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Obamacare architect settles fraud charges

From The Daily Caller.

Vermont’s Attorney General has settled the state’s claims of fraud against Jonathan Gruber…one of the chief architects of Obamacare.

Under the terms of the settlement, Gruber will no longer work as a taxpayer-funded economic consultant for the state’s health care system and he won’t seek to be paid any money he might be owed…

For its part under the agreement, the Vermont’s attorney general will not pursue legal action under the Vermont Civil False Claims Act…

State Auditor Doug Hoffer, also a Democrat, originally referred allegations of Gruber’s overbilling to the attorney general.

Donovan, the attorney general and still another Democrat, said his office determined that Gruber did, in fact, violate the Vermont Civil False Claims Act…investigators concluded that Gruber sent two invoices — and possibly more — falsely charging the state and its taxpayers…

[Of Obamacare,] “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” he said during one health care conference.

At another event, Gruber admitted that the Obama administration pushed through the so-called Cadillac tax — a tax on certain premium health care plans — “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we know it’s a tax on people who hold these insurance plans.”

Premiums under Obamacare went up 24 percent in 2016. The average number of insurers in each marketplace fell from 5.9 to 3.9.

Nice job, Eric Owens of TDC! I can’t add a thing, except my surprise that the deceptive architect of Obamacare would accommodate my stereotypes so perfectly, as to also be apparently a deceiver/fraud in his personal actions.

Health Care Is Apparently a Conditional Right

If health care is a right, as the Democrat Socialists insists, then how come people who smoke or are overweight can be refused health care under a single payer system? Because, that’s what’s happening in the paragon of socialized medicine.

Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale.

Trump gets ready to be on offense?

News-wise, it’s been a busy few days. Following Scaramucci’s appointment a couple weeks ago to replace Sean Spicer (as WH Acting Communications Director), now DHS Secretary Kelly is appointed to replace Reince Priebus (as WH Chief of Staff). We also heard that AG Sessions is finally going to crack down on leakers.

Spicer and Priebus both came to President Trump via the Republican National Committee. In other words, though perhaps good human beings, they were traditional Swamp creatures. Rumors have swirled for months that Priebus had Spicer working more on behalf of Priebus’ reputation than Trump’s, and that Priebus was one of “the leakers” who have caused trouble for Trump. Even if that isn’t true, I still can’t say that the Priebus-Spicer team has done a wonderful job of advancing an America First agenda.

Politically, Trump is a “fighting” President and the combination of Scaramucci and Kelly says that he wants to stop playing defense and go on offense. Scaramucci seems more genuinely combative than Spicer and more adept at new media (getting Trump to do his first Periscope live stream, for example). General Kelly seems like an effective manager who really believes in Trump’s agenda in terms of America First, controlling the border, cracking down on gangs (MS13), and so forth.

The rumor mill says that NSA McMaster could be on his way out. He is said to be yet another leaker, who carries forward Obama policies and appointees rather more than he should. He apparently championed a Syria war, and Trump has apparently decided against a Syria war. We shall see.

Our favorite Senator, Lindsey McCain, still hates Trump passionately. Here is video of Lindsey Graham saying that Trump is an enemy of the Rule of Law who “turns democracy upside down”. And video of John McCain pumping fists with Chuck Schumer (D) when the Senate failed to repeal Obamacare on Friday.

Why does John McCain love Obamacare?

UPDATE – Not so much on offense? Scaramucci has just resigned. This is probably not great, if Trump wants a forward communication strategy. And it’s probably something that Kelly wanted.

So, we would have a scenario where Scaramucci is brought in, takes out Priebus (by means of a conflict that I didn’t go into, above), makes room for Kelly to come in, and then Kelly says “I’m the boss – you’re done”?

UPDATE: A report says yes, the above is what Jared and Ivanka wanted. Scaramucci was just their blunt instrument for removing Priebus; Bannon, Kelly and others were never going to stand for having Scaramucci around.

Also, if you believe Jack Posobiec’s sources on Capitol Hill, McCain defeated the latest Obamacare repeal just to screw Trump and Rand Paul. Totally unprincipled.

Single Payer Healthcare Summarized.

His death must take place on the day he arrives, for insurance purposes.”

Wednesday feel-good movies

They’re short, I promise. 😉 Here’s President Trump saying recently, “In America, we don’t worship government; we worship God”. (If you’re an atheist or agnostic, focus on the first part: “We don’t worship government”.)

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Today’s world is a titanic struggle between those who worship government and those who don’t. I’ll never forget the 2012 Democrat convention, where delegates cheered and defended the neo-fascist slogan, “Government is the only thing we all belong to.” What’s above is the opposite.

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Hyperbole Everywhere

The new Democrat rhetorical style is to shout hyperbolic accusations while insisting they are not being hyperbolic.

John McCain voted yes on the idea that the Senate should have a debate about how to fix Health Care… again. To Democrats… who aren’t being hysterical at all… this means everyone will die.

 If the House bill – or any variant of it – passes, thousands will go bankrupt or die. This is not hyperbole. This is real.

Yes, it is no exaggeration at all to say that if Obamacare is ever repealed or replace with anything other than Government-Run Bureaucratic Health Care (i.e. Single Payer, i.e. VA healthcare for everybody, i.e. Charlie Gardcare), we will go back to the Dark Days before 2010, when American Health Care looked like this.

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What Would the Obamacare Death Panels Say About John McCain?

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Senator John McCain was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. An eighty year old man requiring expensive treatment is something the architects of Obamacare thought was too expensive. In fact, Ezekiel Emmanuel (brother of Rahm Emmanuel and an Obamacare architect) is on record saying that providing medical care to anyone over the age of 75 was a waste of resources.

In left-wing countries with socialized health care that leftists adore, it is standard procedure to deny care to severely ill people in order to save money.  Rational? Perhaps, but not quite the selling point leftists use to advance the scheme of state-run health care.

On a related note, the left’s favorite fake scientist says that all old people should die so the Global Warming Agenda can be implemented without resistance.

Health Insurance Question

After weeks of closed door meetings, the Republican senate leadership has unveiled their “Obamacare Replacement” bill; which preserves everything in Obamacare that has driven the costs of health care skyward. The onerous regulations will remain, responsible people who buy insurance before they need it will still be gouged to pay for irresponsible people who don’t buy “insurance” until after they need it, the modest “opt out” provisions in the House Bill are gone, the subsidies will actually increase. The main thing it does is shuffle taxes around and bail out giant insurance companies.

More generally, it represents a failure to think beyond the confines of the law that is already in place. At a fundamental level, the Senate plan accepts Obamacare’s premises about the nature of health insurance and the individual market. It works from the assumption that the only way to make expensive health insurance cheaper is to subsidize it through the federal government. It is a plan that subsidizes, and therefore disguises, unaffordability, rather than attempting to bring down costs directly.

Precisely. The Republicans are really no different than the Democrats; they love Government and see Government as the solution to every problem.

Here’s what I don’t understand. To set this up, I don’t think the Government has any business regulating health insurance beyond protecting people from fraud. People should be able to work out any contractual arrangement with an insurance company they want. The Government’s only  role should be to enforce that arrangement should either party try to renege; which would be done through the judiciary, not the legislature. That’s what I believe, but apparently, I’m in the minority. All right, fine. So, the majority believes that the Government should be able to tell insurance companies what kinds of policies they have to sell.

OK, if that’s the parameters for this discussion … why would it be so BAD, even in that scheme… for the Government to set a Minimum Coverage Baseline that was just Catastrophic Coverage + one check up per year? People would be covered if they got cancer or had a heart attack or were attacked by a bear … big expensive stuff. And they could get an exam from a doctor once a year if they want. That wouldn’t cost much, and the minimum that anyone needs. And if you have a minor medical issue, you assume the risk of paying for it out of pocket. From that baseline, you could modularize coverage, paying more for prescription coverage, and more for mental health treatments, depending on what you think you might need in the future.

You may not personally like that choice… but why doesn’t the Government even allow that choice?

I kind of suspect that its the insurance companies that want the Government to force middle-aged gay men to pay for insurance that covers obstetrics and gynecology, and tee-totaling Mormons to buy coverage for alcohol and drug addictions. And forcing normal people to pay for sex reassignments for those with body dysphoria. Having the Government force people to buy sh-t they’re never going to use is sort of Crony Capitalism 101.

Reminder: Government health care is sub-DMV health care

Talk to a leftie and you will often hear how wonderful Canadian health care is. “Why can’t we be like them?” Crowder did an expose of Canadian health care in 2009 that is still relevant:

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Here’s the summary. Canadians pay huge taxes for “free”, “universal” health care. It makes people wait, and wait, and wait. Many people either give up altogether (and their condition gets worse), or go to a private clinic.

That’s how they reduce patients to a manageable number. Economics 101 teaches us that all goods must be rationed by one means or another, and “waiting” for people to quit the queue is how they ration Canada’s public health care.

From Crowder’s anecdotes it seems that Canadians, if they don’t quit, will wait usually about four times as long as Americans. For example, last year I went to an emergency room on a Sunday afternoon. It took 20 minutes to get the triage nurse’s attention, then another hour to see a doctor. In Crowder’s video, they visit a Canadian emergency room on a Sunday. It takes them about an hour and a half to see the triage nurse, and then 5+ hours to see a doctor (except they quit at the 4-hour mark).

Likewise, an acquaintance of mine recently needed a cancer surgery. He got it in weeks; in Canada it would have taken months. This is what Bernie and Hillary want to bring us to.

Minor Changes to Obamacare Send Democrat Left into Hysterics

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act last night which… actually doesn’t do whole lot, much less repeal Obamacare. Even if some version gets through the Democrat-Run/Republican Majority senate, it’s not going to fundamentally change the idea that the Government should run health care (into the ground).

Nevertheless; the Democrat Left is reacting as though their trust funds had just been taken over by Bernie Madoff:

DailyKos:House Republicans vote to sentence millions of Americans to death

Slate: The GOP’s passage of Trumpcare is one of the cruelest things the party has ever done.

Professional Hillary fanboy Peter Daou says that the AHCA “Literally saves money by having people die sooner. Diabolical.” Um… that’s exactly how your revered single payer systems in Britain and Canada work.

Democrat Media Operative Tavis Smiley seems to think the bill eliminates Medicare and Medicaid. “When health insurance is a commodity that only the rich can buy, poor people suffer and the elderly just die.”

Another member of Democrat leadership said passing the AHCA was an “act of terrorism.” I am not making this up.

All these histrionics (and more at the link) over a bill that barely touches the basic premise of Obamacare: the Government should run health care and force healthy people to pay for sick people who didn’t plan for getting sick.

California Decides Killing Poor, Sick People Is More Cost Effective Than Helping Them

California’s health care system is including money in the budget to assist poor, sick people in committing suicide; but not money for palliative care, or money to treat their terminal illnesses.

Without fanfare or announcement, Governor Brown’s proposed 2016 Budget recommends $2.3 million dollars to allow California to purchase lethal drugs for Medi-Cal patients who want their physician to help them commit suicide. California would pay an estimated $5,400 per patient just for the drugs yet Medi-Cal patients still have no access to palliative care (designed to improve the quality of life for patients and their family facing serious illnesses.) Even more incredibly, a recent study has shown that Medi-Cal recipients have only a one in three chance of even getting cancer treatments under the system and often cannot obtain second opinions

Killing poor people because treating them is too expensive; kind of thought that’s what evil insurance companies were supposed to do. Not progressive Governments run by compassionate leftists.

VA Spent $288,000 to Move Bureaucrat While Vets Died

This is exactly how socialized health care works in the real world.  Bureaucrats spend money on themselves; f— the sick people.

The inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs has opened an investigation into why the director of the Philadelphia regional benefits office was given a $288,000 “relocation payment” to move from Washington, D.C. last year.

Diana Rubens was awarded that hefty sum to make the 140-mile move from her previous job in Washington, D.C. where she served as the agency’s deputy undersecretary for field operations.

Here’s a picture of the bureaucrat who required 5x the median American income to move 140 miles.

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Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

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Progressive’s Illusions Mugged by Reality

From Insty:

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If only someone had warned that constructing an enormous Government bureaucracy to regulate health care, generating tens of thousands of new health care regulations, and isolating health care from all market forces were only going to make health care more expensive, more complicated, and less responsive to the consumer.

But, seriously, who could have foreseen that?

 

 

CNBC Reporter Was Reprimanded for Questioning Grubercare

A CNBC reporter says she was taken to the woodshed for questioning the sketchy economics of Grubercare.

“I’m trained in economics. I went to Harvard. This is what I do. You know, I looked at the math of Obamacare and it didn’t make sense. You said you can’t add millions of people and have it not cost everyone. You can’t add people with pre-existing conditions and not charge more. And, maybe folks would still be in favor of it if they knew the facts. But they needed to know the facts. So, I would pursue that line of questioning and after the show one day I was called up to my manager’s office and was told that I needed to stop. And I said, “Why? This is math not politics?” They said that I was disrespecting the office of the president.“

I am not a Harvard trained economist, but it was always obvious to me that the mathematics of Obamacare were simply impossible, absent a miracle.

  • Add millions of people to the health care system
  • Require that everybody in the health care system receive more services.
  • Reduce cost of health care.

Unless all the doctors and nurses in the country were replaced with magical elves riding on unicorns, the third bullet was always mathematically impossible given the first two. Giving more stuff to more people costs more, not less. How could it possibly be otherwise?

But under Grubercare, that was precisely the lie that the American public were sold, with generous help from the MFM who proclaimed that Obama was sporting clothing woven of the finest golden while he was parading around completely naked. (Sorry if you just threw up in your mouth on that metaphor.)

Maybe Gruber is right, and the voters really are stupid for believing that his health care scheme would work.

Mafia Government Explained

Seen on Twitter…

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Something I Don’t Understand About Grubergate

So, you’ve got this guy,  Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, and he’s in trouble for getting caught on video admitting that he and the Democrats lied about what was in the law and that they lied about the law because of the “stupidity of the American Voter.”

I get all that. It comes as no surprise, really, that Democrats think of Americans as stupid; consider their voters, for example.  But what doesn’t ring true is Gruber’s explanation for why they lied about Obamacare.

“It would have made more sense to do Obamacare the way we did in Massachusetts, which would be to just give people money to offset the cost of their health insurance,” Gruber said. “That was politically infeasible and so instead it was done through the tax code.”

But wait. There was a filibuster-proof 60 Democrats in the Senate, and a massive Democrat majority in the House when Obamacare was written. Why would it have been “politically impossible” to just do a straight-off health-insurance subsidy aligned with the Democrat philosophy of “We will take money away from people you don’t like and buy you stuff with it?”

Republicans would have resisted, of course, but their resistance was meaningless; they had absolutely no power. Obamacare was a Democrat deal… end-to-end… His assertion that they had to be tricksy and deceptive to get the bill passed makes no logical sense.

Unless Democrats just lie out of simple habit about everything, I don’t buy it that it was necessary to lie to get Obamacare passed.

Update (from Jeff): More lies from Nancy Pelosi. In an interview in 2009, she touted Gruber’s work and authority – as did many Democrats. Nowadays, Pelosi tweets “I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill.”

Obama Watch

Courtesy of ZH, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping stand together – away from President Obama.

Other news: Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare’s architect, brags about voter “stupidity” (his word) and how excellently he exploited it:

The conservative group American Commitment posted Jonathan Gruber’s remarks, reportedly from an Oct. 17, 2013, event, on YouTube.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” says the MIT economist who helped write Obamacare. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Ed Morrissey’s piece gives you the video, and Ed adds:

Gruber goes a little farther than that. He tells the crowd that the bill was written to fake out the CBO — which is the Congress’ own analytical group. “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber tells the audience with a smile. “If CBO scores the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”…

Democrats insisted that CBO’s initial scoring showed that the bill was deficit-neutral in its first ten years, thanks to…dodges like trawling revenue before making outlays a few years later. How much else did Democrats lie to get that initially positive scoring? How much else are Democrats still hiding about the ACA and the HHS implementation of it?

And now HHS tells us that they’re projecting Obamacare’s 2015 enrollment to be kind of a failure.

Last, but not least: Yes, the media helped Obama cover up his flailing on Benghazi.

The day after the Benghazi attack, Obama gave an interview to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes (CBS) where he pointedly refused to call the attack terrorism. But later, in a debate with Mitt Romney, Obama claimed that he had always been prompt in calling it terrorism. Obama spoke falsely. And CBS helped him, by hiding the relevant interview clip – until after the election.

UPDATE: A report that when Democrat senators need to know White House plans or positions, they ask MSNBC. (Which shows Obama’s isolation, as well as MSNBC’s deep subservience to the White House.) Via Citizens News.

Obamacare Architect Thinks People Should Die At 75

Ezekiel Emanuel — one of the architects of Obamacare — thinks that 75 years of life is enough and if people just dropped dead at 75, it would be good for society.

Zeke is back with a major article in The Atlantic, in which he provides a rationale for death at age 75. In his opinion, people older than 75 are annoying. They aren’t as productive as they used to be, don’t “contribute to work, society, the world.” They are more likely to be disabled, “a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived.” Plus, they are a pain in the ass: “they set expectations, render judgments, impose their opinions, interfere, and are generally a looming presence for even adult children.”

This reminds me of one the preachier episodes of Star Trek (featuring gay actor David Ogden Stiers doing his level best to appear sexually interested in Majel Barrett).

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Or maybe this would make it more interesting:

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For Democrats, Destroying Marriage Is Good Politics

And they admit it.

The decline of marriage over the last generation has helped create an emerging voting bloc of unmarried women that is profoundly reshaping the American electorate to the advantage, recent elections suggest, of the Democratic Party.

Which explains why it was so effective for Obama’s campaign to claim Mitt Romney would outlaw tampons. And it explains the histrionic, over-the-top, and shamelessly dishonest response to the Hobby Lobby ruling.

It also explains an interesting quirk in Obamacare that Rush Limbaugh noted:

“We had a caller yesterday that asked me this question: ‘When did birth control pills become so important to the human condition the federal government requires every insurance policy to cover them?’ Eye exams, dental exams, dental work are not mandated by Obamacare, but contraception is, birth control pills are.”

So now you know the answer to the question: “Why should the Government force some people to buy stuff for other people.” The answer is, in a social democracy, if that’s what the latter votes for, then that’s what the former has to do. Four wolves and a sheep, and all that. 

SCOTUS Rules for Hobby Lobby; Lefties Go Nanners

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that some companies cannot be forced to provide birth control and abortifacients to their employees on First Amendment grounds.

The left claims that by not forcing third parties to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to women, these companies are “denying women access to health care.” The left apparently believes that 1.) women are just life-support systems for uteri, and the only health care needs they have are for contraceptives, so that they may provide sexual gratification to men without risk of creating children and 2.) women are stupid, helpless creatures, who must have their contraception provided to them because they are incapable of getting it on their own.

It’s like saying companies are denying women access to food by not buying their groceries for them.

Birth control, by the way, runs about $9 a month for most women.

The left was really, really hoping that Church would once again be forced to bow at the feet of State, but it didn’t happen. So, they responded in the usual manner and spewed the f-word like a sailor with Tourrette’s while threatening Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court, churches, and America generally with vandalism, arson, and murder.

And then, of course, some of us question why, in a free society, the Government has any business whatsoever dictating to private companies what benefits they must provide to their employees.

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