Cheapest plans skyrocket 32 percent on Obamacare anniversary. 1:15 PM, Mar 22, 2013 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
Thanks to former Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak and his group of seven pro-life Democrats, women across their districts face higher insurance premiums today.
In the last three years, median prices increased 19.9 percent for 24-year-old females on average in zip codes among the seven congressional districts. The cheapest plan price spiked an average of 32.3 percent, while the number of plans available dropped by an average of 14.8 percent. For 55-year-old females, median prices climbed 6.3 percent; the least expensive plan saw a 13.7 percent hike; and the numbers of plans available plunged 16.7 percent.
See the numbers by district:
Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of Obamacare, which passed narrowly in the House only after Stupak and six fellow House Democrats struck a deal with the Obama administration on an executive order that was supposed to uphold the pro-life Hyde Amendment and prohibit federal funding from being used for abortions.
Those accompanying Stupak were Representatives Steve Driehaus and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Nick Rahall and Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, Pennsylvania’s Kathy Dahlkemper, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. These seven last-minute hold outs flipped their votes in a dramatic late afternoon press conference on March 21, 2010, paving the way for the passage of the Affordable Care Act later that evening in the House, which Obama signed into law on March 23.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD analyzed health insurance premium prices for individual plans taken from eHealthInsurance.com on March 21, 2010, and compared them with current prices for a 24-year-old female and a 55-year-old female. EHealthInsurance.com provides a fairly comprehensive database of insurance plans available by zip code. The federal government envisions a similar platform for the online health exchanges, although the first iteration remains far from it, and now apparently the goal is just to “make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”
Younger women in all seven districts saw median prices rise, some by as much as 42.8 percent in Driehaus’s district and 37.2 percent in Kaptur’s district, both in Ohio. Older women face higher premiums in four of the districts - the highest being in Kaptur’s district (24.5 percent), followed by Driehaus’s district (23.5 percent). Estimates in Ohio peg premium increases at 55 to 85 percent by 2017.
Even though HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asserted yesterday that consumers are “finally getting a better bang for their buck,” in some cases women are paying more for the same plans. For example, a 55-year-old woman in Stupak’s former district would have paid $450.81 in 2010 for a BlueCross BlueShield “Flexible Blue II 2500” plan. This plan now costs $570.88, a 26.6 percent increase.
Various studies indicate this is just the beginning, with premiums predicted to jump anywhere from 30 percent to over 200 percent for young people in certain regions.
Premium increases aside, some in Stupak’s group have since come to realize that the executive order did little to protect pro-life values.
Stupak acquiesced at the Democratic National Convention:
12:46 PM, Feb 7, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Former Democratic congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, a Catholic from Erie, Pennsylvania, cast a crucial vote in favor of Obamacare in 2010. She lost her seat that November in part because of her controversial support of Obamacare.
8:59 PM, Oct 14, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
National Democrats have given up on Ohio Representative Steve Driehaus's reelection campaign, but the race took an interesting turn today when the Ohio Elections Commission agreed to allow Driehaus's case against a pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, to proceed.
Death panels, again.1:29 PM, Oct 6, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
CQ's Tricia Miller reports on the latest dust-up in the bitter race to replace Bart Stupak:
The National Republican Congressional Committee is circulating a video of state Rep. Gary McDowell, the Democratic nominee in the race to replace retiring Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak (D), showing McDowell discussing the cost of health care in the last three months of life. The event took place at Mancelona High School in the fall of 2009, months before McDowell declared he would run for Congress.
A muddled clarification.1:57 PM, Jul 15, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee explains that the Pennsylvania high-risk insurance pool--funded entirely by the federal government--will provide coverage for elective abortions:
6:45 PM, Apr 7, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List has launched a $150,000 radio and phone campaign targeting Bart Stupak and four other other self-proclaimed pro-life Democrats who voted for the abortion-funding health care bill.
You can listen to the ad here. Transcript:
“It was the ultimate betrayal.
“Congressman Bark Stupak told us he was pro-life. Stupak promised us he would protect the unborn. That he would stand firm…and lead the coalition to keep abortion funding out of the health care bill.
“But Bart Stupak betrayed us…and voted to spend federal dollars – our dollars - on abortions. He should be ashamed.
“…Tell Bart Stupak we will not forget.”
The pro-life campaign against the Stupak Democrats comes as reports emerge that Stupak is considering retirement, and a Tea Party group cuts its own ad targeting Stupak.
4:12 PM, Apr 2, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The Hill reports:
Lawmakers living at the C Street House are violating congressional gift rules, a watchdog charged Thursday.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint Thursday with the Senate Ethics Committee and the House Office of Congressional Ethics, charging members residing at C Street with paying below-market rent.
The complaint lists Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) as well as Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) as allegedly receiving improper housing benefits.
4:20 PM, Mar 31, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
There's nothing Obamacare opponents would love more than to beat Bart Stupak after he agreed in the 11th hour to deliver the crucial votes for a health care bill that didn't include his amendment to prevent taxpayer-funding of abortion. Dan Benishek, a general surgeon for 27 years in Northern Michigan, hopes to be the one to do the deed. A newcomer to politics, Benishek didn't even have a website set up when Stupak announced he would vote for the health care bill. Since then Benishek has quickly capitalized on what many believe to be Stupak's betrayal and is well on his way to raising $219,000 online at www.dropstupak.com.
Money will help, but Benishek certainly has his work cut out for him. Obama narrowly won the district 50% to 48% in 2008, but Stupak cruised to reelection in 2008 by 22 points (65% to 33%). He survived his first reelection campaign back in the 1994 Republican Revolution by taking 57% of the vote--even after he voted for the unpopular Clinton budget.
4:59 PM, Mar 24, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The calls placed to Stupak's office reveal the extreme anger members of Congress are facing.
"Congressman Stupak, you baby-killing mother f***er... I hope you bleed out your a**, got cancer and die, you mother f***er," one man says in a message to Stupak.
2:35 PM, Mar 24, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
From the American Principles Project:
When Bart Stupak announced his support for the Senate Health Care Reform Bill, one reporter asked him if the deal between Barack Obama and the pro-life Democrats was made face-to-face with the President himself. Mr. Stupak said that he had made the deal working with White House Counsel Robert Bauer.
Who is this Robert Bauer - the man capable of selling Bart Stupak a bill of goods on the Executive Order?
Prior to his involvement with Mr. Obama, from 2005-2007 Mr. Bauer was a registered lobbyist for America Votes. In this capacity, he sought to enact laws that would help the fund-raising prospects of left-leaning 527s. After he finished the campaign of Mr. Obama, he served as the Counsel for the pro-choice election powerhouse EMILY's List.
America Votes (AV) is a coalition of liberal groups that has, according to their website "more than 20,000,000 Americans in every state in the country." AV is controlled by an Executive Board that consists of 9 members: 5 unions (AFL-CIO, AFSCME, NEA, SEIU, and UFCW), 2 global warming advocacy groups (The Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters), 1 general liberal advocacy network (Progressive Future), and, most importantly, the most influential pro-choice lobby - The Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Of course, this doesn't prove that Stupak's deal is meaningless--we have to rely on logic and the law to prove that. But it is fitting that Stupak sold out for a deal with a lawyer who has worked for the abortion lobby. As Planned Parenthood's president said, the executive order is nothing more than a "symbolic gesture."
It was all just hot air. 1:27 PM, Mar 22, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Everyone, and I mean everyone, agrees that the executive order on abortion Bart Stupak got President Obama to sign is a sham--a fig leaf not worth the paper it's printed on.
So why did Stupak sell out his pro-life principles?
Dissent from the Left. 12:10 PM, Mar 22, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
John McCormack writes that Rep. Bart Stupak's inexplicable an unprincipled late cave-in on taxpayer-funded abortion -- so senseless and bizarre after he held out so nobly for so long -- represents "an odd moment of agreement in a debate over health care that's been filled with factual disputes," as all sides agree that Stupak's late deal with President Obama for an executive order does nothing to change the legislation and will be essentially useless in practice. But that's not the only point of agreement about the outcome of the vote. In eschewing the normal legislative process of collaboration and compromise -- not to mention the notion of incremental change -- and instead insisting on a one-party comprehensive bill and a rush to the finish line at all costs, President Obama has managed to craft a bill that essentially no one likes.
11:35 PM, Mar 21, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Bart Stupak said at his press conference this afternoon that an executive order signed by President Obama will accomplish what his amendment would have accomplished:
"All the safeguards we were looking for, the principle we fought for all these months, will be enforced through this exeuctive order. ... It's a good agreement."
Stupak said on Fox News this afternoon that the executive order will have "the full force and effect of law."
The problem with Stupak's statements is that they're not true--and no one on the right or the left believes them to be true, except for Bart Stupak and a few of his friends.