The Conversation

ObamaCare: Research and opinions about ObamaCare

Chuck Schumer's Shrewd Break With ObamaCare

Nov 26, 2014 9:11 AM PT

One doesn't have to like NY Senator Chuck Schumer to admit he's a smart and ambitious man. His being the first prominent Democrat to come out strong against Obamacare - without doing anything to derail it - could prove to be a shrewd move for a guy known to make them.

If Obamacare sees a significant defeat in a current Supreme Court challenge it's facing, Schumer's seeming break from the usual lock-step movement of Democrats on the Affordable Care act could provide a way for the party to go in the event of a loss.

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Jonathan Gruber and the Greek Chorus of Progressive Wonks

Nov 18, 2014 5:35 PM PT

In 1972 film critic Pauline Kael gave a lecture in which she said, "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."

Kael is often maligned for a shorthand version of this comment. In the shorthand version she says something like "I can't imagine how Nixon won. I don't know anyone who voted for him." The real comment, reported by the NY Times, is more insightful. Kael may not know any Nixon voters but she is at least vaguely aware of her own looming ignorance.

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Gruber Visited White House a Dozen Times

Nov 18, 2014 9:13 AM PT

Economist Jonathan Gruber made at least a dozen trips to the White House including at least one meeting with the President.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Gruber visited the White House six times in 2009 and several more times in 2010. One of those meetings was a small group gathering with the President. Gruber also had multiple meetings with senior White House officials including Jeanne Lambrew, a deputy assistant to the president for health reform.

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Will anyone in the media call Obama on his Gruber lies?

Nov 18, 2014 8:59 AM PT

In response to Obama Claimed to Have 'Stolen Ideas' from Gruber in 2006:

Allow me to toss a few more tidbits onto the fire as we burn whatever remains of Barack Obama's credibility: former Administration official Steve Rattner testifying - on MSNBC! - that Jonathan Gruber was a pivotal figure in the creation of ObamaCare:  "I remember that when I was in the White House he was certainly viewed as an important figure in helping to put Obamacare together. The problem is not that Gruber helped them put Obamacare together, because he was the man, the problem is what he’s said in the last two weeks and how the White House has handled it."

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Will Americans Forget About Obamacare's Rollout?

Nov 18, 2014 6:54 AM PT

In response to Jonathan Gruber 1 Year Ago: 'Short Attention Span Of American Public' Will Help Them Forget About Disastrous ACA Rollout (Video):

Actually, Gruber is correct in saying that the "short attention span of the American public works to the president's advantage." With a lot of help from the media, who tends to  sweep anything detrimental to  the Democrat Party and its leaders under the rug, as well as from other daily and  emerging news events, Americans do tend to forget about most things.

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Obama Claimed to Have 'Stolen Ideas' from Gruber in 2006

Nov 18, 2014 6:42 AM PT

Over the weekend President Obama referred to economist Jonathan Gruber as "some adviser who never worked on our staff" but as far back as 2006 Senator Obama was already praising Gruber for his good ideas.

"You have already drawn some of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles, many of them I have stolen ideas from liberally, people ranging from Robert Gordon to Austan Goolsbee; Jon Gruber; my dear friend, Jim Wallis here, who can inform what are sometimes dry policy debates with a prophetic voice," Obama tells the audience at a Brookings Institute event in April 2006. The video was highlighted today by Phil Kerpen of American Commitment.

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Jonathan Gruber 1 Year Ago: 'Short Attention Span Of American Public' Will Help Them Forget About Disastrous ACA Rollout (Video)

Nov 18, 2014 6:41 AM PT

In yet another insult to the American voter, ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber in the wake of the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare one year ago, claimed that thanks to the short attention spans of the American public, the calamity would soon be forgotten.

Blogger Rightpundit unearthed video from a 2013 interview showing Gruber expressing optimism that "the substance of the law will work." 

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A Politico 'Gotcha Moment'? Is Paige Winfield Cunningham Bowing to Pressure on Gruber?

Nov 17, 2014 8:07 AM PT

A new Politico item by Paige Winfield Cunningham asks a timely and perhaps interesting question: New Obamacare furor: Was Jonathan Gruber the “architect”? 

But what may prove more interesting to some is how Cunningham appeared to have no problem identifying his key role back in July, even if her reporting today attempts to make it a bit more ambiguous.

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Obama Just Stepped In A Pile Of Gruber

Nov 16, 2014 12:25 PM PT

There are at least two notable issues that emerge from this brief clip of Barack Obama's latest remarks on the current fire storm surrounding Jonathan Gruber, ObamaCare and the White House.

First, Obama describes Gruber as "some adviser who never worked on our staff." While that may be technically correct, it would depend on what the definition of "staff" is. While Gruber didn't take the pay cut that joining Obama's staff may have cost him, certainly he was specifically sought out and retained by the administration as a key figure in their efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act.

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The Ministry of Silence

Nov 15, 2014 3:10 PM PT

In response to Senator Chris Murphy, Jake Tapper and the Unsung Villains of GruberGate:

It's amazing to think we reached the end of the week with a hard blackout imposed on the Gruber story by two major networks, ABC and NBC, while CBS gave it brief coverage... even as Jake Tapper over at CNN was breaking a new Gruber video.  That's the one where Gruber talks about using lies and subterfuge to quietly destroy the tax deduction for health insurance, because the public stubbornly refused to part with it.  The good stuff comes about 30 minutes into the video below.

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Cruz Hits ObamaCare With Gruber Video: "Can't Shake It Off"

Nov 14, 2014 5:22 PM PT

Realizing the significance of keeping Jonathan Gruber's growing number of newly discovered revealing statements regarding the formulation and passage of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, Texas Senator ted Cruz is out with a new web video hitting ObamaCare architect Gruber over his many statements.

While the ultimate fate of ObamaCare may rest with  the Supreme Court, to the extent Republicans want to repeal, or even perhaps significantly amend it, it is in their best interests to brand it as the scam it's now being revealed to be ... thanks to Gruber.

Confiscating the instruments of ObamaCare fraud

Nov 14, 2014 12:20 PM PT

In response to 5th Video Shows Gruber Laughing At and Mocking ObamaCare Critic's Accurate Predictions:

Shed no tears for Jonathan Gruber, fair Debra, for he was well-compensated for his perfidy, and we were forced to pay him.  I want to get my money's worth out of him - and not only by taking steps to correct the hideous ObamaCare mistake.  I want to make sure the American people don't get fooled like this again.  Gruber has given us a comprehensive inventory of the instruments of fraud.  Let us now set about confiscating them, so that nobody who thinks like this can ever seize control over a single American citizen's life, ever again.

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Obamacare Debate an Ugly Process Lacking in Transparency Says...President Obama

Nov 14, 2014 12:11 PM PT

Thursday the White House pushed back on the claim that the passage of Obamacare lacked transparency. But President Obama has already admitted that was the case in a major interview with ABC News broadcast in January 2010.

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was caught on video at an event last year saying a "lack of transparency" was a big "political advantage" in the process of passing the bill into law. This clip and several more like it have been leading the non-network news cycle for most of the week.

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5th Video Shows Gruber Laughing At and Mocking ObamaCare Critic's Accurate Predictions

Nov 14, 2014 10:56 AM PT

In one week's time Jonathan Gruber has gone from the brilliant and celebrated ObamaCare architect whose expert views were sought after as he sat on one panel after another - to a completely disowned laughingstock regarded by the ruling class as having "remarkable hubris" and views that are "not good" and "damaging."

I was actually beginning to feel a little sorry for Gruber. 

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The Inevitable Center for American Progress Pushback Against Jonathan Gruber (Updated)

Nov 13, 2014 6:07 PM PT

Now that comments by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber have entered their fourth day of dominating the non-network news cycle, the White House allied Center for American Progress is beginning to push back by claiming Gruber is simply wrong. But is CAP correct about what Gruber said or are they misreading him?

CAP President Neera Tanden has a piece in the Wall Street Journal which promises to get to the bottom of Grubergate. "Mr. Gruber’s comments in 2013 that the law passed only because of “the stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” by the Obama administration are simply incorrect," she writes.

Mr. Gruber has also said that the Affordable Care Act was written “in a tortured way” to make sure the CBO did not score the individual mandate as a tax. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation scored the individual mandate as increasing revenue from penalty payments. Whether they viewed the mandate as a “tax” had no impact on their analysis; the economic effect is the same regardless of the name. That is precisely why Chief Justice John Roberts found in favor of the individual mandate when it came before the Supreme Court in 2012.

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Nancy Pelosi Doesn't Know Who Jonathan Gruber Is (but Her Website Does) (Updated)

Nov 13, 2014 12:54 PM PT

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi has denied knowing who Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is, but her Speaker of the House website began touting his analysis of the ACA in December 2009.

At a press conference this morning former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about comments made by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. Gruber has been in the news this week after several video clips surfaced in which he says the ACA was intentionally designed to take advantage of American's ignorance. In one clip Gruber referred to "the stupidity of the American voter." He also said "lack of transparency" was a "huge political advantage" in passing the bill.

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NY Times: Gruber's Comments Merely an 'Infelicitous' Expression of Frustration

Nov 13, 2014 8:21 AM PT

If you always expect the NY Times to bend over backwards to help Democrats in trouble, you'll rarely be disappointed. Such is the case today with the NY Times coverage of the Jonathan Gruber affair.

Not surprisingly, the Times' Neil Irwin has zero outrage to spare for a high-profile Obama adviser calling the American people stupid. Like at least one previous attempt to downplay what is obviously a very damaging admission, Irwin seems to want to say that conservatives are outraged but shouldn't be.

It looks like a shocking instance of a onetime Obama adviser saying that the administration pulled the wool over America’s eyes in advancing major legislation. That is certainly how many conservatives are interpreting it. But...

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Why Obamacare Architect's Admission of Dishonesty Should Matter to Every American

Nov 11, 2014 5:19 PM PT

Five years ago it was already obvious that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats were engaged in an elaborate deception, a series of them really. But back then most of the media and much of the public didn't seem to believe it. Now things have changed.

A list of administration lies might be a good topic for a book. But to just hit a few of the health care related highlights, we were told that the public option was not a Trojan horse, that it was about choice and competition. This was a bald faced lie. We were told we could keep our plans and doctors period, end of sentence. That was a lie. We were told Obamacare would reduce premiums by $2,500. That was a lie. That Obamacare was not a tax. Lie. That the VA was a model of socialized medicine. True, but not in the way they meant. All of these lies built upon one another, creating a vision of health reform that was all upside and no downside. And the Democrats barely, despite the obvious displeasure of citizens, forced it through, though only just barely.

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The stupidity of the Affordable Care Act

Nov 11, 2014 2:16 PM PT

In response to Jonathan Gruber - ACA and 'The Stupidity Of The American Voter':

I see the Left is drenching the Internet in flop sweat as they either search for some mystical "context" that will change the plain meaning of what Gruber said in this clip, or try to erase him from history altogether.  He's getting the Stalin airbrush treatment right out of the ObamaCare picture.  Having apparently failed to sell his vote to the incoming Republican majority, "independent" Senator Angus King of Maine has taken to pretending he can't even remember who Gruber is.  He went from the wunderkind of health care reform to some random goofball who just happened to skateboard through the discussion, which begs the question of why he'd be addressing the sort of seminar where he regaled the audience with knee-slappers about how he and the President managed to pull scam after scam on the CBO and gullible American voters.

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How Jonathan Gruber Went from Hero to Goat in Court Filings

Nov 11, 2014 11:10 AM PT

In less than a year Jonathan Gruber has gone from being cited as an outstanding expert on health reform modeling to being downplayed as "a private citizen" who misspoke. The tone in Halbig/King filings has certainly changed over the past year.

From an amicus brief of Economic Scholars (including Gruber) in the King case, dated March 21, 2014:

Economist and MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber has developed a sophisticated economic model that allows for a robust prediction of outcomes in the health care system, depending on various policy changes. The Gruber Microsimulation Model (“GMSIM”) utilizes two primary sets of data: (1) Fixed information on individuals, derived from 2011 Current Population Survey data and updated to 2013 and later years; and (2) varying information on policy parameters, which inform the changes in price and eligibility of various forms of insurance. See MIT Economics, Jonathan Gruber, Documentation for the Gruber Microsimulation Model at 2-3, available at http://economics.mit.edu/faculty/gruberj/lightread. The GMSIM has been cited as one of the leading options for modeling health insurance reforms such as the ACA.

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White House: Don't Expect Too Much From ObamaCare

Nov 10, 2014 5:38 PM PT

We've officially come a long, long way from the Obama administration's promises that the Affordable Care Act would be something of a cure all for everything that might ail the American health care system. In fact, the administration's message today couldn't be more clear - don't expect too much from Obamacare, including from the website during this year's open enrollment period.

That way, you may not be too disappointed. Yet, disappointed with ObamaCare many continue to be, with more most assuredly to follow.

The Obama administration is tamping down expectations for the next phase of Obamacare enrollment, saying outside estimates were too ambitious.

Obamacare's second open-enrollment window begins Saturday. And although sign-ups have beaten expectations so far, officials from the Health and Human Services Department say they're now expecting the pace of enrollment to slow.

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Obamacare Architect Says Lack of Transparency Was a Big Political Advantage

Nov 10, 2014 12:59 PM PT

In a recently uncovered video taken at an event in October 2013, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber says that lack of transparency was a key advantage in helping get the law passed.

"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes," Gruber stated. "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage," he explained adding, "Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really critical to getting the thing to pass." Given a choice between honestly informing the public and passing the bill, Gruber says he'd rather have the bill.

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Medicaid Expansion and Obamacare Subsidies

Nov 10, 2014 12:03 PM PT

With the decision last week by the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the King v. Burwell case, there is renewed interest in the arguments surrounding the case. Today, Brian Beutler at the New Republic poses a legal solution which he says is in keeping with the Court's previous ruling on Medicaid expansion. Let's consider his solution.

Back in June 2012, the Supreme Court issued a decision challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The decision, with regard to the Medicaid expansion, was that the federal government had exceeded its powers by threatening to take away all of the states' pre-existing Medicaid funds if they refused to expand the program to those making up to 138% of the federal poverty line. The Court said this threat was unconstitutionally coercive, i.e. it held a gun to the state's head leaving them no genuine choice in the matter.

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Substitute Teachers Paying the Price for ObamaCare

Nov 7, 2014 6:59 PM PT

Incoming Affordable Care Act mandates are rerportedly "playing havoc" with substitute teaching programs in some districts.

Under the new program, school systems will have to limit a substitute's hours to below 29, or be forced to provide them will health care. That would drive up costs exponentially.

Domoine Rutledge, general counsel for the school system, said the school system has elected to limit the hours of substitute teachers in advance of the implementation next year of a federal “employer mandate,” which is part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The per-employee penalty for not providing insurance to workers who clock more than 30 hours a week is $2,000, he said.

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King v. Burwell heads for the Supreme Court, with ObamaCare hanging in the balance

Nov 7, 2014 11:14 AM PT

I always expected the Halbig case to end up at the Supreme Court.  I'm surprised so many people are surprised they agreed to hear the challenge today.

I suppose this might have been a political decision, i.e. the four conservative justices want a crack at taking ObamaCare down, the four liberals are girding their loins to defend it, and Chief Justice John Roberts picked the wrong time to quit sniffing glue.  (A little "Airplane" callback humor, there, folks.)

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SCOTUS Will Rule on Obamacare Subsidies

Nov 7, 2014 11:06 AM PT

The Supreme Court will decide the fate of Obamacare subsides and with them the fate of the law itself. Today the Court agreed to hear a case which will determine whether states without their own state-based insurance exchanges can grant subsidies to buyers.

The Court will hear an appeal to a 4th Circuit decision, King v. Burwell. In that decision, the Court ruled against the plaintiffs and in favor of the government. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court by the plaintiffs in July. A decision in the case should be issued by next July.

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WaPo Factchecker Gives Obama 3 Pinocchios For Bogus Health Care Claim

Nov 6, 2014 10:38 AM PT

President Obama continued his tradition of blatantly lying to the American people about ObamaCare during his press conference Wednesday and the Washington Post Factchecker has called him out on it giving him 3 Pinocchios.

But it wasn't just WaPo's Glenn Kessler - BS meters were going off all across the nation when the president tried to claim that ObamaCare has led to lower increases in health care costs - a bogus claim the Regime has been making all year.

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Supreme Court Will Mull King v. Burwell a Bit Longer

Nov 3, 2014 4:14 PM PT

Will the Supreme Court choose to hear King v Burwell, the case regarding the delivery of subsidies in states without a state-based exchange? Today the court chose to delay its answer for at least a week.

Last Friday the Supreme Court considered an appeal of the King v Burwell decision. The court could have chosen to hear the case or it could have rejected the appeal altogether. Instead the Court chose to re-list the case for more discussion this week. So next Monday we may find out whether four Justices have chosen to accept the case or not.

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ObamaCare: an 'easily hacked' trove of juicy personal data

Oct 28, 2014 12:14 PM PT

Another ObamaCare enrollment period is upon us, which means the accumulated trove of personal data stored in the glitchy HealthCareDotGov website will become an even more tempting target for hackers.  The test servers got hacked a while back, without anyone realizing it for almost two months... a development the Administration was not exactly eager to discuss with the public.  But at least they learned from the experienced and fixed all the security flaws in the live site, right?  Well...

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over security of the website, said, "we've had hearings on the subject of the security or lack of security with the ObamaCare website and what we've discovered is that it seems to be easy to be hacked, the security is not secure."

Smith isn't the only one worrying. A security expert noted that the health care website is one of the largest federal collections of personal information ever assembled.

Security analyst David Kennedy, of a company called TrustedSec, explained, "they require first name, last name ... they require your home address, require your social security number, and then payment information" -- including credit card data.

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HHS official: insurance cancellations are just 'invitations' to sign up for ObamaCare

Oct 28, 2014 11:54 AM PT

It's not easy to pretend that a failure as immense as ObamaCare is "working," much less living up to its promises, but the hard Left and Administration drones keep trying.  The latest road apple dropped by Health and Human Services, after a wild night of binging on Orwellian doublespeak tacos, asks us to view insurance cancellations as merely polite invitations to sign up for the People's Glorious Health Care Plan.

"I just want to remind you that you weren't losing insurance, you were just using that insurance plan, and were now being invited to go into the health insurance marketplace," chirps an HHS official in a sound bite being circulated by the Republican Part of Virginia, as part of a campaign push against incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Warner:

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Government Omits Any Mention of Jonathan Gruber in Most Recent Court Filing

Oct 10, 2014 12:06 PM PT

Professor Jonathan Gruber has been a continual presence in government court filings related to Obamacare. That changed last Friday when the federal government filed its opposition to a Supreme Court review of the King v. Burwell case without mentioning Gruber at all.

Gruber has been a long time advocate for the Affordable Care Act, having helped shape it. He defended it when early sign ups were lower than expected and again when claims began making their way through the courts saying the law as written did not allow federal subsidies to pass to those who purchased insurance on a federal exchange. Gruber called this claim "crazy."

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Central planners don't like old people

Sep 19, 2014 2:08 PM PT

It's disconcerting enough to see an article entitled "Why I Hope to Die at 75."  When the author is Ezekiel Emmanuel, one of the architects of ObamaCare, it's time for the Twilight Zone theme music.  Here's a sample:

I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.

By the time I reach 75, I will have lived a complete life. I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my life’s projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations. Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy. Indeed, I plan to have my memorial service before I die. And I don’t want any crying or wailing, but a warm gathering filled with fun reminiscences, stories of my awkwardness, and celebrations of a good life. After I die, my survivors can have their own memorial service if they want—that is not my business.

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Now It Can Be Told: Ezra Klein Admits Public Option was 'Bridge to Single-Payer'

Sep 4, 2014 6:12 PM PT

Thursday, Vox's Ezra Klein admitted Democrats saw the public option as a "bridge to single-payer." While this is now common knowledge on the right, it was dismissed and treated as an "illegitimate" argument by everyone from President Obama down before the bill passed. Here's Klein's take today [emphasis added]:

The argument over the public option was slippery and frustrating because there were really two different public options — a strong and a weak one — and both supporters and detractors switched which one they were talking about constantly.

The strong public option would have paid Medicare rates for services and, in doing, save more than $100 billion over 10 years. This is the public option that supporters were talking about when they said the public option would save huge amounts of money and possibly provide a bridge to single payer. It was also the public option that detractors were talking about when they said the public option was a backdoor plan to implement single payer and it would put many private insurers out of businesses. This public option never came anywhere close to becoming law.

The other public option was just a normal insurer that was run by the government. It would pay prices similar to what the other insurers paid, and it wasn't projected to save much money, sign up many people, or pose much of a threat to traditional insurers. This public option almost did become law.

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DC Circuit Court Moves to Overturn Halbig Ruling

Sep 4, 2014 11:07 AM PT

The DC Circuit court has decided to withdraw a previous decision which posed a threat to the structure of Obamacare and rehear the case.

In July a conservative-leaning 3-judge panel ruled 2-1 that the plain language of the ACA meant subsidies should not be available to people buying insurance in the federal marketplace. The DOJ appealed the ruling and today the court decided it would let the full, more liberal, court hear the case.

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Obamacare's Glitchy Website Hinders Thousands Asked to Verify Citizenship

Aug 29, 2014 12:09 PM PT

Three hundred thousand people who enrolled in Obamacare have been asked to submit proof of citizenship or risk losing their insurance. Many who have tried to comply are finding the healthcare.gov website to be more of an obstacle than a convenience.

The problems with citizenship verification were reported by USA Today Thursday. The paper reports that 310,000 notices were sent out earlier this month requesting proof of citizenship. In order to respond by the deadline next week, individuals need to be able to upload the requested documents on to healthcare.gov.

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The Coming Obamacare Tax Mess and Why the Administration Isn't Doing Anything to Stop It

Aug 28, 2014 9:48 AM PT

There's a kind of time bomb built into the Obamacare exchanges. Next year an unknown but probably significant number of low income people are going to discover they owe the IRS money through no fault of their own. Those who fail to file a tax return acknowledging this unexpected liability will lose their access to health care subsidies. Those who do file will be subject to ordinary IRS collection efforts up to and including tax liens and levies.

The problem was pointed out in June by Chris Jacobs and then in more detail this month by Sam Baker at National Journal. The value of ACA subsidies are tied to the cost of the 2nd cheapest Silver plan available on the exchange. This plan is called the benchmark. If you buy the benchmark plan then you only pay a fixed percent of your income in premiums and the government pays the rest. If your plan costs more than the benchmark, you pay the difference out of your own pocket.

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Total cost of TrainWreck.gov ObamaCare website: $1.7 billion

Aug 26, 2014 7:35 PM PT

The inability of the federal government to launch a website presented a big crisis for managerial liberalism.  It's also a spectacular example of how the government burns through money like there's no tomorrow.  The total cost of the crap ObamaCare website, from its failed launch through countless fixes, works out to a cool $1.7 billion according to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

$1.7 billion for a website that didn't work at all on Day One, and still isn't really finished.

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Many ObamaCare Enrollees Subject To Unexpected Tax Bite

Aug 24, 2014 1:15 PM PT

Experts are projecting that perhaps as many as 2.3 million households "that received tax credits to help pay for their health insurance under Obamacare will lose all or a portion of their expected 2014 tax refunds."

If their actual 2014 income ends up higher than what they estimated it would be when applying for Obamacare, they'll be taxed on the difference. In essence, they'll have to make up for tax credits they may have received in error.

The Affordable Healthcare Act, known for its vague and ever-changing details, is sure to surprise many workers who underestimated their income or earned a larger income than estimated when they took Obamacare-related tax credits.

"More than a third of tax credit recipients will owe some money back, and (that) can lead to some pretty hefty repayment liabilities," said George Brandes, vice president for health care programs at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

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Friday News Dump: Feds Unveil New Birth Control Mandate

Aug 22, 2014 2:57 PM PT

The problem with ObamaCare isn't just that it's the so called law of the land, said law seems to keep changing in reaction to events and court rulings until not even "we have to pass it to see what's in it" holds up to the slightest scrutiny.

As usual with a Friday news dump, the devil is in the details down below.

The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations meant to enable certain businesses and charities to steer clear of the Affordable Care Act’s so-called birth control mandate, while ensuring free contraception coverage for women under the law. 

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CMS Administrator Told Subordinates to 'Please Delete' White House Email

Aug 15, 2014 2:58 PM PT

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told two subordinates to "please delete" a forwarded email conversation between Tavenner and a group of White House advisers which took place days after the disastrous launch of healthcare.gov.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee published the October 5, 2013 email today. It contains a discussion Tavenner had with White House health care policy adviser Jeanne Lambrew and several other White House advisers including White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. Tavenner forwarded the email chain to the CMS spokersperson and another subordinate saying "Please delete this email-but please see if we can work on call script." Another short sentence that followed this has been redacted.

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Latest Attack on Halbig Shows Evidence of Congressional Intent is Murky

Aug 11, 2014 1:02 PM PT

The New Republic's Brian Beutler doesn't like the argument being made by law professor Jonathan Adler and health policy wonk Michael Cannon. From the moment a 3-judge-panel of the D.C. Circuit Court ruled in their favor, Beutler has been writing derisively about "Halbig truthers." Here's his description of their argument from about two weeks ago:

some right-wing activists have spent the last several months fabricating a rival narrativea ludicrous theory of intent, in which leading Democrats meant to condition the subsidies, but decided to keep the inducement a secret from reporters, back bench members, governors, budget analysts, and health care reform advocates. This kind of deceptive argumentation is perhaps to be expected from activists. What's become incredibly frustrating to me about the Halbig brouhaha in the last few days is watching the conservative health care writers who were in the same trenches watching the same debate unfoldattempting, from a very skeptical vantage point, to explain the bill correctlysuddenly turn around and vouchsafe the Halbig Truthers.

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