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Mark Caserta: Democrats continue to stand on Obamacare lies

12 May


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

May, 12, 2017


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In March 2010, President Barack Hussein Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Following its passage, Obama boldly declared to all Americans, “We did not fear our future, we shaped it.”

In retrospect, that may have been the only true statement Obama would ever make about his failing signature health care bill. He certainly didn’t fear what it would do to our country, and he and his liberal accomplices certainly controlled its shape.

It’s obvious Democrats didn’t have a clue what was in the bill or what impact it would have on nearly 20 percent of our nation’s economy. It was, after all, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” when she spoke to the National Association of Counties in March 2010.

But controlling a nation’s health care system would be the ultimate mechanism of oversight over its people. And Obama and the Democrats were willing to say anything to make it happen.

To date, I’ve never fielded a serious rebuttal from any liberal regarding the bald-faced lies the Obama administration leveraged in throwing this political curve ball right past the American people. Yet, as old health care wounds are being reopened, it’s time to revisit the true “genesis” of this disastrous initiative.

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” became the battle cry for the Obama administration as they traversed the nation selling their snake oil and liniment. It was such an egregious lie that PolitiFact dubbed it the “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

When one ponders the exorbitant number of lies politicians bestow upon Americans in a single year, this recognition illuminates the magnitude of the falsehood.

“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” was another liberal lie designed to mislead trusting Americans into believing the Democrats were planning on providing Americans viable health care options.

Imagine misleading a senior citizen into believing they couldn’t possibly lose a doctor with whom they had established a longtime relationship. But that’s exactly what Obama and his minions did to pass Obamacare – without a single Republican vote.

And the empty promise that premiums, on average, would decline by $2,500 per year under Obamacare was laughable. The exact opposite has happened.

And the most incredible part of this tragedy is that liberal Democrats act as if none of this chicanery ever transpired! Do they really believe Americans are that stupid?

Thank goodness, the House of Representatives voted last week to dismantle the pillars of Obamacare and begin the process of replacing this broken health care system. The bill is on its way to the Senate, where its conservative components will be debated and strengthened.

Rest assured, Republicans will compromise on a finished product and the edicts of Obamacare will be reduced to a Democrat eulogy depicting the death of Obamacare.

So, when liberal Democrats attempt to “frighten” you about GOP health care, remember how they lied to you before.

And how they continue to stand by those lies.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Obama’s health care plan is falling apart

5 Sep

Americans have been bamboozled!


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

  • Sep 2, 2016

President Obama’s signature healthcare law is collapsing beneath its own weight.

Major insurers across the country are saying the law has been too great of a financial drain on them and coverages promised by Obamacare are simply unsustainable.

An April column by Peter Sullivan in “The Hill” reports the nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth, recently announced it will be pulling out in all but a “handful” of states in 2017 because of financial losses under Obamacare.

An NPR “Health News” column this month by Alison Kodjak announced that in 2017 the insurance giant Aetna will “stop selling health insurance through most of the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act because the company is losing money.”

A July “Politico” column by Sarah Karlin-Smith reported the huge insurance provider Humana will “stop marketing Obamacare exchange plans in several states next year and will exit many off-exchange individual markets as well.”

Obamacare isn’t working.

And this is only the beginning. Reportedly, other insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are contemplating pulling back some of their Obamacare plans.

The news isn’t much better for folks with coverage in the remaining markets.

A June Associated Press health release on NBC News online disclosed that millions of people will “face the sting” of rising premiums next year, with no government subsidies.

According to the release, Blue Cross Blue Shield would be seeking an average premium increase of nearly 60 percent for 2017 in some markets! Available data show the premium increases could easily hit the double-digit mark for many Americans.

Simply put, Americans have been bamboozled.

Many recall Barack Obama’s famous 2013 Politifact “Lie of the Year”: “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.”

And then there was Obama’s 2007 campaign promise that he would sign a universal healthcare bill into law that will “cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

And possibly the “creme de la creme” came in 2013 when the “architect” of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, said that a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” helped Congress approve Obamacare.

In a clip of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor appearing on a panel to discuss how the bill earned enough votes to pass, Gruber revealed the plan.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Gruber went on to say the law was “written in a tortured way” to avoid a bad score from the Congressional Budget Office.

So to partially quote Obama’s longtime pastor and friend, Jeremiah Wright, the president’s “chickens are coming home to roost.”

Obamacare has missed the mark in healthcare coverage. It’s also cost jobs and marred a large portion of our economy. Yet liberals like Hillary Clinton still support it.

The November election is our last chance to repeal Obamacare.

And then work toward a real healthcare solution.


Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Democrats seek relief from health law penalties

16 Feb

Feb. 16, 2015 3:03 AM ET APNewsbreak:


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance.

Three senior House members told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.

The three are Michigan’s Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama’s law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.

The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it’s already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.

That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.

This year is the first time ordinary Americans will experience the complicated interactions between the health care law and taxes. Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties.

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The IRS has warned that health-care related issues will make its job harder this filing season and taxpayers should be prepared for long call-center hold times, particularly since the GOP-led Congress has been loath to approve more money for the agency.

“Open enrollment period ended before many Americans filed their taxes,” the three lawmakers said in a statement. “Without a special enrollment period, many people (who will be paying fines) will not have another opportunity to get health coverage this year.

“A special enrollment period will not only help many Americans avoid making an even larger payment next year, but, more importantly, it will help them gain quality health insurance for 2015,” the lawmakers added.

So far, administration officials have deflected questions about whether an extension will be granted. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has authority to grant special enrollment periods under certain circumstances.

Supporters of the law say an extension would mainly help low- to middle-income uninsured people, the same group that Obama’s coverage expansion was intended to serve. But Republicans may criticize it as another tweak to what they see as unworkable “Obamacare.”

The health care law imposes fines on uninsured people whose incomes are deemed high enough to enable them to afford coverage. The goal is to broaden the pool of insured people, helping to keep premiums in check for everybody.

The law also offers subsidies to lower the cost of private coverage for people who don’t have job-based health care. That financial assistance is provided through a new tax credit.

Although the tax credit subsidies cover most of the premiums for many people, the coverage requirement and the fines that enforce it remain deeply unpopular.

And the cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly.

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For 2014, the fine was the greater of $95 per person or 1 percent of household income above the threshold for filing taxes. That fine will be collected when taxpayers file their 2014 returns.

But this year the fine will jump to the greater of 2 percent of income or $325. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures.

Polls show that many taxpayers are unaware of the potential financial exposure.

Floyd Cable, a real estate agent from Wichita Falls, Texas, said the escalating fines were part of the motivation for him and his wife to sign up last week. Both are self-employed, and stretching to pay health insurance premiums has been a struggle.

“We have been going without insurance the last couple of years just because the rates are so astronomical,” Cable said.

But they were also concerned they could wind up on the wrong side of rising penalties. And, being in his early 60s, Cable said he recognizes the value of having health insurance against unexpected illness.

An extension would probably help people still on the fence, like he was.

“Anything that could be done to give people more time to sort through this, is not only a good move for the administration, but just makes common sense,” Cable said.

Since both the subsidies and penalties under the health law are administered through the tax system, some experts have urged the Obama administration to permanently schedule sign-up season to overlap with tax-filing season.

Mark Caserta: Let’s truly work to create affordable healthcare

22 Jan

Obamacare just isn’t working

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Jan. 22, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

It’s time to get serious about providing affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Most people are now keenly aware of the political motivation behind the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the lies and deceptive tactics needed to sell it to the American people. A recent Gallup Poll taken at the beginning of the 2015 enrollment period revealed 37 percent of Americans say they approve of the law, while 56 percent say they disapprove.

It’s also now known the enrollment numbers provided by the Obama administration touting the success of Obamacare were inaccurate. The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that it had made a “mistake” in calculating the number of enrollments.

Reportedly, 380,000 stand-alone dental plans were “inadvertently” added into the number of healthcare plans, allowing the administration to claim more than 7 million paid enrollments, the “magic number” needed for the new health insurance exchanges to be sustainable.


Just last week, the leader of the agency charged with the rollout of Obamacare decided to step down. Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, decided to step down after five tumultuous years on the job. Her tenure included the disastrous rollout of the website as well as the recent discovery of the inflated tally of Obamacare’s enrollment numbers.

But even without the inflated numbers, the exchanges have lost more than 1 million subscribers since May 2014, based on Tavenner’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Tavenner attributed this to people picking up employer coverage, becoming eligible for Medicaid or simply not paying their premiums.

While proponents of this healthcare nightmare understandably ignore the falsehoods leveraged by this administration to pass the law, they rarely speak about the estimated 5 million people who lost their coverage because it “didn’t meet the ACA guidelines.” No doubt millions of these individuals were forced to purchase a replacement policy from an exchange, seriously compromising the legitimacy of the number of “newly” insured individuals.

And Americans found it insulting that liberal proponents of Obamacare would pompously justify the loss of those existing healthcare plans by declaring they were “inadequate” for the people who chose to purchase them. After all, big government knows best.

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Possibly making matters even worse for the ACA, the Supreme Court will soon decide whether the law provides for healthcare subsidies to people in the 36 states which declined to set up their own healthcare exchange and ended up on the federal exchanges instead. If the court kills Obamacare’s subsidies, more than 4 million people will likely see higher premiums, possibly forcing them to drop coverage altogether.

Liberals have made this simply about “winning.” The goal should be to provide everyone affordable healthcare and Obamacare simply isn’t working.

And once the ACA is replaced, it will be the government’s responsibility to ensure that no person who purchased health insurance from an exchange loses their coverage period.

Voting to repeal Obamacare isn’t enough. The GOP must first provide a visible, well-vetted alternative.

For now, Americans are simply waiting.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


29 Nov

Barack Obama

One in three Americans has put off seeking medical treatment in 2014 due to high costs, according to Gallup — the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.

Thirty-three percent of Americans have delayed medical treatment for themselves or their families because of the costs they’d have to pay, according to the survey. Obamacare, of course, had promised that it would help make health care more affordable for everyone, but the number of people who can’t afford a trip to the doctor has actually risen three points since 2013, before most Obamacare provisions took effect.

The hardest-hit: the middle-class. Americans with an annual household income of between $30,000 and $75,000 began delaying medical care over costs more in 2014, up to 38 percent in 2014 from 33 percent last year; among households that earn above $75,000, 28 percent delayed care this year, compared to just 17 percent last year.

Barack Obama, John Dingell, Marcela Owens

The lowest-income section, some of whom can take part in Medicaid and who are more likely to qualify for significant premium and cost-sharing subsidies on an Obamacare exchange, are less likely to delay care this year. Now, 35 percent of those who earn under $30,000 a year are putting off seeking medical care, down from 43 percent last year.

It’s a remarkable shift: after Obamacare’s redistribution of wealth, the middle class is actually delaying medical care due to high costs at a higher rate than the poorest section of the country, which is highly subsidized by taxpayers.

The growing problem could have serious consequences for the middle-class. Twice as many people (22 percent) have delayed treatment for serious illnesses than than for smaller problems (11 percent).

Part of the problem is an ongoing shift towards higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, while health insurance premiums continue to rise all the same. The trend, which existed to some extent before Obamacare, increased in intensity with the onset of the health-care law.

Some health policy experts argue that the trend helps cut down on wasteful health care spending. But those who already had health coverage, in many cases, are seeing their deductibles go up along with their premiums, making it more difficult than ever to afford medical care itself, on top of now-mandatory medical insurance.

Gallup’s results corroborate what many Obamacare supporters have confirmed about the health-care law: while it’s named the Affordable Care Act, its purpose was to increase the number of Americans with health insurance, not to make it more affordable for everyone.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, admitted this week that congressional Democrats should not have passed Obamacare in 2010 because it didn’t benefit most of the middle class.

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