Recent news about Obamacare hasn't exactly been good, but the press has been pretty effective in keeping it quiet. To name just a few items, Enrollment is shrinking, because perhaps as many as 20 percent of enrollees aren't keeping up with their premiums. Rising costs have moved insurers to beg for bailouts, which appear to be forthcoming.
Then there's this: Just last week in Massachusetts, where the state-run health insurance got its start under Republican Governor Mitt Romney eight years ago, the state's exchange announced that everyone currently enrolled in 2014 or who should have enrolled and didn't is going to have to apply for 2015 coverage this fall. Oh, and the system it plans to employ may not even be working by mid-November.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Wednesday failed to notice the Obama administration's latest revelation about ObamaCare: that more than 300,000 people who signed up for health plans under the controversial law could lose them because they failed to prove they were legal residents of the U.S. Instead, ABC's World News aired a full report on a "beauty queen's" insurance scam, while CBS Evening News gave 19-second news brief on the Perseid meteor shower.
Elizabeth Hartfield detailed the federal government's admission in an online report for CNN.com's Political Ticker blog on Wednesday. CNN anchor Michaela Pereira summarized this reporting during a 18-second news brief on Wednesday's New Day: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
This morning, the Census Bureau, in its advance report on retail sales, revealed that seasonally adjusted July sales were "virtually unchanged" from June. Expectations were for a 0.2 percent gain, supposedly with "solid upside" potential. Oops. June's result stayed at its previously reported 0.2 percent increase.
Reuters did the "U-word" honors this time out: "U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter." Someone needs to tell the wire service's Lucia Mutikani that no increase means no momentum. Over at the Associated Press, Josh Boak tried the deadpan approach.
Former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, with the assistance of the conservative organization Judicial Watch, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Servies on Friday, seeking records related to the ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov. Attkisson announced the lawsuit on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon: "I'm suing the federal govt for http://healthcare.gov docs but not optimistic since they now say some are lost... "
Before she parted ways with CBS, the journalist filed two reports in late 2013 about the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov. On the November 4, 2013 edition of CBS Evening News, Attkisson spotlighted how the Obama administration launched the website without proper security protocols:
It would almost not be worth noting, because it's so predictable. On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, with strategic support at opportune times from National Journal's Ron Fournier, characterized the support within the Republican Party for impeachment as coming from "Tea Party opposition ... (with) no diversity, it's a white, older group of people."
What makes it worthy of notice is the fact that Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action for America, called out Williams for his comments and held his own as Fournier attempted to be the supposed voice of reason while really bringing aid and comfort to Williams. Video and a transcript follow the jump:
Former Congressman Barney Frank had "a July interview" with the Huffington Post. The liberal blog's Zach Carter put up a post about it on Friday, August 1 at 3:59 p.m.
How convenient, because Frank ripped President Obama and his administration, who he says "just lied to people" about whether they could keep their existing healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Naturally, despite the fact that most of those "if you like your plan-doctor-provider-drug regimen, you can keep them" promises were made before the law's passage, whoever interviewed Frank at HuffPo didn't follow up with the obvious question: "Despite the lies, why are you still comfortable with having voted for it?" Or if they did, they chose not to publish Frank's response. Excerpts follow the jump.
In a Thursday report on why many Americans are still unimpressed with the U.S. job market, Associated Press reporters Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak made a rare admission that "Finding a steady full-time job has become harder" than it was before the recession.
The AP pair then contended that "the trend might also reflect a lasting shift among restaurants and coffee shops," but found an "expert" who only acknowledged that such employers are trying to be more careful in their spending. Although they mentioned Obamacare as a reason why pollied Republicans are dissatisfied with the economy, Rugaber and Boak never cited the healthcare law as a possible factor in the significant move to employ part-timers, even though Investor's Business Daily has compiled a list of 429 employers "with strong proof that ObamaCare's employer mandate is behind cuts to work hours or staffing levels." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On July 29, the Senate confirmed Robert McDonald by a vote of 97-0 to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs but that evening only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the story whereas ABC and NBC were nowhere to be found.
Fill-in host James Brown introduced the report on the V.A. by explaining how “the first job for the former CEO of Procter & Gamble will be cleaning up the scandal at the V.A. A new internal audit obtained by CBS News shows it was even bigger than we knew.” [See video below.]
At the Washington Post's Plum Line blog this afternoon, Greg Sargent argued that the legislative history of Obamacare supports the argument that Congress intended that participants in federal exchanges be entitled to premium subsidies (alternatively referred to in some quarters as "tax credits"), and that the history should doom the Halbig suit, which contends that tax subsidies cannot be disbursed to Obamacare participants who purchased their coverage through the federal exchange.
Unfortunately for Sargent, the history really makes the opposite legal argument, significantly strengthening the Halbig side's hand. First we'll look at what Sargent wrote. Then we'll see how a RedState diarist nuked his argument within two hours.
On July 1, a local hospital in Belhaven, North Carolina closed its doors in part because the state legislature opposed the expansion of Medicaid. Since its closure, the liberal media rallied behind the town’s mayor Adam O’Neal, who has repeatedly complained about his fellow Republicans refusing to expand Medicaid.
While O’Neal has become the newest media darling for the left, including making numerous appearances on MSNBC, perhaps the most obnoxious response to the story came from theWashington Post’s Dana Milbank who on July 28 declared “North Carolina Republicans put ideology above lives.”
Following the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision, one of the key talking points that emerged from enraged opponents of the ruling was: "My boss shouldn't be involved in my health care decisions." California State Senate candidate Sandra Fluke says on her official website that such a perspective is "common sense."
An Ohio Democrat is introducing a "Not My Boss's Business Act" in the state legislature. Like Fluke, she is tapping into a deeply held American belief that we should be able to make important decisions like health care choices on our own.
In a report for Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, correspondent Kevin Tibbles highlighted Vermont's effort "to push into unchartered waters and go further than ObamaCare." He explained the left-wing proposal: "Vermont's Democratic state government says it can deliver health care more efficiently and for less to every one of its 600,000 residents equally. All paid for with tax dollars to the tune of some $2 billion a year." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tibbles noted how, "Doctors bills would go to the state government, essentially eliminating the need for people to purchase private insurance." He then posed the question: "A solution to America's healthcare crisis or the road to bankruptcy for Vermont?"
Citing the 45th anniversary last week of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, Bill Maher on Friday night sneered: “I always hear that the moon landing was the last great thing that America did. I think the last great thing America did was giving health care to 30 million people.”
That prompted a roar of applause from the Los Angeles audience for Maher’s July 25 Real Time show on HBO, and after it died down a bit, Maher insisted: “I find that to be so much more of a significant achievement than landing on the moon.”
It seems that Democratic National Committee chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz has herself programmed to automatically criticize any Republican governor in the U.S. for refusing to implement a state Obamacare exchange.
Wasserman Schultz made that contention on Tuesday about Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. She did so on Nevada's "Ralston Reports," a TV program hosted by Jon Ralston, whose bio indicates that he is "a contributing editor at Politico Magazine" and that he has appeared "on national television, including programs on MSNBC, FOX and PBS." There's only one problem: Nevada tried to set up an Obamacare exchange, but decided to "scrap its crippled Obamacare exchange and join the federal HealthCare.gov for at least a year." Video and a transcript follow the jump.
The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies. On Wednesday, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post reported that "undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants....All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it."
Brian Williams glossed over this GAO investigation on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, but set aside 21 seconds of air time to tout the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In the midst of a panel discussion this evening freaking out over the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking a blow to the ObamaCare, MSNBC's Chris Matthews invoked a favored 14-year-old bogeyman of the Left, the Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore. "Don't tell me you're shocked by the fact there's a partisan ruling," the Hardball host screeched to fellow MSNBCer Joy Reid. "We had President George W. Bush because of a partisan ruling by the Supreme Court. Isn't that a fact?!"
Actually, Chris, no, that isn't a fact. For one, a "recount" conducted by USA Today showed that, using the recount methodology that Vice President Gore had called for, Mr. Bush still would have won Florida's electoral votes and with it the presidency AND tripled his winning margin in the process. Only the strictest recount standard MAY have resulted in a Gore victory, but only of three votes and Mr. Gore did not argue for that standard to be deployed in the recount. From USA Today(emphasis mine):
On Tuesday, July 22, two federal appeals courts ruled in different directions over the constitutionality of tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchange. At issue, was language in the law where subsidies would be given to individuals who purchased health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”
In a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS went too far by providing subsidies to individuals on the federal exchange but a separate ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld those same subsidies. Despite the contradictory rulings and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the case, ABC was the only network evening news show to cover the story on Tuesday night. [See video below.]
Fox News's Megyn Kelly has clearly had it up to here with the disinformation, misinformation, distortions and outright lies coming from the left in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. A recent dishonest rant by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (noted at NewsBusters by Jeffrey Meyer early Tuesday morning) and attempts by certain doctors to deny scientific truth caused Kelly to correct the record on the air.
The topic is the science behind whether or not the contraceptive methods Hobby Lobby's owners would not cover in its employee health insurance plan on conscience grounds are or are not abortifacient in nature. In the video seen after the jump (HT Gateway Pundit), readers will see her identify certain perhaps unexpected entities which have admitted that they are:
Michelle Andrews spotlighted the silver lining for social liberals in a Tuesday item for NPR.org about the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. Andrews underlined that "women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses," even after the five to four decision.
The writer turned to a policy expert at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which she merely labeled a "research and policy organization that focuses on reproductive health," but failed to cite any pro-lifers for their take on the issue:
On Tuesday, Harry Reid told the press that "the one thing we're going to do, during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women's lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we're going to do something about it."
Obviously, Reid's statement assailing the Supreme Court majority in the Hobby Lobby decision is incorrect, as black African-American Clarence Thomas was among the five justices who defended the religious freedom of the Green family which owns and runs Hobby Lobby. Ordinarily, in an obvious gaffe involving a Democratic Party politican, coverage would be sparse. But in this case, there are at least two instances where an establishment press outlet actually reported Reid's statement without pointing out that it was wrong. One occurred at the New York Times.
Donna Brazile apparently liked yours truly's NewsBusters post yesterday. That post ripped the Associated Press's Pollyanna-like coverage of the U.S. economy, and carried the following headline which may have caused several spilled drinks and soaked monitors among the genuinely informed — "AP: ‘Humming’ and ‘Rising’ U.S. Economy Is a ‘World-Beater.'"
About five hours after the post's appearance, Brazile tweeted her clear approval (HT Twitchy). While we appreciate any traffic which might have come this way as a result of Brazile's tweet, it's hard to imagine that Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign manager has switched sides. It's far more likely that she didn't bother reading the underlying post. The tweet follows the jump:
On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when "A federal judge in Alabama ... dismissed a Catholic broadcaster's legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional." The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).
After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News's Steven Ertelt called "a resounding victory," when it "was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals," thus enabling it to "freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court." A search on "EWTN" at the AP's national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:
Shortly after 3 PM Eastern Time Monday afternoon, an outfit called "Faithful America" issued a "Media Advisory" for an event which would take place at 7:30 PM Central Time.
In the email, Faithful America claimed to be "the largest and fastest growing online community of Christians taking action for social justice," and to have 300,000 members. They may have that many members, but only about 0.01% of them showed up for the event involved: a "vigil" opposing today's Supreme Court decision at Hobby Lobby's flagship store in Edmond, Oklahoma. In covering the titantic event, Edmond Sun reporter Mark Schlachtenhaufen appears to have exaggerated the puny turnout, and made the same misstatement concerning the circumstances of the case we've seen constantly in the national press (bolds are mine):
On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to labor unions seeking to obtain more control over public employees who do not want to join the union. Despite the setback for union bosses, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening news broadcast to cover the ruling on Monday evening.
In addition, President Obama nominated Robert McDonald to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs and fix the troubled agency yet ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley were nowhere to be found on this story either. [See video below.]
In an MSNBC interview today, Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio's longtime Supreme Court watcher, attempted to portray the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision as possibly wide-ranging, and even advised viewers that Anthony Kennedy's presence on the court may be the only thing preventing it from bringing in an era of sex and "foreign origin" discrimination by "hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of companies."
Video follows the jump (HT Hot Air). Be sure to hang in there until the end, where Totenberg stammers as she appears to be grasping for more fuel to throw onto the fire, and ends up ridiculously claiming that a person's "foreign origin" may become a basis upon which employers can discriminate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Monday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman underlined that the Supreme Court's ruling against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate was "another setback to the administration, in what has been a difficult year for this White House." Berman later asserted that "this has to be very frustrating for them. They feel blocked politically, legally, foreign policy-wise. Pretty much, everywhere they look now, they're getting blocked."
Co-anchor Michaela Pereira also played up how all three female justices dissented in the Hobby Lobby case and forwarded the left's spin about the Court's ruling: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
USA Today reporter Richard Wolf's afternoon coverage of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision this afternoon appeared to be completely ignorant of the dire financial consequences which would have been visited on the company had it lost today.
He also allowed unscientific and objectively wrong arguments about conception to be advanced by those who wanted to see Hobby Lobby defeated. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Sounding a familiar theme at the Associated Press ahead of awful economic news, Christopher Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger prepared a column in advance of tomorrow's final report on the economy's first-quarter economic contraction reminding us, with far more certainy than is justified, that "A GRIM US ECONOMIC PICTURE IS BRIGHTENING."
Guys, before you "brighten," you first have to step out of the darkness. According to the wire service's dynamic duo of reporting on the economy (I guess I could add Josh Boak and call them "the three amigos"), tomorrow's report on the nation's first-quarter Gross Domestic Product is expected to show that it contracted by "nearly 2 percent" on an annual basis. AP reports a week ago didn't include "nearly." Bloomberg News is currently predicting a contraction of 1.8 percent. I'd like to be wrong, but I'm concerned that it might be significantly worse. But Rugaber and Crutsinger say, "Don't worry, be happy; the rest of the year will probably be fine" (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The AP, like most establishment press outlets, has virtually if not completely ignored an inconvenient and alarming Obamacare-related statement in a footnote found in a recent Congressional Budget Office report. Paul M. Krawzak at Roll Call, who reported on it last week, seems to have been the first one to discover it. In Krawzak's words, the CBO "said it is no longer possible to assess the overall fiscal impact of the law." This didn't stop Crutsinger from relaying a claim about projected Obamacare cost savings which the CBO's surrender has rendered irrelevant. There's a good chance that he ignorantly did so because his colleagues haven't covered CBO's white-flag statement (if they have and he went ahead anyway, that's an even bigger problem).