The number of Americans who don’t believe that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone hasn’t health insurance coverage is on the rise, according to a new poll from Gallup.
The poll found that just 42% of Americans believe that the federal government should take responsibility to ensure health coverage, down from 50% just two years ago. In 2006, 69% believed it was a government responsibility.
A majority of Americans, 56%, said that the federal government doesn’t have a responsibility to ensure health coverage. That’s up 10 points from 2011 and a substantial shift in opinion since 2000.
The poll comes amid a disastrous rollout of Obamacare, which has further soured public opinion toward the law. Gallup also noted, separately, that 53% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. Just 41% approve.
Gallup notes that 86% of Republicans, 55% of independents, and 30% of Democrats oppose a federal government role in ensuring health insurance coverage. As you can see below, the shift really began in 2009 when the debate over healthcare reform began in Washington.
Vulnerable Senate Democrats who are trying to deal with a firestorm over millions of health insurance cancellations caused by Obamacare may not be too happy with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, Gillibrand told guest host Martha Raddatz that members of Congress “all knew” that Obamacare would cause health plans to be canceled, though, she insisted that President Barack Obama didn’t mislead anybody when he made his infamous promise on dozens of occasions.
“Let me ask you this, I want to go back to this implementation, because we can’t quite go forward yet. Did you feel misled by Obama?” Raddatz asked Gillibrand.
“He should have just been more specific, because the point is if you’re offered by a terrible health care plan that the minute you get sick, you’re going to have to go into bankruptcy, those plans should never be offered,” Gillibrand said
Raddatz pressed the New York Democrat again because of the obvious attempt at deflection, asking, “So, were you misled?”
“He should have just been specific,” Gillibrand said. “No, we all knew, the whole point of the plan is to cover things people need, like preventive care, birth control, pregnancy.”
Facing a self-imposed November 30 deadline to fix the problematic federal Obamacare exchange, Healthcare.gov, the Obama Administration is now hoping that 80% of users will be able to enroll without issue:
The Obama administration will consider the new federal insurance marketplace a success if 80 percent of users can buy health-care plans online, according to government and industry officials familiar with the project.
The goal for how many people should be able to make it through the insurance exchange is an internal target that administration officials have not made public. It acknowledges that as many as one in five Americans who try to use the Web site to buy insurance will be unable to do so.
The goal is that 80 percent of people going to HealthCare.gov should manage to enroll electronically — but that means that many others, perhaps tens of thousands, will not succeed. It puts more pressure on the administration to fix technical problems that have made it difficult for people to sign up for coverage by other routes, including federally sponsored call centers and the insurers themselves.
Administration officials acknowledge that until recently, they had no concrete definition for how well HealthCare.gov should work, but they say one would not have made sense before the site went live Oct. 1.
The Treasury Department released its quarterly list of Americans who have renounced their citizenship in 2013, finding that another 560 people have decided to leave the country to establish residency in friendlier climates elsewhere (emphasis added):
This year will set a record for expatriations by U.S. taxpayers, with at least a 33% increase from the previous high in 2011.
The Treasury Department published the names of 560 people who either were U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenship or long-term residents who turned in their green cards during the third quarter.
That brings the total so far this year to 2,369, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who tracks the data. For all of 2011, the number of published expatriates was 1,781, he said.
Taxpayers who expatriate aren’t required to give a reason, but experts said the overall increase was likely because of tougher enforcement of U.S. tax laws.
“Nothing has changed in immigration law that would make people want to renounce,” said Freddi Weintraub, an immigration specialist and partner at Fragomen Worldwide, a New York-based law firm. “Current or anticipated changes in tax law and enforcement are driving this increase.”
Some may question the patriotism of those who are leaving the United States and renouncing their citizenship. But why would anyone want to reside in a country where wealth and success are frowned upon by President Obama and congressional Democrats when its so much easier to uproot and move to a country with lower tax burden? That is, unfortunately, the way many people look at the situation.
Shortly after President Barack Obama announced his “administrative fix” for Obamacare, many state insurance commissioners rejected the proposal, noting that insurers had spent three-plus years working to comply with the law and could not so easily reverse course.
Among the insurance commissioners who criticized the fix was William White, insurance commissioner for the District of Columbia. He said in a statement on Thursday that the fix “undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s D.C. Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate.”
On Friday, a day after making those comments, White was fired without explanation by his immediate supervisor, according to the Washington Post:
White was called into a meeting Friday afternoon with one of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s (D) top deputies and told that the mayor “wants to go in a different direction,” White told The Washington Post on Saturday.
Organizations from varied political backgrounds have come together to launch a campaign that would tackle the NSA spying problem locally. The coalition led by the Tenth Amendment Center believes that the plan they have outlined and hope to get state legislators to support would ensure that the federal government’s efforts to collect phone, e-mail and other private digital data would be undermined.
The website OffNow.org was launched to give the public easy access to what the Tenth Amendment Center wishes to accomplish and how activists believe they can make it work.
According to the coalition, the piece of legislation they have written to be used as a model, the 4th Amendment Protection Act, would keep state and local governments from being required to help the National Security Agency to implement spying programs within their districts.
Local agencies would not be required to assist the NSA with the delivery of natural resources the facilities that run these programs require to function properly.
The idea came about when reports concerning Utah’s NSA data collection center using up to 1.7 million gallons of water per day made the news. While the state of Utah is the second driest state in the United States, it still provides a great amount of water to a facility run by the federal government to collect phone and Internet data, but does it have to?
There is a provision in Obamacare that was key to getting insurers to back the law that protects them from financial losses they may incur if too many sick and unhealthy people end up in the risk pool.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) plans to introduce legislation, likely this week, that would repeal the “risk corridor” provision of the law, which would get taxpayers off the hook for a bailout in the event that insurers faces losses:
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the provision could amount to a bailout of the insurance industry, which stands to lose if the troubled Obamacare exchanges fail to enroll enough people to make the system financially viable. Obamacare enrollment has already been stymied by glitches at the healthcare.gov sign-up site and it could be dampened again under an administrative fix President Obama proposed this week to resolve problems with millions of cancelled policies.
Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said the Tea Party-aligned senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate is concerned that the fix Obama proposed would increase the likelihood that insurance companies would need a federal bailout. And the existing law would effectively give Obama a blank check to deal with it, he said.
“We need to protect taxpayers from having to bail out anyone as a consequence of Obamacare,” Conant said in an email exchange with the Washington Examiner. “Rubio’s bill will fully repeal the ‘risk corridor’ provision in Obamacare, preventing a bailout.”
Last Thursday morning, President Obama issued his latest proclamation in an attempt to save face on his farcical promise. Of course, the “relief” came far too late and with far too many restrictions to have any practical, real-world effect.
It’s become instinctive at this point to assume that every policy decision that comes from the Obama administration is a blatant violation of separation of powers. After all, this is the administration that unilaterally delayed enforcement of Obamacare’s employer mandate in direct violation of the statutory requirements. Many prominent commentators have immediately jumped back on this bandwagon again in this latest Obamacare edict.
But here’s the real legal low-down: President Obama and his executive agencies (HHS/DOL/IRS) have almost unlimited discretion in determining what is considered a “grandfathered health plan.”
In case you missed Meet the Press yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was confronted by host David Gregory about a promise she made in 2009, similar to the guarantee made by President Barack Obama, that Americans could keep the plans they have under Obamacare.
Then-Speaker of the House, Pelosi said “if you like [the health plan] you have, and you want to keep, you have the choice to do that.” Gregory noted that President Obama has held himself “accountable” for making such a claim and asked Pelosi, who had a blank look on her face after seeing the clip, if she was accountable for a promise that has been proven false as millions of Americans have lost their health plans.
She had no real defense and pivoted to talking points, hoping that Gregory would allow her to deflect from the issue. He didn’t, and hilarity ensued.
“Well, it’s not that it’s not correct, it’s that if you want to keep it and it’s important for the insurance company to say to people, this is what your plan does, it’s doesn’t prevent you from being discriminated against on the basis of preexisting conditions, lifetime limits, annual limits,” Pelosi said before Gregory cut her off.
There is a bottom line which people understand and the President won’t acknowledge, and that is if the government has decided there has to be minimum requirements in any healthcare plan, so if you have something and you like it, and it doesn’t meet what the government says you have to have, you cannot keep it,” Gregory told Pelosi. “That’s not what you said here.”
“If you have you plan before the enactment of the law in 2010. If you had your plan before,” Pelosi said, defensively. “There is nothing in the law that says you have to.”
As much as President Barack Obama and administration officials don’t want to admit it, the Constitution established three branches of government, all of which have clear and defined roles and are independent of each other, but needed to keep the others in check.
Over the last several decades, the lines between the executive and legislative branches have become increasingly blurred. Presidents have consumed more power and Congress, especially when its controlled by the party occupying the White House, have set idly by while it happens.
But since 2011, when Republicans took control of Congress, President Obama has frequently used this claimed power to create law by executive fiat and, at times, ignore laws passed by the members of a duly elected, equal branch of government. It has created a constitutional crisis.
The latest example of this is President Obama’s “administrative fix” to deal with millions of health plan cancellations caused by Obamacare. Without any constitutional authority to do so, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced, at his direction, that the government would not enforce grandfathered plan regulations for one year, leaving it up to insurers to decide whether or not to participate.