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.

Democrats unhinged: Obama slams GOP, Reid refuses to repeal “stupid” ObamaCare tax

Obama won't negotiate with...Republicans

President Barack Obama spent his Thursday slamming Republicans for their attempts to delay and defund ObamaCare through the Continuing Resolution (CR), a stop-gap measure being debate in Congress that would keep the government running:

Obama accused Republicans of being more afraid the law will succeed than fail and slammed their efforts to strip funding or delay ObamaCare.

He said the GOP was scrambling to defeat the law now because, if it was successfully implemented, it would become popular and undermine their credibility.

He reiterated that he would block such efforts if Republicans attach language to a spending measure to keep the government operating.

“They have made such a big political issue about this with lies about death panels and killing granny, Armageddon — if it actually works, they’ll look pretty bad,” he said of Republicans.

That’s not all he said. Employing his usual Alinskyite tactics and arrogance, President Obama said Republicans were “crazy,” citing a random quote from one House member who was speaking only for himself.

President Obama once again claimed that the 2010 healthcare law would make health insurance more affordable. But insurance rates released earlier this week show that those seeking health insurance coverage on the state exchanges can expect premiums to skyrocket compared to pre-ObamaCare rates.

States represented by vulnerable Senate Dems see large premiums increases

As noted earlier today, the Obama Administration has released the rates yesterday for the state exchanges opening next month that will be run by the federal government. The rates, while lower than originally estimated, may still be unaffordable for someone trying to make it through these tough economic times.

But the senators up for re-election next year will, ultimately, have to explain to voters why they voted for the so-called “Affordable Care Act” — especially Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), members who haven’t backed down from ObamaCare from states that went for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Below we’re taking a look at some of the states where we may see competitive Senate races next year and the effects of ObamaCare, using the same information from earlier today via the Wall Street Journal.

Here is a look at what a single, 27-year-old, non-smoker living in metropolitan areas in these states can expect to pay per month when they take out a “bronze” plan on the exchange, the least expensive available, compared to the lowest-cost, pre-ObamaCare rates (percentages are rounded down):

ObamaCare exchange prices set, cost of coverage soars

Americans planning on buying an individual health insurance policy on ObamaCare’s state exchanges when they open at the beginning of the month can expect to pay much more than what they would if the law hadn’t been enacted.

The Obama Administration released the rates yesterday for the state exchanges that will be run by the federal government (these are states that opted out per the 2012 Supreme Court decision on the law). While the media notes that the rates are lower than originally estimated, that may not quell concerns about affordability.

The Wall Street Journal provided an analysis of the 36 states where the federal government will oversee the exchanges. A quick glance shows that those who will purchase coverage may be in for rate shock.

For example, a 27-year-old non-smoker living in Birmingham, Alabama would have paid $80 per month ($960/year) for the lowest-cost plan before ObamaCare. But the lowest “bronze” plan available on the exchanges will cost that person $170 per month ($2,040/year). That’s 112% increase. The same person living in Delaware can expect to pay $203 per month ($2,436), which is nearly a 300% increase from the $51 pre-ObamaCare rate.

In Ohio, this person would see a 336% increase, from $47 per month ($564/year) before ObamaCare to $205 per month ($2,460/year) if they purchased the so-called “bronze” plan available on the state exchange.

500,000 kids could lose health coverage because of ObamaCare

ObamaCare supporters have been touting the provisions of the law that give taxpayer-funded subsidies to help the uninsured pay for health coverage. But one little known part of the law, known at the “family glitch,” could actually cause up to 500,000 children to lose health insurance coverage:

A “family glitch” in the 2010 health care law threatens to cost some families thousands of dollars in health insurance costs and leave up to 500,000 children without coverage, insurance and health care analysts say.
Congress defined “affordable” as 9.5% or less of an employee’s household income, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the “error” was that it only applies to the employee — and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn’t provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges.

That can make a huge difference; the Kaiser Family Foundation said an average plan for an individual is about $5,600, but it goes up to $15,700 for families. Most employers help out with those costs, but not all.

“We saw this two-and-a-half years ago and thought, ‘Has anyone else noticed this?’” said Kosali Simon, a professor of public affairs at Indiana University who specializes in health economics. “Everyone said, ‘No, no. You must be wrong.’ But we weren’t, and that’s going to leave a lot of people out.”

Report: ObamaCare forces Americans to pay more on healthcare

Among the key selling points of ObamaCare was that it would reduce healthcare spending and lower costs. But a new report from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finds that healthcare spending will actually increase by $621 billion over the next 10 years or, as Chris Conover explains at Forbes, $7,450 more than what a family of four would have spent if ObamaCare wasn’t enacted:

House Republicans may alter CR after Senate sends it back

Eric Cantor and John Boehner

It doesn’t sound like the legislative wrangling over the Continuing Resolution (CR) will be over once the Senate acts. The Hill notes that some House Republicans have indicated that they may amend the measure, sending it back to the Senate, further increasing the prospects over a government shutdown:

Senate Democrats have vowed to remove a provision in the House-passed continuing resolution (CR) that withholds money from President Obama’s healthcare law. If they send back a “clean” version, House leaders would have to decide whether to accept it, or amend it and send it back across the Capitol.

“I don’t think we’re going to accept a clean CR,” Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) said.
“I don’t think that’s the end of the negotiations,” Boustany said. “We may have a shut down temporarily.”

Two members of the leadership team, Reps. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), said it was more likely the House would try to amend the spending bill rather than accept the Senate’s version.

“I think it’s more likely that we would edit that rebound and send something back over that was more in line with our values, and I don’t think a clean CR necessarily is that,” Southerland said.

White House denies Big Labor an ObamaCare bailout

labor unions

After meeting with Big Labor leaders on Friday, the White House announced that they would not extend health insurance subsidies to union workers, despite a multitude of recently expressed complaints by unions about ObamaCare:

The Obama administration on Friday denied a request from labor unions to have their healthcare plans receive tax subsidies under ObamaCare.

A White House official said the Treasury Department has determined that the healthcare plans used by many union members — known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans — cannot be made eligible for subsidies that are intended to help uninsured people afford coverage.

The Treasury Department issued a letter today making clear that it does not see a legal way for individuals in multi-employer group health plans to receive individual market tax credits as well as the favorable tax treatment associated with employer-provided health insurance at the same time,” the official said.

Several labor leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Teamsters President James Hoffa, had voiced concerns about ObamaCare, noting that the law’s employer mandate is causing businesses to cut workers’ hours, which they say is threatening the middle class. They also complained that workers could be forced to pay more for health insurance coverage.

Labor unions want an ObamaCare bailout

The AFL-CIO may pass a resolution as its annual convention that highlights their many grievances with ObamaCare, many of which are familiar concerns expressed by both employers and non-unions works. But the solution that they want from Congress is tax subsidies to help workers pay for health insurance coverage, which would be nothing more than a bailout:

The draft resolution says that “federal agencies administering the ACA” are “threatening the ability of workers to keep health care coverage through some collectively bargained, non-profit health care funds” under their interpretation of the law.

In addition, the resolution claims “some workers might not be able to keep their coverage,” and the law will be “highly disruptive” to union members’ health plans, known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans. ObamaCare “will effectively use taxpayer dollars to subsidize employers that refuse to take responsibility for providing their employees health care” while taxing nonprofit plans to benefit insurance companies.
Unions have several concerns regarding ObamaCare, but perhaps their most pressing worry is the law’s potential impact on multiemployer or Taft-Hartley plans.

Labor believes these plans should be considered qualified health plans and be eligible for tax subsidies, but the administration has disagreed with them so far. Without those subsidies, the multiemployer plans are in jeopardy, union officials say, since employers might be tempted to drop the plans and force workers onto the new insurance exchanges that begin enrolling on Oct. 1.

Longshoremen union splits from AFL-CIO, ObamaCare among cited reasons

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents some 40,000 workers in the Northwest and Hawaii, has split from the AFL-CIO over attacks it has been under from other members of the prominent national labor union:

The West Coast longshore union is pulling out of the national AFL-CIO, citing “attacks” in which the umbrella organization’s members blatantly cross picket lines at Northwest grain terminals.

Robert “Big Bob” McEllrath, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, broke the news in a letter obtained by The Oregonian Friday. In the three-page letter sent Thursday, McEllrath told AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka the ILWU would sever its 25-year affiliation with the federation, cutting formal ties because organization members sabotaged dock workers.
McEllrath sent the letter a day after a federal administrative law judge issued a withering decision directing the San Francisco-based longshore union to stop disrupting Port of Portland operations and to quit seeking work that the judge said belonged to another AFL-CIO affiliate, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. McEllrath didn’t mention the decision, but he cited numerous other perceived offenses as well as disenchantment with the AFL-CIO on policy issues ranging from taxes to immigration.

“We will not let other affiliates jeopardize our survival and block our future as the primary waterfront workforce,” McEllrath wrote.

While the main issue may be attacks and sabotage from other labor organizations, there were other reasons cited in the letter McEllrath sent to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Among the problems cited was ObamaCare.

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