Tag Archives: Healthcare

Mark Caserta: Democrats continue to stand on Obamacare lies

12 May

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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: Democrats’ chickens have come home to roost

13 Jan

me

Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

  • 1.13.2017

Like it or not, President Obama’s signature healthcare plan is living on borrowed time.

Obamacare will be repealed and replaced by the Trump administration, honorable members of the GOP and possibly as many as 10 Senatorial members of the Democrat Party up for re-election in 2018.

Expectedly, progressive pundits are already “building a wall” around any such Republican initiative. Some have unofficially labeled any GOP plan as “Trumpcare,” even though the official Republican plan isn’t yet on the table.

I’ve even heard House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others attempt to pervert Trump’s campaign phrase, “Make America great again” into “Make America sick again.”

Liberals are so creative.

Frankly, the name “Obamacare” had nothing to do with the healthcare plan’s implosion. President Obama actually became quite fond of the moniker and often said so during his presidency. I believe he envisioned the name enshrined in his presidential legacy.

And so, it will, but more like an eulogy than a legacy.

Obamacare failed because it was a poorly planned initiative based on an unsustainable foundation of political deceit of the American people. And it’s preparing to go down as one of the single largest, most embarrassing failures of any presidential administration.

And remember, Democrats alone are to blame for this “repeal and replace” mandate voters have given President-elect Trump and the GOP-led 115th Congress. While the 2016 presidential election was clearly a referendum on Obama’s multiple failed policies, his healthcare plan was right at the top of the list for consideration.

And as far as “making America sick again,” Americans couldn’t be any sicker than they are now of the deception and economic foolhardiness the Obama administration employed in attempting to fundamentally change our country to align with the president’s apparent rancorous view of the United States.

For perspective, let’s “metamorphically” go where no liberal has gone before and reminisce how Democrats passed Obamacare.

During Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, he repeatedly (eight times per a 2010 New York Post column by Clemente Lisi) promised that health care negotiations “will be on C-SPAN” and “the public will be part of the conversation and will see the choices being made.”

Never happened.

In March 2010, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said of the Affordable Care Act, “But we have to pass the bill, so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

 Voters surely paid for this sort of dereliction of duty.

In 2013, Obama gave us the “PolitiFact ‘Lie of the Year'” when he made his healthcare promise to Americans, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.”

And maybe the “crme de la crme” denoting the progressive path of prevarication enabling passage of Obamacare happened when, in 2014, the so-called “architect” of the federal healthcare law said the “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” helped Congress approve Obamacare.

The disregard Democrats have shown for the American people is flabbergasting!

Allow me to borrow a familiar idiom.

“Democrat’s chickens have come home to roost.”

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

Who’s paying the new Obamacare tax? You

31 Aug

So who’s surprised?

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it required health insurers, hospitals, device makers and pharmaceutical companies to share in the cost because they would get a windfall of new, paying customers.

But with an $8 billion tax on insurers due Sept. 30 — the first time the new tax is being collected — the industry is getting help from an unlikely source: taxpayers.

States and the federal government will spend at least $700 million this year to pay the tax for their Medicaid health plans. The three dozen states that use Medicaid managed-care plans will give those insurers more money to cover the new expense. Many of those states — such as Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee — did not expand Medicaid as the law allows, and in the process turned down billions in new federal dollars.

Other insurers are getting some help paying the tax as well. Private insurers are passing the tax onto policyholders in the form of higher premiums. Medicare health plans are getting the tax covered by the federal government via higher reimbursement.

State Medicaid agencies say they have little choice but to pay the tax for health plans they hire to insure their poorest residents. That’s because the tax is part of the health plans’ costs of doing business. Federal law requires states to pay the companies adequate rates.

“This situation results in the federal government taxing itself and taxing state governments to fund the higher Medicaid managed care payments required to fund the ACA health insurer fee,” said a report by Medicaid Health Plans of America, a trade group.

Meanwhile, many Medicaid managed-care companies have seen their share prices — and profits — soar this year as they gained thousands of new customers through the health law in states that expanded Medicaid. More than half of the 66 million people on Medicaid are enrolled in managed-care plans.

AND THEN I TOLD THEM

STEEP COSTS FOR STATES

A KHN survey of some large state Medicaid programs found the tax will be costly this year. The estimates are based in part on the number of Medicaid health plan enrollees in each state and how much they are paid in premiums. States split the cost of Medicaid with the federal government, with the federal government paying, on average, about 57%.

• Florida anticipates the tax will cost $100 million, with the state picking up $40 million and the federal government, $60 million.

• Texas estimates the tax at $220 million, with the state paying $90 million and the federal government, $130 million.

• Tennessee anticipates it will owe $160 million, with the state paying $50 million and the federal government, $110 million.

• California budgeted $88 million, with the state paying $40 million and the federal government, $48 million.

• Georgia estimates the tax on its plans at $90 million, with the state paying $29 million and the federal government, $61 million.

• Pennsylvania predicts the tax will cost $139 million, with the state paying $64 million and the federal government, $75 million.

• Louisiana estimates the tax will cost $27 million, with the state paying $10 million and the federal government, $17 million.

Texas is believed to be the only state that has not yet agreed to cover the tax for its health plans, according to state Medicaid and health plan officials. “The premium tax is just another way that the costs of the Affordable Care Act are pushed down to states and families,” said Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for the Texas Medicaid program.

Medicaid officials in other states complain that paying the tax reduces money they could have spent on covering more services or paying providers.

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DIMINISHING RETURNS?

“I do not feel I am getting anything in return for this,” said Tennessee Medicaid Director Darin Gordon.

Officials won’t know exactly how much states owe until the Internal Revenue Service sends bills to insurers at the end of August and the Medicaid plans submit those to states.

The health insurer tax is estimated to bring in at least $100 billion over the next decade from all insurers, government auditors estimate.

Most non-profit Medicaid health plans are exempt from the tax, which the trade group says gives the non-profits a competitive edge vying for state contracts. “We consider this tax so badly construed that it should be reconsidered because it makes no public policy sense,” said Jeff Myers, CEO of Medicaid Health Plans of America.

The trade group, which represents both non-profit and for-profit Medicaid plans, also opposes the tax because it takes money from Medicaid programs that could be used to pay plans to improve care, he said.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services declined to comment on how states and the federal government are covering part of the tax.

Timothy Jost, a consumer advocate and law professor at Washington & Lee University in Virginia, said the lawmakers intended to cover the costs of the law by including as many groups paying in as possible.

While it may be unusual for the federal government to essentially tax itself, Jost said, the situation is no different from the federal government paying a contractor to provide a service, then having that contractor use some of those dollars to pay state sales tax or federal income tax.

“This tax should not have surprised anyone, and it should have been worked into contract prices,” he said.

Paul Van de Water, senior fellow with the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said neither health plans nor states should be complaining about the taxes because both are benefiting from the law.

“States are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act because with more people getting insured, it is driving down their uncompensated care costs,” he said. He noted that is true even in states that did not expand Medicaid under the health law.

“People always like to get a benefit and not have to pay for it,” he said. “If we did not have this tax, we would have had to raise the money somewhere else.”

3 YEARS LATER

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation

Obama acts is if he’s above the law; he’s not

29 Apr

one bill at at time

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

What liberals refer to as “obstructionist” tactics by Republicans in blocking the socialist policies of Barack Hussein Obama, conservatives call “preserving the Constitution.”

It’s interesting that while the president has often referred to himself as a “constitutional law professor,” the title is somewhat gratuitous. While never a full-time or tenured professor, he did teach courses in constitutional law at the University of Chicago as a “senior lecturer.”

Unfortunately, rather than use his knowledge to adhere to its provisions, the president has chosen to test the boundaries of our government’s founding document.

Article II, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution, sometimes known as the “Faithful Execution Clause,” is best read as a duty that qualifies the president’s executive power. By virtue of this power, the president is required to “take care” that our nation’s laws are “faithfully executed.”

But not only has Obama been derelict in his duty to protect our laws, he’s an offender.

As Democrats are so fond of reminding Republicans, Obamacare is now the law of the land.

But despite the fact The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was indeed signed into law in 2010 and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court, President Obama believes it’s within his power to make changes without Congressional action!

Our Constitution clearly grants legislative powers to Congress. The president does not have the authority to arbitrarily “alter” legislation signed into law.

The employer mandate, which requires businesses employing 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine, was scheduled to take effect in 2014, but has been delayed entirely or in part, twice, by the president!

The fact that Obamacare is poor legislation doesn’t grant the president powers exceeding those afforded him by the Constitution.

And in the first case of its kind, the Supreme Court is now arguing the legality of four “recess” appointments made by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2012. The Constitution allows the president to make temporary appointments to those positions that otherwise require Senate confirmation, but only when the Senate is in recess. The problem is — the Senate was not in recess!

Three federal appeals courts have already ruled that Obama overstepped his authority in these appointments.

It’s obvious the president is following the “executive version” of the liberal playbook which calls for continuous contestation of preconceived limitations designed to “progressively” tilt the scales of totalitarian power to the left.

President Obama is arguably the most liberal president in our nation’s history. If he’s successful in these attempts to bypass our nation’s laws, what leftist policies will he pursue in his remaining years in office?

The U.S. Constitution is not merely a guideline to be consulted by those it was written to regulate. It’s the supreme law of the land written to protect the rights of all Americans and must be protected.

It’s time Americans “tether” President Obama to the Constitution and hold him accountable for adhering to its precepts.

This president is not above the law.

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

Mark Caserta: Individual mandate change cripples Obamacare

3 Apr

obamavcareApr. 03, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Obamacare is falling apart. And honestly, it’s been altered or delayed so many times Americans are no longer able to take this legislation seriously.

Piece by piece, we’ve watched the Affordable Care Act (ACA) crumble. And last week the Obama administration witnessed the very core of the president’s signature healthcare law severely crippled — the individual mandate.

On Tuesday, the Health and Human Services Department announced the six-month open enrollment period for Obamacare that began in October 2013 and was supposed to end March 31 would be extended for two years for those with canceled policies who qualify under a broadened “hardship” requirement.

Previously, the HHS had provided exemptions only in substantial hardship cases. But facing potential backlash from millions of voters who will be liable for a “shared responsibility” payment or fine for every month they don’t have coverage or an exemption, the agency chose to “broaden” the scope of those qualifying for exemptions. Now, anyone who claims that going into an exchange would constitute a “hardship” would qualify. They would simply “check a box” signifying they’ve “experienced a hardship” that prevents them from getting health coverage.

This “relaxed” accommodation mortally compromises the individual mandate which the Obama administration told the Supreme Court was “essential” to the administration of the ACA.

The president’s role in the demise of Obamacare is really quite ironic.

When Republicans attempted to delay components of the Affordable Care Act, the president and complicit liberals berated them, saying, “You can’t shut down Obamacare. It’s the law.” But in glaring hypocrisy, the president repeatedly broke his own law and delayed it as needed to keep it alive.

On July 2, 2013, the administration delayed for one year the mandate forcing businesses to provide health coverage or pay fines, and delayed it again for another year in February 2014.

On Nov. 14, 2013, the president gave a last-minute extension for insurance plans that would have been canceled at the end of 2013 because they failed to meet Obamacare’s minimum requirements.

On March 5 of this year, Obama gave Americans the option to renew their health care plans that were canceled because of the law until 2016 and keep them until 2017.

And finally, the Obama administration’s most recent extension of the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare, essentially crippling the president’s “buy it or else” mandate.

While Obama was successful in legislating his ideology upon our nation, it’s important to remember that many Americans were simply misled about the Affordable Care Act.

But as the truth is revealed, more Americans are becoming disenchanted with this president and his healthcare legislation. A recent ABC News poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans now support getting rid of the individual mandate.

Leading up to the November elections, I expect Obamacare to become more of a “suggestion” than a mandate. And unless the GOP wins the Senate in November, look for Democrats to begin pitching a single-payer, government run healthcare system as the only viable solution.

But without the individual mandate, Obamacare will be history.

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

Mark Caserta: Obamacare works, but not for America

9 Mar

imagesMar. 06, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Liberals keep telling Americans that Obamacare is working, and they may be right.

In fact, last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Americans that all of the Obamacare “horror stories” simply aren’t true.

“There’s plenty of horror stories being told,” Reid said from the Senate floor about Republicans. “All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.”

I’m not sure Betsy Tadder from Illinois would agree.

In an interview with Fox News last fall, Ms. Tadder shared the uncertainty she now faces after her health insurance carrier canceled her policy.

Betsy Tadder previously paid $454 a month for a plan she liked, but it was set to end in December. After searching her options, the cheapest replacement plan she could find will cost her $871, nearly twice the cost of her canceled plan and with a much higher deductible.

“I could stretch my budget to afford a policy, but the deductible is $12,700. I don’t have $12,700 to pay for a deductible on Obamacare,” Tadder said. She went on to explain that her income was too high for subsidies, but too low for a better policy.

It’s interesting Senator Reid would accuse Republicans of lying about Obamacare when the president’s entire signature healthcare reform bill was sold on a series of lies.

The president misled Americans by promising they could choose to keep their healthcare plan or doctor if they wanted. He also led Americans to believe the typical family would receive a $2,500 annual reduction in their annual premium. Both were dubbed lies by Politifact.com.

And Americans were lied to about Obamacare providing affordable health insurance for every American. Based on the Congressional Budget Office’s February 2014 Baseline analysis, 31 million non-elderly Americans will be left uninsured by the year 2016.

So in the midst of the deception and with millions of Americans having already lost their health insurance, why would liberals keep insisting Obamacare is working?

I submit that Obamacare isn’t about providing affordable healthcare to more Americans at all.

It’s about fundamentally changing America with increased government control in our lives.

Understand the entire success of Obama’s plan depends on the Marxist principles of redistribution. People who once had affordable healthcare are being forced into a “community” of buyers where those “who have” support those “who do not.”

Socialism openly declares that “their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” And life’s possessions are taken “from each according to his abilities” and redistributed to “each according to his needs.”

And liberals qualify the millions of canceled policies by telling American’s they simply weren’t smart enough to figure out their policies weren’t any good. But no worries, we now have a leader who knows what’s best for everyone.

Is this really the America we want to leave for our children? Do we really want the government making these decisions for us?

Obama’s ideology better aligns with The Communist Manifesto than with the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, Obamacare is working all right. It’s working against America.

Obama acts is if he’s above the law; he’s not

3 Mar

2013-01-16T174655Z_521997241_TB3E91G1DDYFP_RTRMADP_3_USA-GUNS-OBAMA

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

What liberals refer to as “obstructionist” tactics by Republicans in blocking the socialist policies of Barack Hussein Obama, conservatives call “preserving the Constitution.”

It’s interesting that while the president has often referred to himself as a “constitutional law professor,” the title is somewhat gratuitous. While never a full-time or tenured professor, he did teach courses in constitutional law at the University of Chicago as a “senior lecturer.”

Unfortunately, rather than use his knowledge to adhere to its provisions, the president has chosen to test the boundaries of our government’s founding document.

Article II, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution, sometimes known as the “Faithful Execution Clause,” is best read as a duty that qualifies the president’s executive power. By virtue of this power, the president is required to “take care” that our nation’s laws are “faithfully executed.”

But not only has Obama been derelict in his duty to protect our laws, he’s an offender.

As Democrats are so fond of reminding Republicans, Obamacare is now the law of the land.

But despite the fact The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was indeed signed into law in 2010 and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court, President Obama believes it’s within his power to make changes without Congressional action!

Our Constitution clearly grants legislative powers to Congress. The president does not have the authority to arbitrarily “alter” legislation signed into law.

The employer mandate, which requires businesses employing 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine, was scheduled to take effect in 2014, but has been delayed entirely or in part, twice, by the president!

The fact that Obamacare is poor legislation doesn’t grant the president powers exceeding those afforded him by the Constitution.

And in the first case of its kind, the Supreme Court is now arguing the legality of four “recess” appointments made by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2012. The Constitution allows the president to make temporary appointments to those positions that otherwise require Senate confirmation, but only when the Senate is in recess. The problem is — the Senate was not in recess!

Three federal appeals courts have already ruled that Obama overstepped his authority in these appointments.

It’s obvious the president is following the “executive version” of the liberal playbook which calls for continuous contestation of preconceived limitations designed to “progressively” tilt the scales of totalitarian power to the left.

President Obama is arguably the most liberal president in our nation’s history. If he’s successful in these attempts to bypass our nation’s laws, what leftist policies will he pursue in his remaining years in office?

The U.S. Constitution is not merely a guideline to be consulted by those it was written to regulate. It’s the supreme law of the land written to protect the rights of all Americans and must be protected.

It’s time Americans “tether” President Obama to the Constitution and hold him accountable for adhering to its precepts.

This president is not above the law.

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