Americans’ expectations for the economy slumped in May by the most since October 2013, casting doubt on consumers’ ability to revive growth. A measure tracking the economic outlook fell by 6 points to 44 this month, data from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday. Thirty-nine percent said the U.S. economy is getting worse, the largest share since the federal government shutdown 19 months ago.
The recovery, which we are ceaselessly being assured is either here or about to arrive, “this summer,” has never really materialized.
The U.S. economy has largely disappointed this year, with weaker-than-expected retail sales data last week capping a recent run of reports showing scant momentum. Consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of gross domestic product, climbed at a 1.9 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the slowest in a year and less than half the 4.4 percent advance in the final three months of 2014.
One suspects that this will be noticed by the “everyday people” who are, after all, living it.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for vendors to run its "National Data Warehouse," a database for "capturing, aggregating, and analyzing information" related to beneficiary and customer experiences with Medicare and the federal Obamacare marketplaces.
Along with the primary goal of expanding the availability of health insurance, the Affordable Care Act aims to make the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) universal. This plan actually began with the 2009 stimulus (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), which included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
An eye-opening report from KMOV about an Obamacare contractor using taxpayer dollars to pay their employees to spend all day doing nothing:
"A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers at an Obamacare processing center ... But now employees on the inside are stepping forward, asking, Is this why we're broke? Some of them claim to spend most of their day doing nothing," reports a local St. Louis reporter.
The attempts of defenders of Obamacare to rouse the American people in favor of the doomed monstrosity have become more desperate and bizarre. The most recent example is taking place in Florida, where the sudden death of a young uninsured woman is being cited as an indictment of the Republican-controlled state legislature for refusing to approve the Medicaid expansion so generously being offered by the feds. If the woman in question had access to federally-mandated Medicaid, they argue, she would of course have gone in for preventative screening which would have revealed her cardiac abnormality and somehow saved her life. Once again, heartless Republicans are causing the death of innocents.
A security expert who has testified before Congress and spoken to the media about vulnerabilities of the Healthcare.gov website has weighed in on the website's latest security issue, which was first reported Thursday by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. David Kennedy, the CEO of TrustedSec, an information security firm, said that the unintended opening at Healthcare.gov detailed in the story would allow malicious scammers to fool users with a "website that’s legitimate to make them believe its something else." He said the existence of this potential pitfall on the site is "absolutely amazing," and added that "an attacker can basically create a functioning website and host any content they want there and under the umbrella of healthcare.gov."
At least three marketers of health-related or insurance products and services have taken advantage of the "data-set" feature at Healthcare.gov to give themselves a virtual presence on the federal government's Obamacare site. The ability to use a web address containing "healthcare.gov" may lend credibility and even imply endorsement by the government.
Americans are methodically dealing with the Kübler-Ross stages of Obama-care grief, with our national healing process moving briskly through roughly one stage per week: (1) denial upon realizing that the website HealthCare.gov didn’t work; (2) anger at the realization that the technical back-end of the exchanges is as dysfunctional as the front-end of the site; (3) shock at the cancellation of plans and increase of premiums; and (4) depression at the prospect of losing access to doctors, too.
While everyone else has spent the last few days obsessing about Gravity, the government shutdown, and the real possibility that the NFC East division champ will have six wins, it’s quietly been an interesting week for sociology nerds who think about marriage.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, an "essential" federal employee, can tell you how many people have visited the Obamacare website ("7 million") but he can't tell you how many people have enrolled in Obamacare:
In my recent WEEKLY STANDARDessay, “Privacy Be Damned,” I warned about the operational problems and privacy issues raised by the “health exchanges” that HHS will force tens of millions of Americans to use as of October 1 of this year. In that essay, I noted that “the HHS inspector general and the GAO have been snoozing on their watches.”