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.
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.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of abortions, is so happy with Univision's work promoting Obamacare that it has bestowed upon the network’s premier digital health content partner, Hola Doctor, its annual award for “media excellence”.
Hola Doctor, which provides Univision with co-branded web content, received the award in the “Online Reporting” category, and was specifically recognized for its efforts to “educate the Latino community on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”
Jeffrey Young is a health care writer for the Huffington Post but you really have to wonder if he is posting his stories from Bizarro World. He is actually upset that Republicans in Congress, in the wake of the Halbig vs Burwell D.C. Circuit Court decision, won't join together with the Democrats in a giant kumbaya to "fix" the highly unpopular Obamacare law so that the language will clearly state that states using the federal exchange will be eligible for subsidies.
What is interesting is how liberals until about a week ago derided the idea that the language of the Obamacare law only allowed subsidies to go to state-based exchanges. However, this has drastically changed. Not only due to court decision but also because two of the biggest Obamacare cheerleaders who mocked the notion of Congress really intending what was clearly written in the law, Jonathan Gruber and Jonathan Cohn, were discovered to have in the past supported that very "Truther" position. So here we have Young bemoaning the fact that those "stubborn" Republicans won't save an unpopular liberal law:
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.
AHAHAHAHAHA!!!! AHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Pardon me for channeling my inner Max Cady laugh but I just couldn't help myself. The irony, the embarrassment, and the schadenfreude are just too much to bear without bursting out laughing.
It turns out that one of the biggest Obamacare supporters on the Web, Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic, has himself committed a "Speak-O." What makes it even funnier was that Cohn was the person Jonathan "Speak-O" Gruber turned to in order lamely attempt to explain away his premature bout with truthfulness about the fact that the Obamacare law intended for subsidies to go to state-based, not federal, exchanges. That was last week and less than a week later, Cohn himself got caught committing a major "Speak-O" as revealed in his embarrassing confession: My Obamacare Truther Moment. Before we enter the laughter zone, let us first read Cohn mocking the "absurd" idea that anybody could have thought that the subsidies were meant for state-based exchanges only:
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):
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.
Jonathan Gruber absolutely did not mean what he clearly said over and over and over again. That pretty much sums up the left's rationale for "Speak-O" Gruber stating again and again and again that states with federal health care exchanges would not be eligible for subsidies. Of course, Gruber made these quite clear statements before it became obvious that the vast majority of states would refuse to set up their own exchanges and the threat of withholding the subsidies fell flat.
Among the more amusing of those performing desperate damage control is Ezra Klein of General Electric Vox. Unfortunately for poor Ezra there is a large body of Obamacare documents besides the very language of the Obamacare law itself that contradict his assertion that it was intended all along that the federal exchange set up for the states would be eligible for subsidies. First let us allow Ezra to entertain us with his conniption fit over Speak-O:
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.
Liberals are now in damage control mode on the heels of the discovery of not one but two videos of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber claiming in January 2012 that the subsidies for that program were limited to exchanges set up by the states. Their contention is that while Gruber might have worked closely with Congress to create the Obamacare bill, he is still not Congress. The other claim is that there is no document that backs up what they consider to be merely a Gruber "Speak-O."
Newsflash folks! Your humble correspondent has come upon a 2011 General Accounting Office report to the Senate that confirms Speak-O Gruber. I will present the relevant quote after the jump but first let us review the Gruber excuse to Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic Friday that has popularized the word "speak-o."
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.
Jonathan Gruber, along with Ezekiel Emanuel, is considered one of the architects of Obamacare. So when he is caught on video admitting the plaintiff's premise of Halbig vs Burwell which was this week ruled in favor of the plaintiffs it went viral on the Web. The court (and Gruber in 2012) agreed that Congress meant that the states would receive subsidies as an incentive to set up their own Obamacare exchanges. Although, Gruber vociferously denied this recently by claiming the problem was merely a "typo" in the legislation, he is completely contradicted by his earlier statement in January 2012 which you can see after the jump.
So how does the left and their media enablers explain this away? As of this writing the answer is they haven't...with the notable exception of General Electric Vox. And if the lame Vox excuses are any indication, they sure have their work cut out for them since Vox writer Adrianna McIntyre admits Gruber validates the case against Obamacare.
On Tuesday, July 22 ObamaCare was dealt a mixed bag via two different rulings from federal appeals courts. At issue is the constitutionality of IRS tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange rather than through their state-run exchange.
The conflicting rulings means that ObamaCare is likely headed back to the Supreme Court and could put the entire Affordable Care Act in jeopardy but NBC has yet to acknowledge the case on both its Nightly News and Today show broadcasts. [See video below.]
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):
Of the Big Three network newscasts for this evening, only CBS's Evening News covered how Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) threatened lawsuit against President Obama came a step closer to fruition today.
On his July 9 Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually pressed abortion-rights absolutist Stephanie Schriock about the implications of her support for Democratic legislation to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. But Matthews put the EMILY's List president on the spot by asking if her position amounted to telling religious employers that they simply have to swallow their religious scruples in order to not run afoul of the law. Bullying religious Americans over their sincere beliefs is hardly a picture one wants painted of one's self, so Schriock sought to avoid the questions and double down on talking points. Here's the relevant transcript (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break; emphases mine):
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:
Sam Tanenhaus's 6,300-word cover story for the New York Times' Sunday Magazine, "Can the G.O.P. Be a Party of Ideas?" is marinated in the same superior smugness that distorted his 2009 hit-piece book on the conservative movement.
Tanenhaus, currently a "writer-at-large" for the Times, is still hailed in liberal circles as an expert on the conservative movement, even though his slim, slanted 2009 book The Death of Conservatism (talk about wishful thinking) proved rather ill-timed, coming as it did before the Tea Party resurgence. The book ludicrously labeled President Obama a centrist in a long line of Democratic centrists, including ... George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis. Tanenhaus also likened the conservative movement to "the exhumed figures of Pompeii, trapped in postures of frozen flight, clenched in the rigor mortis of a defunct ideology." So when the Times wants an "objective" view of the conservative movement, it's obvious Tanenhaus is the guy to provide it.
In a front page story about a new Supreme Court decision involving birth control and Wheaton College, a conservative Christian school, the Post story by Robert Barnes began this way: “The three female justices of the Supreme Court sharply rebuked their colleagues Thursday for siding with a Christian college in the latest battle over providing women with contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, saying the court was retreating from assurances offered only days ago.”
On Thursday, all three broadcast news networks continued to ignore the latest outrage over ObamaCare and the Veterans Affairs scandal. Instead, CBS This Morning chose to file a 3 minute and 26 seconds report on what Malia Obama’s plans were for her 16th birthday on Friday.
Two audits released Tuesday produced scathing critiques of the health insurance marketplaces under ObamaCare while a top official at the Veterans Affairs Administration resigned Wednesday after refusing to take serious the early reports from whistle-blowers who brought the massive scandal to light. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, all three broadcast news networks and the two largest Spanish language evening network newscasts refused to cover disturbing news regarding ObamaCare. Two audits from the Health and Human Services Department’s Inspector General found Tuesday that 2.6 million unresolved problems in the applications of those seeking health care on the federal marketplace (used in 36 states).
While the news media are conducting a blackout on this troubling news about Obamacare, the networks gave plenty of coverage to President Obama’s so-called ‘victory-lap’ in April when the number of those ostensibly enrolled hit eight million people and weeks earlier when the deadline to receive initial coverage passed.
Even liberals and moderates have become disillusioned with President Obama’s failed policies and promises (Obamacare, anyone?) On Tuesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the late-night talk show host started the show by making a joke about Obama’s incompetence. Even Kimmel’s presumably liberal audience laughed.
Kimmel began by joking that the World Cup has led workplaces to be less productive. It was no different in the White House, Kimmel explained. (Video and transcript below.)
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:
The Supreme Court on Monday delivered its verdict in the closely watched Hobby Lobby case, ruling 5-4 that the Christian-run craft store doesn't have to obey the Obamacare mandate that requires health care plans to pay for birth-control drugs that may induce abortion. Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion stated that requiring such closely-held corporations to provide such coverage violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yet New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak's lead story Tuesday, under the banner headline "Court Limits Birth Control Rule," managed to quote liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent in the second sentence.
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):