NBC News

Obama’s half-hearted apology to Americans losing health plans

Barack Obama

Are you one of the millions of Americans losing your health plan, even if President Obama said you could keep it under his healthcare law? Well, he’s sorry that you believed him when he said it.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” President Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd during an interview on Thursday.

“We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them, and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this,” he added.

Jay Carney admits President Obama lied to Americans about Obamacare

During his daily briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was pressed on President Barack Obama’s promise that Americans could keep their health insurance plan under Obamacare after an admission by former White House advisor David Axelrod that some will, indeed, lose their coverage.

Ed Henry, a correspondent from Fox News, pointedly asked Carney about Axelrod’s comments and challenged him to admit that what President Obama said wasn’t true.

“The President, when he was trying to get the law passed, repeatedly said, if you currently have health insurance you will be able to keep your plan,” noted Henry. “This morning David Axelrod was pressed on that point and said, the majority — the vast majority — will be able to keep their plans. He no longer works at the White House.”

“From the podium, will you admit that when president said, if you have a plan, you’ll get to keep it, that that was not true?” asked Henry.

“Well, let’s just be clear, what the President said and what everybody said all along was that there were going to be changes under brought about by the Affordable Care Act that create minimum standards of coverage — minimum services that every insurance plan has to provide,” said Carney.

Breaking down the WSJ/NBC poll (hint: it’s terrible news for Democrats)

Not only did Democrats got to bed on Tuesday night after a frustrating loss in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, they woke up Wednesday morning to reports of the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which shows a trainwreck ahead for their party.

A special election doesn’t necessarily mean electoral victory for any party, and neither do polls released more than seven months away from election day. But the WSJ/NBC News poll shows that Democrats’ problems don’t end at a special election, no matter how hard they try to spin it.

— Obama’s approval at a new low: Just 41% of Americans approve of President Obama’s job performance, down from 43% in January. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove, which is up from 51% at the beginning of the year and matches his previous high in December. President Obama’s approval rating has not been above water since June (48/47).

— We’re headed in the wrong direction: Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) say that the United States is headed in the wrong direction, while 26% believe we’re “off the wrong track.” Compare that to 41/53 in October 2012, the month before President Obama won reelection, and 32/58 in November 2010, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives. Needless to say, that’s not a position in which Democrats want to be.

AR Senate: Pryor accuses opponent of a “sense of entitlement” about military service

Already facing a difficult path to reelection in a red state, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) handed his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a soundbite that is likely to be played on the airwaves from now until voters head to the polls in November.

In an interview with NBC News, Pryor criticized Cotton for a “sense of entitlement” because of his military service.

“There’s a lot of people in the Senate that didn’t serve in the military,” Pryor told NBC News. ”I think it’s part of this sense of entitlement that he gives off is that almost as like ‘I served my country, therefore elect me to the Senate.’ That’s not how it works in Arkansas.”

Speaking of a “sense of entitlement,” Pryor, who never served in the military, currently holds the Senate seat that his father, David Pryor, held from 1979 to 1997. The younger Pryor was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1990 at the age of 27. He ran for and won the state’s Attorney General office in 1998 at 34. He’s served in the Senate seat his father once held since 2003.

“Meet the Press” recruits NSA apologists to analyze NSA reforms

Meet the Press

When the Sunday shows or any cable news program (that at least feigns objectivity) books guests to discuss a certain topic, those guests are usually experts on that topic, and they usually get one of each on different sides of the topic. With its just-announced guests to discuss the Obama administration’s new NSA “reforms,” Meet the Press has succeeded, albeit ironically, on the former, and failed hysterically on the latter.


On first glance, they’ve wisely booked the chairs of both congressional intelligence committees. Perfectly qualified to analyze new intelligence gathering reforms! Feinstein and Rogers are truly experts in what the NSA does, since their committees are charged with overseeing the agency and its programs. Also, one of them is a Democrat and the other is a Republican. Balance! Surely they will have a lively but respectful debate on the topic!

That might be your reaction if know nothing past what Meet the Press lists in their announcement. Unfortunately, the rest of us know better. Feinstein and Rogers know so much about what the NSA does because they have been the primary enablers of the agency and its unconstitutional programs for years.

Poll: Just 24% of uninsured say Obamacare is a good idea

The Obama Administration is relying heavily on uninsured Americans to enroll in health plans through the state and federal health insurance exchanges to meet their already long-shot enrollment goals. But a poll released last week showed that the uninsured are very skeptical of Obamacare, in what is an ominous sign for the administration.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that just 24% of the uninsured believe that Obamacare is a good idea, while a stunning 56% believe the law will have a negative impact on the healthcare system.

The numbers show an 11-point decline from September, according to the Wall Street Journal, when 35% of the uninsured believed that Obamacare was a good idea. The negative sentiment toward the law has risen markedly since then, to the current 56% from just 32% three months ago.

What’s more, the poll showed that 42% of the uninsured believe Obamacare will be bad for them and their families. Just 16% expect the law will have a positive impact.

The administration estimated that 700,000 people would enroll in health plans on the Obamacare exchanges in the first two months of the open enrollment period, October and November. Numbers released last week by the Department of Health and Human Service showed that just 364,682 people had selected plans (ie. not necessarily enrolled) through the exchanges through November.

Poll: Obama’s approval rating slides to new low

The government shutdown was supposed to boost President Barack Obama’s standing, according to some pundits and talking heads, but it appears that Americans didn’t get that memo. NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll on Wednesday showing President Obama’s approval rating a new low and that his personal favorability has taken a hit.

ObamaCare to get free promotion on NBC News

NBC News

With the unpopular law’s health insurance exchanges set to open tomorrow, NBC News will began airing a series of reports today to help the Obama Administration sell ObamaCare to a skeptical American public:

NBC News announced Friday that it will present a special series of programs and reports next week intended to “help Americans get the most out of the Affordable Care Act,” according to a press release.

Timed to coincide with the rollout of new insurance exchanges, “Ready or Not, the New Healthcare Law” begins airing Monday, Sept. 30. The series will appear on such network mainstays as “NBC Nightly News” and “Today,” as well as on social media and other digital outlets.

The programs will provide interactive tools “to help shed light on what the healthcare act means for [consumers] and explain how to enroll” in the new marketplaces opening on Oct. 1, according to the statement. Additionally, the series will include reporting on the Obama administration’s messaging, primary-care physician shortages, changes to emergency rooms and other topics related to the law’s rollout.

Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling

debt ceiling

Though most members of Congress are focused on funding the federal government for another year, there is another battle on the horizon — raising the federal debt ceiling, which will be reached mid-next month.

House Republicans want some sort of a trade off from the White House to raise the debt ceiling, currently at $16.7 trillion, either further spending cuts or concessions on ObamaCare, and are tossing around the idea of holding a clean vote on the measure to show that there isn’t support for it inside the chamber. The White House, however, isn’t interested in having a debate on raising the debt ceiling.

Disagreement on how to approach the issue could lead to a stalemate similar to what the country saw in 2011 when Congress passed the Budget Control Act, a compromise between the Congress and the White House that led to the sequester.

But two new polls show that Americans are opposed to raising the debt ceiling.

NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll at the end of last week showing that a plurality of Americans oppose raising the debt limit, at 44/22.

Though opposition is strong, NBC News notes that President Obama will be able to frame the debate over the issue, giving him an advantage over House Republicans who have frequently been unable to frame a coherent message.

NBC News talks to businesses about employer mandate, finds most cutting hours

Despite the one-year delay of ObamaCare’s employer mandate, businesses still say provision to be a headache for them and their employees. NBC News recently talked to nearly 20 business owners, finding that nearly all of them say the employer mandate is forcing them to cut employees’ hours:

NBC News spoke with almost 20 small businesses and other entities from Maine to California, and almost all said that because of the new law they’d be cutting back hours for some employees – an unintended consequence of the new law.

At St. Petersburg College, a public university in Florida where most of the faculty is part-time, 250 have had their hours reduced for the fall term because the college said it can’t afford to offer them health insurance.
Many businesses are reluctant to talk about cutting hours for fear the public will view them as stingy or uncaring about their workers. But [a Subway franchisee] said that many small businesses have very small profit margins and that while he already provides health insurance to senior employees, offering health insurance to many more workers would require him to pass a significant price increase on to his customers.

This employer mandate requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance benefits or face a punitive tax. Because ObamaCare defines a full-time employee as someone who works 30 or more hours a week, many employers have been scaling back hours or hiring only part-time workers.

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