February 19, 2013
Saying the Legislature's existing proposal could exacerbate rate shock, state Insurance CommissionerDave Jones unveiled his own proposal Tuesday for dividing California into geographic regions for implementing federal health-care reform.
Jones vowed to appear Wednesday before Senate and Assembly health committees to push his 18-region plan instead of existing legislative proposals for six regions in 2014 and 13 regions in 2015.
"I believe very strongly that we should draw regions in a way that minimizes rate increases," Jones said.
Because costs of providing health care differ among communities, residents could find themselves paying higher or lower premiums based on the extent to which regions drawn by the state differ from those currently used by health insurance firms.
Jones said an analysis by his department shows that the maximum increase based on geography would be 22.6 percent for the Legislature's proposed six-region plan, 25.1 percent for its 13-region plan -- and 8 percent for the 18-region plan crafted by his office.
The gap shrinks if only the average increase, not the maximum increase, is considered among the various proposals: 9.1 percent for the six-region plan, 4.4 percent for the 13-region plan, and 3.5 percent for Jones' proposal.
Geography was the lone issue targeted by Jones' study, but age, family size and essential benefits mandated by the state are other factors that ultimately will affect the cost of premiums.
The legislation Jones is seeking to amend was proposed separately by chairmen of the Assembly and Senate health committees, Democrats Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ed Hernandez of West Covina,respectively.
Pan, in a written statement, suggested that he is open-minded about the number of regions needed.
The Sacramento lawmaker said that "we are working with the Administration and stakeholders to make sure reforms are done right. This includes making sure California has the right number of geographic rating regions."
Anthony Wright, director of Health Access California, a nonprofit advocacy group, said he has not reviewed Jones' proposal but that more regions is not necessarily better for consumers.
"We've generally supported a fewer number of larger regions, both to prevent insurance company game-playing, the opportunity for red-lining, and for the opportunity to provide more transparency and simplicity," he said.
State lacks doctors to meet demand of national healthcare law
Lawmakers are working on proposals that would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to diagnose, treat and manage some illnesses.
February 9, 2013, 6:03 p.m.
SACRAMENTO — As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama's healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren't enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients.
Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare.
They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.
"We're going to be mandating that every single person in this state have insurance," said state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), chairman of the Senate Health Committee and leader of the effort to expand professional boundaries. "What good is it if they are going to have a health insurance card but no access to doctors?"
Hernandez's proposed changes, which would dramatically shake up the medical establishment in California, have set off a turf war with physicians that could contribute to the success or failure of the federal Affordable Care Act in California.
Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics, they said.
"Patient safety should always trump access concerns," said Dr. Paul Phinney, president of the California Medical Assn.
Such "scope-of-practice" fights are flaring across the country as states brace for an influx of patients into already strained healthcare systems. About 350 laws altering what health professionals may do have been enacted nationwide in the last two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since Jan. 1, more than 50 additional proposals have been launched in 24 states.
As the nation's earliest and most aggressive adopter of the healthcare overhaul, California faces more pressure than many states. Diana Dooley, secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency, said in an interview that expanding some professionals' roles was among the options policymakers should explore to help meet the expected demand.
At a meeting of healthcare advocates in December, she had offered a more blunt assessment.
"We're going to have to provide care at lower levels," she told the group. "I think a lot of people are trained to do work that our licenses don't allow them to."
Currently, just 16 of California's 58 counties have the federal government's recommended supply of primary care physicians, with the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley facing the worst shortages. In addition, nearly 30% of the state's doctors are nearing retirement age, the highest percentage in the nation, according to the Assn. of American Medical Colleges.
Illegal Kickbacks for Obamacare-Funded Company
A California pharmaceutical company that has received federal subsidies under the Obama Administration agreed to pay $11.4 million last week to settle allegations that it bribed medical professionals to prescribe and sell its drugs.
The allegation was detailed in a civil complaint filed in federal court in March 2009. The following year, the company was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax credits through an Obamacare grant program.
Last week, the Justice Department announced that Victory Pharma had agreed to forfeit $1.4 million to resolve charges under the Anti-Kickback Statute, and paid another $9,938,310 in penalties under the False Claims Act.
The payments settle allegations by a company whistleblower who claimed that Victory paid “kickbacks” to doctors and pharmacists who agreed to prescribe and sell, respectively, three of the company’s brands: Naprelan, Xodol, and Fexmid.
According to unsealed court documents, Victory’s “payment of illegal kickbacks to physicians…has caused numerous false or fraudulent claims for payment or reimbursement” to be filed with various federal health insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.
The court documents claim that Victory “trained its sales representatives to provide physicians with cash payments, alcohol, tickets to sporting events and concerts, golf outings and other trips, and other such personal gifts for the specific purpose of influencing the physicians to prescribe” Victory’s products.
The Emerging Obamacare Truth Is Disarray
by Stephen Frank on 09/23/2012
Obama fiscal policies make the middle class poor and in danger of losing jobs to other nations and foreign born criminals in this nation.. Now we know Obama has opened another front in his war on the middle class, their health care and health.
“. According to a recent editorial in the New York Times, “the people left in the lurch would be those who had lower incomes but were not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.” Because of the way Obamacare defines what’s “affordable” to these families, many working-class people would be unable to afford family coverage offered by their employers, and yet they would not qualify for subsidies provided by the law.”
It will cost the middle class more, for less coverage. Staling and other dictators took out their anger on the middle class. Add the Obama War on the Middle Class to his War on Women.
Boos Subside as Ryan Explains the Truth
National Review Online: The Corner, September 24, 2012
The headlines shouted “Ryan Booed!” after Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan dared to enter the lion’s den of the AARP on Friday to talk about Medicare.
But that was near the beginning of his talk. What wasn’t widely reported is that the boos subsided and the applause increased as he explained how Obamacare harms Medicare and how the Romney/Ryan plan would save it.
“We respect you enough to level with you . . . about the clear choices we face on Medicare, Social Security, the economy, and the kind of country our children will inherit,” Ryan said. “Seniors are threatened by Obamacare, a law that would force steep cuts to real benefits in real time for real people. Meanwhile, younger Americans are burdened by an ever-growing national debt and a diminished future.
“The first step toward a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare,” Mr. Ryan said, precipitating the loud boos from the audience. “I had a feeling there would be mixed reactions so let me get into it.” He then explained in detail the cuts to Medicare which President Obama has signed into law: Obamacare “funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. Second, it puts 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future,” he said.
Ryan cited independent experts to document the inescapable truth that Medicare is going bankrupt and will seriously compromise access to care for seniors and the prosperity of future generations if we don’t fix it.
Ryan’s speech followed a video address by President Obama who offered bromides and promises.
And the president was defensive: “When you hear this notion of — that we somehow took $716 billion, robbed it from Medicare beneficiaries and seniors, I want you to know that is simply not true,” he said.
But it is true, which Mr. Obama implicitly acknowledged two sentences later when he said the law does go after “waste and fraud, and overcharging by insurance companies” and claims “Those savings do come out to $716” billion. But the $716 billion comes out of cuts that will have real consequences on access to care for seniors.
Even worse, Obamacare spends the same $716 billion twice — once on the massive new exchange subsidies and another to pretend to extend the life of Medicare. Ryan described “the president’s raid on Medicare”:
“The president said this would actually strengthen the program. He said it would improve the program’s solvency. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s just not true,” Ryan said. “The money wasn’t walled off to stay in Medicare. Instead, the law turned Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare.”
In a 2010 interview, the president stated that “You can’t say that you are saving on Medicare and then spend the money twice.” Yet that’s exactly what the law did. And last November, Nancy Pelosi admitted that Democrats “took a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare in the health-care bill” to pay for more federal spending.
“You see, Medicare is going bankrupt,” Ryan said flatly. “Everyone understands this.”
But rather than explaining the very real problem we face and offering solutions, the president preferred to demagogue the Romney/Ryan plan, the basic structure of which has been endorsed by legislators and top health-policy experts from across the ideological spectrum.
Mr. Obama claimed the Romney/Ryan proposal would turn Medicare into a “voucher” program that would raise the cost of care for seniors. The main beneficiaries of this, he said, would be insurance companies.
Surprisingly, the president dropped his earlier criticism that their “voucher” plan would raise health-care costs for seniors by $6,400 a year, an acknowledgement that the charge has been widely discredited and is irrelevant to the Romney/Ryan proposal, as it was a criticism of Ryan’s plan.
Ryan didn’t go after AARP for its hypocrisy, but he could have. The AARP gains hundreds of millions in royalties from marketing private insurance policies to fill Medicare’s gaps. The Romney/Ryan premium-support model would allow seniors to choose a single, comprehensive plan, making the AARP’s cash-cow plans unnecessary.
Clearly, the AARP is not operating in the best interest of its members in strongly backing the current Medicare program, which is on a trajectory to bankruptcy and which threatens seniors’ access to care as physicians, hospitals, and other providers are paid so little they can no longer afford to take Medicare patients.
Ryan further explained the problem and the Romney/Ryan solution:
Our plan keeps the protections that have made Medicare a guaranteed promise for seniors throughout the years. It makes no changes for those in or near retirement.
“Now, in order to save Medicare for future generations, we propose putting 50 million seniors, not 15 unaccountable bureaucrats, in charge of their own health-care decisions.
“Our plan empowers future seniors to choose the coverage that works best for them from a list of plans that are required to offer at least the same level of benefits as traditional Medicare.
And toward the end of the speech, Ryan was gaining applause for the solutions he offered:“Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.”
The contrast was striking: one candidate who has had four years to fix Medicare’s looming bankruptcy and failed to show any leadership, and another who laid out a plan to preserve Medicare for today’s seniors and strengthen it for future generations. Seniors are figuring out which is the better deal.
News from The Hill:
HHS’s Sebelius illegally campaigned for Obama on the job
By Sam Baker
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated federal law by using her Cabinet position to campaign for President Obama, federal investigators said Wednesday.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said Sebelius violated federal law in a February speech where she made "extemporaneous partisan remarks."
Sebelius voiced support for President Obama and other Democrats during an speech at a Human Rights Campaign event in Charlotte, N.C. The OSC said her comments violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits public officials from campaigning in their official capacities.
Sebelius strayed from her prepared remarks to rally support for Obama.
"One of the imperatives is to make sure that we not only come together here in Charlotte to present the nomination to the president, but we make sure that in November, he continues to be president for another four years," she said, according to the OSC report.
Violating the DNA of Our Culture
National Review Online: Critical Condition, August 2, 2012
Obamacare violates American values down to our country’s very DNA.
A majority of Americans continue to oppose the health law because we understand that it is at odds withthe fundamental principles and democratic processes of our country. We were aghast at the way the law was enacted two years ago — ignoring citizens who were marching in the streets and burning up the phone lines on Capitol Hill pleading with legislators to vote “no.”
We oppose its government-centric takeover of our health sector with its mandates on individuals to purchase government-approved health insurance, mandates on businesses to pay for insurance or pay huge fines, and the massive new government bureaucracy to centrally manage one-sixth of our economy.
The HHS anti-conscience mandate that has now taken effect is not an aberrant rule but is woven into the fabric of a law that is in conflict with the Constitution and with American values. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the federal regulation an “unprecedented threat to individual and institutional religious freedom.”
But the Obama administration has determined that most employers and health plans now will have to provide “free” access to a long list of “preventive” health services, including sterilization procedures and contraceptives that can cause abortions. Citizens and businesses have become servants to the state.
The White House is trying to deflect opposition and frame this as a fight over the right to free birth-control pills. But we understand that this is really about the fundamental issue of the founding principles of this country and the meaning of the Constitution’s protection of our freedom. The real question is not whether women can have access to these products but whether health plans and employers can be compelled by the government to pay for them even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.
When the law was being debated in Congress, the Obama administration repeatedly assured Catholic leaders that it would respect religious liberty in implementing Obamacare. This mandate shows that the Obama administration has broken its promises and has no intention of reversing course.
The anti-conscience rule gives pro-life private employers and health plans the choice of violating their fundamental beliefs by paying for the offending products or dropping health insurance for their employees, in which case they are subject to steep fines.
Forty-three Catholic dioceses have filed twelve lawsuits challenging the anti-conscience mandate. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty also is representing a number of colleges and other religious institutions in suing the government over the mandate.
More than 2,500 pastors and evangelical leaders have signed a letter to President Obama asking him to reverse the mandate.
As George Weigel has said, the anti-conscience rule is “a grotesque overreach by state power, one that threatens the entire fabric of civil society as well as the first of American liberties, religious freedom.”
We will not allow the First Amendment to be trampled, and this battle will continue.
Supreme Court divided over health care mandate
Washington (CNN) -- In one of the most highly anticipated Supreme Court hearings in years, the justices on Tuesday offered sharply divided views on the controversial individual mandate provision at the heart of the 2010 federal health care reform law.
The fate of the individual mandate -- requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a financial penalty -- may be in jeopardy, and perhaps with it the entire law's other 450 or so sections, based on tough questions of the government by the court's conservative majority.
"Most of the times, the questions that are asked at oral arguments are a pretty good predictor of where things are going to go," said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst, who added he thinks the health care reform law is in "grave danger."
Neither the justices nor the lawyers arguing before them mentioned "Obamacare"-- as opponents have labeled the law pushed through Congress by Democrats and President Barack Obama -- or the president by name.
But the court seemed fully aware of the landmark consequences of their eventual rulings.
"Those who don't participate in health care make it more expensive for everyone else," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in support of the law. "It is not your free choice" to stay out of the market for life, she said.
Younger, mostly health people who would be the "subsidizers will become the subsidized" when they grow older, added Justice Elena Kagan.
However, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the federal government "is telling an individual he has the obligation he must act" and purchase insurance.
"That threatens to change the relationship between the government and the individual in a profound way," Kennedy said.
If Congress could regulate health care in the name of commerce, added Chief Justice John Roberts, "all bets are off" on a range of areas subject to federal oversight.
Money slated for health law gets detoured
Healthcare Law's Fate Now In Supreme Court's Hands
Published: Monday, 14 Nov 2011 | 10:18 AM ET Text Size By: Reuters Twitter
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide the fate of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with an election-year ruling due by July on the U.S. healthcare system's biggest overhaul in nearly 50 years.
The decision had been widely expected since late September, when the Obama administration asked the nation's highest court to uphold the centerpiece insurance provision and 26 states and a business group separately asked that the entire law be struck down.
The justices in a brief order agreed to hear the appeals.
At the heart of the legal battle is whether Congress overstepped its powers by requiring that all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, a provision known as the individual mandate.
The law, aiming to provide more than 30 million uninsured Americans with medical coverage, has wide ramifications for company costs and for the health sector, affecting health insurers, drugmakers, device companies and hospitals.
The law, Obama's signature domestic achievement, will be a major issue in the U.S. elections in November 2012 as he seeks another four-year term. Republican presidential candidates oppose the law and Republicans in Congress want to repeal it.
A Supreme Court spokeswoman said oral arguments would take place in March. There will be a total of 5-1/2 hours of arguments.
The high court could leave in place the entire law, it could strike down the individual insurance mandate or other provisions, it could invalidate the entire law or it could put off a ruling on the mandate until after it has taken effect.
Legal experts and policy analysts said the healthcare vote may be close on the nine-member court, with five conservatives and four liberals.
It could come down to moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often casts the decisive vote. http://www.cnbc.com/id/45287781
CLASS ACT REPEALED NOW! ACTION ALERT!
A few weeks ago the bipartisan majority on the Democrat led Senate Appropriations Committee voted to defund part of the ObamCare law, the CLASS Act. The head of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and other Administrative wonks finally realized that the unsustainable program would be an albatross around their necks if they didn’t shelve it now. However, it is not gone, just merely waiting in the background for some new infusion of taxpayer cash, to once again forge creative financing for the current Administration. This is where the “savings” in the ObamaCare bill came from and now it is finally out and for the whole nation to see the enormous failure of this program.
Polls are continuing to show that the law is going out of favor with most people as the following Reuters article highlighted:
Support waning for Obama healthcare law: poll
(Reuters) - Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform in October reached its lowest point since the law passed in March 2010, according to a monthly poll by the non-profit, non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
The view of the law has been roughly evenly split since its passage, but in October 51 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, while 34 percent said their opinion was favorable, poll results released on Friday showed.
In September, the split was 43 percent to 41 percent. And October's gap is closest to the one the poll tracked in July 2010, when the division was 50 percent to 35 percent.
The gap widened largely because the law appeared to be falling out of favor with Democrats, whose support dropped to its lowest point of 52 percent from 65 percent in September.
Although Democrats were still much likelier to view the law favorably than Republicans or independents, the percentage of Democrats who said they and their families were better off under the healthcare law dropped significantly to 27 percent in October from 43 percent in September.
Today on the Senate floor Senators Barrasso (WY), Thune (SD) and Sessions (AL) were discussing the need to repeal this program altogether and they are right. Now is the time to get rid of another failed government program that would have only been yet another taxpayer subsidized program for years to come. Richard Foster the long time actuary for the government said this was a “recipe for disaster” and as such the Administration finally cried “uncle” and defunded it, so why would we keep it around in any form?
Let’s see government shrink by at least one failed program and find out who the real heroes are in Congress by asking all of our Senators to Repeal the CLASS ACT now!
Below are the sponsors of the Bill and author John Thune. Call your Senator and ask them to support S720 to Repeal the CLASS Act.
Sen Thune, John [SD] (introduced 4/4/2011)
Lamar [TN] - 4/5/2011
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] - 11/1/2011
Sen Barrasso, John [WY] - 4/5/2011
Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] - 4/6/2011
Sen Boozman, John [AR] - 4/5/2011
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] - 4/5/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] - 4/5/2011
Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] - 11/1/2011
Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] - 4/5/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] - 4/5/2011
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 4/5/2011
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] - 5/19/2011
Sen Cornyn, John [TX] - 4/5/2011
Sen Crapo, Mike [ID] - 4/5/2011
Sen Ensign, John [NV] - 4/5/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] - 4/5/2011
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 4/4/2011
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 5/2/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] - 4/5/2011
Sen Hoeven, John [ND] - 10/20/2011
Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] - 4/5/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] - 4/5/2011
Sen Johanns, Mike [NE] - 4/5/2011
Sen Johnson, Ron [WI] - 4/5/2011
Sen Kyl, Jon [AZ] - 4/6/2011
Sen Lee, Mike [UT] - 4/5/2011
Sen Lugar, Richard G. [IN] - 10/19/2011
Sen McCain, John [AZ] - 4/5/2011
Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] - 10/20/2011
Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] - 11/1/2011
Sen Risch, James E. [ID] - 4/7/2011
Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] - 4/5/2011
Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] - 4/5/2011
Sen Sessions, Jeff [AL] - 4/5/2011
Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL] - 10/20/2011
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 4/5/2011
Sen Toomey, Pat [PA] - 4/5/2011
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS] - 4/5/2011
Sen DeMint, Jim [SC] - 4/5/2011(withdrawn - 10/31/2011)
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 5/5/2011(withdrawn - 5/9/2011)
Senator Boxer: https://boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/policycomments.cfm
Senator Feinstein: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501
Oct 22, 2011
SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition Update: Oct 21, 2011
So it seems that Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services for the Federal Government finally figured out late last week that this portion of the ObamaCare Law would never actually work so they have shelved this portion. Remember this is the place where all the “savings” are coming from in the law…..The Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act was supposed to help the disables and elderly with long term care. It would have forced employers to automatically enroll you in this program unless you opted out. The cost would be $146 a month and you would be unable to use the benefits for at least 5 years. Older sicker people would have taken advantage of this far quicker than the young and healthy and the young and healthy would have opted out as they usually do for health insurance to begin with.
So we are seeing the ObamaCare law falter at its own hand….this is good for us and those fighting the Unconstitutionality of this law!
Appeals court rules against Obama healthcare mandate
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law suffered a setback on Friday when an appeals court ruled that it was unconstitutional to require all Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law.
The legality of the individual mandate, a cornerstone of the healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Opponents have argued that without the mandate, which goes into effect in 2014, the entire law falls.
The law, adopted by Congress in 2010 after a bruising battle, is expected to be a major political issue in the 2012 elections as Obama seeks another term. All the major Republican presidential candidates have opposed it.
Obama has championed the individual mandate as a major accomplishment of his presidency and as a way to try to slow the soaring costs of healthcare while expanding coverage to the more than 30 million Americans without it.
The White House voiced confidence the law would be upheld. "We strongly disagree with this decision and we are confident it will not stand," Obama aide Stephanie Cutter said in a statement.
August 12, 2011
California's new state marketplace for health insurance announced Friday that it has received a $39 million federal grant to launch major operations over the next year.
The California Health Benefit Exchange is part of the federal health care overhaul approved last year. Starting in 2014, the exchange is expected to provide new health insurance options to individuals and small businesses after negotiating rates with health plans.
Such rates are supposed to be more affordable for employers and individuals because the state would leverage its negotiating power for more than 1.5 million enrollees, while the federal government would provide subsidies and tax credits. But the five-member exchange board still has to sort out many questions, such as whether to focus more on price or quality of care, as well as how best to enroll individuals across a wide range of income levels.
The health exchange intends to use the grant toward its three-year business plan, as well as to hire a contractor to build its information technology platform.
California was the first state last year to establish a state health exchange. As part of a deal struck with the Legislature, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received two four-year appointments to the board not subject to legislative approval. He appointed Susan Kennedy, his chief of staff, and Kimberly Belshé, his Cabinet secretary for health and human services, in the final days of his tenure.
Other appointees include: Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment (appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg); Paul Fearer, a Union Bank executive and board chairman of the Pacific Business Group on Health (appointed by Speaker John A. Pérez); and Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley, who serves as board chairperson.
ObamaCare Repeal Means Waivers for Everybody
By Grace-Marie Turner
May 22, 2011
Can't we all just get a waiver from Obamacare? Unfortunately not, but the list of people applying is getting longer by the day.
There are now 1,372 companies, labor unions and states that have applied for and been granted waivers from an early provision of the law that says health policies must provide at least $750,000 a year in insurance protection.
In the latest batch of waivers, one in five went to expensive restaurants, spas and other businesses in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district in San Francisco. What a coincidence!
Nearly two dozen states have either applied for or have been granted waivers from an Obamacare provision that forces health insurers operating in their states to comply with strict federal limits governing how much they can spend on administrative costs versus reimbursements for medical bills.
And now we learn that the Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday issued regulations explaining that health insurers will have to justify to the federal government health insurance premium increases above 10 percent.
But the rules include an interesting exemption for Medicare supplemental insurance policies. Surprise, surprise! The top marketer of these so-called Medigap policies is AARP, which spent millions of dollars helping to get Obamacare passed.
This is the same AARP that makes upwards of $1 billion in profits from marketing Medigap policies. Clearly, if you have friends at the White House and pay your dues, you, too, can be exempt from Obamacare's rules.
This is crony capitalism at its worst as people and companies seek special favors to escape the destructive 2,800-page law.
In a bizarre near-admission that the so called "Affordable Care Act" is anything but, the White House issued a blog post defending itself. It is issuing waivers that exempt employers "from the annual limit provision of the law if it would disrupt access to existing insurance arrangements or adversely affect premiums, causing people to lose coverage."
In other words, Obamacare would cause people to lose their insurance coverage or cause costs to go up if they don't grant these waivers. Wasn't Obamacare supposed to do just the opposite?
President Obama himself is personally getting into the waiver act. He has said he wants Congress to change the law to give states waivers to implement Obamacare their own way, starting in 2014 rather than having to wait until 2017, as the law now requires.
Likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says that, if elected, on day one of his administration he would give each state a waiver to implement Obamacare its own way. (If it sounds like there is an echo here, you are right. It's hard to tell the difference.)
What's really being waived here is the rule of law.
The waves of waivers remind all of us how angry we were at all the special deals -- such as the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, and so on -- that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid handed out to get Obamacare through the Senate in 2009.
Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell was right when he said that the American people saw the passage of Obamacare as "a crime against Democracy."
But it is also a crime against the American principle of fairness. Obamacare is barely in place, and we see administration officials using it to pick winners and losers based upon political favorites.
The voices of the American people may have gone silent for now, but they will not stand for a law that would re-engineer one-sixth of our economy and demolish the core American value of equal justice and equal treatment for all.
Obamacare is the most sweeping piece of social and spending legislation in our country's history. It is extraordinary that 14 months after it was enacted, a majority of the American people still want it repealed.
The waivers are just one more reminder of why Obamacare will not stand.
When it comes to repealing Obamacare, So Cal TRC has an "all-of-the-above" philosophy...repeal it, defund it, legislate against it, whatever it takes to put individuals back in charge of their own healthcare.
WHAT IS THE HEALTHCARE COMPACT?
The Constitution established a federal government, but with limited and enumerated powers, and reserved to the states or to the people those powers not granted to the federal government. One power that properly belongs at the state level is the power to regulate Health Care. However, the federal government has preempted state action in this area.
The Health Care Compact is an interstate compact – which is simply an agreement between two or more states that is consented to by Congress – that restores authority and responsibility for health care regulation to the member states (except for military health care, which will remain federal), and provides the funds to the states to fulfill that responsibility.
The Health Care Compact does not conflict with the efforts by state attorneys general, state legislators and members of congress to repeal or modify the health care bill.
The Elements of the Health Care Compact
Pledge: Member states agree to work together to pass this Compact, and to improve the health care in their respective states.
Legislative Power: Member states have primary responsibility for regulation of all non-military health care goods and services in their state.
State Control: In member states, states can suspend federal health care regulations. Federal and state health care laws remain in force in a state until states enact superseding regulations.
Funding: Member states get an amount of money from the federal government each year to pay for health care. The funding is mandatory spending, and not subject to annual appropriations. Each state’s funding is based on the federal funds spent in their state on health care in 2010. Each state will confirm their funding before joining this Compact. This funding level will be adjusted annually for changes in population and inflation.
Commission: An advisory commission is created to gather and publish health care cost data, study various health care issues, and make non-binding recommendations to member states.
Amendments: Member states can amend this Compact with approval of the members, and no further Congressional consent is needed.
Withdrawal: Any member state can withdraw from this Compact at any time.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: http://www.healthcarecompact.org
----------------------------------------WHY OBAMACARE HAS TO BE REPEALED !!
In 4 minutes, Congressman Ryan does an excellent job explaining the outrageous costs of Obamacare in this video. MUST WATCH & SHARE:
26 STATES JOIN SUIT AGAINST OBAMACARE
PRESSURE THE SENATE !!!
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