inexcusable," he said.

Crashed? But Sebelius testified yesterday that it had never crashed.
As Sebelius testified, a screen at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing displayed the HealthCare.gov website.

It's message to users: "The system is down at the moment."

Yeah, you all had the split screen there, when she was testifying that the website never crashed.
It showed that it was, well...

I wonder if you got any angry calls from the Admin about that...
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/20 ... alth-site/
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