Good morning folks,
Winter has arrived in Washington, D.C. and with it comes yet another White House pivot. The latest 23 day ObamaCare PR Blitz ended on day four as the White House pivoted to unemployment benefits. Perhaps that’s because when it comes to the President’s signature law, the bad news just keeps on coming.
On Fox News Sunday, ObamaCare architect Zeke Emanuel exposed another enormous lie that Democrats told to their constituents. We all know the President and Democrats repeatedly lied when promising Americans that if they liked their health care plan, they can keep it.
On Sunday, Chris Wallace confronted Rahm’s brother about another lie. “President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” Wallace noted. “Doesn’t that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan?” In response, Zeke tap danced for a minute or two before finally admitting, “If you want to, you can pay for it.” Funny, we don’t recall that being the sales pitch, which is probably because it wasn’t. Turns out the White House web page still features both broken promises in their self-titled, “health insurance reform reality check.” Ironic.
The broken promises certainly don’t end there. As Scott Gottlieb writes in Forbes, Americans might not be able to keep getting the drugs that they need because of ObamaCare. This is because many patients will face higher out of pocket costs and because “many drugs may not be covered at all by plans in the exchanges, and the costs patients incur by paying for them in cash wont count against caps their out of pocket limits.” Gottlieb writes, “Patients will find that newer, costlier specialty drugs are simply not covered. Like a lot other parts of Obamacare, uncertainty around drug costs and coverage is becoming another one of the scheme’s unpleasant surprises.”
Some Americans can’t keep their health care plans if they like them. Americans can’t keep their doctors if they like them either – unless they want to pay significantly more. And it turns out Americans may not be able to keep the prescription drugs they need if they want them either. No wonder Democrats are pivoting to unemployment benefits.
Seize the day,
2014 BATTLEGROUND SONAR
(2014) November 2014 shaping up as a shipwreck for Democrats
Pundits on the left and right agree: Obamacare will leave a mark on Democrats in the 2014 elections. When the most hopey-changey of journalists, Ezra Klein of The Washington Post, writes “Change hurts, particularly in health care insurance, and it may well hurt Democrats in 2014,” you know we’re headed for a stormy political year.
(LOUISIANA) State parties mobilize for upcoming races and other stories: Capitol Digest
Capitol Digest provides an inside look at what happened in state politics this week. These quick reports offer insight into campaigns, committee meetings and other goings-on and give an overview of the coming week’s events. Republicans to launch “Project: Geaux Red” campaign The state and national wings of the Republican Party will ramp up their fight to unseat Mary Landrieu in the coming months, by launching a new statewide campaign targeting the incumbent Democratic senator’s re-election bid.
- Video – Mary Landrieu and “The Lurking”
(MICHIGAN) Workers’ health care fees may rise under Obamacare
Workers who receive insurance through their workplace may see higher health care costs in 2014 because of new federal fees and taxes on insurers and employers with the Affordable Care Act. Across the nation, the fees and taxes will generate about $20 billion, based on Joint Committee on Taxation estimates, and could affect nearly 60 percent of Americans who receive insurance through their workplace.
(ARKANSAS) Republican Senate hopeful and US Rep. Tom Cotton invites President Barack Obama to Arkansas
Republican Senate hopeful and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton said Friday that President Barack Obama should visit Arkansas to see the effects of the nation’s new health care law — issuing a no-lose invitation that his campaign opponent dismissed as a political stunt. Obama hasn’t visited Arkansas during his presidency, and he remains deeply unpopular in the state where Cotton hopes to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor in next year’s election. Cotton can attempt to make political hay from the invitation whether Obama visits or not. If the president does come, the congressman can say he somehow influenced Obama’s decision to visit. If the president stays away, Cotton can claim Obama is afraid to find out what people think of the Affordable Care Act.
(COLORADO) Udall’s Pro-Obamacare Stance Hurting Him With Voters
Poll results released Friday show Democrat Sen. Mark Udall suffering from a bad case of Obamacare. The left-leaning Public Policy Polling survey found Udall’s favorability rating underwater, with 40 percent saying they approve of his job performance and 41 percent saying they disapprove. That’s a sizeable drop from April, when the same poll showed Udall’s approval rating at 50 percent versus 33 percent disapproval.
(MINNESOTA) Minnesotans Who Think They Signed Up For Health Insurance May Not Be Enrolled
In the most vivid detail yet, Minnesota’s top insurers have laid out a list of technological problems that they say may keep people who’ve enrolled in a health plan from being covered on Jan. 1. Insurance carriers selling plans on the state’s insurance marketplace say enrollment information they’re getting from MNsure, is inaccurate and incomplete – and that time is running out to fix these problems. Some of the problems are similar to ones that the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, is having in the 36 states where it runs the enrollment program.
- 68% of Americans expect no budget deal by shutdown deadline
- 47% thought Republicans have a better approach to dealing with the deficit. 42% backed President Obama’s approac
- 15% of voters thought the sequester had a positive effect on the economy, while 37% saw its impact as negative and 42% saw no effect.
- By 52-41%, voters support replacing some sequester cuts with increases to taxes and fees over going ahead with the cuts as scheduled. (Democrats are most in favor of replacing the cuts, 64-29. Independents favor replacing them by 52-40. Republicans, however, would prefer the cuts to raising fees and taxes, by 55-38).
- Four of five people opposed Medicare cuts. More than half said reductions in defense spending were unacceptable.
ON THE TWITTERS
@jbendery – Wow, POTUS, FLOTUS, George W. Bush, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton all flying AF1 together to South Africa today.
(WALL STREET JOURNAL) ObamaCare in Translation
President Obama promised that if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. But now comes an architect of ObamaCare to explain that this needs some translating. Former White House official (and our sometime contributor) Ezekial Emanuel has taken on the thankless task of defending the unpopular law he helped to write, and on “Fox News Sunday” he told host Chris Wallace what the President really meant…It’s nice to hear a central planner embrace choice, except this needs translating too. The truth is that you may be able to pay more to keep your doctor, but only after you choose one of ObamaCare’s preferred plans that already costs you more than your old plan that ObamaCare forced you to give up.
(WALL STREET JOURNAL) High Deductibles Fuel New Worries of Health-Law Sticker Shock
As enrollment picks up on the HealthCare.gov website, many people with modest incomes are encountering a troubling element of the federal health law: deductibles so steep they may not be able to afford the portion of medical expenses that insurance doesn’t cover. The average individual deductible for what is called a bronze plan on the exchange—the lowest-priced coverage—is $5,081 a year, according to a new report on insurance offerings in 34 of the 36 states that rely on the federally run online marketplace.
(FORBES) No, You Can’t Keep Your Drugs Either Under Obamacare
If you like your medicines, you may not be able to keep them under Obamacare. The President famously promised that you could keep your health plan and doctor. For many people, both of those pledges are turning out not to be untrue. And turns out, you might not be able to keep your drugs, either.
(BLOOMBERG) Back-End Errors at U.S. Health Website Jeopardize Sign-Up
There’s no way to tell how many people who think they’ve signed up for health insurance through the U.S. exchange actually have, after about 1 in 4 enrollments sent to insurers from the federal website had garbled included incomplete information. The data transmission errors have been reduced to 1 in 10 since Nov. 30, the government said on Dec. 6. Still, the acknowledgment suggests consumers need to be vigilant about their health plan purchases. Letters from insurers confirming coverage can take a week or more, and the Obama administration now says people should call their companies if they aren’t contacted within that time.
(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) Among ‘Obama Coalition,’ Obama approval plunges
President Obama won re-election with the rock-solid support of what has become known as the “Obama Coalition” — young people, minorities, women, and low-income voters. Without a firm foundation — and high turnout — among those groups, Obama would not be in the White House today. Now, little more than a year after the president’s re-election, his job approval rating has fallen among all segments of the American electorate. But it has fallen the most among those who did the most to elect him.
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