"The new HealthCare.gov is set to open for broad testing by insurers on Tuesday, but they’re not going to be publicly talking—or tweeting—about it," a Wall Street Journal reporter noted in a story filed October 7, citing a "new confidentiality agreement" that includes "any information describing... the performance or functionality" of the federal ObamaCare Web portal. Naturally the broadcast news programs for Wednesday, October 8, failed to cover the development.
Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta should have at least waited until after the 2014 midterms to publish his memoirs, seeing as they contain sharp criticisms of President Obama, Hardball host Chris Matthews argued on his October 7 program, lamenting Panetta's lack of "loyalty" to the administration. "Why's he doing this?!" Matthews whined.
It wasn't that long ago that Obamacare defenders were ridiculing those of us who pointed out that the fully loaded cost of HealthCare.gov would surely top the $1 billion mark.
Well, we were wrong — to be so conservative. The real number is "about" $2.1 billion and counting, according to a Bloomberg report which is mostly being kept out of the non-business press.
Last year the deeply liberal Democratic state of Maryland had an absolutely atrocious rollout of its ObamaCare website. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D), who is running this November for governor, was in charge of the ObamaCare rollout.
The website has since been completely overhauled, at the staggering cost of $40 million, but all the same, health department officials are planning "to limit access... so that any glitches can be worked out and the system won't be overwhelmed with requests," Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post reported today. Editors buried the story on page B5.
On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report documenting how abortions are being funded by taxpayers under ObamaCare despite a provision in the law stating that abortions will not be covered under ObamaCare insurance plans. When the Tuesday evening newscasts for the major broadcast networks had passed, however, none of them devoted even a second to the story.
According to the report, 28 states (plus D.C.) did not restrict ObamaCare insurance plans that included abortions as a benefit while 23 states did have that restriction in place. In addition, the GAO found that 17 out of 18 insurers sampled did not bill individuals separately for abortion coverage within their plans.
As an MSNBC panel discussed congressional reticence with President Obama's strategy pertaining to ISIS, the Rev. Al Sharpton jumped in with a challenge to John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to call floor votes on congressional authorization for action against the terror group.
On August 22 — a Friday, of course — the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services issued a brand-new version of the Obamacare contraception mandate supposedly "accommodating" organizations with religious belief-based objections to providing such coverage.
The new version is a facile variant of the subterfuge the Obama administration failed to slide by the Court in the recent Hobby Lobby case. It now says that organizations which oppose providing their employees abortifacient contraceptive coverage can notify the government of their objections; previously, objectors informed their insurers. The government will then tell the insurance companies to pay any claims involved. Anyone can see that nothing has substantively changed, and that affected employers are still associating themselves with practices they believe are abhorrent. Nevertheless, CNBC's Dan ("Obama-who-cares") Mangan described the administration's move as a "compromise."
CNBC's Dan Mangan, last seen at NewsBusters claiming that the American people want politicians to just "shut up about Obamacare," is out with a column today reacting to the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest Affordable Care Act-related polling effort.
Sarah Ferris at the Hill also reviewed the poll, and has two primary messages for readers. First, "support for ObamaCare continues to fall." Second, "Healthcare remains one of the most important issues in midterm elections, ranking only behind the economy and jobs as voters’ top issue." To be clear "the economy and jobs" is considered one issue. So it's really pathetic how Mangan twisted the same poll Ferris covered (bolds are mine):
"When this administration is falling apart, the media should give it the exact same coverage they gave to George Bush," Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell told Fox News Channel substitute host Stuart Varney on the September 8 Your World w/Neil Cavuto. But as a new MRC study shows, they most certainly are not.
In a Saturday evening story to appear on Page A1 in its Sunday print edition, Pam Belluck at the New York Times tells readers that "paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 50 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year." This apparently blessed development is occurring "After Sarah Palin’s 'death panel' label killed efforts to include it in the Affordable Care Act in 2009."
Belluck seems fairly pleased that "Bypassing the political process, private insurers have begun reimbursing doctors for these 'advance care planning' conversations as interest in them rises along with the number of aging Americans." (But of course, "private insurers" have really become inside cronies in "the political process" since Obamacare's passage; so their involvement may really prove that behind-the-scenes government pressure to reimburse those "services" is working.)
MSNBC host Alex Wagner and Sam Kass, the personal chef to the Obama family, will marry this weekend in New York with Barack and Michelle Obama in attendance. This prompted a gushing front-pager on Kass in The New York Times on Friday. The headline is “Obamas’ Foodmaster General.”
Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer wrote Kass “found himself an astounding beneficiary of luck and timing as he blazed a trail of cruciferous vegetables into the first lady’s heart.” He’s now one of “her top policy advisers.” The Times pulled one of those amazingly selective uses of the jump to keep MSNBC off the front page of this cozy story:
While competing newscasts on ABC and CBS led tonight with the president's stunning admission at a press briefing that he hasn't formulated a strategy to deal with ISIS yet, NBC placed the story in the third slot in the lineup, after a lead-off report regarding the NFL's "tough new policy" on domestic violence and a story by New York-based correspondent Katy Tur about comedian Joan Rivers's hospitalization.
On top of that, Nightly News substitute anchor Lester Holt completely left out both ISIS and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia from his opening-credit tease. By contrast, both ABC's Amy Robach and CBS's Maurice DuBois led off their opening-credit teases by citing the most quotable nugget from today's presidential presser [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video montage below page break]: