12:33 PM, Mar 28, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In school, a child who gets a 67 percent will generally get a D. But for Obamacare, 67 percent is apparently grounds for an A. Talk about grading on a curve.
In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office projected that 9 million people would get health insurance for 2014 through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges. Two days ago, the Obama administration announced that 6 million people had gotten insurance for 2014 through those very same exchanges—and the administration could barely contain its glee. So, what gives?
In the summer of 2012, the Supreme Court issued its Obamacare ruling, holding that Obamacare’s individual mandate was clearly unconstitutional under the commerce clause but not clearly unconstitutional under the taxing power. Shortly thereafter, the Congressional Budget Office released a document entitled “Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision.” In that document, the CBO estimated that 9 million people would get health insurance for 2014 through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges.
Last February, the CBO downgraded its estimate. It wrote that, in part, this downgrade reflected its judgment about “the readiness of exchanges to provide a broad array of new insurance options.” In other words, over a year ago, the CBO could already read the writing on the wall: Obamacare’s government-run exchanges weren’t going to be dazzling anyone with their technical competence or their product line.
Sure enough, they haven’t. Indeed, last month, the CBO had seen enough of the Obamacare rollout to downgrade its projection still further, to 6 million. Less than 2 months later, that lowered estimate has now reportedly been hit—and the Obama administration is claiming victory.
This is a lot like a college football team that, in the immediate aftermath of the previous season, is projected by sportswriters to win 9 regular season games (out of 12) the following season and go to a good bowl game. Then, after watching spring practice, the sportswriters decide that 7 wins is probably more realistic. Midway through the actual season, they drop their projection to 6 wins—and the team finishes 6-6 and doesn’t go to a bowl. Where this analogy breaks down is that the teams’ players would likely view their season with disappointment, while the Obama administration acts as if its 6-6 team has won the national championship.
Moreover, even the figure of 6 million is based on the number of people who have “signed up” for insurance. But people don’t “sign up” for insurance; they buy it—and it’s not clear how many of these 6 million have yet bought anything. From reports, it appears that about 20 percent—or more than a million people—have “signed up” for something that they haven’t yet bought and likely have no intention of ever buying. Only an administration with as little business experience or acumen as this one would count such people as confirmed customers.
In reality, it appears that the Obama administration knows how many people have paid for these plans but is refusing to release those numbers to the public.
Obamacare madness, Christmas edition.4:31 PM, Dec 20, 2013 • By JAMES C. CAPRETTA
The wrecking ball swung again toward the crumbling Obamacare edifice yesterday. Ironically, it continues to be the Obama administration that is operating the heavy machinery.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced, in the form of a letter to Democratic senators, that Obamacare’s individual mandate tax will be waived in 2014 for persons who had their policies canceled in 2013 due to Obamacare.
New legislation shows Congress and American public are united in their distrust of Obama's Iran deal.4:14 PM, Dec 19, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
A recent AP/GfK poll shows that a majority of Americans, 55 percent, disapprove of how Barack Obama is handling the Iran issue.
30 members support the House Resolution calling for civil action.1:49 PM, Dec 12, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, a Republican, is sponsoring a resolution in the House of Representatives that would, if adopted, direct the legislative body "to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch." In other words, Rep. Rice wants to take President Obama to court for not faithfully executing the laws.
11:31 AM, Nov 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Democratic congressman Nick Rahall says he voted for the Keep Your Health Plan Act because President Obama's Obamacare fix lacked the "legal underpinning" he believes is necessary:
"Did you vote yes because you think that the president didn't go far enough?" a CBS reporter asked the congressman.
"I voted yes, perhaps that was part of the reason," said Rahall. "But the main reason was, I'm not sure he had the legal underpinning to do what he did."
2:40 PM, Nov 15, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Remember back (a few short weeks ago) when the Democrats were arguing that Obamacare was the law of the land, that it hadn’t been struck down by the Supreme Court (as if avoiding that ignominious fate by a razor-slim 5-4 vote were a selling point), and that Republicans—and the American people—just needed to get over it and accept Obamacare as settled law forevermore? Well, it now appears what they meant was that, while the American people are powerless to change (or repeal) the law that the Democrats passed, the Democratic president can do so at his whim. Apparently, the federal lawmaking authority has now moved to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
3:21 PM, Nov 12, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported last week that in 2011, the IRS paid out $3.6 billion in fraudulent refunds on tax returns filed by identity thieves. Even that amount was an improvement over the previous year when the total fraud was $5.2 billion. However, on Tuesday, TIGTA released a new report that found that though the IRS is making some progress against fraud, it is not using all available tools to prevent erroneous refunds and improper tax credits.
3:31 PM, Nov 7, 2013 • By TERRY EASTLAND
“Detroit civil rights lawyer Shanta Driver made a last-minute decision to argue in a high-profile Supreme Court affirmative action case on Oct. 15 in part, she said, because so few African-Americans appear before the justices.”
11:49 AM, Nov 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
It looks like labor unions might be getting tax relief from Obamacare, according to a report from kaiserhealthnews.org.
"Weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes," reads the report.
7:35 AM, Oct 28, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Beginning with a speech last Thursday, President Obama is seeking to rejuvenate his administration's push to alter immigration laws and perhaps draw some attention away from the Obamacare launch debacle that has been dominating the headlines for much of October.
7:36 AM, Oct 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Eugene Robinson makes the case for Obamacare by writing, essentially, that it is a done deal. Time to get over it and move on. This is a corollary of the "law of the land" argument, which asserts that the thing has been written in stone and those who are still opposed and favor repeal should quit and acknowledge their defeat in its utter finality.
12:28 PM, Sep 19, 2013 • By JIM SWIFT
Yesterday, President Obama signed a number of supposedly uncontroversial bills into law.
One new law contains a provision that has been controversial in the past.
The law, S. 256, gives the government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) authority over submerged lands surrounding its coastlines, gives the President authority to establish naval defensive sea areas there, and also delays scheduled increases in the minimum wage for the remote island.
9:45 AM, Aug 21, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Despite a law passed 15 years ago, some Internal Revenue Service employees continue to use the designation "Illegal Tax Protester" and other similar designations in their case narratives, according to an audit just released by TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration). While the IRS has not reintroduced an actual code for such designations, the audit found out of 257 million records, there were:
1:21 PM, Aug 19, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The latest sequester victim: lawyers. As of September 1, court-appointed panel attorneys for the federal defender program will be hit with a $15/hour reduction in compensation. The following announcement appeared Monday on the United States Courts website: