Well, what is arguably the most painful day of the year, Tax Day, is finally over. Here’s our recap of the latest spending-related news, in case you need a reminder about where your money will be going.
The Cost of Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report that revised the estimated cost of Obamacare. The new projections estimate thatthe federal government will spend nearly $2 trillion on the ACA over the next decade.
If you like your metrics, you can keep your metrics. With as much money as taxpayers will be shelling out to pay for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you would think the government might want to have a clear way to measure the law’s success. You would be wrong. The Census Bureau has decided to change the way it measures who is uninsured in America, making it difficult to measure the effects of the ACA in its next report.
Waste: The Final Frontier. Star Trek has made another appearance in the annals of government waste. In 2013, federal workers were paid to watch the new Star Trek movie. In what was described as a team-building exercise, a group of federal employees and contractors spent one day last summer at a local restaurant followed by an afternoon watching the movie—at taxpayers’ expense.
Enrollment is up, but doctors are nowhere to be found. President Obama announced that 8 million individuals had signed up for health insurance through ACA exchanges. Despite the new numbers, many of those who enrolled have been left with rising premiums and smaller networks. Among the states seeing the sharpest increases were Delaware, with an average 100 percent premium increase, New Hampshire, with a 90 percent average increase, and Indiana with a 54 percent average premium increase.
Mr. Obama announced 8 million individuals had gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the administration touted that they surpassed all previous projections, there was still missing information from those numbers. Most importantly, the administration failed to note the distinction between people that gained coverage after previously being uninsured and individuals that were replacing an existing policy.
Although the administration exceeded expectations with enrolling individuals, many are still left with unaffordable plans or limited coverage. The New York Post recently reported that some patients with neurological diseases are losing their doctors under new ACA certified plans. Margaret Figuero, an Arden Heights resident of Staten Island, has now lost access to her doctors, which leaves her unable to get prescriptions for her medication. Figuero, who has had four brain operations, enrolled in a new EmblemHealth insurance program as required by the ACA. According to The Post, “After paying her premium, she received a temporary ID card. But when she went to order medication, the pharmacists said her name wasn’t in the system. And she said her doctors were not included in her new medical plan.”
In addition, Forbes magazine recently reported that health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever. A Morgan Stanley healthcare analysis of 148 brokers showed that average premium increases are in excess of 11 percent in small group market and 12 percent in the individual market. Some states are showing increases 10 to 50 times that amount and the “increases are largely due to changes under the ACA.”
According to Forbes, “The prior survey conducted in January also showed rates rising during the fall of 2013, but the new increases will come on top of those hikes and are even sharper. That prior survey of 131 brokers found that December 2013 rates were rising in excess of 6% in the small group market, and 9% in the individual market.” Among the states seeing the sharpest increases were Delaware at an average of 100 percent premium increase, New Hampshire at 90 percent average increase and Indiana a 54 percent average premium increase.
[from an article by Natalie Webb in BANKRUPTING AMERICA]
ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, and we know this is going to be terribly shocking to many of our readers, according to a recent poll done by Fox News, the majority of Americans believe that President Obama is usually lying.
Sixty-one percent of the people who took the poll believe that President Obama is lying at least some of the time on important issues. An additional twenty percent say that the President lies “here and there.” That means that eighty-one percent of Americans believe that Barack Obama lies to us.
Sadly, the poll also finds the President’s approval rating at forty-two percent. That means about forty percent of the people who took this poll know that the President is a liar and they just don’t care.
A lot of you believe that all politicians are liars and that’s just how life is.
But it’s not how things should be. We don’t have to settle for men and women who lie to us with impunity. We don’t have to settle for leaders to whom lying has become second nature. We don’t have to settle for politicians with no moral compass and a character reminiscent of something slimy that you might find on the bottom of your shoe.
We can demand that our representatives be above reproach. We can demand that they speak honestly with us. We can expect them to be morally upright and to build a wall between themselves and corruption.
The only reason our politicians get away with being liars is because we let them. Our politicians are bad because we allow them to be. It’s our fault.
But we can fix it. Let’s start with the current crop of liars, thieves and swindlers. Let’s vote them out and vote in honest, decent men and women with upright moral fiber.
NORM ‘n’ AL say, “Amen!”
[by Onan Coca, writing for EAGLE RISING]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis