First Lady Michelle and President Obama will seek to persuade mothers of the importance of enrolling their "children" in Obamacare at an Oval Office event Wednesday.
According to The Hill:
“They will discuss the critical role moms are playing in helping their families access quality, affordable health care by encouraging their adult children, family members, and peers to sign up for coverage,” a White House official said.
At present “adult children” are not exactly on board with the Affordable Care Act. Less than one third of Millennials (those under the age of 30) plan to enroll in Obamacare, a study by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics revealed:
“Regardless of the term used in describing the federal health reform package, less than one-in-four (20% with use of Affordable Care Act and 22% with use of Obamacare) young Americans under the age of 30 report that they would definitely or probably enroll in insurance through an exchange if and when they are eligible. Forty-seven percent (47%) tell us that they will probably not or definitely not enroll under the ACA program, 45 percent say the same under Obamacare.
Among the 22 percent of people under 30 who do not have health insurance presently, 29 percent (13% definitely will enroll, 16% probably will enroll) say they will roll in the program described as Obamacare, and 25 percent (10% definitely will enroll, 15% probably will enroll) say the same when it’s referred to as the Affordable Care Act.”
In the 2012 election, 60 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds voted for Barack Obama. Today, 54 percent disapprove of the President and 56 percent disapprove of his signature legislation, the Harvard study showed.
Not only do they believe their health care costs will increase, they also believe the quality of their coverage will decrease under the Affordable Care Act.
Turning this demographic back to Obamacare supporters could take some work, which is precisely why the First Family is trying to recruit the mothers of these wayward “adult children.”
Perhaps Obama is hoping to recreate scenes such as this one, promoted on BarackObama.com:
All I can say is, we're not as dumb as they think we are.
So it’s official…I can’t wait for the new Mitt Romney documentary to come out! A Netflix original film shows the former presidential candidate from Christmas of 2006 all the way through his concession speech in 2012.
Just watch the trailer for yourself:
The movie is set to be available on Netflix on January 24, 2014. You will get to see Mitt on the campaign trail speaking to voters, preparing for debates, and private moments with his family. If you gather anything from the trailer, it seems most obvious that Mr. Romney has an amazingly supportive family. I can’t wait for January!!
She prefaced that statement with “I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but…”
She said it anyway (via The Right Scoop):
“Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.”
Maybe the collective Left can be forgiven for placing all their trust in Candidate Obama. Indeed, when he was running for president in ’07 and ’08, he did make all sorts of campaign promises that the vast majority of progressives believed. They trusted him. When he later didn’t deliver on many of them, however, including the ‘if you like your health care plan, you can it’ pledge -- although, in fairness, that came later -- the Party of Change became the Party of Disillusionment. Don’t believe me? Just ask Millennials.
To be fair to Walters, I don’t think most True Leftists felt -- or feel -- Barack Obama was actually the Messiah, as evidenced by their hostility towards Christianity in general and their antics at the 2012 DNC in particular. But they all sincerely believed one man could indeed change the culture of venality in Washington, and bring “real” change to the country. He can check the box on a number of progressive causes, to be sure, but his presidency has been embroiled in controversy and scandal and, at times, marred by disappointment. Candidate Obama is not President Obama. And the Left is now finally starting to notice.
Any Democrat who thinks ObamaCare is going to diminish in salience for Americans is simply dreaming. Just wait until the rate hikes for small businesses kick in next year,
Smart Democrats know they have plenty to fear in the upcoming 2014 elections. Chris Cillizza, pointed out this remarkably effective ad, from Ending Spending, is aimed at Sen. Jeanne Shaheen right now, but it's likely every Democrat who voted for ObamaCare will have nightmares about it:
I wrote my thesis on US Senate ads -- and this one is a winner. It uses the facts accurately to portray Shaheen as either deliberately dishonest (a la President Obama) or so incompetent that she was willing to remake the entire American health care system based on pie-in-the-sky promises that she didn't really understand. And its tagline recalls the biggest deception visited upon Americans -- "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
What makes it even worse for Senate Democrats like Begich (AK), Pryor (AR), Udall (CO), Landrieu (LA), Franken (MN), Hagen(NC) and Shaheen (NH) is that each one of them can be understood to have constituted the 60th (crucial) vote for ObamaCare. If any one of them had voted against cloture, ObamaCare would not have passed out of the US Senate.
Here's an Americans for Prosperity ad aimed at Senator Mary Landrieu that makes the point:
Obviously, it would benefit from more footage of Landrieu speaking in favor of ObamaCare (like the Ending Spending ad has) but it effectively saddles her with responsibility for the health care disaster afflicting Americans.
Both commercials are worthy ad templates for next year's election cycle. It would be interesting to see one, as well, that sneaks in a little footage of the Democrat triumphalism (with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) after they successfully inflicted the ObamaCare crisis on Americans.
Really, the whole program is such a mess -- and such a pernicious, destructive, dishonest attack on what has been the best health care system in the world -- that writing the ads is little more than child's play.
The Associated Press' latest poll shows nearly half of all insured Americans reporting that Obamacare has already impacted their 2014 coverage. Within this group, nearly seven in ten point to rising premiums, and nearly eight in ten place blame squarely on the new law. As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally admits that Obamacare will increase costs for "some" consumers, middle class families are girding their loins for the year to come. Democrats will eagerly point to a handful of success stories, wherein people managed to enroll in better coverage for less money. But the law was sold as a boon to all Americans -- a coruscating lie that has betrayed millions. A few local examples of what Obamacare has wrought -- so far:
Sue Walker received the bad news in September from the insurer who handled her medical coverage in Jacksonville, Ill. She was told that to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, her premium would go from $513 a month to $890. She also would be required to purchase insurance that included maternity benefits, even though Walker is 64 years old. Walker wonders how Congress could have approved such a boondoggle...The horror stories come from people such as Carla Watkins of Pikeville, Ky., and John Keegan of Hazleton, Pa. Watkins, a 45-year-old nursing assistant, called her three hours on the website a nightmare. “I was ready to scream by the time I was done,” she said. “It’s really going to put me in a financial bind now that I will be paying $92 more a month.” It took Keegan 10 days to finally gain access to the website. “I tried three to six times a day, at all different times,” he said. And what he finally found? “If I bought a plan, it would be approximately the premium I’m paying now. I would have much higher deductibles and co-pays,” Keegan said.
Greg Tammarino of Troy decided to bypass the marketplace and renew his old policy after shopping on the federal exchange. Tammarino tried to get on the federal website several times in October to shop for health plans but said he could never get past the log-on page. “We tried it just recently and got on and looked at pricing, and the pricing was four times what I’m paying now with my insurance,” said the 62-year-old former business executive, referring to his monthly premium payment of $400 for a policy for he and his wife. The least expensive plan he could find on the marketplace, he said, was $1,600. “If you’re not subsidized, it costs you way more to buy coverage,” he said...
The next big challenge for the nation's health care law may be sticker shock, when consumers find they're still paying high medical bills after buying low-cost insurance for the first time...With a Dec. 23 deadline looming for anyone who wants health insurance by Jan. 1, people may hurry to choose plans with cheap monthly payments on a new insurance marketplace. But they may be surprised, especially if they've never had coverage before, to find they're still on the hook for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket "deductibles," a standard part of most insurance policies. Many will find they must pay costs up to $6,350 -- on top of their monthly premiums -- before their insurance pays anything for actual medical care. If they have a family, they may have to pay nearly $13,000 in an out-of-pocket "deductible" before insurance starts paying.
Politico reports that another Obamacare shoe is dangling above many small businesses, and could drop next year:
Think the canceled health policies hurt the Obamacare cause? There’s another political time bomb lurking that could explode not too long before next year’s elections: rate hikes for small businesses. Like the canceled individual health plans, it’s another example of a tradeoff that health care experts have long known about, as the new rules for health insurance prices create winners and losers. But most Americans won’t become aware of it until some small business employees learn that their premiums are going up because of a law called — oops — the Affordable Care Act...And the timing will be terrible for Democrats: A lot of those small businesses will have to start dealing with their new prices in October — just in time for Republicans to make it an issue in their mid-term election campaigns.
President Obama promised big things for small businesses as a result of his signature law. Instead, many will be slapped unaffordable rates, likely impelling some to drop coverage altogether. In another blow, the law's small business exchange has been delayed again -- this time for a full year. The Washington Post's fact-checking department nominated five political lies to contend for their version of 2013's lie of the year. Three of the five finalists, including the top "prize" came from the same source:
The most popular undeclared presidential candidate in Iowa is purportedly more interested in chairing the powerful House Ways and Means Committee than running for president in 2016, dozens of Congressional Republicans told the Hill. If true -- and we don’t know if it is -- many conservatives will be bitterly disappointed:
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has a choice to make.
The Republican Budget Committee chairman is the most popular conservative in the House, and over the coming year, he will have to decide whether to seek a more powerful committee gavel, launch a bid for House leadership or take a risky leap into the crowded waters of the 2016 presidential campaign.
In interviews The Hill conducted with more than two dozen House Republicans from across the ideological spectrum over the last couple of weeks, many of Ryan’s colleagues said they are doubtful he will run for president in 2016. Most believe that concerns for his young family will lead him to lay claim to the job he’s always wanted: chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Ryan scored a significant victory last week when the two-year budget deal he negotiated with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) earned 332 votes in the House — a total that dwarfs just about any other fiscal agreement of the last three years. The Senate is expected to approve the bill on Wednesday.
Per the Hill, Ryan's office didn’t comment on the speculation. But one reason he seems hesitant to run, Republicans reason, is because he has young children, and the pressures of a presidential bid would put unnecessary strains on his family:
Lawmakers close to Ryan, however, are skeptical that he will run. Ryan and his wife Janna have three children, and his friends say that his concern about the hardship of an 18-month presidential campaign is a genuine factor in his consideration.
“Paul has a young family and was apprehensive about putting them through the run for vice president,” said one House Republican. “Running for vice president is a walk in the park compared to running for president.”
At 43, Ryan could be a viable presidential contender for the next two decades or longer, leading some Republicans to conclude that he will wait to run until his children are older.
A less-discussed factor in Ryan’s presidential thinking is Gov. Scott Walker, another popular Wisconsin Republican who is eyeing a White House bid. Ryan allies in the House said he would not run against Walker in 2016.
That second reason seems much less plausible than the first. But whatever the deciding factor might be, Republican lawmakers seem utterly convinced he’ll sit this one out. That being said, Republicans do in fact envision him possibly running for Speaker in the years ahead if John Boehner retires, or perhaps seeking higher national office sometime down the road. If anything, he is well-respected by his Republican colleagues across the spectrum, and, despite what happened in 2012, his future in the party seems bright.
Touted early as Obamacare success stories, it's turning out that the state health exchanges rival Healthcare.gov for dysfunction. Some states have still signed up only a few dozen people. Now the officials that run Vermont's state exchange, which was also held up encouragingly due to its high rate of Obamacare sign-ups, are realizing that their infrastructure isn't up to code either.
Vermont officials are mandating that state employees work 56-hour workweeks through the end of the year in order to make sure everything is functional.
“It’s our understanding through the employees that they were just last week mandated 56-hour weeks,” said Doug Gibson, a spokesman for the Vermont State Employees Association, a union representing state employees.
Gibson said multiple employees approached VSEA with concerns that they are being made to work 56-hour weeks on tasks they haven’t been adequately trained for.
According to Gibson and state Human Resources Commissioner Kate Duffy, the employees have been asked to enter data from the paper enrollment forms the state used when the health care exchange website wasn’t working properly.
Duffy told VPR that "we wouldn't do this unless we absolutely had to. But we do."
Over at Bloomberg, Megan McArdle was sounding the alarm on Vermont last week when the HHS report found that Vermont was leading the pack on people "determined eligible" for its state exchange:
Vermont is supposed to sign up 20 percent of its population through the exchanges, 12 percent of whom must have had some other form of insurance. And unlike in other states, the law offered no way for those people to buy insurance outside of the exchanges.
That means that in theory, almost 10 percent of the population of Vermont needs to sign up for insurance in the first three weeks of December, just to avoid losing coverage. Fortunately, Vermont is a small state, so that’s a small number -- fewer than 60,000 people. The bad news is that Vermont’s exchanges haven’t been working too well. The governor has belatedly unveiled contingency plans: Individuals can extend their 2013 coverage for three months, and small businesses can sign up directly with a carrier. So hopefully, most people won’t actually lose coverage. Nonetheless, for the state of Vermont, 2.5 percent of its population signed up represents a disastrous failure, not a roaring success.
Guess who's been responsible for Vermont's health website? That's right - CGI Group, the same contractor behind the disastrous failure of Healthcare.gov. VPR reports that the federal government gave Vermont $172 million to build its health website, and that CGI received an $84 million contract from Vermont to make sure the site is built and functional.
Last week, when news broke that former-President Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta had agreed to join the Obama White House as a "counselor," Townhall reported that, "Podesta Hire Shows Obama Is Done Dealing With Congress."
In that post we explained how Podesta literally wrote the book on how Obama should govern by fiat, without any input from Congress, after Republicans took control of the House in 2010. We concluded:
The move to hire Podesta now, as opposed to waiting till after the 2014 elections, is an admission by the White House that their second term legislative agenda (immigration reform, gun control, and climate change) is already dead.
If progressives are going to make any progress expanding government during the rest of Obama's presidency, it will only be through unilateral executive action. It will not be sanctioned by Congress.
Today, Politico confirmed that governing-by-executive-fiat is exactly what Podesta has in mind. The only shocking part of the story is Podesta's justification for shredding the Constitution:
In effect, I was told, it represents the clearest sign to date of the administration’s interest in shifting the paradigm of Obama’s presidency through the forceful, unapologetic and occasionally provocative application of White House power. Podesta, whose official mandate includes enforcement of numerous executive orders on emissions and the environment, suggested as much when he spoke with me earlier this fall about Obama’s team. “They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” he told me.
That's right. Obama's new counselor, the man in charge of saving his presidency, believes the Republican Party is a murderous cult and that this justifies Obama's extra-constitutional use of executive power.
Every Republican in Washington, DC, should read this article on Podesta's power grab, and those Republicans contemplating working with Democrats on immigration reform should read it twice.
Whatever legislation you write with Democrats, and Obama signs into "law," will not be worth the paper it is printed on. Obama's new counselor believes Republicans are evil and therefore Obama ought to be empowered to do whatever he wants no matter what the law says.
That is the new normal in Washington as long as Obama is still president.