Saturday, October 3, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Another Lawsuit But This Time Around it’s the Entire U.S. House of Representatives v. The Obama Administration. No Way?!? Way!

‘For those who thought that the lawsuits challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) were at an end, think again. On September 9, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the federal district court for the District of Columbia refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the entire U.S. House of Representatives against the Obama administration over its funding of certain aspects of Obamacare.

This is a historic lawsuit and a historic decision. In the past, individual members of Congress have filed a number of (unsuccessful) lawsuits against sitting administrations. But this is one of the few occasions when such a suit has been pursued by the entire House of Representatives as an institution.

Adopted on July 30, 2014, House Resolution 676 authorized the speaker to file suit. On January 6, 2015, the House in the new 114th Congress adopted HR 5, authorizing itself to succeed the 113thHouse as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The challenge by the House makes two claims against the Obama administration and specifically Sylvia Burwell, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Jacob Lew, the secretary of the Treasury. First, that the administration has spent “billions of unappropriated dollars to support” Obamacare. Second, that the administration “effectively amended the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate by delaying its effect and narrowing its scope.”

According to Judge Collyer, Section 1402 of Obamacare “requires insurers to reduce the cost of insurance to certain, eligible statutory beneficiaries” and the “federal government then offsets the added costs to insurance companies by reimbursing them with funds from the Treasury.” While certain other credits in Obamacare are paid through a permanent appropriation in the Internal Revenue Code, these “Section 1402 Cost-Sharing Offsets must be funded and re-funded by annual, current appropriations.”

The House claims it has never appropriated any funds for §1402, yet the administration “nonetheless drew and spent public monies on that program beginning in January 2014.” This violates Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”’ - This New Lawsuit Against Obamacare Has Legs, Daily Signal, 09/25/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

Friday, October 2, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: When the Affordable is Unaffordable

‘"Many of the non-poor formerly uninsured are estimated to be worse off," than without insurance, according to a September-dated working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research titled "The Price of Responsibility: The Impact Of Health Reform On Non-Poor Uninsured."

How so? The subsidies are not large enough to offset the cost of the insurance premiums and the fact that many previously uninsured will now have to pay part of the cost to see a doctor, the report explains. The authors reached that conclusion after reviewing data for the uninsured prior to Obamacare, including age, gender, earnings and location. Then, they married that information with health-care expenditures for the group and used it to make estimates of out-of-pocket costs before and after the law went into effect.

The group of people whom the authors highlight are the non-poor, or those ineligible for Medicaid but who maybe eligible for various subsidies for premiums or cost-sharing, depending on their income level. It turns out that the more someone earns the worse off they'll be.’ - Obamacare is actually not so affordable -- unless you're broke. MSN news, 10/01/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Big Foot, The Loch Ness Monster and Other Sightings of That $2,500 Obama Promised Heath Insurance Annual Premium Savings.

‘Employer-based health insurance premiums climbed 4.2% this year for family plans, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation report. That's up from 3% the year before.

Since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865.

The White House cheered the news, saying it was a sign of continued slow growth in premium costs.

That much is true. Since 2006, the average annual increase for family plans at work has been 4.9%, down from around 10% a year from 1999-2005.

Slightly less higher premiums aren't what President Obama promised Americans when he ran for office touting his medical overhaul. He specifically said his plan would cut premiums.

"We will start," Obama said back in 2008, "by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family."

That $2,500 figure was Obama's mantra on health care. You can watch the video if you don't believe it.

And Obama wasn't talking about government subsidized insurance or expanding Medicaid or anything like that. He specifically focused on employer provided health care.

For "people who already have insurance, and the employers who are providing it," he said at one campaign event, "we will work to lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family."‘ - Health Premiums Have Climbed $4,865 Since Obama Promised to Cut Them $2,500, IBD, 09/23/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fires Are Down Fifty Percent in the Last Thirty Years But Paid Firefighters Are Up Fifty Percent? No Way. Way!

“If you want to chat with a firefighter or see a fire truck up close, you can go down to the local firehouse at any time of day. The crew will probably be there, lifting weights or washing down the already gleaming red engines. Career firefighters usually live at the firehouse for a day or two, then take as many as three days off. Between eating and sleeping at the station, they mop floors, clean toilets and landscape the yard - with a few hours set aside daily for training and drills. Mid-morning, you'll find several of them at the local supermarket doing the day's grocery shopping.

In other words, being a firefighter these days doesn't involve a lot of fighting fire.

Rapid improvements in fire safety have caused a dramatic drop in the number of blazes, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Buildings are constructed with fire-resistant materials; clothing and curtains are made of flame-retardant fabrics; and municipal laws mandate sprinkler systems and smoke detectors. The striking results: On highways, vehicle fires declined 64 percent from 1980 to 2013. Building fires fell 54 percent during that time.

But oddly, as the number of fires has dropped, the ranks of firefighters have continued to grow - significantly. There are half as many fires as there were 30 years ago, but about 50 percent more people are paid to fight them.” - Fewer fires, so why are there far more firefighters? Washington Post, 09/04/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: So You’ll Save $2,500 Per Year? Maybe Not So Much

“Insurers have asked for double-digit rate increases for nearly 1 out of every 3 Obamacare plans that will be sold on for 2016 coverage, according to a new analysis.

And in three states—Delaware, South Dakota and West Virginia—every plan sold on is asking for 10 percent or more hikes in the prices of their premiums for next year, said in its report.”

“Existing Obamacare customers in six other states on that federally run marketplace, which serves two-thirds of the United States, could also be in for a rude awakening come November when open enrollment resumes.

In those other six states, a majority of plans are requesting double-digit hikes, ranging from Montana, where 86 percent of the plans have asked for such increases, down to North Dakota, where 67 percent of the plans are doing so.

"The natural reaction [for those customers] is: They're going to be surprised," said Sam Gibbs, executive director of

"In some of these states, there's going to be a strong reaction to it," said Gibbs.

AgileHealthInsurance's analysis found that 7 percent of the Obamacare plans sold on are asking for rate hikes of at least 30 percent, while 14 percent of such plans are asking for increases of at least 20 percent. “ - Obamacare's many double-digit price hikes for next year, CNBC, 09/05/2015

Link to the entire article appears below: