If by “secret,” WSJ means “everybody knew he was going to do it, and it’s now become inconceivable that this ‘law’ can in any way at all be construed as the one that passed Congress — and yet, who’s going to do anything about it, particularly when we and the rest of the GOP money men have TEA Party dullards to slay, crony interests to protect, and illegal immigrants to keep around as cheaper labor?”
But that’s just me editorializing:
ObamaCare’s implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.
This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn’t think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don’t comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.
That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.
In 2013, HHS decided that ObamaCare’s wave of policy terminations qualified as a “hardship” that entitled people to a special type of coverage designed for people under age 30 or a mandate exemption. HHS originally defined and reserved hardship exemptions for the truly down and out such as battered women, the evicted and bankrupts.
But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you “believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy” or “you consider other available policies unaffordable.”
This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person’s belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that “you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance,” which only requires “documentation if possible.” And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.
Of course, we’ll be told that this is ObamaCare “imploding on its own,” just as the GOP establishment said it would, which is why Ted Cruz should just die die die.
But that’s because the GOP spin machine, much like the progressive mainstream press (the two are becoming comfortable using the same playbook, incidentally), understands, as do Democrat operatives, that if ObamaCare doesn’t harm enough people before the next major election cycles, people may believe the whole thing rather innocuous. Which means they may continue voting along their traditional patterns — with any offset of those who have awakened to the political reality that we live in essentially a one-party aristocratic statist monolith made up for by an increase in imported “pre-citizens” (and in Chicago, post-citizens, many covered in dirt), who we’ll allow to vote, numerous times in some instances, without ID and without any desire to assimilate.
Which means that the GOP establishment sees here a win-win: they can continue to run against Obamacare without having to do anything to pare it back, now that it doesn’t affect most people; and then, should they lose a major election cycle and the Dems regain controlling power, they can fundraise off of a desire to kill the very ObamaCare that is being put off for political reasons by Democrats in the first place.
The House should be passing bills daily calling for the repeal of ObamaCare on the grounds that the law has significantly changed without Congressional input. They should be holding daily press conferences talking about how this kind of dictator-like manipulation of the law for political timing is a hallmark of tyranny.
But instead, they’re more interested in slaying those very people in Congress, both on the House and Senate side, who actually do such things.
This is the world we live in and the political realities we face.
The rest is sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Gregg Abbott has been a paraplegic for 30 years and uses a wheelchair. Exactly who were the soul-dead poltroons who conceived and approved photoshopping Abbot as standing?
And not just standing, but towering over a small, melanin-enriched woman?
Just so wrong.
h/t Red State
You know you’re running with the conservative pack when you choose to bash the TEA Party in the New York Times. And you’re prepared to do anything in your power — with all the party machinery at your disposal — to make sure you hold on to your seat at the trough. Because if you ever did, you’ve long since stopped worrying about the wishes of the electorate, trading that in for tricks on how to manage their expectations, fluff your own voting record through procedural gambits, and both personal and crony wealth gathering.
So. Though I was out there on the tip of this particular spear when it wasn’t popular to be so — McConnell, recall, heralded the victory of Obama over McCain by announcing “the era of Reagan is over,” as if McCain was some kind of Reagan conservative and not the poster boy for the GOP wing of the Democrat party, and I blasted him for it, just one of my many unhelpful bits of exposition that has led me into the pundit wilderness — it does not make me happy, sweet sweet vindication aside, to see that, like Boehner and Rove and others before him, McConnell has taken off the mask and vowed to work to defeat every TEA Party candidate everywhere. That is, that he’s proven he would rather be a lesser noble than one of the people who believe it necessary to challenge the king and assert their individual autonomy.
Instead, it makes me kinda nauseous, if you want the truth.
The labor force participation rate in 2013 for Americans in their twenties hit the lowest level recorded since 1981, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started releasing employment data on people in the full age bracket of 20 through 29.
The labor force participation rate for people ages 20 through 24—which BLS has been tracking since 1948—hit a 42-year low in 2013.
Since 2008, the last year before President Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans in their twenties who were not in the labor force during the average month has climbed from 8,756,000 to 10,511,000—an increase of 1,755,000 or 20 percent.
The 10,511,000 Americans age 20 through 29 who were not in the labor force in 2013 is the highest ever recorded by BLS.
Or maybe a better title would be “Judge Jeanine bracing for future IRS investigations into her entire life”.
But from what I can tell about her, she seems to be someone who keeps her receipts neatly organized. So she’s got that going for her.
Guess the number of those adversely impacted by it has been…delayed:
The improvement is “slight,” they concede, but who’s excited for an Obamacare rebound? Not the American people, it turns out, despite CNN’s hopeful spin:
According to the poll, 39% of Americans say they support the health care law, up from 35% in December, a record low in CNN polling. The uptick of four percentage points is within the survey’s sampling error. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December.Obamacare is still underwater by nearly 20 points — with support falling short of 40 percent, and opposition approaching six in ten Americans. The improvement heralded in CNN’s headline are within the survey’s margin of error. The poll also shows that Obamacare’s only gains come among “upscale” consumers. The network’s write-up is quick to note that some in the opposition group say they don’t believe the law goes far enough. The suggestion is that some liberal consensus on healthcare exists, despite Obamacare’s unpopularity. Ed Morrissey isn’t impressed: “Yes, there have been critics from the Left who wanted a single-payer system instead of Obamacare, but they have been there all along. The point is that the law has little public support, while opposition to it is the broad consensus.” How broad is that consensus? The most recent Gallup poll legs the law’s public support at (40/55) and Fox News’ latest has it at (36/57). Those numbers….look familiar. Indeed, Obamacare’s net disapproval has ranged from roughly (-12) to (-25) for years. Opposition to this law is strong and stable. The NYT/CBS News poll takes a different tack, asking whether Americans believe the law should be fully repealed, needs to be revised, or is working as-is. Only six percent chose the latter option. A sizable contingent favors repeal (42 percent), and 50 percent wants changes. Liberals greeted that data point as proof that Obamacare isn’t really that unpopular after all. But as I wrote at the time, this argument fails upon slightly closer scrutiny. One of the overwhelmingly supported changes to the law is axing or postponing the individual mandate tax, which is the centerpiece of the entire law.
It’s bad enough when it appeared to be mere stupidity that Brown and his administration was just surprised that AB109/Prison Realignment has resulted in released felons re-offending …
… but only malice can explain the blame of the rise in crime and, especially, second-strikers on county District Attorneys.
San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos was on Los Angeles radio station KFI640 this afternoon and revealed that not only is Brown’s administration blaming the county prosecutors, but that Moonbeam himself is calling DA’s on their cell phones and attempting to pressure them to water down the prosecution of re-offending felons.
Wrap your head around that for a moment. The governor of California doesn’t want criminals prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He wants serious, violent criminals who are charged with yet another serious, violent crime not to be charged with a strike.
There are no words that can adequately describe such betrayal and dereliction of duty.
If these anti-theist bigots are successful, what stops them from challenging any Holocaust museum displaying menorahs or any art museum displaying any number of religious objects?
American Atheists on Thursday asked an appeals court in New York to remove the “miracle cross” from the 9/11 Museum, where it was placed two years ago. The steel beams were discovered in the devastation at Ground Zero.
Eric Baxster of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said that the cross is part of the story of 9/11 and that museums don’t censor history.
But the New York City atheists say the cross-shaped beams are a part of religious history in a museum that is on Port Authority property and financed by taxpayers. So they say this is a case of protecting the separation between church and state. [...]
The newspaper said Judge Reena Raggi appeared skeptical of the claims by the atheist group.
“There are countless cases of museums including religious artifacts among their exhibits and it’s going to be described in a way that talks about the history of the object, what is the problem here?” she said. “An argument has been made that you are trying to censor history.”
The anti-theists remind me of offended Islamists who see blasphemy in ice cream swirls.
Exactly what good is a database if you never check it?
Interpol says no country checked its database for information about stolen passports that were used to board the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared with 239 people on board Saturday less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing.
In a sharply worded criticism of shortcomings of national passport controls, the Lyon, France-based international police body said information about the thefts of an Austrian passport in 2012 and an Italian passport last year was entered into its database after they were stolen in Thailand.
Interpol said in a statement it was investigating all other passports used to board Flight MH 370 and was working to determine the “true identities” of the passengers who used the stolen passports. [...]
A telephone operator on a China-based KLM hotline on Sunday confirmed to The Associated Press that “Maraldi” and “Kozel” were both booked to leave Beijing on a KLM flight to Amsterdam on March 8. Maraldi was then to fly to Copenhagen, Denmark, on KLM on March 8, and Kozel to Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8.
She said since the pair booked the tickets through China Southern Airlines, she had no information on where they bought them. The ticket purchases reportedly took place almost simultaneously, and the tickets were numbered consecutively, according to the BBC.
A U.S. official told Fox News that a key priority is clarifying the status of the passports, whether they were lost or stolen, and determining through airport security screening and video who got on the flight under those names.
Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirm that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysian airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand. [...]
A foreign ministry functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed Italian reports that Luigi Maraldi had reported his passport stolen last August. [...]
Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss confirmed that a name listed on the manifest matches an Austrian passport reported stolen two years ago in Thailand.
How did such long-reported stolen passports pass security?
Two anonymous people board a flight, where two-thirds of the passengers are Chinese, and which disappears off radar so fast that no distress signal can be broadcast.
Color me suspicious.