Barack Obama

Missing Millennials: Just 25% of Obamacare sign ups are young people

The Department of Health and Human Services says that 4.2 million Americans signed up for health insurance coverage through the end of February, though there is still no indication of how many of these people have actually made a premium payment. What we do know is that enrollment numbers for last month are “weaker than expected”:

Roughly 4.2 million people had signed up for coverage under Obamacare at the end of a weaker-than-expected February, the Obama administration said Tuesday.

The administration’s enrollment campaign is now in its intense final push ahead of the March 31 deadline to sign up for coverage. The White House and its allies are unleashing a flood of paid advertising, promotional partnerships, and grassroots outreach designed to coax consumers—and especially young people—into new insurance markets created by the health care law.

February’s progress was slower than expected. About 943,000 people signed up for coverage last month, compared with the nearly 1.3 million the Health and Human Services Department had anticipated for February.

The full report is available here.

Insurers have said that around 20% of those who have selected plans on the Obamacare exchanges have failed to make a premium payment, meaning that they’re not counted as an enrollment.

CBS News reporter resigns, cites network’s liberal bias

Sharyl Attkisson, a journalist known for her reporting on Fast and Furious as well as Benghazi, has resigned her position at CBS News, citing, among other things, the network’s liberal bias (emphasis added):

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations, sources familiar with her departure told POLITICO on Monday.

Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration.
Others have suggested that CBS News itself was politically biased: “It’s no secret that Sharyl has been unhappy about CBS’s lack of interest in investigative reporting, especially when it comes to stories about the Obama administration,” a source close to Attkisson said.

Senate Democrats’ “talkathon” more about cronyism than climate change

Senate Democrats will begin an all-night “talkathon” later today and into Tuesday morning to try to raise congressional awareness to climate change, what USA Today describes as the first of many steps to put the issue on the radar before the 2014 mid-term election.

This charade really is more of a nod to big Democratic Party donors who would benefit from policies aimed at combating climate change, as Byron York explains. In short, it’s is another example of cronyism:

Obama hits the panic button ahead of 2014 mid-terms

It seems like a forgone conclusion that Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives this fall. That’s why Democratic donors are turning their check books to the fight for the Senate, an electoral battle that increasingly favors Republicans. That’s why President Barack Obama is hitting the “panic button,” so to speak, by warning Democrats that the 2014 mid-term election could be a disaster:

Obama has increasingly sounded like the nerdy kid in a bad horror movie constantly warning his friends to stay out of danger as he’s called on the Democratic base to not be complacent in 2014.

“You’ve got to pay attention to the states,” he begged at a recent fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association. Obama lamented that Democrats don’t think state-level races in the 2014 midterms are “sexy enough.”

Raising cash for Senate Democrats in Virginia, Obama said Democrats tend to get “a little sleepy” and “distracted.”

“We’re good at Senate and House elections during presidential years — it’s something about midterms,” Obama said. “I don’t know what it is about us.”

The White House insists, however, that they’re not even considering the prospect of a Republican-controlled Senate, which would mean that President Obama agenda, already on thin-ice as it is, would be dead-on-arrival in Congress.

MI Senate: Democrat shakes up faltering campaign

Gary Peters

It’s no secret that Republicans are capitalizing on President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, but there aren’t many political observers who expected that Michigan, a purple-to-blue leaning state, would truly be in play in the 2014 mid-term election.

Though it’s far too early to say Republicans will pick up this seat, we’re now seeing early signs of panic from national Democrats. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) is hoping that a campaign shake up will breathe some new life into his faltering bid for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat:

With Michigan looming as a now key Senate race, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, who is locked in a tight battle with Republican Terri Lynn Land, has replaced his campaign manager.

Paul Tencher, who ran now-Sen. Joe Donnelly’s winning campaign for the Democrats in Indiana last cycle, will take over as the head of Peters’s campaign operation. Tencher will replace Julie Petrick, who is stepping aside for personal reasons, Peters said in a statement.
Peters’s shake-up of his team comes in the wake of a fairly lackluster few months for his campaign.

Peters has been dogged by recent issue ads from Americans for Prosperity (AFP) featuring Julie Boonstra, a Michigan resident and cancer patient who lost her health plan because of Obamacare. Peters’ lawyers subsequently threatened television stations running the ad and went after Boonstra’s credibility.

65% of Americans support Keystone XL construction

More than a month after the State Department released its report finding that the Keystone XL pipeline would have little impact on the environment, President Barack Obama continued to stall on a decision that could green-light the project. But a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans support Keystone XL:

Americans support the idea of constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States by a nearly 3 to 1 margin, with 65 percent saying it should be approved and 22 percent opposed, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The findings also show that the public thinks the massive project, which aims to ship 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta and the northern Great Plains to refineries on the Gulf Coast, will produce significant economic benefits. Eighty-five percent say the pipeline would create a significant number of jobs, with 62 percent saying they “strongly” believed that to be the case.

Rand Paul focuses on Constitution, civil liberties in CPAC speech

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered a stark contrast from other speakers this afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). While many of the day’s speeches focused on the contentious relationship between the establishment and the grassroots or social issues, the libertarian-leaning Republican focused the Constitution and civil liberties that are being withered away due to an overreaching president and administration.

“Imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty,” Paul told attendees. “Now, you may think I’m talking about electing Republicans. I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.”

“It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness,” he said. “There is a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not of the Republican Party, but the future of the entire country. The question is, will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion, or will we be sunshine patriots retreating under adverse fire?”

NRA not always “unflinching and unapologetic” for the Second Amendment

Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA), gave a fiery speech yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in which he decried the media and called on attendees to stop President Barack Obama’s anti-gun agenda.

“History has proven again the truth that President Obama and anti-freedom activists everywhere deny and try to empress: the truth that firearms in the hands of good people save lives,” said LaPierre. “The political elites can’t escape and the darlings in the media can’t change the God-given right of good people to protect themselves.”

There’s nothing wrong with that statement in and of itself. The White House and congressional Democrats tried (and failed) last year to enact more onerous gun control laws. The media often painted an unflattering picture of Second Amendment activists and frequently pilloried the LaPierre and NRA.

“For that fundamental human, the NRA stands unflinching and unapologetic and in defense of our freedom,” said LaPierre. “NRA’s 5 million members and America’s 100 million gun owners will not back down, not now, not ever. I assure you that.”

Democrats’ 2014 strategy: Let’s talk about anything other than Obamacare

Does anyone else remember when Democrats were going to run and win on Obamacare in the 2014 mid-term election? Those bold statements were made by DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) not long after the infamous rollout of the law.

But with the Obama administration’s most recent Obamacare delays — we’re now at 37, if you’re keeping score at home — Democrats are trying to shift the public’s attention from Obamacare to, well, anything else. Consider two recent stories, one from The New York Times and another from the National Journal.

The New York Times story focuses on Democrats’ “strategy” of targeting Charles and David Koch, which had been telegraphed in two recent, disgusting floor speeches by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). There’s nothing really new in the story that we didn’t already know. It just speaks to attempt to change the subject.

The National Journal piece covers Democrats’ attempts to pivot on Social Security by accusing Republican candidates of wanting to privatize a program that is fiscally insolvent over the long-term. The is the more interesting angle because entitlement programs are, typically, Democrats “go to” when they’re out of ammunition.

Could the administration delay the individual mandate?

The Obama administration’s latest major changes to Obamacare have spurred talk of a delay to the individual mandate, which is, arguably, the most controversial, unpopular provision in the law as well as the most important. Chris Stirewalt raised the notion yesterday.

“As the President Obama’s health law delays pile up, the biggest potential rewrite of the troubled legislation is looming at the end of the month,” wrote Stirewalt at “Americans who do not voluntarily comply with the law and enroll by March 31 are supposed to be fined an amount equal to 1 percent of their income. Not cool.”

“The mandate was never popular with Democrats, and as the president claims the power to unilaterally change the legislation for the benefit of big business and the insurance industry, is he prepared to let ordinary folks pay the price?” he asked. “Given the crash landing of the program last fall, it seems particularly cruel to penalize people for not enrolling in a program that has been offline so often.”

Stirewalt pointed to a recent National Journal story which noted that a delay of the individual mandate would mean 1 million fewer insured Americans, a finding that is likely to give the administration pause. But electoral politics have motivated President Obama to change the law whenever it’s convenient.


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