Just 32 months later, Obama administration tells us what ObamaCare plans must have in them

posted at 4:16 pm on November 21, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Before Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pushed back the deadline last week, governors were required to tell the feds by Nov. 16 whether they planned to build their own state-based exchanges for health care or let the federal government do it for them. They were required to submit detailed plans for building those state exchanges by the same day.

But it was not until yesterday that the federal government finally released a proposed regulation defining “essential health benefits”— a fundamental rule for planning these exchanges. See, ObamaCare legislation promised that come 2014, health insurance plans would have to cover certain “essential health benefits” in 10 broad categories to be compliant with the new federal law, but it passed on defining the specifics until now.

In other words, the federal government was demanding governors finish their detailed plans for implementing state-based health care exchanges four days before it even told them exactly what plans in those exchanges had to look like.

The task of defining “essential health benefits” fell to the Department of Health and Human Services, which kinda sorta kicked it to the states in a 13-page informal guidance it published in December 2011. That guidance suggested states choose a plan as their benchmark from these:

(1) the largest plan by enrollment in any of the three largest small group insurance
products in the State’s small group market
(2) any of the largest three State employee health benefit plans by enrollment
(3) any of the largest three national FEHBP plan options by enrollment or
(4) the largest insured commercial non-Medicaid Health Maintenance Organization
(HMO) operating in the State.

This allowed some flexibility for states and perhaps spared the insurance market more major disruption caused by one federally mandated standard. But not all suggested state plans include benefits in each of the 10 categories required under ObamaCare, and states didn’t know until yesterday whether and how they’d need to supplement the plans they chose. Hell, they didn’t know until yesterday, for sure, whether HHS would actually make a rule in accordance with the guideline it issued. States were to a great degree taking HHS’ intentions on faith and guessing at what their benchmark plans might be missing. Kaiser reported on some of the problems with this approach in September:

States are still waiting for more guidance from the administration on how to define habilitative services — one of the benefits covered in the law — and whether the federal government will require plans to offer more than one prescription drug in each class of drugs, said Caroline Pearson, a director at Avalere Health. Habilitative services differ from rehabilitation in that the patient is learning a new skill, such as walking for the first time, rather than having a former function restored.

Lo and behold, the new rule requires significantly more prescription drug coverage than the guidance suggested and states prepared for. To borrow and twist a phrase: Things that could have been brought to my attention before yesterday!

The proposed rules go beyond informal guidance issued by the administration last December, most notably by requiring more comprehensive coverage of prescription drugs.

Administration officials originally suggested that insurers would have to cover at least one drug in each therapeutic class. The new rules will, in many states, require insurers to cover two or more drugs in each class.

State-based exchanges are supposed to open for enrollment in October, about 11 months from now, but I’m sure there’s a good reason the administration held off on announcing these fundamental regulations:

The proposed rules, issued more than two and a half years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, had been delayed as the administration tried to avoid stirring criticism from lobbyists and interest groups in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

More from National Journal, just days before the presidential election:

When it comes to health care, delaying regulations could help the president politically by avoiding discussion of the controversial health reform law. But that makes life difficult for states and industries that need to prepare for the coming changes. The law has several looming deadlines. States must decide this month whether they will build their own insurance exchanges, even though they have not received regulatory detail on key elements of how those exchanges would work and be funded. Insurance companies need to have health plans ready to sell in those exchanges by October 2013, even though regulators have failed to describe what benefits they must include. Large employers are expected to comply with the mandate that they cover their full-time employees, but they, too, lack clarity on what sort of insurance plans they must provide or how much employees can be expected to chip in.

“It is extremely difficult for states,” said Krista Drobac, the director of the health division at the National Governors Association. “Informally, we’ve been told that regulations are all on hold until after the election.”

Though the regulations are critical for implementation, many have unpleasant political ramifications. Rules specifying how and when the federal government would run state insurance markets would likely raise cries of “government takeover.” And insurance industry regulations with the potential to raise premiums or eliminate existing insurance products could inspire criticisms that Obama was dishonest when he told people that, under his law, “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”

Several people who work closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency at the Health and Human Services Department responsible for most of the outstanding health care regulations, say they’ve been told the delays are due to political considerations, not technical difficulties.

Note that the quote in that story is from the National Governors Association, not a Republican or conservative organization. So, as supporters of ObamaCare lash out at Republican governors and conservatives for “undermining” the law, they ignore the very real technical obstacles the Obama administration imposed on states and insurance companies for its own political reasons.

Supporters are also worrying over the realization that running exchanges for dozens of states may be a technical heavy lift that’s just not possible. ObamaCare gave states the option to let the federal government set up an exchange for them, and though many states have worked without regulatory certainty to create those exchanges, noticeably absent is any hint of a federal exchange and what it would look like. There’s a reason for that, as the New York Times reported in August:

The markets, known as exchanges, are a centerpiece of President Obama’s health care law, and running them will be a herculean task that federal officials never expected to perform.

When Congress passed legislation to expand coverage two years ago, Mr. Obama and lawmakers assumed that every state would set up its own exchange, a place where people could shop for insurance and get subsidies to help defray the cost.

Oops. Who could have anticipated that in a diverse country where more than 50 percent still oppose the massive federal overhaul of health care passed against the will of the people through a special legislative process with absolutely no bipartisan support, with its costs and requirements systematically hidden or avoided for 32 months, that some states wouldn’t jump in with both feet? This also sets up a constitutional fight over whether the federal government can even offer subsidies through its own exchange (the law only establishes subsidies through state-based exchanges, not the federal one). Luckily, in the world of an ObamaCare supporter, all of the mistakes made in drafting the law or overestimating the ability of the federal government to implement it can be laid at the feet of Republican governors, not you know, the people who drafted the law.

But let’s say every single state was willing to build an exchange. These state exchanges, as the Washington Post notes, are often described as a Travelocity site for health care, but that oversimplifies the matter. If all states needed to do was build a decent website— well, I might still be skeptical, but there’d be a chance. Once again, though, states are missing an important puzzle piece which is the responsibility of— wait for it— the federal government:

A state can’t figure out how much an individual earns on its own. For that, it needs to ping a federal data hub that does not yet exist.

The federal government recently contracted with the healthcare IT firm QSSI to build that data hub, and they plan to make it available to both the exchanges that states run and those that the federal government sets up. It will determine whether individuals are eligible for Medicaid, subsidies or no benefit at all.

The challenge here is for states, which may have complex Medicaid rules or old computer systems, to actually plug into the federal hub.

“In many states, the Medicaid system is the best technology that the 1980s could offer,” says Bruce Caswell, who runs the health-services segment of Maximus, a firm that works on large government data systems. “As a consequence, they might have brittle interface capabilities.”

The Washington Post piece assumes the federal data hub itself will work perfectly, even though it’s meant to cull an incredible amount of data and pair it with an incredibly complex set of eligibility requirements. I think even that’s an open question, but here’s the bottom line: This is a giant tech undertaking which will need to serve many localities with different needs, link existing technologies and personnel with a new, giant federal hub, and somehow make sure all of them work together to smoothly to guide consumers who have no idea what to expect in subsidies or services through a brand new web portal for health insurance. They have less than a year to accomplish this. It seems there has been no pilot program, no training, and no beta testing. This thing is ORCA on steroids.

Oh, and there’s a 30-60 day public commenting period before HHS even finalizes the rules it proposed Tuesday. So, make it nine months to implementation. Here’s hoping.


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Cool, circling the drain altogether…..

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM

CLUSTER…..FU….

dforston on November 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

My prediction.

Even the moochers who voted the rat-eared wonder into a second term are going to admit it was a mistake.

Over the next couple of years there will be a revolt by the producers in how much government has decided is their “fair share” to support all the moochers who add nothing to society. Think California’s infamous Prop 13 on steroids.

That’s when the money begins to dry up for the moochers. The things they were told were entitlements begins to be reduced. Social issues like gay marriage or amnesty for illegals only stoke the fires of discontent because the producers will be in no mood to put a legitimate facade on sodomy when they are being bled dry by a bunch of greedy moochers.

In the end, Jimmy Carter loses his place in the cellar.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Justice Roberts…

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

LOL

rockmom on November 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Never be afraid to evolve……..or something.

FlaMurph on November 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM

It’s absolutely criminal how much got swept under the rug by this admin and their media enablers in service to his re-election.

We all know what they’ll turn to, though, when this turns out to be a clusterfark. Single payer, baby.

changer1701 on November 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM

A state can’t figure out how much an individual earns on its own. For that, it needs to ping a federal data hub that does not yet exist.

I thought the burden wrested wIth the employer to ask their employee how much their spouse (total family) income is to calculate some of this crap. We are effed. No one has a clue how this will work.

olddog58 on November 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Well it does appear that you have to vote for it to find out what’s in bhocare? This whole gosh horrible bill has tentacles that will go on for decades to see what will come out!

I just pray that the states doing their 10th will put a stop to this if humanly possible! Sure the heck won’t be the SC it appears?
L

letget on November 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

So for months we get to hear all of the MSM blame Republicans for every problem that rises out of this beast.Every Republican that voted for Obamacare should be hung./

docflash on November 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

The countdown clock to the public option is ticking.

Connie on November 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

My prediction.

Even the moochers who voted the rat-eared wonder into a second term are going to admit it was a mistake.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

No they won’t.

They will blame the obvious fatal flaws within ObamaCare on “greed,” the “free market,” the “religious right,” evil corporations, racism/bigotry, the GOP, the “rich,” or the perennial favorite when explaining the failures of statist policy: “external factors.”

This is just what Dem voters do.

visions on November 21, 2012 at 4:37 PM

We tried to establish a system that allowed competition, but that is obviously difficult and has failed. So now we are free to move on to the single-payer system.
-Obama Administration

weaselyone on November 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

FUBAR

Ugly on November 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

If they do not have enough participation in a state exchange, they can force people who have their own insurance to participate anyway.

Blake on November 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Probably could have been avoided if someone OTHER THAN Romney was nominated in the primaries. Now your stuck with it, and trust me when i say, come hell or constitutional destruction, Obama WILL MAKE Obamacare the law of ALL THE LAND by 2015.

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

My prediction.

Even the moochers who voted the rat-eared wonder into a second term are going to admit it was a mistake.

Over the next couple of years there will be a revolt by the producers in how much government has decided is their “fair share” to support all the moochers who add nothing to society. Think California’s infamous Prop 13 on steroids.

That’s when the money begins to dry up for the moochers. The things they were told were entitlements begins to be reduced. Social issues like gay marriage or amnesty for illegals only stoke the fires of discontent because the producers will be in no mood to put a legitimate facade on sodomy when they are being bled dry by a bunch of greedy moochers.

In the end, Jimmy Carter loses his place in the cellar.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

The money won’t run out as long as Obama is President…..
You see he can just keep printing and borrowing money…
Yes, yes of course we will have inflation – but if you don’t pay for
stuff then the price does not matter. Obama can keep expanding the taker class
to engulf most of the middle class….
By then the 1% will be paying a 99% tax rate…
You see – Obama is setting up the American public for his 3rd term….
Because you see – if America ever elects a republican for President again then
the party will be over and hard times will abound for everyone!!!!

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Hey, Lester! Here’s where you can tell us how great Obamacare will be — just look at how well it works in Canada!

suzeecue on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

It’s absolutely criminal how much got swept under the rug by this admin and their media enablers in service to his re-election.

We all know what they’ll turn to, though, when this turns out to be a clusterfark. Single payer, baby.

changer1701 on November 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM

The bill was designed to force single-payer. Why do you think Pelosi wrote in with a few like-minded traitors and not in the full deliberative process of the United States Congress?

Destroy the American healthcare system and then have the Dems ride in with this “great” idea where the government should run the whole works. Apply with your local death panel for benefits and further instructions.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Justice Roberts…

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Justice Roberts IS the biggest turkey of 2012……

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Justice Roberts…

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Don’t be hard on Justice Roberts he was probably “Petraeus’d” but we just don’t know the details yet.

Pardonme on November 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM

It’s absolutely criminal how much got swept under the rug by this admin and their media enablers in service to his re-election.

We all know what they’ll turn to, though, when this turns out to be a clusterfark. Single payer, baby.

changer1701 on November 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM

It was the Job of the oponent of Obama to bring this stuff forward for the electorate to see. FAILURE. And yes, I will keep ragging on the loser just as long as there is one retard here who claims No one could have won, because the electorate sucks. Hint, it is the exact same electorate we had in 2010, the difference between then and November 2012 was the top of the ticket was not conservative this go round and was not able to nor willing to fight Obamacare head on because his views are progressive and he agrees with the whole idea of Obamacare, just not thrilled it is not his name on the plan.

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The bill was designed to force single-payer. Why do you think Pelosi wrote in with a few like-minded traitors and not in the full deliberative process of the United States Congress?

Destroy the American healthcare system and then have the Dems ride in with this “great” idea where the government should run the whole works. Apply with your local death panel for benefits and further instructions.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

So, how many doctors does Washington D.C. think will fall in line to work for the glorious state???
I predict most of the good ones will leave and set up practice off-shore.
I am sure there are a few central American countries that are champing at the bit….
Of course if you cross dear leader you will pay a price.

The system will collapse – just don’t get sick or be in an accident…..

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Don’t be hard on Justice Roberts he was probably “Petraeus’d” but we just don’t know the details yet.

Pardonme on November 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I am guessing there are many Republicans out there in that situation… Its a nice family you got there, be a shame if something, like this tid bit of data about you, were to ruin it.

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Even the moochers who voted the rat-eared wonder into a second term are going to admit it was a mistake.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

you banked on that already no? And why does it matter at this point?

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on November 21, 2012 at 4:49 PM

So now we find out how the socialists/communists/fascists (all being similar in terms of controlling people) are going to take over control of each and every citizen, for our own good, of course, through Obamacare.

I am not allowed to write the disgust I feel at the people who are involved in forcing this on us.

Kevin K. on November 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Liberals tend to have that attitude that every time they win, it’s a big spiteful ‘gotcha’ on Conservatives and Republicans.

Well, now the libs are going to have to pay, too. We already knew what was coming down the pike, but I don’t think many libs expected or anticipated the ramifications of their boy wonder and the Dems did to us all.

Suck it up, libs, and bon apetite! Your pain is going to be worse than ours, because we warned you and you didn’t believe us.

Liam on November 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Let me make it clear that I am not advocating this outcome-

All the assumptions about what will happen in the future are based on the idea that the stability in our government we have enjoyed for over two centuries will endure. That the producers will continue to roll over and pay out as demanded by the central government even as government’s actions kill off future productivity and profitability.

I’m suggesting that at some point the producers are not going to roll over and take it. And I don’t necessarily mean passing new laws or writing letters to Congress. Can you imagine the “liquidity” problem the rat-eared wonder would face should every business in America stop paying their witholding taxes for even a month? Prosecution of offenders take time and resources. Where’s the money for that going to come from?

In short, at some point, the producers are going to stop feeding the beast that is killing them. Where does that leave the worthless moochers who support the rat-eared wonder?

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

AS JOE BIDEN MIGHT SAY “ONE WORD BABY….SINGLE PAYER”

badswing on November 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

FUBAR

Ugly on November 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Noted, sadly.

olddog58 on November 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Less than a year to build a hub than can connect to fifty different state systems?
Ha Ha Ha Ha
NEVER HAPPEN!

LincolntheHun on November 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

O/T judge approves hostess liquidation! Sucks to be you union thugs doesn’t it? Bet you worms are feeling all warm and fuzzy now?

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/11/21/judge-approves-hostess-liquidation/
L

letget on November 21, 2012 at 4:53 PM

you banked on that already no? And why does it matter at this point?

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on November 21, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Mostly for “told you so” rights later on. ;0

Particularly with so-called conservatives who did not vote for Romney because he was not Ron Paul.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 4:54 PM

O/T judge approves hostess liquidation! Sucks to be you union thugs doesn’t it? Bet you worms are feeling all warm and fuzzy now?

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/11/21/judge-approves-hostess-liquidation/
L

letget on November 21, 2012 at 4:53 PM

They won! /sarc

Liam on November 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM

This is going to be a complete disaster. Even more than I thought a month ago.

Chuck Schick on November 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM

If Congress ‘exempted‘ themselves and certain religious groups (Muslims)from this law…

… then how could this possibly be “Equal Justice Under the Law” and Constitutional to the rest of us?

“Equal justice under law” is the main principle of the judicial system in the United States. Engraved above the entrance of the Supreme Court building, it means that every person in the United States is entitled to receive equal and fair treatment from the law. These words express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court, which, as the nation’s highest tribunal, hears all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final reviewer and judge of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law, and thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.”

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2012 at 4:57 PM

They knew this could never be implemented. Ergo, 16,000 new IRS agents are included in this legislation to fine the sh&t out of us.

olddog58 on November 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

It would take at least a year or more to even create all the software needed, and that’s an optimistic estimate.

SirGawain on November 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

This is a giant tech undertaking which will need to serve many localities with different needs, link existing technologies and personnel with a new, giant federal hub, and somehow make sure all of them work together to smoothly to guide consumers who have no idea what to expect in subsidies or services through a brand new web portal for health insurance.

Makes modeling global climate change look easy in comparison. That’s worked out so well.
/

STL_Vet on November 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

HAPPY HOLIDAYS GOP!

Mr. Arrogant on November 21, 2012 at 4:59 PM

This is what happens when the president was never able to do math past the 6th grade and whose political philosophy is socialist fascism.

As I see it Obamacare has three real purposes:

1. Consolidate federal power and control over 1/5 of the economy for the purposing of forcing the U.S. to be what Obama & the Dems want it to be. (Some Rs included).

2. As a corollary providing a way for Obama, the Dems, and their cronies to become wealthy. (Some Rs included).

3. Make all abortions free all the time in the U.S. This is the dearest “value” of Obama & the Dems.

All else is the smoke, noise and mirrors of propaganda.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Sally Pipes is a name to know and read on health care:

http://blogs.forbes.com/sallypipes/

INC on November 21, 2012 at 5:03 PM

So, how many doctors does Washington D.C. think will fall in line to work for the glorious state???

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Redguy,

Just how old are you? I don’t ask this as an insult. I’m curious. This is precisely the problem with the Soviet model that the rat-eared wonder wants us to adopt.

The state ends up training all the doctors and regulates their wages. Doctors were paid little and not respected by society because they were nothing more than government employees.

The whole healthcare system becomes nothing more than the DMV with stethescopes. Younger people forget just how miserable the Soviet System was and here we have one party making great inroads in adopting the worst aspects of that system.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 5:04 PM

The money won’t run out as long as Obama is President…..

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Well…he can also start freeing up a lot of those energy permits he’s been sitting on. It’s an extortion move to get financing for themselves (Obama and Co./DNC) and provide funding (at least on paper…the LSM and ‘tards will lap it up) for schemes such as Obamacare.

Could be wrong of course.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 21, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Don’t be hard on Justice Roberts he was probably “Petraeus’d” but we just don’t know the details yet.

Pardonme on November 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM

He has a lifetime appointment. He was not “Petraeus’d.”

IMO the biggest problem with the SCOTUS is our expectations of living longer. Unlike past generations, there is no reason to think that a Justice can’t stay on the bench until they are in their eighties. In short, too much shelf life of the incumbents.

Society changes. Views on the judiciary change. But, these days we have Justices hanging on until somebody with their views getting elected President so they can keep their particular ideology alive. In short, the SCOTUS has decided to engage in the political debate and that is beneath them. Small wonder few if any of them show up for the State of the Union speeches.

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Let me guess: QSSI got the contract because they had an Obama bundler on the board? To date, no one has seen the contract.

And what government computer program has ever worked correctly? Now they will have access to all of our personal health and financial data. I’m sure they won’t misuse it or allow hacking, of course!

PattyJ on November 21, 2012 at 5:14 PM

ObamaCare, designed to fail from Day One…….that way they could move right on to ‘single-payer’ (socialized medicine), which is what they wanted in the first place.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the 2012 elections left them without the purse-strings.

GarandFan on November 21, 2012 at 5:15 PM

A state can’t figure out how much an individual earns on its own. For that, it needs to ping a federal data hub that does not yet exist.

but what about my right”to privacy contained in the constitution? The lefties told me it was there.

Lost in Jersey on November 21, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Quick. Name the easiest way for an adversary of the US to cause a major headache for the feds once this untried, untested, government-designed and implemented new computer/software goes into effect.

BKeyser on November 21, 2012 at 5:18 PM

L.i.B.

davidk on November 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM

The only thing you need to know about the workability of Obamacare is that the people who crafted the bill, the congressional aides, exempted themselves from the provisions of the bill. If it’s not good enough for them, it’s not good enough for me or for anyone else.

polarglen on November 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM

polarglen on November 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Good point. Congress as well, I believe. What was the deal for all federal employees? Are they exempt? I don’t remember.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM

State-based exchanges are supposed to open for enrollment in October, about 11 months from now

No way is that happening. There’s no way any software development team can complete something like this in that time frame. And if one did, it will be the most non-secured, hacker targeted, cluster, fubar system you can imagine.

I wonder, do we get to sue the state or some Federal Agency if these exchanges aren’t operational by then? Is there a penalty?

IUnknown on November 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

In other words, the federal government was demanding governors finish their detailed plans for implementing state-based health care exchanges four days before it even told them exactly what plans in those exchanges had to look like.

You have to buy the insurance to find out what is in it.

Fleuries on November 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Justice Roberts…

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Justice Roberts IS the biggest turkey of 2012……

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM

It’ll be a moot point because 60-70% of Docs will be out of business within 4 years.

tim c on November 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Hey everybody get your seats back in those church pews, pronto.
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/bipartisan-house-bill-would-add-religious-exemption-obamacare-mandate

MontanaMmmm on November 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Hey everybody get your seats back in those church pews, pronto.
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/bipartisan-house-bill-would-add-religious-exemption-obamacare-mandate

MontanaMmmm on November 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Sounds like a great bill!

Except that it’s horrific that one is even necessary.

(I have eight years worth of comments on the internet to prove my claim!)

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Let it burn.

Spliff Menendez on November 21, 2012 at 6:03 PM

My local NHS hospital since 2011 has closed its A&E ward from 10 o’ clock at night until 8 o’clock in the morning .

You don’t want socialized medicine .

EnglishRogue on November 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Introduced by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), the bill has drawn co-sponsors from both sides of the political aisle, including Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Todd Akin (R-Mo.) Ron Paul (R-Texas), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).

OK, after Thanksgiving I’ll have to call Biggert.

It’s hard to believe Frank would co-sponsor this. Why?

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Let it burn.

Spliff Menendez on November 21, 2012 at 6:03 PM

My opinion: http://upstreampolitics.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/the-let-it-burn-mentality/

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

My local NHS hospital since 2011 has closed its A&E ward from 10 o’ clock at night until 8 o’clock in the morning .

You don’t want socialized medicine .

EnglishRogue on November 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The hours when most people have to head for the emergency!

Most Americans don’t want it. It took the Dems longer than they thought it would, and even then Reid had to pull every shady trick he could to get it to pass.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Every inconvenient can was kicked down the road until post-election.
Every media shill was on Administration retainer until post-election.
Every difficult problem was either delayed, or buried until after the election.
I so. Hate. These people.

Wait’ll everyone finds that Obamacare isn’t the panacea they’d been promised by Sibelius and their union steward. The liberal electorate chose this s–t sandwich. Now, they get to eat it.

orangemtl on November 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM

In ten years it will be harder to find someone who will admit to having voted for Obama than it will be to find someone who will admit to having voted for Carter.

monkeyboy on November 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM

My opinion: http://upstreampolitics.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/the-let-it-burn-mentality/

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Let it Burn, in fact, HELP add fuel to the fire!

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 6:33 PM

if we had a independent press some of these things might have been avoided

Stephen E. Finan, a health economist at the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society, said, “The proposed rule is an improvement over the bulletin issued last year, but still does not guarantee that cancer patients will have access to all the major cancer drugs they need.”

In the 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama said he would lower annual premiums by $2,500 per family by the end of his first term. But after a quick look at the proposed rules on Tuesday, Ms. Ignagni said she was concerned that “many families and small businesses will be required to purchase coverage that is more costly than they have today.”

The rules also give employers new freedom to reward employees who participate in workplace wellness programs intended to help them lower blood pressure, lose weight or reduce cholesterol levels. The maximum permissible reward would be increased to 30 percent of the cost of coverage, from the current 20 percent.

The rules would further increase the maximum reward to 50 percent for wellness programs intended to prevent or reduce tobacco use

this last bit is a real danger. Obviously, smoking does not account for 50 percent of the h/c costs…so this is just the Nudge. The Left will be nudging here and there…their fevered minds twirling with glee….Look at me Mom…the Power..the POWER…wheeeee!

r keller on November 21, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Let it Burn, in fact, HELP add fuel to the fire!

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 6:33 PM

That may puff up your sense of conceit and self-righteousness, but it’s no answer.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Obama builds a better mousetrap….mice celebrate wildly.

MichaelGabriel on November 21, 2012 at 6:44 PM

That may puff up your sense of conceit and self-righteousness, but it’s no answer.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM

The frog in the pot set to slow boil remains content in the pot, the frog being presented with a fast boil hops out and saves his life.

So, no, it is not to PUFF up my sense of conceit and self-righteousness, but to actually get the ball rolling in a revival that will not come under the guise of slowing the f^cking train down to a slow pace towards the cliff of destruction.

Let it Burn, let Obama and the Democrats Own the Burning. If you can, increase the speed of the increase in pain.

We’ve been doing the slow boil for 75 years. It has so far produced exactly 12 years of good leadership, 8 under Reagan, 4 under Speaker of the House Gingrich, and even that leadership was unable to actually turn the ship around against the push back of the progressive Ds and the slightly less progressive Rs.

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Setting out to destroy something generally ends with destruction.

Not revival.

Last week Ebben Raves wrote Time to Let the Country Crash? Think Weimar Republic and its consequences. This is his conclusion.

Make no mistake: encouraging an economic crash is a bad idea. A parasite may eventually kill the host, but it usually takes a while, and there is always hope for recovery. Predators, however, devour the carcass in a rapid fashion. No easier meal can be had. Do not forget that predators are foreign to the body, and there are many circling outside our borders. Even today, there is still plenty of flesh left on America — flesh worth fighting for by whoever wants it most.

Helping to destroy something destroys character. It doesn’t build character.

And only character would bring about a revival.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 7:04 PM

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM
astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Gentlemen, I suggest this to you both, after giving 25 years of my life in defense of the great experiment, many spent in combat, I would say I have enough skin in the game to say what I am about to say. It is time for a change, sometimes you have to tear something down to build it stronger the next time around. The Hamiltonians have had this country for the last 200+ years, and they have run it into the ground because as we all know men are not angels, lest they not need government at all. So I say it is time for the Jeffersonians to take over and lead this country back to prominence, albeit at a smaller scale.

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

o, how many doctors does Washington D.C. think will fall in line to work for the glorious state???

redguy on November 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Think on this for a while….POTUS deemed the Senate to be in recess in violation of the letter and intent of the Constitution, and no one did anything about it.

What stops him from deeming Javier Lopez to be a doctor?

Nothing.

BobMbx on November 21, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Happy Nomad has it right. The goal has always been single-payer. Those who dream otherwise are… dreamers.

Humphrey on November 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Hey everybody get your seats back in those church pews, pronto.
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/bipartisan-house-bill-would-add-religious-exemption-obamacare-mandate

MontanaMmmm on November 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Sounds like a great bill!

Except that it’s horrific that one is even necessary.

(I have eight years worth of comments on the internet to prove my claim!)

INC on November 21, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Actually, according to the article, if you were to go to the doctor for anything which could be considered “voluntary” which was covered by the insurance, you lose the exemption.

“[The opt-out] shall not apply to an individual…if the individual received medical health care during the taxable year,” the bill reads.

The bill exempts non-voluntary treatments, dental care, optometry, chiropractic care, required physicals, midwifery, and vaccines.

It’s basically saying you have to have insurance or you can’t see your doctor for anything including treatment for you high blood pressure or your diabetes, even if you are willing to pay out of your pocket. So if you only object to one part, e.g. the contraception, you pretty much have to pay for the insurance if you want any health care.

LibraryGryffon on November 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I wish I saw a political path forward to a rebuilding.

As long as the republican party exists, I do not think it can happen.

Democrats progress to the Marxist totalitarian left.

Every step leftward, such as TARP, McCain, Romney that the Republican party moves, allows the Democrats room to move further towards the end goal.

The Republican party has come to the point that short of an extraordinarily conservative, charismatic and teflon coated savior, there is no chance it will ever again offer change we need.

I know much about history, I understand much about human nature, I do not understand why conservatives produce so few great people that are able and willing to lead.

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

When you and I were in the desert in 91 we were young, but we became tempered by the fire of combat, our lives were changed forever, our view of the world altered to view it cynically, and to not trust our government at face value. We are part of the latest Nomad Generation and from us will spring those leaders that you seek. We are just coming of age for that, I say to you hold fast, we will survive and this Republic will once again be what it started out as, and our service and suffering from that service will to a certain extent be rewarded.

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I’m a wife and mom, not a gentleman, although I do try to be a lady.

Thank you. I very much appreciate your service and your time spent defending us and our country.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 7:53 PM

No fret folks Google and Microsoft are working on it…the software

They will have all the bugs worked out…

Single Payer here we come!!

The UK (under barack) of the USA…

Scrumpy on November 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

This Republic wasn’t born, however, merely because of a desire to tear down. Causing economic collapse–or aiding it–has never that I know of in history been a path to building up something good in its place.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

INC on November 21, 2012 at 7:53 PM

I humbly apologize for my grievous error me lady, and knowing that explains your concern about letting it burn, to you I would say this, fear not for the vultures on the outside. Savage men stand ready to do violence on yours and your children’s behalf so that you remain secure. My wife is the most precious thing in the world to me and I would not needlessly risk her safety at anytime. The burn that comes will be scary, but we will survive, renewed with a sense of responsibility for the freedom we have once again regained.

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 8:04 PM

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 8:04 PM

That’s no problem. I’d talk more, but I’m in the middle of cooking, and things have reached the point where I have to go pay attention. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

INC on November 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

INC on November 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

You are right, it wasn’t and while I do not want a collapse, our current system has to change. Short of revolution, getting rid of the current ruling class we have I see no other alternative but for it too collapses. They feel they are insulated from such things, so they care less if it crashes. I will add this however, I think the crash will be a bit less drastic than everyone thinks but it will in effect bring the takers back to reality and produce the exact opposite results that our masters in Washington expect. One other thing, there once was a young man who was sent to an island, and broken down to nothing and then reforged into, well I am sure you can judge for yourself what that young man became:)

MarshFox on November 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM

INC on November 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

The rev war tore down the old to build a new.
The civil war tore down the south to build a new.
World War I required several civilizations to be torn down in order to build a new one. It might have failed in bringing peace.
World War II required several nations to be torn to the ground to bring about a more lasting peace.
Civil rights fights tore down to build new.

Plenty of times you have to destroy something in order to have a better future. Violence does in fact solve things. Right now we are in another cold war, except this one actually has action taking place on our soil that is destructive to our survival and future prosperity. The soft power of voting is proving to be a total failure due to the Obamafication and Progressivation of the Republican party. The problem is that all bureaucracies fall to this blight. They must be reborn from time to time.

astonerii on November 21, 2012 at 8:29 PM

The federal government recently contracted with the healthcare IT firm QSSI to build that data hub, and they plan to make it available to both the exchanges that states run and those that the federal government sets up. It will determine whether individuals are eligible for Medicaid, subsidies or no benefit at all.

Simply awesome. So, the Central Planning Office will now be sharing all of our private earnings and other data with some third party. I wonder if anyone with a legal background can figure just how many existing laws this violates?

Oh, and what could possibly go wrong as our private data is shared?

William Teach on November 21, 2012 at 8:35 PM

No fret folks Google and Microsoft are working on it…the software

They will have all the bugs worked out…

Single Payer here we come!!

The UK (under barack) of the USA…

Scrumpy on November 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

It will be worse, more invasive and pernicious.

We are about to see institutionalized persecution wedded with modern technology.

Can you say hell on Earth?

tom daschle concerned on November 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

To all my liberal friends and relatives and all Odumbo voters: Welcome to the Leviathan. We told you so! Too bad we will suffer too, but vindication somewhat soothes the pain.

tngmv on November 21, 2012 at 10:01 PM

…what will the MSM report…when the Masses wake up?

KOOLAID2 on November 21, 2012 at 11:21 PM

To paraphrase Reagan, the Government Solution is the Problem.

Dandapani on November 22, 2012 at 9:05 AM

And the 3.8% Obamacare sales tax on REAL ESTATE transactions for those with AGI over $200/250,000?

You know, the VERY RICH?

tree hugging sister on November 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM