Andrew Couts at Digital Trends is apparently the one who has broken the story (link is in original) that "The exact cost to build Healthcare.gov, according to U.S. government records, appears to have been $634,320,919, which we paid to a company you probably never heard of: CGI Federal." Without getting into minutiae, some of that amount may not be directly related to HealthCare.gov, but Kathleen Sebelius's HHS is obviously nowhere near done spending development money yet.
The bio for Couts says that he "covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on the intersection of technology, law, politics, and policy." His represented background would seem to indicate that he should know that the pin-the-blame-on-Congress game he plays in his writeup is misleading and irresponsible. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The folks at CBS News are clearly unhappy with how ObamaCare is going.
After reporting on a Dallas man that tried for a week to sign up without any success on Tuesday's Evening News, CBS This Morning Wednesday featured a segment tearing the program apart with Jan Crawford saying "the website’s launch has been nothing short of disastrous" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While a great deal of attention has deservedly been given to Kathleen Sebelius's refusal to directly answer comedian Jon Stewart's question about why Obamacare's individual mandate was not been deferred until 2015 like the employer mandate was, at least one of her other comments about the wonders of the government-controlled "marketplace" has been ignored, and shouldn't be.
Her supposedly expert observation, staring at about the 4:35 mark of the video found here (HT Hot Air): "People who have been waiting for a long time finally have a market to choose from." ... "You can also then figure out if your doctor's in the plan that you want, if the network of hospitals is in the plan you want, what kind of drugs you take, is that in the plan you want. You've never been able to do that before." She took it further, saying that if you tried to shop around for insurance companies, "You would never know what's there. You might deal with one agent, one broker. ..." Stewart asked, "So this is the first mall?" Sebelius answered, "You bet." What horse manure.
A lot of observers of Monday evening's discussion between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius concluded that she refused to address – like the entire Obama administration at this point! – how many people have enrolled in ObamaCare.
However, an analysis of the segment, along with the help of a Georgia reporter, indicates that Sebelius may have let the cat out of the bag that the answer is very few (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the Friday episode of National Public Radio's Morning Edition, co-host Renee Montagne stated that the past several days had been “a charged week at the Capitol,” which led fellow co-host David Greene to declare: “Still, ObamaCare rolled out as planned.”
Millions of people have shopped for insurance on the new marketplaces called exchanges since opening day on Tuesday, they noted. Officials said it was evidence of high interest. However, others have criticized the fumbling start, which involved computer glitches and errors, saying the Affordable Care Act “was not ready for prime time.”
It's not enough that MSNBC regularly touts the liberal line on every issue from climate change to raising the debt limit -- and has the poor ratings to prove it.
But now, a press release sent out on Friday declares that NBC -- the parent company of the cable channel -- will begin on Monday a week-long series entitled “Ready or Not, the New Health Care” and described as “a multi-screen experience” to “help Americans get the most out of the Affordable Care Act,” otherwise known as the wildly liberal program ObamaCare.
You have to wonder what it will take for anyone in the establishment press to call out a major malfunction associated with Obamacare for what it really is. The threshold is apparently something worse than hundreds of thousands of children, many of whom previously had coverage, going without health insurance.
One of the latest headlined examples of reality avoidance first appeared at USA Today's web site Monday evening (the current 11:55 p.m. time stamp indicates that there has since been a story revision): "'Family glitch' in health law could be painful."(Could be?) Additionally, as seen here (HT Twitchy), that pathetic headline to Kelly Kennedy's story also appears in McPaper's Tuesday print edition (bolds are mine):
As my colleagues Kristine Marsh and Katie Yoder reported earlier, hundreds of conservative, pro-life women turned out in Lafayette Park across from the White House on Thursday to protest the Obama/Sebelius contraception mandate, which was originally scheduled to take effect on August 1. You may recall that administration officials pushed back implementation of the religious freedom-infringing mandate to January 1, 2014, even as the president has selectively chosen to push back enforcement of ObamaCare's employer mandate to January 1, 2015, to fall after the midterm elections.
Of course, while the media made a virtual hero out of Sandra Fluke in 2012 for her pro-HHS manage stance, the liberal media have completely censored the thoughtful and articulate voices of Women Speak for Themselves (WSFT). Searches of our DVR system and Nexis yielded no coverage from the Big Three broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC. Likewise, searches of Nexis and Google News revealed there was not even a news brief in major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post.
For the second day in a row, The Washington Post showed it was bored by the IRS scandal by putting the hearings story inside the paper.
Instead, the top of Wednesday's post seized on the favorite liberal scandal du jour: "Military chiefs lament sex assaults but reject Senate bill." Their Post Express tabloid screamed this front-page headline: "CAN THE MILITARY CURE ITS 'CANCER'?"
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, John Dickerson spun a front page scoop from the Washington Post that spotlighted the several private meetings that a top Obama health care adviser had with investment firms on the future implementation of ObamaCare: "It's a little hard to see what those investment firms got that wasn't already publicly available."
The liberal CBS political director brushed aside concerns that "some traders are gaining access to information that is not available to investors in general or the wider public", as Post writer Tom Hamburger outlined in his Sunday article. Dickerson asserted, "There's a lot of information exchange that wouldn't necessarily have to be sinister."
Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services has come under major scrutiny for bypassing Congress and soliciting donations from health executives to help support ObamaCare, yet CNN has barely mentioned the story.
The Washington Postbroke the news on May 10 that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had gone "hat in hand, to health industry officials" to support non-profits promoting ObamaCare. Republicans are questioning Sebelius seeking support from the very sector she regulates, and also want to know if she coordinated with the private sector to bypass Congress in getting financial support for ObamaCare. Also, if Sebelius sought donations as HHS Secretary and not as a private citizen, that would violate federal law.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is under fire for soliciting donations from health care companies to underwrite ObamaCare PR efforts to increase enrollment but you wouldn't know that if you only got your news from ABC and NBC or skipped Sunday's edition of CBS's Face the Nation.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have effectively buried the scandal that was first broken by the Washington Post on May 10.
As the Big Three –NBC, ABC, and CBS – continue to engage in, to borrow a George Will term, journalistic malpractice over ObamaCare’s adverse effects on the economy, they probably missed the development concerning Democrats who are calling for repeal of a tax which was embedded within the behemoth health care overhaul.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is ramping up her efforts to repeal the tax on medical devices that’s included in ObamaCare. The liberal Talking Points Memo reported today that it’s building upon a vote last month,where the majority of Senate Democrats voted with their GOP colleagues to repeal the tax. Klobuchar, of course, voted for ObamaCare. But wait, there's more discontent from Democratic ranks, with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus warning of a coming "train wreck" when ObamaCare is scheduled for full implementation in 2014.
The liberal media "are deliberately censoring news and information from the American people" on ObamaCare that would cast the Obama administration in a negative light, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell charged on the April 11 edition of Varney & Co.
The Media Research Center president rattled off a few such developments that the liberal media completely ignored (watch the full segment below):
On March 20, the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein reported that it seems Obamacare’s true costs are starting to sink in with its most ardent supporters: Democrats. Despite years of the liberal media reporting that this new trillion dollar health care entitlement will save money over the next decade, that outcome is, to be generous, highly dubious, especially with the possibility of eleven million new illegals being able to apply for health care benefits, the cost of health care will have to increase.
Count this as another violation of federal law which the liberal media will ignore if not bury. A watchdog group is alleging that the Democratic National Committee "failed to properly disclose its reimbursements for a 2012 trip during which Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated the Hatch Act," Josh Hicks of the Washington Post reported today.
You may recall that last September, the network news media failed to note the original Sebelius violation of the 1939 law which forbids federal employees from partisan electioneering. Had Sebelius been punished appropriately she would have either been forced to resign or had to have taken a 30-day suspension. Neither course of action was pursued by the Obama administration.
One of the establishment press's favorite tactics to diminish the perceived strength of a position taken by people or companies they are inclined not to favor is to take objectively true facts and statements and reduce them to things only those people or companies "say" or "believe."
Hobby Lobby's court battle against the ObamaCare mandates is a perfect case in point, with both the Politico and Associated Press providing recent related examples of this fundamentally dishonest tactic. In the December 26 item at the Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn and Kathryn Smith also falsely framed the situation as an argument over "contraception" (more on that in a bit; bolds are mine throughout this post). But first, let's look at how the pair employed the "they say" tactic:
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel informed President Obama yesterday that it found his controversial Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius violated the federal Hatch Act back in February. ABC News's Jake Tapper noted the finding in a September 12 Political Punch blog post at ABCNews.com, but World News editors apparently thought the matter unworthy of coverage last night. The story was also unreported on NBC's Nightly News and CBS's Evening News.
The Hatch Act forbids federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity and Sebelius did just that in off-the-cuff remarks as the keynote speaker at a February 25 gala for the Human Rights Campaign, Tapper noted (emphasis mine):
According to Chris Matthews, the radically pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius has "done more to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies than anyone in this country." Matthews assailed pro-life demonstrators who approve of "dictatorial laws" to reduce abortion. According to him, these protesters need to give the woman, who has made birth control "free," a "little credit."
The Hardball anchor on Thursday insisted that Sebelius, who as Kansas governor vetoed a partial birth abortion bill and entertained radical doctor George Tiller at the official residence, is a hero. Matthews praised, "It could be argued that this one person has done more to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies than anyone in our country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Get me outta here! I'm being forced in a most humiliating manner to reveal to all the world my profound ignorance of basic constitutional issues.
Something like that thought must have been rolling around inside the mind of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius while she completely choked under questioning about these legal issues by South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy. Even if you disagree profoundly with Sebelius you almost have to feel embarrassed by her pathetic performance last week at the House Education and Workforce Committee hearing. Fortunately for Sebelius her confessions of ignorance were completely ignored by the Mainstream Media but the video (and below the fold) lives on for all eternity to serve as a testament to liberal ignorance and arrogance.
In 2008, it was questionable that PBS NewsHour and Washington Week anchor Gwen Ifill could moderate the vice-presidential debate as she was writing a book called “The Breakthrough” about the rise of Barack Obama and other black liberal politicians. On Thursday night, Ifill will cross another Obama line by acting as emcee for a fundraiser for the LGBT health and advocacy group the Whitman-Walker Clinic that will honor Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services for her work in implementing ObamaCare.
The invitation says “Please join Gwen Ifill, managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent for the PBS News Hour, and the Whitman-Walker family as we honor United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for advancements in health care.” To be an "event host" and be listed on the program requires a $1,000 donation. Individual tickets are $150.
If you were wondering about CNN's objectivity on liberal issues like gay rights, the lines became a whole lot more blurred recently as anchor Don Lemon received a "Visibility" award from the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign at its North Carolina gala, where Obama's HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke and stumped for the President's re-election.
Then on Friday, Sebelius addressed middle school students at an anti-bullying event where Lemon served as the moderator of an anti-bullying panel. His appearances at events with an Obama cabinet member blur the lines of objectivity and his receiving an award from a gay-rights organization makes his liberal bias all the clearer.
Jake Tapper of ABC News wrote a remarkable story last week revealing the players in the Obama administration’s internal debate on the contraception mandate.
According to Tapper, President Obama’s top advisers on the issue included Vice President Joe Biden, former White House Chief-of-Staff Bill Daley, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, White House Senior Advisers Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, two U.S. Senators – and Planned Parenthood Federation for America CEO Cecile Richards:
The Brian Williams MSNBC debate in Florida was not only dreadfully boring – I never thought I could ever long for commercials – it was pathetic. Freed of the fear of triggering an avalanche of applause against loaded questions, Williams and his co-moderators couldn’t bring themselves to utter one single question asking the Republican candidates to respond to Obama mistakes. For almost two hours, not one Obama failure was cited. Apparently, his record is spotless.
Instead, the candidates (especially Rick Santorum) were thrown four questions surrounding the 2005 legal battle in Florida over pulling the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, which pushed all the liberal media hot buttons about “far right” religious conservatives throwing their religion around where it didn’t belong. This isn’t breaking news. But like the ABC debate fixated on contraception, it’s evidence that liberal networks are focused on their agenda, not on the voters’ concerns.
John H. Cushman, Jr. of the New York Times almost completely slanted to the left in his Friday article about the Obama administration's decision to force religious organizations to include free contraception in their employee insurance plans. Cushman quoted from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, liberal Senator Barbara Boxer and the president of notorious pro-abortion "Catholics for Choice," but only included a six-word quote from the other side of the debate.
The writer led his post on the liberal paper's political blog, The Caucus, by noting that "the Obama administration said it would give religious organizations one additional year to comply with a new policy requiring employers to provide free contraception services in insurance plans. Roman Catholic bishops and other church leaders had protested the new rules, which were announced in August."
A frequent BizzyBlog commenter tweeted about an online article he saw at CNNMoney.com entitled "Doctors going broke" about how many doctors are struggling in the current economy. His tweet: "Welcome to Obamacare."
A frequent BizzyBlog commenter tweeted about am online article he saw at CNNMoney.com entitled "Doctors going broke" about how many doctors are struggling in the current economy. His tweet: "Welcome to Obamacare."
What's interesting is that my tweeting commenter is right that Obamacare is definitely already influencing the viability of medical practices. But Ms. Parija Kavilanz's Friday report acts as if the mind-numbingly lengthy legislation and the torrent of regulations which appear destined to end up being huge multiples of that outrageous length don't exist, and actually blames many docs for their predicaments:
Imagine that -- A massive government bureaucracy given almost a head start of more than three years to get up and running appears to be well on its way to not being ready.
Julie Appleby covered the situation at the Washington Post yesterday. Steven Hayward at Powerline accurately called it an item which "ought to be on the front page above the fold," and wasn't. It also "just so happens" to be an early vindicator of free-market capitalism as better able than the government to set up and manage complex systems. Here are several paragraphs from Appleby's report, which will be followed by key points from Hayward (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The Washington Post headline on a Friday story on over-the-counter abortifacients ("morning after" pills) for middle-schoolers was "Administration's Plan B move draws strong and mixed reaction." That's a terrible headline, because reporters Anne Kornblut and N.B. Aizenman only sought out liberal reaction, and then provided a Team Obama defense. Conservative reaction was omitted. (Why would conservatives read The Washington Post? Certainly not to read about themselves.) Worse yet, the Post routinely labeled feminist defenders of "morning after" pills for sexually active sixth graders as "women's rights advocates" -- when they're fighting for the sexual opportunities of sixth-graders.
There was real comedy in the story, from ultraliberal Senator Patty Murray, suddenly in the tank for Big Pharmaceuticals: "Pharmaceutical companies here in this country make some very expensive decisions, and they need to know the FDA is going to make a decision based on science."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted: "The Obama administration blocks a plan to make the 'morning-after' pill more easily available to young girls. Is this about medicine, politics or something else?" Moments later, he proclaimed: "We begin tonight with this surprise decision that takes us right to the intersection of medicine, science and politics."
The CBS Evening News also lead with the decision as anchor Scott Pelley hyped: "No White House has ever overruled a safety recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration, but it happened today." In the report that followed, correspondent Wyatt Andrews announced that by overruling the FDA, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "stunned many public health proponents."