Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on January 16, 2014 by Allahpundit

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in Tampa today, Monday, January 13, for an ObamaCare outreach event, and she owes Floridians an answer. Why should taxpayers have to bail out health insurance companies in the increasingly likely event that ObamaCare leaves them with financial losses?…

This is government favoritism and corporate cronyism at its worst, and it’s taxpayers that will pay the price unless we stop it…

Unfortunately, we can’t just take the administration’s word that it won’t happen. Congress has to act, and it should approve legislation I’ve introduced to repeal ObamaCare’s risk corridor provision and stop any bailout. At just a page long, my bill is simple but would instantly wipe away the taxpayer’s exposure to millions – and potentially billions – of dollars’ worth of a bailout for insurance companies.

If the only way ObamaCare works is with a taxpayer-funded bailout of insurers, it’s yet another clear sign that the law can’t survive and isn’t worth saving.

***

As Philip Klein notes, a recent article by Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton, and Anthony Damico of the Kaiser Family Foundation described an enrollment of 25 percent among 18-34 year olds as a “worst-case scenario,” estimating that insurers would lose money on these plans, because “overall costs…would be about 2.4% higher than premium revenues.”

2.4 percent may seem like a small number, but given that the average insurer has profit margins of 4 to 6 percent, a 2.4 percent loss on premiums—before we even count overhead costs—is a serious problem…

The national skew, now 49 percent, may come down to 35 or 40 percent, by the time we get to the end of the open enrollment period in March. But the bottom line is that insurers will still lose money on these plans. And there are other aspects of adverse selection. For example: are we seeing sicker participants within a given age group, regardless of age? Are the healthy people in the exchanges skewing towards high-deductible bronze plans, while sicker people buy more generous silver and gold plans?

Taxpayers will be on the hook for any increased costs.

***

Conservatives used to say Obamacare is socialized medicine. Now they say it is a “government bailout” of insurers.

The new claim is just as misleading and cynical as the old one

The bailout analogy is potent. And it’s certainly accurate to say that, under Obamacare, some insurers may collect payments from the government to help offset losses. But the analogy breaks down after that…

The payouts from risk corridors … come directly from government funds and have no actual limit. But the risk corridors also build up government funds—in effect, by claiming some of the profits from insurers who reap unexpected windfalls. The Congressional Budget Office, in its overall cost estimates for the Affordable Care Act, assumed that the inflow and outlfow would be roughly the same, so that the risk corridor program as a whole would be budget neutral. Even if CBO’s prediction is wrong, and the government ends up spending more than it raises, the difference is likely to be modest. The formula for payouts calls merely for government to share in high losses or gains, not to take them on completely. It’s enough to protect the insurers, the thinking goes, but not enough to cause a massive outlay. Meanwhile, lower-than-expected premiums are likely to save the government much more money than the risk corridors would ever pay out.

***

Cohn is correct that the CBO estimated that the cost of the program to taxpayers would be zero because it figured that some insurance companies would over estimate patient expenses and others would under estimate them, and these over and under estimations would cancel each other out. Sort of like how banks who bought tons of mortgage backed securities estimated that some mortgages would go bad, others would be just fine, but as long as there was a normal mix the underlying assets would be fine.

But just as banks made a “grievous management error” by never considering what would happen if large percentages of the mortgages in mortgage back securities all went bad, the designers of Obamacare never considered what would happen if every insurer under estimated how much it would cost to pay for insurance claims. And if the current mix of Obamacare enrollees looks anything like the final mix, that is exactly what is likely to happen: all the insurance companies will qualify for payments from the risk corridor program and no one will be paying in.

At that point, under current law, taxpayers would be on the hook to pay off those all of those insurance company losses. If that isn’t a bailout, I don’t know what is.

***

The risk of a “death spiral” is over. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that if the market’s age distribution freezes at its current level — an extremely unlikely scenario — “overall costs in individual market plans would be about 2.4% higher than premium revenues.” So, in theory, premiums costs might rise by a few percentage points. That’s a problem, but it’s nothing even in the neighborhood of a death spiral.

That calculation, however, omits the transitional policies in Obamacare that help insurers keep premiums low as the risk pool sorts itself out over the first three years. Add those in, and it’s unlikely that 2015 will see any premium increase at all. Robert Laszewski, a consultant for the insurance industry, agrees. “I think the 2015 rates will be the rates you’re looking at today, more or less,” he says.

***

[M]y sense is that health plans, because they are so insulated from big losses, will generally stand pat with their 2014 rate structures for 2015––no matter how bad the early claims experience looks. I expect that the health insurance industry will be content to give the Obama administration one more chance to reboot Obamacare in the fall of 2014, when the 2015 open enrollment takes place.

But that is all the patience I see the industry having. While they will continue to be protected from losses in 2016, two years will be enough patience for them and they will be eager to at least begin to transition their rates to the proper level in 2016 rather than face a huge adjustment in 2017 when the reinsurance program ends.

***

[U]nless the demographics of the exchanges improve pretty quickly, the three temporary risk-adjustment programs are probably set to transfer a large hunk of cash to the insurance companies. That’s what the administration, and the insurers, want to happen; it’s how they are going to keep the insurers on board for 2015. Phil Klein at the Washington Examiner points out that Humana Inc.’s latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission warns of a “more adverse than previously expected” mix of customers enrolling through the exchange — but it doesn’t change its earnings forecast for 2014. So either it thinks its losses will be trivial relative to overall earnings or Humana thinks the chances of a bailout from the administration are basically 100 percent.

But while the business logic is obvious, the political logic is considerably more dubious. I was initially skeptical that a repeal of the risk corridors had any chance of getting through a Democratic-controlled Senate, but I’ve heard a persuasive argument that this is just so politically toxic that Senate Democrats, and even the White House, may well go along. The optics of funneling money to the insurers through these programs is absolutely terrible. And now they are asking the administration for more money — the insurers want the extra expenses that the exchange debacle has imposed excluded from calculating their “medical loss ratio” requirements, which mandate that at least 80 percent of their expenses go toward treatment, not administrative overhead. I think the requirements are pretty silly, as a policy, but they are extremely popular. Asking the administration for a break on this is almost begging members of both parties to beat the snot out of them. White House attempts to explain that it isn’t a bailout will be complicated by the fact that it obviously kind of is.

***

The GOP House should pass [an anti-bailout bill] and send it to Harry Reid’s Democratic Senate. Democrats know it could be fatal for Obamacare. The only alternative would be single-payer. And try selling that to the country after the spectacularly incompetent launch of — and subsequent widespread disaffection with — mere semi-nationalization.

Do you really think vulnerable Democrats up for reelection will vote for a bailout? And who better to slay Obamacare than a Democratic Senate — liberalism repudiating its most important creation of the last 50 years.

Want to be even bolder? Attach the anti-bailout bill to the debt ceiling. That and nothing else. Dare the president to stand up and say: “I’m willing to let the country default in order to preserve a massive bailout for insurance companies.”…

Who can argue with no bailout? Let the Senate Democrats decide: Support the bailout and lose the Senate. Or oppose the bailout and bury Obamacare.

***

***



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

Barack Insane obama, mm mm MM!

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:43 PM

This is one time that the baby should be thrown out with the bath water.

VorDaj on January 16, 2014 at 10:43 PM

No parachute.

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:43 PM

No Christie?

gh on January 16, 2014 at 10:45 PM

…Fatso’s gone?

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2014 at 10:46 PM

it’s unlikely that 2015 will see any premium increase at all.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:46 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:46 PM

I’m having Christie withdrawal symptoms.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:46 PM

JACKSON!

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:47 PM

For example: are we seeing sicker participants within a given age group, regardless of age?

Yes, in all likelihood, the only 60% of expected young who sign up are not the 60% healthiest young. The other possibility is that they are the stupidest.

VorDaj on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

No Christie?

gh on January 16, 2014 at 10:45 PM

We got his best buddy, instead. Same ballpark.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

A nice story via Ace of Spades HQ today. Won’t you Come Dancing ?

gh on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

With 100 percent security risk? This young healthy ain’t going near the site.

John the Libertarian on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

But just as banks made a “grievous management error” by never considering what would happen if large percentages of the mortgages in mortgage back securities all went bad

Really ?
Clinton and the CRA had nothing to do with that mortgage fiasco ?

burrata on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

I’m having Christie withdrawal symptoms.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:46 PM

It’s only been 5 minutes and I’m sure AP has got a couple more Fat and Furious threads almost ready to load and fire. Hang on.

VorDaj on January 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM

LANCEMAN!

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM

The payouts from risk corridors … come directly from government funds and have no actual limit. But the risk corridors also build up government funds—in effect, by claiming some of the profits from insurers who reap unexpected windfalls.

.
That’s special kind of stupid right there.

Answer: Zero from zero equals zero.

Karnak says: What is thumbnail summary of Obama’s Presidency; the amount of windfall profits for insurers from Obamacare; and the combined math IQ of Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 10:52 PM

So… the burning question is: What does Christie think of the bailout…and will his lawyers let him speak?

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:52 PM

;)!

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:52 PM

:D !

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Really ?
Clinton and the CRA had nothing to do with that mortgage fiasco ?

burrata on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Not just that, but there was also the “implicit” federal guarantee granted by magic onto all paper that went through the mill at Fannie Mae – to keep the whole scheme that the CRA started chugging along. And those guarantees did actually pay off.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 16, 2014 at 10:53 PM

What the…

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Encourage this.

All ins. and med. device companies, drug joints and doctors who stood with obama on obama’care’, go under and go to Hell.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:54 PM

The QOTD has taken up dancing… or shuffling. lol! Did you guys see that shift in comment sequence? Fancy. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM

VorDaj on January 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Don’t encourage him. He’s in the mode to annoy his base, just like Boehner.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM

The problem with America:

Hot Air posts about Foreign Policy = good for maybe 100 comments

Hot Air posts about economic policy = < 50 comments

Hot Air posts on pot = at least 200 comments

Any Hot Air post about gay marriage = Infinite # of comments

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Add those in, and it’s unlikely that 2015 will see any premium increase at all. Robert Laszewski, a consultant for the insurance industry, agrees. “I think the 2015 rates will be the rates you’re looking at today, more or less,” he says.


and then Dumberer weighed in …

“Pay no attention to the conflict of interest of the man behind the curtain!”

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:54 PM

It’s going to get crowded in Hell, what with all the politicians heading that way, too. :)

Good evening, Paladin. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Fatso only effects one State…

Obama is a flucking nightmare that effects the whole country..

Electrongod on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM

What about gun control and Sarah Palin?

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Read this. This is a great write up.

Force the bailouts. It’s the LIB thing on top of their heads.

Throw another trillion dollar log on the fire.

THIS is the AP I enjoy.

wolly4321 on January 16, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Nurse Ratched Sebelius just claimed her brain got stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

viking01 on January 16, 2014 at 10:58 PM

What about gun control and Sarah Palin?

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Is she shooting sub-moa with a Ruger American?

Murphy9 on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Harlem Nocturne – Georgie Auld

I’m going to let it go, now… at least for awhile… and relax. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Did you guys see that shift in comment sequence? Fancy. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM

This morning I certainly saw a comment after mine, then posted another and it went in front of the other guy’s comment…no idea how, though the times were the same, but still the other commenter had already posted.

I think they take comments off, immediately after they post, moderate, then repost…I mean their system does…

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

I’m going to let it go, now… at least for awhile… and relax. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Excellent music to do that to :)

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

That sounds about right… or perhaps they have to be read and reposted by the NSA these days. lol!

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Soft Pedal Blues – Stanley Turrentine

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

.
Concur, I had a Bishop yesterday that magically transferred into 3rd place after a minute.

So of us may be getting more attention than the others.

How Animal Farm-ish

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM
What about gun control and Sarah Palin?

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Or the war in Afghanistan.

hawkdriver on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Why should taxpayers have to bail out health insurance companies in the increasingly likely event that ObamaCare leaves them with financial losses?

Because it’s the American way to socialism – nationalization by cost-plus government contract.

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

What is this nonsense about “government funds” and “government money”? The government has neither. These are moneys owned by citizens and seized via taxation.

onlineanalyst on January 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Want to be even bolder? Attach the anti-bailout bill to the debt ceiling. That and nothing else. Dare the president to stand up and say: “I’m willing to let the country default in order to preserve a massive bailout for insurance companies.”… Who can argue with no bailout?

They did that with the budget. Essentially. And lost.

And why not the same hardline stance on amnesty?

wolly4321 on January 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM

It just did it again.lol!

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Or the war in Afghanistan.

hawkdriver on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

.
There were Benghazi threads that multiplied like viruses, mutated, and infected other threads.

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM

No way the GOP will have the smarts to send an anti-bailout bill to the Senate.

SouthernGent on January 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM
What about gun control and Sarah Palin?

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Gun control topics = Gay topics for hits. But I wasn’t going to mention that weird correlation.

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Another bites ye dust:)

Tom Coburn
Oklahoma, US
1m
===
More: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says decision to leave Senate not related to cancer diagnosis – @AP
read more on t.co
==================

Oklahoma, US
10m
====

Sen. Tom Coburn: ‘I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere’ – @DanielStrauss4
end of bulletin
===============

Oklahoma, US
12m
====
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to leave Congress at end of this year – @koconews
read more on koco.com

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/tom-coburn/
==============================================

Tweets

Daniel Strauss ‏@DanielStrauss4 1m

Coburn: “I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere.” http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/sen-tom-coburn-to-retire
=========================================================

Daniel Strauss ‏@DanielStrauss4 3m

Read TPM’s on Coburn retiring report here http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/sen-tom-coburn-to-retire
==========================================================

Daniel Strauss ‏@DanielStrauss4 16m

Here’s Coburn’s full statement pic.twitter.com/IXrjTs7xjB
Embedded image permalink
Expand
===========
https://twitter.com/DanielStrauss4

canopfor on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Benghazi

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM

LOL NOBODY CARES! LOLOLOL…

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

gh on January 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

My bro found Ray lying in Charity in NOLA after he was shot. No one else knew who he was as he came in a John Doe–”Unknown Purple” was his ID. Bro made sure Ray got VIP treatment. Ray had him call his sister and give her the bad news. Also, Nelson and Star from Morphine Song are real colleagues from Charity, too. In his new biography Americana, Ray mentions him.

Christien on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Schadenfreude, pure.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Another Bites Ye Dust:

BREAKING NEWS
Saved topics
Muted topics
Tom Coburn
Oklahoma, US
10m
More: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says decision to leave Senate not related to cancer diagnosis – @AP
read more on t.co
Oklahoma, US
18m
Sen. Tom Coburn: ‘I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere’ – @DanielStrauss4
end of bulletin
Oklahoma, US
21m
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to leave Congress at end of this year – @koconews
read more on koco.com
Oklahoma, US
7d
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., may cut short his term as he battles cancer again – @politico
read more on politico.com

canopfor on January 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM

The young and healthy are signing up by the millions! By the tens of millions! By the hundreds of millions! They are flooding in and with hard cash! Even beyond our wildest expectations! Most have insisted on paying months in advance! Soon now they will overwhelm the very few sick people and subsidized people who have signed up! Do not listen to the very few naysayers. They are just up to their usually tricks of spreading disinformation. Hit them with shoes! Always know that whatever I or any other member of this administration tells you, is the truth. Period.

VorDaj on January 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Soft Pedal Blues – Stanley Turrentine

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Very nice.

gh on January 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Xoxo MG.

SparkPlug on January 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Schadenfreude, pure.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Why is that schadenfreude pure?

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Christien on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Read about that on wikipedia today.

gh on January 16, 2014 at 11:09 PM

RE: Coburn:

Tweets

Mike Memoli ‏@mikememoli 1m

Oklahoma could join South Carolina in having both U.S. Senate seats up for grabs this Nov
Retweeted by Daniel Strauss
Expand
Reply
Retweet
Favorite
Daniel Strauss ‏@DanielStrauss4 5m

Heh RT @CahnEmily: @mikememoli as fiscal hawk, Coburn would never want extra funds used to hold a special election to replace him.

canopfor on January 16, 2014 at 11:09 PM

gh on January 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Thank you, gh. It’s a favorite when I just want to relax and unwind a little. :)

Your turn. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I’m going to let it go, now… at least for awhile… and relax. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Playing with my Christmas present on a full moon night with fresh fallen snow and it led me to think …

It’s a wonderful night …

One of my all time favorites.

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Your turn. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:10 PM

It’s not over yet … but give me a few minutes …

gh on January 16, 2014 at 11:12 PM

I’ll Be Seeing You – Sonny Stitt

Okay. :) Meanwhile….

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:12 PM

The deal:)

Iran nuclear program talks
3m
White House releases summary of nuclear plan reached between Iran, 6 major world powers – @Reuters
read more on reuters.com
===========================

White House releases summary of six-month Iran nuclear plan
Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:29pm EST
****************************

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday released a summary of the deal reached between six major world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program, responding to calls from the U.S. Congress and other groups for more transparency about what the agreement entails.
Iran has denied it wants to use the program to eventually build nuclear weapons but agreed to scale it back after the international community applied strict financial and oil sanctions.
The six-month preliminary deal includes some relief from the sanctions as talks continue toward a broader, long-term deal.
The White House gave Congress access to the full text of technical instructions for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) but released a detailed four-page summary of the deal to the public.
“It is the preference of the IAEA that certain technical aspects of the technical understandings remain confidential,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

For an online version of the summary, click: r.reuters.com/puc26v

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
January 16, 2014

Summary of Technical Understandings Related to the Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

On January 12, 2014, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, coordinated by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton) and Iran arrived at technical understandings for the Joint Plan of Action, which will be implemented beginning on January 20, 2014.

The Joint Plan of Action marks the first time in nearly a decade that the Islamic Republic of Iran has agreed to specific actions that stop the advance of its nuclear program, roll back key aspects of the program, and include unprecedented access for international inspectors. The technical understandings set forth how the provisions of the Joint Plan of Action will be implemented and verified, and the timing of implementation of its provisions. Specifically, the technical understandings specify the actions that Iran will take to limit its enrichment capacity at Natanz and Fordow, as well as the limits on safeguarded research and development (R&D); the actions Iran will take to implement its commitments not to fuel the Arak reactor or install remaining components at the reactor; and the actions Iran will take to facilitate International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification and confirmation that Iran is fully implementing these commitments. The understandings also clarify the reciprocal actions that the P5+1 and the EU will take.

Between now and January 20th, Iran, the IAEA, the United States, and our international partners, will take the remaining required steps to begin implementing the Joint Plan of Action on that date.

What Iran Has Committed To Do

On January 20th, the IAEA will report on the current status of Iran’s nuclear program, and particularly on its uranium enrichment program and the Arak reactor. The IAEA will also report on several specific steps that Iran has committed to take by or on the first day of implementation, including:

Halting production of near-20% enriched uranium and disabling the configuration of the centrifuge cascades Iran has been using to produce it.
Starting to dilute half of the near-20% enriched uranium stockpile that is in hexafluoride form, and continuing to convert the rest to oxide form not suitable for further enrichment.

In addition, over the course of the Joint Plan of Action, the IAEA will verify that Iran is:

Not enriching uranium in roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, including all next generation centrifuges.
Limiting its centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines, so Iran cannot use the six-month period to stockpile centrifuges.
Not constructing additional enrichment facilities.
Not going beyond its current enrichment R&D practices.
Not commissioning or fueling the Arak reactor.
Halting the production and additional testing of fuel for the Arak reactor.
Not installing any additional reactor components at Arak.
Not transferring fuel and heavy water to the Arak reactor site.
Not constructing a facility capable of reprocessing. Without reprocessing, Iran cannot separate plutonium from spent fuel.

Iran has also committed to a schedule for taking certain actions during the six-month period. This includes:

Completion of dilution of half of its stockpile of near-20% uranium hexafluoride in three months, and completion of conversion of the rest of that material to oxide in six months.
A cap on the permitted size of Iran’s up to 5% enriched uranium stockpile at the end of the six-month period.

Verification Mechanisms

To ensure Iran is fulfilling its commitments, the IAEA will be solely responsible for verifying and confirming all nuclear-related measures, consistent with its ongoing inspection role in Iran. In addition, the EU, P5+1 and Iran will establish a Joint Commission to work with the IAEA to monitor implementation of the Joint Plan of Action. The Joint Commission will also work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present concerns with respect to Iran’s nuclear program.

The Joint Commission will be composed of experts of the EU, P5+1 and Iran, and it will convene at least monthly to consider the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action and any issues that may arise. Any decisions that are required on the basis of these discussions will be referred to the Political Directors of the EU, the P5+1, and Iran.

Transparency and Monitoring

Iran committed in the Joint Plan of Action to provide increased and unprecedented transparency into its nuclear program, including through more frequent and intrusive inspections as well as expanded provision of information to the IAEA.

The Iranian enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow will now be subject to daily IAEA inspector access as set out in the Joint Plan of Action (as opposed to every few weeks). The IAEA and Iran are working to update procedures, which will permit IAEA inspectors to review surveillance information on a daily basis to shorten detection time for any Iranian non-compliance. In addition, these facilities will continue to be subjected to a variety of other physical inspections, including scheduled and unannounced inspections.

The Arak reactor and associated facilities will be subject to at least monthly IAEA inspections – an increase from the current inspection schedule permitting IAEA access approximately once every three months or longer.

Iran has also agreed to provide for the first time:

Long-sought design information on the Arak reactor;
Figures to verify that centrifuge production will be dedicated to the replacement of damaged machines; and
Information to enable managed access at centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities, and uranium mines and mills.

These enhanced monitoring measures will enable the IAEA to provide monthly updates to the Joint Commission on the status of Iran’s implementation of its commitments and enable the international community to more quickly detect breakout or the diversion of materials to a secret program.

What the P5+1 and EU Have Committed To Do

As part of this initial step, the P5+1 and EU will provide limited, temporary, and targeted relief to Iran. The total value of the relief is between $6 and $7 billion – a small fraction of the $100 billion in Iranian foreign exchange holdings that will continue to be blocked or restricted. Some relief will be provided from the first day; most will be provided in installments over the span of the entire six-month period. The relief is structured so that the overwhelming majority of the sanctions regime, including the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place – and sanctions will continue to be vigorously implemented throughout the six-month period.

Once the IAEA has confirmed Iran is implementing its commitments, in return the P5+1 and EU have committed to do the following on the first day of implementation:

Suspend the implementation of sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and Iran’s imports of goods and services for its automotive manufacturing sector.
Suspend sanctions on Iran’s import and export of gold and other precious metals, with significant limitations that prevent Iran from using its restricted assets overseas to pay for these purchases.
License expeditiously the supply of spare parts and services, including inspection services, for the safety of flight of Iran’s civil aviation sector.
Pause efforts to further reduce purchases of crude oil from Iran by the six economies still purchasing oil from Iran.
Facilitate the establishment of a financial channel intended to support humanitarian trade that is already permitted with Iran and facilitate payments for UN obligations and tuition payments for students studying abroad.
Modify the thresholds for EU internal procedures for the authorization of financial transactions.

The P5+1 and EU have also committed to take certain actions to facilitate Iran’s access to $4.2 billion in restricted Iranian funds on a set schedule at regular intervals throughout the six months. Access to a small portion of these funds will be linked to Iran’s progress in completing the dilution process for near-20% enriched uranium. Iran will not have access to the final installment of the $4.2 billion until the last day of the six-month period.

The installments will be released on the schedule below, contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran is fulfilling its commitments.

February 1st – $550 million (installment #1)

March 1st – $450million (contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran has completed dilution of half of the stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium it is required to dilute)

March 7th – $550 million (installment #2)

April 10th – $550 million (installment #3)

April 15th – $450 million (contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran has completed dilution of its entire stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium it is required to dilute)

May 14th – $550 million (installment #4)

June 17th – $550 million (installment #5)

July 20th – $550million (installment #6 is on day 180) (contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran has fulfilled all of its commitments)

A Comprehensive Solution

With this implementation plan, we have made concrete progress. We will now focus on the critical work of pursuing a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program. Shortly after the Joint Plan of Action takes effect on January 20th, the United States will determine with our P5+1 partners our approach to the comprehensive solution. Discussions with Iran will follow that coordination process.

With respect to the comprehensive solution, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. We have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/16/summary-technical-understandings-related-implementation-joint-plan-actio

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABREA0F1US20140116

canopfor on January 16, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Soft Pedal Blues – Stanley Turrentine

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

HOWLIN’ WOLF [ 1 ] ~ Electric Psychedelic Blues ~ 1969

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 11:13 PM

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Good evening, PolAgnostic. :) It’s a great tune. I’m glad you’re enjoying the evening, too. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Just saw a Letterman promo making fun of Fat Boy. Told the wife, if he’s elected, get ready for four years of altered videos on these late night shows of Christie eating…anything….cars, trains…babies…whatever.

msupertas on January 16, 2014 at 11:14 PM

The GOP can’t be bothered with political strategy, they are too worried about fellating their big business overlords.

WisCon on January 16, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., may cut short his term as he battles cancer again – @politico
read more on politico.com

canopfor on January 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Bless you, Tom, for all you’ve done.

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 11:15 PM

LOL NOBODY CARES! LOLOLOL…

Lanceman on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

.
“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

;->

or the original title

Hillary Fired For “Lying, Unethical Behavior” on Watergate Committee

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:16 PM

hawkdriver on January 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM
.
There were Benghazi threads that multiplied like viruses, mutated, and infected other threads.

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Hate to say it but the child molesting advocacy representative, libfreeordeathtomediahacks, wasn’t wrong when he said no one cares about Benghazi. The obama Administration only cared insofar as how the imagery of the attack might hurt them. The media couldn’t cover it for the same reason. The American People? They were more concerned with what Phil Robertson said in GQ. They were more concerned whether or not pot was legalized.

hawkdriver on January 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Obamacare’s Fishy Navigators
In New Mexico, 38 of them turned up in a federal crime database.

That’s one in seven. But if you think that’s bad, here’s the kicker quote:

Not all states have review processes in place that are as extensive as New Mexico’s.

INC on January 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM

The Masquerade Is Over – Steve Cole

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Good evening, PolAgnostic. :) It’s a great tune. I’m glad you’re enjoying the evening, too. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:14 PM


:)

Thank you, my dear lady, I was confident you would enjoy that tune.

I guess I should go let the cat in. She is not amused with the reappearance of snow.

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:21 PM

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:21 PM

By all means, Pol, let the poor cat in. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Not just that, but there was also the “implicit” federal guarantee granted by magic onto all paper that went through the mill at Fannie Mae – to keep the whole scheme that the CRA started chugging along. And those guarantees did actually pay off.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 16, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Yeah, the good ole days when Hussein was a communist activist picketing banks ,
and denying mortgage to a junkie with no job or an illegal with no ID could get the banks branded as “racist “

burrata on January 16, 2014 at 11:22 PM

It’s kind of sad to say but the more news I read about what’s going on in this country the more I think I’m inclined to find another country to retire in, and I would image there are probably many in congress who feel the same way. There just doesn’t seem to be a right way forward anymore, all this bickering and partisanship and massive spending, I think with my meager retirement when the time comes I’ll be better off and less stressed out living somewhere else.

Soon to be expatriate

scalleywag on January 16, 2014 at 11:23 PM

If You Don’t Know Me By Now – Simply Red

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:25 PM

What? No Christe? Hmpf. I’m outta here!

;)

kim roy on January 16, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Holding Back The Years – Simply Red

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Can’t find a link, yet – on The Kelly File she exposed obama being a big liar, again.

He and his goons claimed recently that 6 million new people enrolled in Medicaid, due to the ‘wonderful’ obama’care’.

In truth only 360,000 new ones enrolled. It was in a testimony today or yesterday. The others were all in it bef. obama’care’.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Soon to be expatriate

scalleywag on January 16, 2014 at 11:23 PM

But where?

kcewa on January 16, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Just putting it out there,,,

As things progress, I find myself bumping up against the TOS in expressing how I really feel.

I really dislike progs. They pizz me off. I’m 45 and they have been like fleas my whole life.

I would get banned for being honest. Seems I have a line I can’t cross. They don’t.

But they do.

wolly4321 on January 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Tomorrow the goon will speak on the TSA changes.

He’ll ask you to trust him, again, Mr. Pinocchio.

Now my ears hurt, from hearing just the 54 seconds of that goofball.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

It’s kind of sad to say but the more news I read about what’s going on in this country the more I think I’m inclined to find another country to retire in, and I would image there are probably many in congress who feel the same way. There just doesn’t seem to be a right way forward anymore, all this bickering and partisanship and massive spending, I think with my meager retirement when the time comes I’ll be better off and less stressed out living somewhere else.

Soon to be expatriate

scalleywag on January 16, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Just returned after a recon tour with the same thing in mind ,
talked to many expats settled in India, Dubai, Sharjah and even Singapore . I hate to admit but people like me are increasingly made to feel unwanted and an imposition by this regime. It’s time to look elsewhere :(

burrata on January 16, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in Tampa today, Monday, January 13, for an ObamaCare outreach event, and she owes Floridians an answer.
Why should taxpayers have to bail out health insurance companies in the increasingly likely event that ObamaCare leaves them with financial losses?…

Sen. Marco Rubio on January 13, 2014

.
I’m not defending a “bail out”, but I would like to point out that there would never have been any CAUSE/NEED for a “bail out”, were it not for “Obamacare.”

listens2glenn on January 16, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Exodus

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:32 PM

wolly4321 on January 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Good evening, wolly. :) Breath deep and let it go. The Leftists aren’t worth it. Ignore them. They really hate that. lol!

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:33 PM

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:32 PM

So very beautiful, and so very appropriate for those of us leaving the GOP. Well played. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Love is a many splendored thing

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:35 PM

wolly4321 on January 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

As harsh as it sounds, I have relatives I’ve pretty much cut out of my life to the extent that I can because they are such raving lunatic progressive shills. I had a niece send me a IM a day for months leading up to the repeal of DADT badgering me as to why I thought repealing it would be bad. She would post articles about the gay rights movement on FB and caption them with questions to me.

Defriend and ignore. Block if need be.

hawkdriver on January 16, 2014 at 11:35 PM

I’m on the Australia Immigration office’s mailing list. I have been for the last several years.

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:36 PM

for those of us leaving the GOP. Well played. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:34 PM

La colina del adiós :)

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Want to be even bolder? Attach the anti-bailout bill to the debt ceiling. That and nothing else. Dare the president to stand up and say: “I’m willing to let the country default in order to preserve a massive bailout for insurance companies.”…

If this is the strategy, it is worse than silly. We already knows what happens: Harry Reid refuses to bring it to the floor of the Senate, the same thing he has done with so many other bills.

So Obama doesn’t have to say anything.

When the House “refuses to pass a debt limit bill” that “will actually work” the government shuts down again and the D’s propaganda wing bombards the People with tales of Republican intransigence until enough R Members of the House capitulate. SSDD.

Boooring.

fadetogray on January 16, 2014 at 11:38 PM

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Beautiful land, still very socialist/docile people, contrary to assumptions, high taxes, especially on business, and you have to drive on the left side…plus, they still have the queen :)

Don’t show this to OldEnglish :)

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:39 PM

The GOP can’t be bothered with political strategy, they are too worried about fellating their big business overlords.

WisCon on January 16, 2014 at 11:15 PM

It is time to set out own house in order:

Conservative insurgents strike blow against GOP Establishment

There will never be a better time and, you never know, it might just help us in other respects.

Hate to say it but the child molesting advocacy representative, libfreeordeathtomediahacks, wasn’t wrong when he said no one cares about Benghazi. The obama Administration only cared insofar as how the imagery of the attack might hurt them. The media couldn’t cover it for the same reason. The American People? They were more concerned with what Phil Robertson said in GQ. They were more concerned whether or not pot was legalized.

hawkdriver on January 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM

.
My experience suggests many are aware of how corrupt things truly are but look away – some because they are already overwhelmed by stress levels that have ONLY increased day after day for the last 5 years …

… and some because they have their own culpability in the corruption. There are probably one million people in various levels of management who are being driven to report false financial data ( “Just tell me what you want the numbers to be.” )because if they won’t, upper management knows they can always find a more compliant person who will.

It is past time to send the GOPe politicians into retirement and replace them with people who haven’t been compromised.

PolAgnostic on January 16, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Nice link, PA :)

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Fantastico. :)

thatsafactjack on January 16, 2014 at 11:41 PM

show no fear

Fred

jrsrigmvr on January 16, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4