43 Congressmen File Amicus Brief In Challenge To Obamacare

The Washington Examiner said Representative Tom Franks (R. -Ariz.) is leading several dozen congressmen, as they file an amicus brief – one in support of Dr. Steven F. Hotze’s constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act.   

The brief argues that Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, as it is also called, constitutes one of the biggest tax hikes in U.S. history.

The brief is a show of support for Dr. Steven F. Hotze, who is the plaintiff in a constitutional challenge suit  (Hotze vs. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius, et al.). Dr. Hotze is the founder and CEO of Hotze Health & Wellness Center, in Texas. He is also heads up Conservative Republicans of Texas.

Read more at: The Washington Examiner.com

Why Burwell Is Sailing To Confirmation

From Elise Viebeck writing in Monday’s TheHill.com, comes a report asking why Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s vetting process on Capitol Hill has been so relatively trouble free? Some Republicans could still be opposed to her taking the helm at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and potentially expressing this, openly on the floor in June. Yet, equal numbers have voiced their support of the current White House Budget Director.

Burwell can express her gratitude towards “filibuster reform.” Burwell also may be benefitting from recent, trending good news about Obamacare itself.

Also, according to The Hill report, Senator Orrin Hatch, a ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said, “She’s qualified, and I think she’s a good worker. So I’m pleased she’s willing to do this. It’s a terrible job. It’s just terrible.”

Read more at: The Hill.com

Dems Run, But Can’t Hide From Obamacare

Investors.com features an editorial Tuesday claiming that six months ago former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised that Democrats would collectively “stand tall” for Obamacare.

As November 2014 draws near, have Democrats changed their mind about the ACA? Pelosi now said in a weekend interview, “We’re not running on or from the Affordable Care Act.”

Georgia Senate candidate, Michelle Nunn, will not reveal what her Obamacare vote would have been, if she were in Congress in 2010. The same is true for Kentucky’s Allison Lundergan Grimes and Nebraska House Candidate Pete Festersen. Montana Senator John Walsh, says he was far removed from Washington, D.C. when the ACA passed, “preparing soldiers and airman to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Nationwide, labor support, usually a Democratic stronghold, may already be flagging. Las Vegas service workers are threatening a strike next month over Obamacare-based increases. Flight attendants with Alaska Airlines voted against a contract because it purportedly did not afford enough protection “against Obamacare’s steep price tag.”

Read more at: Investors.com

McConnell Suggests Obamacare Exchange Could Survive Repeal

According to TheHill.com report Tuesday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is suggesting that Kentucky’s health insurance exchange could withstand a scrapping of Obamacare, the law that created the marketplace to begin with.

McConnell’s challenger in the current U.S. Senate election, Alison Lundergan Grimes, has accepted Kynect, Kentucky’s healthcare marketplace, but refuses to elaborate whether she would have voted for Obamacare in 2010.

The Hill report also says Grimes’ said in a recent statement: “Kentuckians shouldn’t have been forced to lose the plans they had and liked, shouldn’t have seen their premiums skyrocket, shouldn’t have had their Medicare cut, and shouldn’t have had their taxes raised because of President Obama and his friends in Washington forced it down their throats.”

Read more at The Hill.com 

No, the VA Is Not an Obamacare Preview

An opposing viewpoint to Schlafly’s, is found in the Tuesday National Journal. Sam Baker says, “the VA is the VA,” meaning it’s not the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare is not socialized medicine. It’s not a government takeover of the healthcare system. Sure, people can call it that, and in comparison with charges like ‘death panels,’ those characterizations don’t sound so off-the-reservation. But they’re still wrong.”

Baker cites several examples to support his arguments, including the fact that while “Obamacare expands eligibility for Medicaid, which is a government-run program. But it’s still not socialized medicine like the VA: you don’t use your Medicaid card to go to the Medicaid Hospital for an appointment with the Medicaid doctor, the way veteran’s do with their VA coverage.”

Baker also contends, “Obamacare is not a healthcare system. The VA is.”

Read more at  The National Journal.com

Window Into The Future

Lawyer, analyst, and author Phyllis Schlafly writes in Breitbart.com, the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) giving inferior and delayed care is a vision of our Obamacare future. Schlafly says, “Both the VA and Obamacare suffer the endemic problems of a government-run single-payer system (a.k.a. socialism) – no choice of doctors or hospitals, no insurance companies, broken promises, lengthy waits and bureaucratic cover-ups.”

Schlafly’s Breitbart report Tuesday also points out that prior to Barack Obama’s election, “[W]e were assured by experts writing in the mainstream media that the VA was a U.S. health care leader and a model for the country.” Schlafly bolsters her anti-Obamacare arguments by adding, “We hear that some VA employees maintained secret lists and falsified data in order to conceal the wait times and hide the long delays veterans faced before seeing doctors.”

The Breitbart account additionally cites findings by Openthebooks.com who says that 12,549 bonuses equaling $8.8 million have been paid rewarding VA employees at seven failing locations.

Read more at Breitbart.com

Bankrate.com Survey: 43 Percent Say Obamacare Has Damaged Nation

Americans still aren’t sold on Obamacare, with 43 percent believing the Affordable Care Act has had a negative effect on the nation, a new poll released Wednesday shows.

A Bankrate.com survey also finds 21 percent don’t think the health care law has had much of any kind of effect on the country, while 28 percent believe Obamacare has been positive for America.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Read more at Newsmax.com

House GOP To Treasury: Stop Obamacare Payments Until You Can Verify Incomes

According to a report in the May 21 Washington Times, Republicans in the House of Representatives want the Treasury Department to stop subsidies to private health insurers pending verification of their accuracy.

 

The information was contained in a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew by 13 members of the Ways and Means Committee, alleging the administration has failed in its healthcare mission by not fully constructing the federal health marketplace (or exchange) system: Healthcare.gov.

 

Ideally, he system should identify discrepancies between enrollee income information provided and subsidy amounts paid  at the time of health plan purchases.

 

Read more at: The Washington Times.com

Where Did The Obamacare Data Go?

Megan McArdle, in a May 21 Bloomberg View report, said, “The most transparent administration in history has decided to discontinue the monthly Affordable Care Act enrollment reports now that open enrollment is closed.”

A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson justified the action by saying, “HHS issued monthly enrollment reports during the first marketplace open enrollment period in order to provide the best understanding of enrollment activities as it was taking place. Now that this time period has ended, we will look at future opportunities to share information about the marketplace that is reliable and accurate over time as further analysis can be done but we do not anticipate monthly reports.”

While the official open enrollment phase is over, it does not translate to a cessation of healthcare exchange (or marketplace) activity.  McArdle adds, “Moreover it’s hard to understand why it would stop reporting. Pulling together a report takes work, of course. But it’s not like it needs to do extensive research in order to gather much of this data; it needs to know the numbers in order to run the system.”

Read more at: Bloomberg View.com

60 Percent of Voters Say Obamacare Debate Is Not Over

According to a May 19 report by the Heritage Foundation, the Affordable Care Act remains a significant election year trigger for voters. A new Politico poll says 89 percent of respondents claim the law will determine how they vote, according to Heritage.

A portion of the poll Politico used said, “Recently it was announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare. President Obama declared this a major victory and encouraged Democratic candidates for Congress to forcefully defend and be proud of the law.”

Additional questions covered the Republican leadership on enrollment and the issue of repeal. Sixty percent of poll respondents questioned as to whether the Obamacare debate should end answered “no.”  About 39 percent responded it should with 48 percent saying the ACA should be repealed.

Read more at Heritage.org / The Foundry