—AS BAUCUS RUNS FOR THE HILLS
Baucus is the sixth Senate Democrat to announce his retirement this election cycle, and in five of those states, the race for the open seat could be competitive. “The other retiring Democrats are Sens. Tom Harkin (Iowa), Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Carl Levin (Mich.) and Frank Lautenberg (N.J.).
He helped guide President Obama’s healthcare law through Congress, but last week said he feared a “train wreck” as the law was implemented. “I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” Baucus told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday in comments that were mocked by Republicans. “You and I have discussed this many times and I don’t see any results yet.” Obama, in a statement, said Baucus has been “a leader on a broad range of issues that touch the lives of Americans across the country.”
“I’m not turning out to pasture because there is important work left to do, and I intend to spend the year and a half getting it done,” he said. “At a national level, I will continue to work on simplifying and improving the tax code, tackling the nation’s debt, pushing important job-creating trade agreements through the Senate, and implementing and expanding affordable health care for more Americans.”Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, said he would miss Baucus’s leadership. “Vulnerable Democrats will face voters just as ObamaCare’s tax hikes, mandates, fees, penalties, and red tape bureaucracy take shape over the next eight months, and Senator Baucus’ retirement reflects that political reality.
He was angered this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to bring an online sales tax bill directly to the Senate floor for a vote rather than first having it go through committee. Baucus opposes the legislation.Baucus has served as the top Democrat on Finance since 2001. He was first elected to Congress in 1975 and became a senator in 1978. Baucus has had key roles in the last 12 years, moving through Congress the healthcare reform legislation, several major tax bills, including the Bush tax cuts of 2001, and trade deals with Central American nations and several other countries.
Democrats are now learning what the Republicans warned them about. It’s an unworkable mess that is throwing millions Americans off the health care rolls!)
Okay, apparently, tens of thousands of American employers began throwing workers off their health care plans and opting to pay the much lower federal fine for not offering health care for their workers. Thousands more are even now converting their full time workers to part time workers by limiting working hours per week to less than 30, in compliance with Obamacare rules. (Remember when Paul Ryan and the Republicans predicted employers would do this?
Workers who have lost their health care benefits are busy trying to sign up for state health care exchanges. Health Exchange to sign up, they are finding they are not qualified! To fill in various income and benefit data, which then flows over to IRS computers who then are to spit out what your premium costs will be and how much federal tax credits you’ll receive in order to receive subsidies to help you afford health care premiums that are as much as 30% more than you were paying under your employer’s plan!
The IRS is only allowing somewhere around 9% subsidy support for Obamacare Health care Exchange premiums that are priced so much higher than the worker was paying under his employer plan! (Surprise, Surprise! Remember Republicans warning that forcing working Americans to pay for the 30 million leaches who pay nothing for their health care under Medicaid would drive the premiums of working Americans higher?)
The IRS computers won’t mate up with the Health Care Exchange computers because the IRS computer system is obsolete! I’m hearing from my constituents that they and their families have been left out in the cold and are without health care because the Exchanges are not accepting them!” Quote from Senator Bill Nelson, (Dem), Florida. Someone has to pay for this!” Similar outrage was professed by Senator Ron Wyden (Dem) from Oregon. The Democratic buddies, are saying that maybe the problems could be ironed out by the end of 2014 but could offer no ideas about how that could be done.
Sebelius, is going to be forced to come back to this same committee, hat in hand, and request $700 billion dollars more be allocated to Obamacare just to pay for those automatically covered under current federal programs. Also, sadly, the Wall Street Journal reported that, in addition to the 30 million Americans not currently covered under Obamacare, we can expect tens of millions more who will be left in the “no health care Twilight Zone”
Working less than 30 hours per week and unable to afford Obama’s premiums even if they could get through the application process.
The Medicaid/Welfare leaches have no worry. They are covered by that $700 billion dollar pot of gold that Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services will be demanding from Congress soon!
AND GUESS WHAT THE INSURANCE COST ARE GOING TO DO?
Sebelius: Yep, ObamaCare is raising insurance costs.
The secretary’s remarks are among the first direct statements from federal officials that people who have skimpy health plans right now could face higher premiums for plans that are more generous. She noted that the law requires plans to provide better benefits and treat all customers equally regardless of their medical claims.
“These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, and so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,” she said. “But we feel pretty strongly that with subsidies available to a lot of that population that they are really going to see much better benefit for the money that they’re spending.” Ms. Sebelius added that those customers currently pay more for their health care if their plans have high out-of-pocket costs, high deductibles or exclude particular types of coverage, such as mental health treatment. She also said that some men and younger customers could see their rates increase while women and older customers could see their rates drop because the law restricts insurers’ ability to set rates based on age and gender. Don’t worry, folks, ObamaCare is blowing premiums through the roof, but there will be subsidies available for lower-income Americans! That means the rest of us will get screwed twice – once when we pay our higher insurance premiums, then again when we pay for all those lovely subsidies.
And Sebelius is doing her best to mitigate political fallout from sticker-shocked young people by keeping that “War on Women” narrative going. Those brutish misogynist ObamaCare opponents just want to repeal the President’s magical program because they want insurance companies to be able to discriminate against women!
Sebelius also put some effort into attacking a Society of Actuaries study that predicted an average 32 percent increase in the cost of claims paid out by insurance companies, thanks to the new regulations requiring them to cover people with pre-existing conditions. The effect will be felt unevenly by various states, with the “overwhelming majority” on track for “double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets,” while a few are expected to see cost reductions. The study also doesn’t take into account the potential price-cutting effect of competition in new state insurance markets that will go live Oct. 1. Sebelius said the picture on premiums won’t start coming into focus until insurers submit their bids. Those results may not be publicly known until late summer. How many “sequesters” will these subsidies be worth over the next decade? Because when the government is asked to spend $80 billion less in the coming year, it’s a world-ending crisis that causes the entire federal system to tremble on the verge of collapse.
Remember back when Barack Obama was lying through his teeth and promising you could keep your plan, if you liked your plan? Well, his Health and Human Services commissar thinks your skimpy high-catastrophic hit-by-a-bus plan sucks, so it’s dead. Welcome to socialist reality, suckers. Just wait until you find out what other promises won’t be kept. the US Chamber of Commerce is “appealing to the Obama Administration to grant special relief to employers in states that are rejecting federal aid promised under the President’s health reform program.”
In states that are not expanding Medicaid, employers will have to pay $3,000 for each employee who joins a state exchange programme to buy health insurance. In a filing this month, the US Chamber of Commerce urged the administration to exempt employers in those states from the tax penalties.
In doing so, the chamber pointed to a decision by the Obama administration to exempt poor people in states that do not expand Medicaid from the “individual mandate”, which requires people to get health insurance or face an individual tax penalty.
The additional cost to employers in states that do not expand Medicaid has been estimated as $1.3 billion a year. And that’s what waiving the notorious “individual mandate” or business mandates amounts to, because the purpose of those mandates is to force every American to buy health insurance right away, rather than waiting until they get sick and invoking that “must cover pre-existing conditions” mandate.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas, which is resisting Medicaid expansion, made this point through a spokeswoman: “This is not free money from the federal government – it’s either being borrowed from China or taken out of taxpayers’ pockets. The state and federal government can’t afford the current Medicaid program as is, and it’s financially irresponsible to continue expanding a program that we know to be broken.”
Sources—human events, john Hayward, financial times, chamber oc commerce, sad.doggone sad, cnbc, wsj, the hill, Cameron joseph, ian swanson, erik wasson, Daniel strauss, Jeremy herb.
—AS BAUCUS RUNS FOR THE HILLS