Sunday, November 03, 2013
Lies on Lies on Lies
Obama was in Boston this week, attempting to deflect attention from his key O'Care sales pitch promise that Americans could keep their insurance and doctors, “period” – a remark even the Washington Post classified as a “WHOPPER.” Obama doubled down on the lie: “If you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you're able to keep it. That's what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made.”
Analysts now believe that more than 90 million plans are at risk of alteration or cancelation, both individual and corporate policies, and that this information was known to the administration in 2010. The lie just keeps getting bigger.
Back in Washington, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama bureaucrat directly responsible for the failed launch of ObamaCare, was planting prevarications before Congress.
Sebelius admitted that the Healthcare.gov rollout was “miserably frustrating” and said, “I'm responsible.” She then proceeded to deny responsibility, and even repeated her boss's lie about consumers being able to keep their health plan if they like it. Period. She argued, “[I]f a plan was in place in March of 2010 and, again, did not impose additional burdens on the consumer, they still have it. It's grandfathered in.” She complained that, before ObamaCare, the insurance market was “unregulated.” That's patently false, and, of course, those pesky “additional burdens” – like mandatory maternity coverage even for single men – were placed on insurance companies by HHS and ObamaCare regulations. So much for accountability.
Sebelius also told Congress, “The website [Healthcare.gov] never crashed. It is functional, but at a very slow speed and very low reliability.” But when she was asked to disclose the enrollment numbers, she replied, “The system isn't functioning, so we are not getting that reliable data.” Her flip-flop is hardly surprising, but concerning her original comment, the system's constant failure is one of the primary reasons she was on Capitol Hill, not to mention the reason that the majority of consumers have been unable to enroll. Additionally, her statement was made all the more ironic considering the site crashed moments before Sebelius began her remarks. Half an hour into her testimony, the exchange was still dead in the water. (For the record, CBS reveals that only 6 individuals successfully enrolled within the first 24 hours of the exchange's launch.)
Yet another laughable moment came when Sebelius insisted that it would be “illegal” for her to obtain insurance coverage through the exchanges. There are, however, just three requirements listed on Healthcare.gov for purchasing a plan on an exchange: Buyers “must live in the United States”; “must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)”; and “can't be currently incarcerated.”
The secretary didn't even know whether Healthcare.gov is a secure website. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former FBI agent specializing in electronic security issues, chastised Sebelius and by extension, Obama, for the lack of security at Healthcare.gov: “You allowed this system to go forward with no encryption on backup systems. They have no encryption on certain boundary crossings. You accepted a risk on behalf of every user [and] put their personal financial information at risk because you did not have even the most basic end to end test on security of this system.” As The Patriot noted months ago, one of the liabilities that will plague Democrats who supported ObamaCare is the fact that it will be an easy mark for ID theft.
ObamaCare is also proving to be the biggest voter registration fraud scheme in our country's history. The Medicaid sign-up portal is not only signing folks up for subsidized health care, but to vote! Under current federal law (“Motor Voter”), when someone goes to the DMV for a driver's license, he or she is asked whether or not they want to register to vote. Under the ObamaCare application process, if you apply for Medicaid, you are automatically registered to vote unless you opt out (by completing a form designed to unduly complicate the process).
Finally, as we've said before, while Sebelius is indeed responsible for much of the current debacle, to suggest she should resign implies that a better HHS secretary might have made it work. Fact is, the failure of the rollout is but a metaphor for the reality that a government bureaucracy can't even effectively manage a basic commerce website for insurance comparisons – much less an enterprise that encompasses 18% of the U.S. economy.
None dare call it tyranny
Intimidation. It is an ugly word bringing to mind mobsters threatening to burn down a shop owners store if he doesn’t buy fire insurance, or a loan shark enforcers breaking legs to send a message to someone who bet the wrong horse.
It is even uglier when it is used in conjunction with the Presidency in a nation that has historically prided itself as being above the raw use of power to achieve one’s political ends.
CNN, one of the most vocal supporters of President Obama and his policies reported on October 30, that health insurers which are now heavily regulated under Obamacare “feared retribution” if they expressed their displeasure with the rollout of Obamacare. Fearing retribution and not taking an action due to that fear is almost a classic definition of successful intimidation.
CNN News Anchor Carol Costello reported that she felt intimidated when reporting on the presidential race saying, “I mean President Obama’s people can be quite nasty. They don’t like you to say anything bad about their boss, and they’re not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job [emphasis added].”
Now, Costello never claimed to have changed any story she produced as a result of this atmosphere of intimidation, but it is hard to imagine many reporters not choosing to present the campaign party line rather than give a more balanced perspective when their very jobs may have been at risk.
Earlier in October, an award winning freelance journalist who had written exposes about malfeasance at the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Safety Administration found her home raided by a combination of Maryland State Troopers and DHS agents over allegations that she had purchased a potato launcher over the Internet five years prior. Apparently, the anti-potato launcher section of Homeland Security decided that a nice 4:30 am raid of the reporter’s home was needed five years after the purchase which was apparently illegal in Maryland, but legal under federal law.
While Marylanders were made safe from random potato attacks, DHS officials made off with all of the reporters notes on the TSA case, including the names of the whistleblowers who unveiled the illegal activity.
The Washington Times Editor John Solomon promised legal action against DHS stating, “While we appreciate law enforcement’s right to investigate legitimate concerns, there is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter.”
Solomon continued by arguing, “This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.”
In the months prior, the Obama Administration’s Justice Department admitted that they had tapped the phones of Associated Press reporters for months in an attempt to find reporter’s sources.
The Obama Administration even has gone so far as to contend that Fox News Washington’s James Rosen aided and abetted a breach of national security for doing his job and reporting information provided to him by a government official. Unlike some cases in the past where reporters were put in jail for contempt of court for refusing to name a source, Rosen has come under legal jeopardy for simply reporting a story.
The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza succinctly summed up the abuse of government power tweeting, “If James Rosen’s ‘clandestine communications plan’ were illegal, every journalist in Washington would be locked up. Unreal.”
With this history can anyone still be surprised at Obama’s use of the IRS and other agencies of the federal government to intimidate political foes?
Can anyone remain naïve enough to believe that actions taken against True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht by the IRS, OSHA and ATF was anything but a coordinated federal government wide effort to shut her up. The inter-agency assault on Engelbrecht could only have been directed from the one place that breaks down the barriers between federal government agencies — the White House.
Intimidation is a standard tactic in NASCAR, the NFL, Major League Baseball, and most sporting events. It is even attempted when elected officials try to stare down each other and interest groups with threats, voiced or veiled, of future ramifications for political actions.
But the brazen intimidation of the media and political opponents by this Administration goes far beyond the always implied threat that if I don’t like the story you write, I won’t give you the next one, to direct threats against one’s livelihood and indeed, freedom.
In America there is no place for raiding reporter’s homes, bugging their phones and threatening to indict them in order to obtain their sources. The sanctity of a reporter’s source is well established in our nation’s courts, yet in Obama’s America, whistleblowers are nothing more than ducks in a shooting gallery. This doesn’t just chill the ability of reporters to get information from the inside of government, but puts it in a deep freeze, because no whistleblower can ever again expect his or her anonymity to be protected, and without that protection, information dries up.
In Obama’s America, the Internal Revenue Service becomes what everyone has always feared, an Agency that selectively enforces the law based upon the politics of those in power.
None dare call it tyranny, but when freedom of the press comes under wholesale attack, and a government uses its vast resources to assault and intimidate its political enemies, what you call it really just comes down to semantics.
Jay Carney Berates Insurance Companies For Complying With Obamacare
Speaking to reporters Tuesday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed loss of healthcare coverage for millions of Americans on insurance companies complying with the Affordable Care Act.
"Insurers pulled those plans away from them," Carney said. "The law [Obamacare] could not order insurers not to cancel that plan."
Millions of health insurance plans are no longer available because they do not meet Obamacare standards and regulations. Carney's comments come less than 24 hours after information surfaced showing President Obama knew millions of Americans would be losing their health insurance plans under Obamacare despite promising, "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."
When pressed on the issue of millions losing individual insurance plans they wanted to keep, Carney said it is five percent of the population being affected by insurance loss. That five percent adds up to 14 million people.
"We're talking about 5% of the country," Carney said after justifying losses and referring to the individual marketplace as a "wild west" that needed more regulation.
Now that the Obama administration is taking heat from all sides on the loss of insurance, the White House is pivoting back to blaming insurance companies for the loss of those plans, not Obamacare itself, which makes millions of plans illegal.
Court Rules Obama Admin Can’t Make Catholic Family Business Follow contraception Mandate
A powerful federal appeals court ruled today that a Catholic family-run business does not have to comply with the Obamacare abortion mandate requiring it to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
Francis A. Gilardi, Jr. and Philip M. Gilardi, two brothers who own and control two companies that are involved in the processing, packaging, and transportation of fresh produce, filed suit against the Obama administration on behalf of their business, Freshway Foods, a nearly 25 year old family-owned fresh produce processor and packer, which serves 23 states and has 340 full-time employees.
Both companies are located in Sidney, Ohio, a city in west-central Ohio located about 40 miles north of Dayton. The owners, who are Catholic, contend that the HHS mandate requiring coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs – violates their religious beliefs.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled in favor of the brothers. Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control and abortion on religious grounds.
“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
“They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million, and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong,” Brown wrote.
The Obama administration said that the requirement is necessary to protect women’s health and abortion rights. The judges were unconvinced that forcing companies to violate their religious rights was appropriate.
Brown wrote that “it is clear the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right — whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy — can extend to the compelled subsidization of a woman’s procreative practices.”
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Posted by JR at 1:38 AM