As We Await Word on The King v. Burwell Decision, Let’s Revisit Why It’s Before SCOTUS: The Disaster of Cover Oregon

cover oregon

Like dominos crashing in a row, many States are realizing their Obamacare exchanges are either bleeding money, on the brink of insolvency, or sadly shutting down their State controlled operations and placing their citizens’ healthcare under the federal exchange and Washington bureaucrats.

According to a recent and important story in The Hill, many of the 13 states that established their own health care exchanges under ObamaCare are fearful they won’t survive when federal dollars dry up next year. Hawaii is the most recent to give up independent operations. Democratic Gov. David Ide put it best when he revealed the Health Connector was “unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.”

Hawaii isn’t the only exchange experiencing trouble in paradise. Nevada discovered more than 1,500 defects embedded in the site last year and joined the federal exchange. Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont are next likely to remove the constant and ever-increasing drain on their state’s budget and shutter their failed exchanges. But none of these failures are close to matching the man-made disaster that is Cover Oregon, the Beaver State’s version of ObamaCare.

The story of Oregon’s health care portal is a story of waste, fraud, and potentially criminal abuse. Once the darling of the Obama White House, the truth has been steadily emerging. Congressional hearings should not merely detail the vast waste of taxpayers dollars but shine sunlight on facts so blatantly illegal that even President Obama’s own Department of Justice will be forced to finally begin necessary criminal proceedings in this case.

Today in Liberty: Get ready for a post-election regulatory onslaught, Audit the Fed may be moving closer to a vote in the House

“America started with a concept of limited government, designed to protect and improve the life, liberty and property of citizens, and has ended with a concept of unlimited government, capable of restricting our life, liberty and property in the name of protecting us from ourselves. America started with a concept of residual individual sovereignty, designed to respect the autonomy and equality of citizens, and has ended with a concept of limited liberty, presumptively unavailable and parsed out reluctantly by an all-powerful sovereign. America started with a concept of federalism, designed to better protect individual liberty, and has ended with a concept of nationalism, exercised vigorously to stifle controversial liberties recognized by the state. We have done all of this, experienced these foundational changes, without the benefit of a constitutional amendment. We have allowed mere legislative majorities, often motivated by morality, passion, and prejudice, to take away our most precious liberties. We should be ashamed.” Elizabeth Price Foley

Today in Liberty: Left-leaning law professor slams Obama’s lawless presidency, Bergdahl was never listed as a POW

“A lot of Republicans tend to have top down Soviet style campaigns. It’s very odd for a party that believes in the free market that they run campaigns through command and control centralized control and so they have the politburo. ‘You will go do that. You will go do that.’ And that is disempowering and it doesn’t inspire. It is far more effective having a race that empowers the grassroots.” — Sen. Ted Cruz

— Republicans shift away from “repeal and replace”: Republicans may still want to get rid of Obamacare, but you may not know that from the ads you’ll see this fall. “We are now fighting well across the center line. The entire right half of the country is galvanized against Obamacare,” one GOP ad-maker told the Washington Examiner. “We are now working to pick off people who are not ideologically opposed to it  but who believe it has failed.” David Drucker points out that some strategists are leery of the repeal because it suggests “that the GOP wants to move the country from one disliked health care system (Obamacare) to another disliked system (pre-Obamacare.)” That, of course, is a failure of congressional Republicans. They’ve focused so much on “repeal” in the last four-plus years that they haven’t gotten behind an alternative healthcare reform proposal.

Incompetent White House learned about the VA scandal on the news

The White House first learned of fraudulent waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals through — drumroll, please — news reports. At least that’s what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday afternoon at the daily press briefing.

“If you mean the specific allegations that I think were reported first by [CNN] out of Phoenix, I believe we learned about them through the reports. I will double-check if that’s not the case,” said Carney. “But that’s when we learned about them, and that’s when, as I understand it, [VA] Secretary [Eric] Shinseki learned about them and immediately took the action that he has taken, including instigating his own review — or initiating his own review, but also requesting that the inspector general investigate.”

Remember When Obama Said He’d Eliminate Programs We Don’t Need? He Apparently Doesn’t

A version of this post originally appeared on George Scoville’s blog.

Here’s President-elect Barack Obama in 2008:

We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist solely because of the power of a politicians, lobbyists, or interest groups. We simply cannot afford it. This isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about building a smarter government that focuses on what works. That is why I will ask my new team to think anew and act anew to meet our new challenges…. We will go through our federal budget—page by page, line by line—eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.

It was a refrain he repeated often on the campaign trail. For example, courtesy of Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, here’s 2008 candidate Senator Barack Obama making the promise during his town hall debate against 2008 candidate Senator John McCain at my alma mater Belmont University:

My, how times have changed.

IRS inspector general warns of Obamacare subsidy fraud

Some have been praising the Internal Revenue Service for the lack of problems in its implementation of Obamacare. For example, Politico recently bragged that the scandal-plagued agency “has not messed up — yet” in its substantial role in the law.

The same cannot be said for other agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), given disastrous federal Obamacare exchange website,

But a recently released report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the watchdog who oversees the IRS, found that the agency doesn’t have a plan in place to address Obamacare subsidy fraud:

The new tax credits that the IRS will handle under ObamaCare are susceptible to fraud, according to a new federal audit released Tuesday.

Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration said the IRS has yet to complete its strategy for battling fraud concerns like wrongly issued tax credits. The IRS’s systems for protecting private information also have software flaws, the audit found.

Video shows Obamacare navigators encouraging fraud, deceit

 Obamacare Navigators

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas is back with a new video showing Dallas-area Obamacare navigators, those tasked with assisting people on the enrollment process, at Enroll America Texas are encouraging potential applicants to lie about their income to get a larger subsidy for health insurance coverage.

“I’m a college student, but I work for the university, and I do, like, stuff there and then I do stuff on the side,” the applicant said. The navigator asked if he had combined W2s, to which he replied, “No,” noting that his side jobs just to make extra cash and he never claimed that income.

The navigator explained to the applicant that he’s supposed to file a percent of the income, but she told him, “Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now,” adding, “Yeah, it didn’t happen.” She noted that by declaring the income in on his application, he could be setting himself up for an audit and higher insurance premiums.

The navigator told the applicant to lie about whether he smokes. “You lie because your premiums will be higher,” she said. This essentially defrauds insurance companies, who assume risk for insuring a smoker who lied about it on his application.

O’Keefe notes in the video that Enroll America, the parent group of Texas organization that is assisting with Obamacare enrollments, has ties to Battleground Texas, a PAC with a mission of “turning Texas blue.” In other words, this group wants to make Texas a Democratic state.

Obama’s hometown paper slams ObamaCare implementation

The Chicago Tribune, President Barack Obama’s hometown paper, slammed the administration’s efforts to implement ObamaCare in an editorial on Sunday and called for a delay and rewrite of the law.

Noting the recent delays of various provisions of the law — including the employer mandate, subsidy verification requirements, and consumer-cost caps — the Chicago Tribune explains that the Obama Administration had tacitly admitted that ObamaCare can’t work as currently written and that it has left both businesses and the American people reeling.

“The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a hugely complex law that sets up online health insurance marketplaces, requires people to have coverage or pay penalties, and doles out subsidies and incentives to nearly everyone in health care,” wrote the paper’s editorial board. “Doctors, hospitals and insurers have spent large sums to gear up for its requirements. Employers are mulling: Hire? Fire? Cut workers’ hours?”

“Millions of Americans, that is, stand to gain or lose from how this law is enforced — with the Obama administration bending that enforcement in ways that test, and arguably exceed, the boundaries of lawful conduct,” the paper explained, adding that each delay of a provision has a “massive ripple effect” on other parts of the law.

Mike Lee: Defund ObamaCare or shut down the government

Over the last week, the Obama Administration announced that it would delay enforcement of the employer mandate for one year and significantly relax eligibility verification for those who apply for subsidies to purchase health insurance coverage. And it likely that we’ll see more delays with ObamaCare as implementation efforts have proven to be difficult for states.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) says that it’s time to defund ObamaCare and, if necessary, shut down the government to prevent additional funding for implementation of the law.

In a statement from his office, Lee said that these delays are the “latest and most damning admission by the administration that ObamaCare was poorly crafted, remains unworkable, and, if implemented, will hurt American families, businesses, and our economy.”

“The only solution is to fully repeal ObamaCare and start over with a more sensible, practical approach to fix our health care system,” said Lee. “Short of full repeal, however, those of us who care about the health care and security of the American people still have a duty to act. If the president has decided he won’t enforce his law as it is written, then Congress should not fund any further implementation of it at all.”

ObamaCare train wreck not a surprise for Obama Administration

ObamaCare trainwreck

The implementation out of President Barack Obama’s so-called “healthcare reform” law is a step away from disaster. After months upon months of bad polling numbers, the administration has experienced some setbacks, the latest of which include rising health insurance premiumsdelay of the employer mandate, and eligibility verification for subsidies.

Now there are stories that states are having problems with the implementation of the exchanges, another central part of Obamacare that is supposed to be launched on October 1st. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that some states are delaying certain parts of the exchanges because they haven’t been able to get them implemented quickly enough. One official complained that his state only had 10 months to implement the law. He told the Washington Post that he wishes that he ”had one more year.”

Just this morning, the National Journal reported that the Obama Administration “has known for months” that implementation of Obamacare as passed by Congress wouldn’t work and that further delays are likely:

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