AP: GOP Budget Slashes Spending, Aid To Poor

From a shameless Associated Press:

GOP budget slashes spending, aid to poor

By ANDREW TAYLOR | April 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A budget plan stuffed with familiar proposals to cut across a wide swath of the federal budget breezed through the House Budget Committee on Wednesday, but its sharp cuts to health care coverage for the middle class and the poor, food stamps and popular domestic programs are a nonstarter with President Barack Obama.

How is that for a nice unbiased headline and lead paragraph?

The GOP-controlled committee approved the plan by a party-line vote after swatting away numerous Democratic attempts to ease its cuts. The plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the committee chairman and the party’s former vice presidential nominee, promises $5.1 trillion in cuts over the coming decade to bring the government’s ledger into the black by 2024.

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Charles Koch: I Am Fighting To Restore Freedom

An opinion from the Wall Street Journal:

Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society

Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.

By Charles G. Koch | April 2, 2014

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts.

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Blue Cross: Premium Payments Are 80% – 85%

From Reuters:

Blue Cross group sees Obamacare premium payments at 80-85 percent

By David Morgan | April 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A leading federation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans said on Wednesday that it is receiving premium payments from 80 to 85 percent of its new Obamacare health insurance customers.

Remember how Blue Cross and Blue Shield were ordered not to give out any numbers back in the early days of the Obama-Care roll-out? (See below.) Now we know why.

The estimate, released by the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, reflects enrollment activity among 35 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 47 of the 50 states, including plans sold by WellPoint Inc, from October 1 through February 1…

That is quite a wide sample.

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White House Feared Obama-Care Would Collapse

From the National Journal:

White House Masked Fears of Obamacare Collapse

By Major Garrett | April 1, 2014

… In ways they’ve never discussed before, senior administration officials now admit they feared late last fall that the entire law might collapse under the weight of Democratic defections and aggressive Republican calls for repeal. The mathematics of veto-proof majorities always argued against repeal, but the nightmare of HealthCare.gov followed by the “political lie of the year” on individual insurance policies filled senior Obama advisers with Affordable Care Act existential dread.

Looking back on it now, senior officials heap praise on the triage team led by Jeffrey Zients that rebuilt the website. But they also proclaim with jut-jawed arrogance this unassailable and in retrospect vital political fact: Not one Senate Democrat who voted for Obamacare and only two House Democrats (Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina) ever backed full repeal.

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Pelosi Claims O-Care Will Create Four Million Jobs

From the Daily Caller:

Pelosi won’t run on Obamacare: ‘While we’re proud of the Affordable Care Act, we now pivot to jobs’

By Brendan Bordelon | April 1, 2014

While Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took an Obamacare victory lap Tuesday afternoon, she appeared hesitant to make the law the central plank in her party’s push to win in 2014, telling reporters that “while we’re proud of the Affordable Care Act, we now pivot to jobs.” …

“Well let me just say, those of us who fought for this knew what we believed in and really don’t think we needed any vindication,” she responded. “We just had to protect it from those ideological anti-government people who didn’t want to see it succeed — for ideological, or political or whatever those reasons are.”

Naturally, no one who opposed Obama-Care did so out of concern for our country or our freedom.

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CNN Hits Ratings Low, Despite ‘MH370 Series’

From Deadline Hollywood:

CNN Hits Near Low In Q1 Ratings, Fox News On Top Again For 49th Time, MSNBC Down

By DOMINIC PATTEN | April 1, 2014 

They may have had a March ratings surge with their constant coverage of the missing Malaysian Airliner but it wasn’t enough to save CNN from one of their worst quarterly primetime results ever.

Between December 30, 2013 and March 28, 2014, the Jeff Zucker-run cable news network pulled in an average of 498,000 total viewers between 8 PM and 11 PM and 169,000 among adults 25-54. While CNN saw a slight 3% dip in the key news demo, it slid 16% in total viewers from from Q1 2013. That viewership result slide tumbles CNN down to the third worst quarter it has ever had in total audience.

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White Privilege Confab: White Is Like Alcoholic

From the Daily Caller:

White Privilege Conference: Being white is like being an alcoholic

By Robby Soave | April 1, 2014

The conference was funded in part by hotel tax revenues, the University of Wisconsin and the City of Madison — in other words, by taxpayer dollars. It was a colorful week, according to an account by the MacIver Institute

Kim Radersma, a former high school English teacher and current activist, hosted a session titled, “Stories from the front lines of education: Confessions of a white, high school English teacher.”

Radersma advised participants — who paid more than $400 for the privilege of hearing her rant about privilege — that teaching was a purely political act, and neutral people should “get the fuck out of education.”

“Teaching is a political act, and you can’t choose to be neutral,” said Radersma.

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Insurers Fear Backlash Over O-Care Rate Hikes

From Reuters:

U.S. insurers fear backlash over new Obamacare rate increases

By Caroline Humer and David Morgan | April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the first Obamacare enrollment period comes to a close, U.S. insurers are already anticipating the need to raise prices for 2015 and fear that it will put them at the center of the political blame game over President Barack Obama’s healthcare law…

But insurers have already said that the first group of new enrollees under Obamacare, as the law is widely known, represent a higher rate of older and costlier members than hoped. To keep their health plans from losing money in the coming years, many expect monthly premium rates to rise by double-digit percentages in some parts of the country.

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The Hill: Sen GOP Fear Too Much Focus On O-Care

From The Hill:

GOP gets O-Care angst

By Alexander Bolton | April 2, 2014

Anxious Senate Republicans are worried party leaders are focusing too much this election year on ObamaCare and not enough on jobs and the economy.

Given how eager the Republican leadership is to always move on to the ‘next battle’ this sounds all too plausible. But The Hill’s only sources for this story are an ‘anonymous’ Republican Senator (who may or may not exist) and another Republican Senator that nobody has ever heard of: Senator Dean Heller from NV, and a couple GOP operatives.

So this might just be a psy-ops post to try to demoralize the Republican base.

The concern among GOP centrists [sic] comes as President Obama and congressional Democrats are crowing about a surge in late enrollments and claiming the political winds are shifting around the Affordable Care Act…

Because our one party news media says it’s so.

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AP Frets: Will ‘Obama-Care Surge’ Save Dems?

From a concerned but newly hopeful Associated Press:

Health care sign-ups surge — will they save Dems?

By JULIE PACE and JOSH LEDERMAN | April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — … Despite lingering problems with the website, a late wave of enrollments pushed sign-ups higher than critics and even the White House had believed possible.

It was truly a miracle. Though probably a man-made miracle.

Still, the administration hasn’t determined how many of those people have closed the deal by paying their first month’s premiums. Also unclear is how many were previously uninsured — the real test of Obama’s health care overhaul… The administration also hasn’t yet released an updated demographic breakdown of enrollees, such as the number of younger people whose participation is critical to the law’s success.

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AP: O-Care Status Update (Backpedaling Begins)

From the Associated Press:

Q&A: Status update as health law marks a milestone

By NANCY BENAC April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Like so much about the government’s health care overhaul, Monday’s deadline to sign up for coverage in 2014 didn’t turn out quite as planned: Many people still are eligible for extensions that will let them enroll…

In fact, there are today about a dozen articles reporting this ‘news.’ Including this one from the Associated Press: ‘It’s not too late to get health coverage.’ Why is that?

Still, step by step, the law is taking effect.. It’s time for a status report as the law marks a milestone, although no one’s quite sure how to define success:

Q: How many people have gotten coverage?

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Atlantic Mocks Pundits Over O-Care Predictions

From the Atlantic Magazine:

Pundit Accountability: The Best and Worst Obamacare Predictions

By Arit John | April 1, 2014

Many pundits across the country woke to very disappointing news this morning — they were completely wrong about Obamacare. Despite a busted website, tons of bad press and a dozen (debunked) horror stories, a last minute rush of procrastinators pushed enrollments over the 7 million mark.

Which of the horror stories have been debunked, Mr. Reid?

A select few (usually on the left) were vindicated after months of saying everything would work out… For every pundit who thought today’s headlines were possible, there were handful who saw death spirals and bailouts. Here are the best and worst predictions…

Pundit: Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic
Prediction: Obamacare will be fine — November 13, 2013…
How that prediction looks now: A victory lap seems pretty warranted.

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Obama Pronounces: Obama-Care Debate Is Over

From National Review:

Obama Takes Victory Lap at Obamacare Presser, Says ‘Debate Is Over’

By Josh Encinias | April 1, 2014

President Obama said Obamacare has made the American health-care system “a lot better” and even, though it has been “messy at times, it is progress.”

Really? Even though we were promised it would insure the 47 million who are uninsured and it hasn’t? Even though we were promised it would lower the price of premiums, and they have gone up, along with deductibles and co-pays?

Even though we were promised it wouldn’t add ‘one thin dime to the deficit,’ and it will add billions? And, even though we were promised if we liked our plan we would be able to keep it? That is progress?

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Forbes: Uninsured Are Not Down By 9.5 Million

An op-ed via Forbes:

How Well Is Obamacare Covering The Uninsured? A Glass Half Empty Moment

By Chris Conover | April 1, 2014

… The LA Times, relying heavily on as-yet-unpublished RAND Corporation survey figures, has reported a grand total of 9.5 million formerly uninsured have gained coverage. How should we assess this figure? …

Hard Truth #1: The Total Number of Uninsured Has NOT Declined by 9.5 Million

The LA Times figure includes 2 million uninsured purportedly covered through the Exchanges, 3 million previously uninsured young adults purportedly covered under their parents’ policies and 4.5 million covered through Medicaid.

Roughly 1 Million With Cancelled Plans Remain Uninsured. The problem with the first figure is that the LA Times itself reports “Fewer than a million people who had health plans in 2013 are now uninsured because their plans were canceled for not meeting new standards set by the law, the Rand survey indicates.”[1]This means we have to subtract this ~1 million newly uninsured group from the 9.5 million to arrive at the net reduction in uninsured of 8.5 million.

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LAT: O-Care Insures 9.5M Previously Uninsured

From a joyous Los Angeles Times:

Obamacare has led to health coverage for millions more people

At least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gotten health insurance since Obamacare started, surveys and reports show.

By Noam N. Levey | March 30, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law’s initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage…

Notice how the LA Times is going out of its way to confuse their low information readers into thinking that all of these 9.5 million newly insured people are buying insurance through the exchanges.

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