Obamacare splitting in two…

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This Election Opens Final Act for ‘Obamacare’ Controversy
Inform

Increasingly, there are two ObamaCares.
There’s the one in coastal and northern areas, where the marketplaces include multiple insurers and plans. And there’s the one in southern and rural areas, where there is often little competition, a situation that can lead to higher premiums.
“There’s really two kind of stories that are playing out,” said Cynthia Cox, who studies insurer competition at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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The trend is likely to be accelerated by the departure of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare from ObamaCare marketplaces in 2017. The loss of those insurers won’t affect all parts of the country equally, experts say.

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“The combined effect of these exits is mostly concentrated in southern states and particularly rural counties within those states,” Cox said.

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According to an analysis from the consulting firm Avalere, as of now, there will be just one insurer offering ObamaCare coverage next year in seven states: Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, Alaska, North Carolina and Kansas. It is possible that more insurers could enter these markets before next year.

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In one county in Arizona, there might not be an ObamaCare plan available at all.
Aetna had been the only insurer offering a plan in Pinal County. Unless federal and state officials can find another insurer to fill the void in 2017, the county’s 400,000 residents will not be able to buy coverage on an ObamaCare exchange.

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The dearth of options in rural, sparsely populated areas is a far cry from what Democrats promised when selling the Affordable Care Act.

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Obama talked at the time about how the law would create a “one-stop shop” for insurance, comparing it to websites where people can look for airline tickets.
“Just visit healthcare.gov, and there you can compare insurance plans, side by side, the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon,” Obama said in 2013. “You enter some basic information, you’ll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area, with clear descriptions of what each plan covers, and what it will cost.  You’ll find more choices, more competition, and in many cases, lower prices.” 

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In states like Oklahoma, the reality is different, with just one insurer to choose from in the online marketplace.

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“We certainly see this as an issue,” said Mike Rhoads, Oklahoma’s deputy insurance commissioner. “With only a single carrier out there, there is no competition.”
“I think competition drives price sensitivity by these carriers,” Rhoads said.

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Adding to the geographic disparities under ObamaCare, many of the same states where insurance competition is lacking declined the health law’s expansion of Medicaid. Because of that, many lower-income people have no insurance option at all.

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Still, many rural areas had few insurance options before ObamaCare came along. Back then, individual plans were pricey and difficult to find, and insurers could reject people with preexisting conditions.

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Under ObamaCare, insurers cannot deny coverage for health conditions, and lower-income people receive financial assistance to offset the cost of premiums.

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Cox, the Kaiser Family Foundation expert, said the main consequences of insurers leaving ObamaCare next year will be enrollees having to switch plans. The cost to the federal government of providing ObamaCare, meanwhile, could rise if premiums increase.

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In Oklahoma, Rhoads said he has been trying to recruit more insurers to join the ObamaCare marketplace, but found no takers.

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“We see no other carriers willing to come in,” he said. “We certainly have had conversations with some of the national players.”

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Rhoads said he spoke with two insurers that participated in ObamaCare’s first year about returning. They declined, citing the financial losses they suffered before.

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“There’s a little bit of giggling in the background when we ask this question, and we understand that they’ve been there, they’ve done that, they’ve taken their lumps,” Rhoads said.

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“As we discussed with one of the CEOs of a large HMO, who had competitive rates, they had their losses and their board of directors was just incensed that they hadn’t made money, and it caused some turmoil within the organization,” he added.

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Relying on just one insurer to offer coverage runs the risk of having ObamaCare disappear, should that insurer bail from the marketplace.

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In areas with just one insurer, it is almost always a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. While those plans have generally expressed their commitment to continuing to offer ObamaCare coverage, they have also pressed the Obama administration for policy changes like tightening up the rules for extra sign-up periods that sick people can use to game the system.

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Some Blue Cross plans, including one in North Carolina, have expressed reservations about continuing to offer ObamaCare plans, particularly if they do not win their preferred policy changes.

Sabrina Corlette, an expert on the health law at Georgetown University, cited the geographic divergence when asked whether Aetna’s exit made her worried about the future of ObamaCare.

Corlette said her concern is “going to depend on what county somebody might live in.”

Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel claims Aetna pulling out of exchanges is politically motivated

AP AS

disaster, and spin from the Admin shills
Scarlett O'hara

This liar wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him upside his crooked face! Zeke Emanuel is Soro’s buddy.
Dan Troop

In other words if people would just do what they are told and private companies were willing to incur losses as they are expected to do then the whole house of cards would be secure. And if the people don’t obey they will be heavily penalized until they do obey and companies that don’t knuckle under they will be the subject of government wrath. Give Emanuel credit where credit is due he can recite the party line endlessly without feeling the slightest embarrassment at lying. He is also a traitor to his oath to “First Do No Harm.”
In other words if people would just do what they are told and private companies were willing to incur losses as they are expected to do then the whole house of cards would be secure. And if the people don’t obey they will be heavily penalized until they do obey and companies that don’t knuckle under they will be the subject of government wrath. Give Emanuel credit where credit is due he can recite the party line endlessly without feeling the slightest embarrassment at lying. He is also a traitor to his oath to “First Do No Harm.”
kingdpsht1
Along with being a massive bullshit artist, could he be any more annoying!?
Gordon LeCroy

Lie, cheat, steal, coverup, delay…just be sure to wave your arms a lot

5 Reasons Barack Obama Was — and Remains — Unfit for the Presidency

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by JOEL B. POLLAK

Recently, President Barack Obama told a press conference: “I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as President … he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.” He added: “Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job.”

Of course, when he was running against them, Obama said that McCain lacked the “temperament” to be president, and accused literally Romney of killing a woman by laying off her husband from his job.

It is worth recalling how few qualifications Obama himself had — and how many factors ought to have disqualified him. Both Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) drew attention to his deficiencies — Clinton with her infamous “3 a.m.” ad, and McCain with his “Not Ready to Lead” slogan.

They were both right: Obama was unfit for the presidency — and remains so. He leaves office as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Here are five ways Obama was unprepared* — and the results:

1. Jeremiah Wright – Obama’s decades-long membership in a racist church, whose pastor celebrated the terror attacks of 9/11, ought to have disqualified him from office. Certainly any candidate who was not the first viable black candidate for president would have been pressured to quit the race. Wright was only the first of many dubious associations with Chicago radicals, including former terrorist Bill Ayers — with whom Obama carried on a relationship that his campaign lied about. The result? Eight years of racially divisive rhetoric, and eight years of refusing even to acknowledge radical Islamic terrorism.

2. Slumlord for cronies. Obama built relationships with Chicago property developers who advised him and raised money for him. He directed public funds to private companies that build and “maintained” (or failed to maintain) public housing. These included Valerie Jarrett, who owned slums in Obama’s state senate district, and fundraiser Tony Rezko, with whom the Obamas also did a shady land deal. The Boston Globe found many of the buildings uninhabitable. The patten was mirrored by the cronyism of the 2009 stimulus, as well as the failure of Obamacare, a publicly-subsidized private insurance calamity.

3. No legislative achievements. Before seeking federal office in 2004, Obama had no legislative achievements whatsoever. When it looked like he might run for Senate, political bosses in Illinois put his name on legislation he had nothing to do with. (“I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator,” one said.) Once in Washington, Obama did little but scuttle bipartisan efforts to pass important bills like immigration reform — the better to exploit that issue in his own elections. That foreshadowed his behavior in the White House, where he refused to work with Congress and instead imposed his will by unconstitutional executive fiat.

4. Anti-war hysteria. Obama prided himself on a speech he gave in 2002 against the Iraq War — a speech so memorable that no one actually recorded it. He promised in 2007 to negotiate with America’s enemies “without preconditions” — a pledge so naïve that his campaign actually denied it. The result: the premature withdrawal from Iraq; the capitulation to the Taliban in Afghanistan; the disastrous Iran deal — which grows worse every day; the Russian “reset,” which led to the abandonment of the Ukraine; and the Libya War, which Obama regarded as a way to prove his military mettle, but led to terror and chaos.

5. Little private sector experience. Aside from an early job out of college — which he hated — Obama had no experience of the private sector, beyond hitting up Wall Street friends for campaign cash. In fact, he had little executive experience of any kind. But his lack of experience in the private sector was crucial, because he made it the target of many of his policies, from Obamacare to climate change. As a result, Obama doubled the national debt and presided over the slowest recovery since the Second World War. The economy grew — barely — in spite of Obama, thanks to fracking and the Fed’s easy money policies.

* Unprepared, not “disqualified.” The Birther theory, which began in the Clinton campaign, had no basis in fact or law. But its likely origins lay in claims by Obama himself, through his literary agent, that he had been “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” The fact that so little was known about Obama despite his having written two memoirs — the first, highly fictionalized — was a mark of the opacity that would later make his administration the least transparent since Nixon.

CHILLING: How America Looks After 7 Long Years With An Anti-American President

 

The shocking truth about how close we are to becoming a one-party fascist state

This is the most brilliant and scary analysis of where we, as a nation are today… 

Last year a retired Border Patrol Officer by the name of Zach Taylor went on camera to explain the driving force behind the unprecedented surge in illegal immigration happening on our southern border. Taylor went on to note that what was happening at our border was not due to a spur of the moment event, or “a humanitarian crisis”, but asymmetrical warfare. The surge we saw at the border was apart of a larger more chilling event that served one purpose and one purpose only, to show our enemies that our southern border had been compromised and the government wouldn’t do a damn thing about it.

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The border was destroyed because of the actions taken by President Barack Obama under the guise of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan. Simply put, DACA rewrote our immigration laws and created the incentive for illegal aliens to break our laws as Obama deliberately undermined our nation’s sovereignty by simply creating his own. The culmination of Obama’s DACA has resulted in over 790,000 illegal aliens entering the country from the middle of 2013 to May of 2015, for a total of 2.5 million new illegal immigrants since Obama took office in January of 2009.

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While the threat comes from without, in this case millions of illegal immigrants, it could not have been possible without the enemy already being inside of the United States. As Mr. Taylor states, “If asymmetrical warfare is going to be successful, the first thing that has to be done is to compromise America’s defense against invasion because they have to have their personnel inside the United States to affect the infrastructure – our hospitals, our schools, our electric grid, our power supplies, our water supply – basically what we call infrastructure [which] effects the degeneration from inside the United States.” By drawing away the resources that are intended to protect the United States border in order to care for the illegal immigrants, the border is now wide open and our infrastructure is overloaded. Yet, the “crisis on the border” is only a small part of the larger warfare that’s being waged against our country at the hands of our own president.

“Today the Obama juggernaut is systematically bankrupting our country, and undoing the constitutional arrangements our Founders left to us”, writes David Horowitz in his book Fight Fire With Fire. The contempt of the Obama party for consultative and representative government is relentlessly on display. Horowitz goes on to give the example of what our enemy represents with the following statement uttered by then Senate Majority leader Harry Reid as he defended his refusal to negotiate with Republicans over Obamacare and the debt crisis. Reid stated in these words: “We are here to support the federal government. That’s our job.” End quote. You’ll notice that representing the people for whom our Constitution makes sovereign is not included in Reid’s statement.

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Horowitz then writes the following:

“My years as a radical prepared me to see much of this coming. But even I never thought we would be looking so soon at the prospect of a one-party system and a fascist state. Those words may sound hyperbolic, but take a moment to think about it. If you have transformed the taxing agency of the state into a political weapon – and Obama has; if you are setting up a massive government program to collect and file the financial and health information of every citizen, and also to control their access to care; and if you have a spy agency that can read the mail and listen to the communications of every individual in the country, you don’t really need a secret police to destroy political opponents. You already have the means to do it.”

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This is all the more troubling when you look at the sheer amount of data the Obama administration, or shall I say the Obama government, is collecting on each and every individual living in the United States. To effect the degeneration of the country from within the Obama administration has weaponized the IRS, DOJ, and FBI to target Americans who oppose their agenda. Now, the White House has added a key tool in their arsenal by prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of “racial and economic justice.” On Saturday, Paul Sperry of the New York Post, uncovered the latest Obama plan that is aimed at collecting personal data for a secret race database. Sperry writes, “Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.” It may sound conspiratorial but under this government the only conspiracy is that being committed against Americans who are too distracted by today’s latest ginned up political crisis.

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Sperry continues by noting that, “this Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make ‘disparate impact‘ cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds. Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.” This means that so called civil-rights attorneys like those working for the ACLU and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of “racial disparities” and “segregation,” even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.

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“Such databases have never before existed. Obama is presiding over the largest consolidation of personal data in US history. He is creating a diversity police state where government race cops and civil-rights lawyers will micromanage demographic outcomes in virtually every aspect of society”, concludes Sperry. If you were to add all the databases created under this administration, including the Obamacare database, known as MIDAS, which retains tens of millions of Obamacare enrollees information, you could quiet literally make the claim that the federal government has data on every single American citizen. In the hands of someone like Obama this becomes of grave concern given his willingness to use such information against his opponents. Now that this information will be made public in order to extort communities deemed “too segregated”. Whether it be through the withholding of federal funds for a local community showing a pattern of “racial disparity” or lawsuits against a school that disciplines minorities more than whites, it doesn’t much matter. The government will be able to force you to act in a way that it deems socially acceptable as Obama drastically changes the racial makeup of America by enshrining an infrastructure that will continue long after he’s gone.

All the while this is happening below the surface and under the radar from most Americans, we remain and for good reason, distracted by the latest crisis of the day. A Christian owned Oregon bakery is forced by the state to pay a fine for not baking a cake for a lesbian couple, a woman is killed by an illegal immigrant and 7-time convicted felon in San Francisco, four Marines and one Navy Officer are executed by an Islamic jihadist; none of this would be happening but for Obama’s actions. He knew that ISIS had put out a hit list specifically targeting our military, and he did nothing. He cheered on the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage knowing that it would be used in a way to exploit and destroy businesses specifically owned by Christians. He created the “sanctuary city” policy that has served to protect illegal immigrants while they rape, murder, and assault American citizens like Kate Steinle in San Francisco.

All of this is happening because of the enemy we have in the White House. The country is being brought to its knees by overt acts such as the jihadist attack that was met with no response, to covert acts such as the Obama race database. Yet, no resistance is met to counter the agenda of the Obama adminstration. Even the capacity of the American people to determine their own national interests are being torn asunder without any fight, without even so much as a whimper from Congress. Without a pushback, the adminstration goes about acting without repercussion held to no degree of accountability. With impeachment and the power of the purse both taken off the table by Congress, America is literally at the whim of Obama as the only checks that exist today on what the president can do is what he personally thinks he can get away with and what his political incentives are.

So the adminstration pushes full steam ahead without any concern for the American people themselves. Nowhere is this more apparent, on a foreign policy scale, than with the adminstration’s nuclear deal with Iran. As Andrew McCarthy of National Review writes, “At the U.N. today, the Obama administration is colluding with our enemies and other foreign sovereigns to deprive the American people – through their elected representatives – of the power to determine what obligations they will accept under international law. The Obama administration has taken the position that Russia, China, and, yes, Iran, have a vote on our national security, but we do not. And in this betrayal, Congress has, at best, been a witless aider and abettor.” At worst, they’ve gone along with the adminstration in committing treason against the United States of America.

I believe in the latter.

Illinois’ Obamacare plans seek big 2017 premium hikes

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Insurance premiums for Obamacare will rise an average of 11 percent, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

BY LISA SCHENCKER

Insurers want to crank up the cost of health insurance premiums by as much as 45 percent for Illinois residents who buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the most popular insurer on the state’s Obamacare exchange, is proposing increases ranging from 23 percent to 45 percent in premiums for its individual health-care plans, according to proposed 2017 premiums that were made public Monday. The insurer blamed the sought-after hikes mainly on changes in the costs of medical services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois said in a statement that the proposed rates are in line with those in many markets across the country, and the proposed increases don’t tell the whole story.

“No final decisions have been made regarding our 2017 offerings,” according to the statement. “While some carriers have chosen to exit the market, we are working toward continuing to provide health insurance options for consumers in Illinois. However, that must be done in a sustainable way.”

Coventry Health Care of Illinois proposed rate increases as high as 21 percent.

The Illinois Department of Insurance has until Aug. 23 to review the proposed rates and potentially try to negotiate them down. Final rates can be lower than the ones first proposed by insurers, and the proposed increases don’t reflect what consumers will actually pay, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was quick to caution Monday.

Last year, average monthly premiums for consumers with HealthCare.gov coverage increased by $4, to $106 a month “despite headlines suggesting double-digit increases,” HHS spokesman Jonathan Gold said Monday in a statement. About 75 percent of Illinois residents who buy plans on the exchange qualify for federal tax credits that partially offset the costs of their premiums.

“Consumers in Illinois will continue to have affordable coverage options in 2017,” Gold said in the statement. “Today’s announcement is just the beginning of the rates process, and consumers will have the final word when they vote with their feet during Open Enrollment.”

Kathy Waligora, director of EverThrive Illinois’ health reform initiative, said she also expects many of the rates to be lower than the proposed ones released Monday.

“We don’t put too much stock in the numbers as they stand right now because we know the [Department of Insurance] is really negotiating the rates up until the last deadline,” she said.

Ultimately it will be insurers setting the rates that will take effect Jan. 1. Illinois, unlike a number of other states, doesn’t have the power to reject the proposed rates outright, said Dena Mendelsohn, a staff attorney at Consumers Union, the advocacy and policy division of Consumer Reports.

Regulators in some states, such as California, have been very successful negotiating with insurers to push down proposed rates in the past, she said. That hasn’t been the case everywhere.

“It doesn’t appear to me like the Illinois rate regulator is rigorously reviewing these rate proposals and advocating for consumers,” Mendelsohn said.

Consumer advocates have also complained that Illinois takes too long to publicly release its rates, giving advocates less time to review plans and fight proposed increases. Insurers had to submit their rate plans for Illinois in April, though they were just released publicly Monday as required by the federal government.

Other states make the rate plan proposals public when they are filed, and before Monday, more than half of the states had disclosed just how much higher Obamacare premiums could be. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, for example, proposed an average increase of 53.7 percent.

The increases aren’t a surprise as many insurers have been losing money in the marketplace, said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hempstead said Illinois regulators tend to be realistic about just how low proposed rates can go.

“I don’t think the Insurance Department wants to push the carriers off a cliff and tell them they can’t raise their rates and then they’re upside down actuarially,” Hempstead said. “You can’t sustain a situation where most carriers lose money.”

She noted, however, that recent news of insurer Cigna’s plans to start selling marketplace plans in the Chicago area is likely good news for consumers. The additional competition could help hold down prices.

It’s at least one bright spot for Illinois residents on the exchange, who have been battered by other developments.

Insurer Land of Lincoln Health stunned 49,000 enrollees with its announcement this summer that it would shut down Oct. 1, after sustaining heavy financial losses. And last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois decided to discontinue its broadest PPO plan on the exchange after losing money.