CBO Report: 30 Million People Will Remain Uninsured Under Obamacare

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) — A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report says that under the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, 30 million non-elderly Americans will remain without health insurance in 2022.

One of the main arguments the Obama administration made for passing the Affordable Care Act was that it would provide coverage for the uninsured.

Currently, accoriding to CBO, there are 53 million uninsured persons in the United States, including uninsured illegal aliens. The CBO estimates that in 2022–8 years after the Affordable Care Act has been fully implemented–30 million people will remain uninsured.

Under Obamacare, 8 percent of legal U.S. residents will remain without health insurance in 2022, according to CBO.

The report was done to assess the fiscal impact of the Supreme Court June Obamacare decision.

“CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] now estimate that the ACA, in comparison with prior law before the enactment of the ACA, will reduce the number of nonelderly people without health insurance coverage by 14 million in 2014 and by 29 million or 30 million in the latter part of the coming decade, leaving 30 million nonelderly residents uninsured by the end of the period,” the report said.

“Before the Supreme Court’s decision, the latter number had been 27 million,” states the report.

As a result of the Supreme Court decision, states are no longer obligated under Obamacare to expand eligibility for their Medicaid programs.

“Some states will probably forgo the expansion entirely; some are likely to expand coverage to everyone whose income is below 138 percent of the FPL [federal poverty level]; and if the flexibility is allowed, some states may choose partial expansions. Further, states may be able to make those choices in any year after 2014,” the report said.

“The updated estimates by CBO and JCT represent their assessment of the middle of the distribution of the many possible outcomes arising from the Supreme Court’s decision,” states the CBO report.

On the same day the Supreme Court issued its ruling, President Barack Obama delivered a speech in which he said 30 million Americans presently without health coverage will now have the opportunity to obtain affordable health plans.

“If you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014, this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from,” said Obama.

However, as the CBO concludes, despite all the new government regulations and bureaucracies, taxes and subsidies created by Obamacare, there will still be 30 million uninsured people in the United States a decade from now.

Yet Again: Transgender Student Fakes Hate Crimes at Vassar College

Via The Daily Caller:

Reports of bias incidents at Vassar College that involved hateful messages left on students’ doors were actually elaborate hoaxes — and the perpetrator is none other than the student member of the Bias Incident Response Team, The Daily Caller has learned.

This fall semester at the liberal arts college in New York saw a curiously high number of bias incident reports. On Nov. 14, the college sent a mass email to students advising them that Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) had received at least six reports in the last few months of hateful and insensitive messages being scrawled and spray painted on student residences. Messages included “Avoid Being Bitches,” “Fuck Niggers,” and most prominently, “Hey Tranny. Know Your Place.”

“This is unacceptable and members of our community should be able to learn and work in environments that are free of hurtful expressions and behaviors,” wrote Edward Pittman, BIRT coordinator and dean of the College for Campus Life and Diversity, in an email to students.

The email also outlined BIRT’s purpose and role in bias incident response. The task force receives the reports of bias incidents, meets with victims, and provides support for campus efforts to foster diversity and inclusion.

The task force had one student member: Genesis Hernandez, who is transgendered and was also a vice president of the Vassar Student Association (VSA), the student government.

Five days after the email was sent, Vassar President Catharine Hill sent a follow-up email announcing that the bias incidents were hoaxes perpetrated by two students. The students wrote the vile messages and then filed the reports themselves, claiming to be the victims of unknown haters.

“It is our unfortunate duty to report that two Vassar students have admitted responsibility for creating a number of recent bias and hate-speech messages in public spaces on campus,” wrote Hill in an email. “They also falsely reported these as anonymous messages. Sadly, our community has been deeply hurt by these actions.”

The email noted that the two students had admitted responsibility and withdrawn from the college voluntarily. Their names were not reported.

However, The DC has learned that one of the perpetrators was none other than Genesis Hernandez.

Informed sources within Vassar told The DC that administrators pinpointed Hernandez as a responsible party, forcing him to give up his position in student government and leave the college. Leaked conversations between student government members also paint Hernandez as the culprit.

On the same day that Hill’s email went out, VSA President Deborah Steinberg sent an email of her own announcing an election to fill Hernandez’s now-vacant VP position.

Hernandez has withdrawn from the college. His vassar.edu address no longer works, and as such, he did not respond to a request for comment.

A representative for the college declined to comment. Vassar’s only statement on the matter remains Hill’s email, in which she acknowledged that the campus might now be skeptical of BIRT’s efforts, but stressed the need to continue them.

“The outcome of this most recent investigation in no way diminishes our commitment to working toward a more just, diverse, egalitarian and inclusive campus community,” she wrote.

The DC could not determine the other perpetrator’s identity, nor was it clear which student wrote and falsely reported which messages.

 

Obama: I Have Accomplished More Than Any President In History

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama told the crowd at a Democratic fundraiser in Beverly Hills on  Tuesday that he has accomplished “as much, if not more” than any other president.”Over the last five years, thanks to the leadership of Nancy (Pelosi) and Harry (Reid) and legislators who are here, we have accomplished as much, if not more, than any time in our history,” Obama said.

The president then listed among the accomplishments of his administration:”saving an economy from a Great Depression; revitalizing an auto industry that is producing better cars and has come roaring back like nobody believed; doubling our exports; drastically reducing our dependence on foreign oil; doubling fuel efficiency standards; doubling our production of clean energy; reducing the pace of our carbon emissions; ending the war in Iraq; about to end the war in Afghanistan; re-centering our fight against terrorism in a way that respects our values and our ideals; expanding access to college for children all across this country; ending “don’t ask, don’t tell”; making sure that we are vindicating the notion that everybody should have a fair shot regardless of their sexual orientation, as well as their race and their gender; pushing for equal pay for women; reinstituting research for stem cells.”

Notice that Obamacare, the president’s signature achievement, was not mentioned at the top of the list. But Obama did get around to it in the next paragraph, as follows, saying he’s “as proud as he’s ever been” of the law that informally bears his name:

“Across the board, we’ve made changes that will be lasting, some of which aren’t noticed, don’t get a lot of headlines, but make a meaningful difference in people’s lives every single day. But I will tell you, of all those things, I am as proud as I’ve ever been by the work we did to make sure that in this country, if you get sick you don’t go bankrupt and that you can get the health care that you need.

“And I think it’s fair to say I’m not happy about the fact that we didn’t have a website that worked on the day it was supposed to work — although it’s actually starting to work pretty well now and it’s going to be working even better in the coming weeks.”

The president said Obamacare is making an “immeasurable” different in people’s lives:

“And the reason I wanted to make that point is that so much of what we do is measured through the prism of politics, and on any given day the notion is that who is up and who is down and what’s on cable television should drive and determine our sense of direction and sometimes even our sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. But when you meet a family who tells you that their kid is alive today because they got an early diagnosis because they could finally go to a doctor where they couldn’t before — I don’t need a poll to tell me that’s the right thing to do. I don’t need a headline to tell me that that vindicates a core value that I believe in and that we, as Americans, should believe in. That’s a fight worth fighting. I’m proud that we fought it. And we’re going to keep on fighting it.”

Obama also touted his foreign policy achievements, saying there was a “lot of bluster” about Iran when he came into office — “but what was needed was a plan.”

He gave himself credit for imposing tough sanctions on Iran: “And as a consequence of the strength of those sanctions and the painstaking diplomacy that we engaged in, Iran ultimately came to the table and said, we are prepared in a serious way to negotiate around our nuclear program — for the first time in over a decade.”

He said the negotiations led to the “first halt in the Iranian nuclear program in a decade,” and he called it “the right thing to do” for the U.S. “It’s good for Israel,”  he added, although Israel certainly doesn’t see it that way.

Obama said he will do all in his power to “try to resolve these issue without resorting to  military conflict.”

NLRB OKs Unions to Pay People to Protest Walmart

Via The Washington Examiner:

National Labor Relations Board lawyers okayed a major union’s practice of paying people to protest against Walmart in a legal memorandum earlier this month. The federal labor law enforcement agency said the practice of paying workers $50 apiece to join protests “did not constitute unlawful … coercion of employees.”

In a Nov. 15 memorandum from the NLRB’s general counsel office regarding the so-called “Black Friday” protests staged by United Food and Commercial Workers against the nonunion retailer last year, the NLRB lawyers determined that the UFCW’s offer of $50 gift cards to anyone who showed up to protest “was a non-excessive strike benefit.”

The lawyers said there was “no evidence to indicate that the gift card was meant to buy support for OUR Walmart” since the card was available not just to the retailer’s employees but to anyone who showed up at the unions’ protests.

OUR Walmart, which presents itself as a group of disaffected Walmart workers, is identified as a subsidiary of UFCW in the memorandum. Along with another UFCW-backed group, Making Change at Walmart, UFCW has been orchestrating a series of public relations attacks against the retailer.

It is not clear how widespread the practice of offering the $50 gift cards was, although the memorandum says the card was advertised on the main OUR Walmart website.

Peter Schaumber, a former NLRB chairman who now works with pro-business groups, agreed the practice would not be illegal, “but really, what it says is that those people are out there protesting because they are getting paid.”

UFCW’s members mostly work for Walmart’s rivals. The union has tried for years to organize Walmart’s 1.3 million-member U.S. workforce with no success.

The groups are planning another wave of anti-Walmart strikes this week, highlighting the low pay of some employees. They claim they will have events at as many as 1,500 store locations across the country.

What the protests seem to be largely lacking, though, are actual Walmart employees. At events across the country last year, local media struggled to find anyone on the picket lines who also worked at the store. Some events had none at all.

A second NLRB advice memorandum released on Nov. 15 highlighted this problem for the protesters. It found that Walmart management’s forcing picketers to leave at two different Nov. 22, 2012, protests in Texas was not illegal because one group of protesters had only one Walmart employee. The other protest had none at all. Only when the protests involve employees does the law allow them on company property.

An NLRB spokesman declined to comment on the memos. A spokesman for UFCW or OUR Walmart could not be reached.

The gift-card advice memo is not the first time an action from the NLRB’s general counsel has helped the anti-Walmart crusade. On Nov. 19, the counsel’s office revealed it was investigating complaints of alleged retaliation by Walmart against employees for participating in last year’s Black Friday strikes.

The announcement was made not by the NLRB, but by OUR Walmart during a media call to announce its Walmart protests. Also present at the media call was AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and UFCW President Joe Hansen.

The NLRB’s lawyers had apparently alerted OUR Walmart just before its media call. The NLRB itself did not publicly confirm the news until hours later.

The agency’s general counsel is Richard Griffin, a former NLRB boardmember and, before that, a top lawyer for the AFL-CIO-affiliated International Union of Operating Engineers. Labor officials had campaigned hard for both his board nomination and his appointment as counsel.

News releases from the union-backed activist groups include the unusual disclaimer: “UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Walmart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Walmart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Walmart publically [sic] commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.”

The disclaimer serves to protect OUR Walmart from charges that it is engaged in illegal union organizing activities. Under labor law, groups cannot protest a company for more than 30 days without filing notice that they seek to organize its workers. After that, the protests must end. The disclaimer allows OUR Walmart to stage continual protests despite the fact that it is an arm of UFCW.

 

Obama to Shut Down Vatican Embassy

Via The Washington Times:

The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.

The new offices will be in a separate building on the property, Breitbart reported.

And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that’s a cautionary reaction to last year’s attacks on America’s facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.

It’s a “massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties,” said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and … [it’s] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”

Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a “smokescreen,” Breitbart reported.

“That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said in the report. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.”

Moreover, the existing facility has “state of the art” security, he said.

Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration’s announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.

“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” he said in the National Catholic Reporter. “[There’s no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation at all, he added.

Catholic Vote, a publication for the Church community, called the move “an unmistakable slap in the face” that clearly communicates that the United States cares little for the diplomatic facility.

And Mr. Nicholson went on, as Breitbart reported: “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican — and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence.”

Lesbian Waitress Fakes ‘Homophobic’ Message On Bill

Via The Daily Caller:

A New Jersey waitress who claimed that a family left her an anti-gay message instead of a tip was faking the whole thing, according to the accused family.

Dayna Morales, a lesbian former Marine who works at Gallop Asian Bistro in Branchburg, said that she was given no tip on a $93.55 dinner bill for a family of four — a husband, wife and their two children.

To make matters worse, Morales claimed that she received a homophobic message that read “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”

“I am THOROUGHLY offended mad pissed off and hurt that THIS is what her kids will grow up learning and that I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free,” wrote Morales in an email to Have a Gay Day, a gay advocacy non-profit.

“Keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again,” continued Morales.

But the accused family claims that Morales is lying. They contacted NBC 4 New York on their own accord and provided documents to prove that they left Morales a generous tip, minus the nasty message.

The couple, who wanted to remain anonymous, provided NBC 4 New York a copy of their Visa bill as well as their copy of the restaurant receipt to show that they left an $18 tip on the $93.55 tab — or just shy of 20 percent.

As further proof, the time stamp on the receipt provided by the couple also matches that of the one Morales posted on Facebook. The wife also noted that she is left-handed and that the slash mark on the tip line seems to have been written by someone who is right-handed.

The husband told NBC 4 New York that both he and his wife had worked in restaurants in the past. The man also said that he did not support New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because of his opposition to gay marriage.

According to NBC 4 New York, the situation may have been sparked by miscommunication between the restaurant hostess, the family and Morales. The family told NBC 4 that they believed that the hostess told them that the name of their server was “Dan”. According to the family, when Morales introduced herself the wife said “whoa, you’re not Dan”.

Morales relayed the introduction differently saying that the wife said “oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!”

Despite the family’s claim, Morales stuck to her story telling NBC 4 New York “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying.”

Morales received over $3,000 in donations after her story went viral. The waitress said she planned to donate the proceeds of the impromptu fundraiser to the Wounded Warrior Project. Her employer also planned to match her donation to Wounded Warrior, which donates money to soldiers who have been injured in combat.

Fabricated hateful receipt messages are nothing new. One of the more famous hoaxes occurred last year when it was reported that a California businessman left a 1 percent tip on a $133 tab for a waitress with the message “Get a real job”. The message alluded to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s focus on wealthy “one-percenters” versus “the 99%”. However, the receipt turned out to be photoshopped.

And last month, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that two forensics handwriting experts determined that an African-American Red Lobster waitress likely wrote a racist message on her own receipt in order to frame a white customer. The waitress, Toni Jenkins, said that a patron wrote the word “none” on the tip line and the word “Nigger” on the total line. In that case, the name of the patron was visible on the receipt, which Jenkins posted on Facebook. The patron denied writing the pejorative and said he planned to file a lawsuit. Like Morales, an online fundraising effort helped Jenkins raise nearly $11,000.

On Monday, Have a Gay Day acknowledged the possibility that Morales was lying about the message: “After watching the story shared with us we do have questions that hopefully we will find the answers to in the upcoming days ahead,” read a post on the group’s Facebook page.

“We share this link with you as it was shared with us and only hope that the allegations are not true.”

DHS No Longer Conducting Routine Background Checks of Immigrants

Via Judicial Watch:

Recent documents obtained by Judicial Watch, Inc., pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, show that U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) went on a spending binge and created abandoned ordinary background check procedures in order to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications spurred by President Obama’s extralegislative DREAM Act.  The documents also show that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announced by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano as applying only to minors who came to this country illegally “through no fault of their own,” actually created a new avenue of chain migration, whereby immediate relatives of DACA requesters could be approved for amnesty, literally “inundating” border towns with petitions for admission.

Based on a tip from a whistleblower at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Judicial Watch filed a records request on October 26, 2012 for “all communications, memoranda, emails, policy guidance, directives, initiatives, and any other correspondence respecting the scope and extent of background checks to be performed (or not) on aliens applying to the Obama administration’s DACA program”  from “November 1, 2011 through the present.”  The Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq., directs USCIS  to  maintain  “direct  and  continuous”  contact  with  the FBI  and  the  Central  Intelligence  Agency  (CIA) – among other law enforcement  agencies –  “for the purpose of obtaining and exchanging information”  necessary to determine whether an alien is ineligible to enter or remain in the United States due to criminal  conduct, among  other disqualifying  factors.  INA also  mandates  the  “coordinated,   uniform,   and   efficient”   implementation   of   such background checks among all classes of immigration applicants.  The statute concurrently directs the Attorney General and FBI actively to assist in determining  an  applicant’s eligibility  for  admission  or  continued  stay  by  proactively alerting  the State Department  and USCIS  whether  an alien applying for permission to enter or remain in the United States is indexed in the National Crime Information Center’s Interstate Identification Index (NCIC-III), Wanted Persons File, or any other files maintained  by the National  Crime Information Center, which allows users to interface with all 50 states via the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications  System (NLETS).

[…]

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Hypocrite Obama Demands Military Base Closures

Via Politico:

The Pentagon revived its politically radioactive proposal for a new round of base closures on Wednesday in a budget proposal the White House pitched as a compromise but which quickly reignited old battles with Congress.

The Department of Defense is requesting about $2.4 billion over the next five years for a round of base closures that would start in 2015, with the promise that consolidating the military’s “excess capacity” in real estate would pay dividends over the long term. The department is also asking Congress to slow the growth in personnel costs with a 1 percent pay raise to troops and increases in fees paid for some health care services.

me Republicans didn’t even wait for the formal rollout from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel before rejecting the defense budget, especially the Base Realignment and Closure process, known as BRAC.

[…]

Obama Demands Increase in Military Healthcare Fees

Via Military.com:

On Monday the White House pressed the Pentagon to rein in Tricare costs and begin a new round of base closings as the Senate took up the National Defense Authorization Act on the military’s 2014 budget.

There are a number of areas of agreement with the initial markup of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the NDAA, but the administration “has serious concerns with certain provisions,” Office of Management and Budget officials said in a lengthy response to the markup.

OMB called on SASC to control Tricare costs at the Department of Defense “while keeping retired beneficiaries’ share of these costs well below the levels experienced when the Tricare program was implemented in the mid-1990s.”

Slowing the growth of Tricare costs would result in savings of $902 million in fiscal year 2014 and $9.3 billion through fiscal year 2018. Those savings were needed to offset projected increases in personnel costs, OMB said.

President Obama has proposed slowing this growth by introducing a new set of enrollment fees and higher co-pays to retirees under the age of 65.

The Pentagon proposed an annual enrollment fee based on a percentage of retired pay for Medicare-eligible retirees in the Tricare For Life Program. Working age retirees in the Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra programs also would face new annual enrollment fees phased in over five years.

The White House also proposed an increase to the current enrollment fee for working age retirees in the Tricare Prime program phased in over the next four years.

As for co-pays, the White House has proposed increasing Tricare Prime co-pays for retirees and their beneficiaries by $4 for medical visits not related to mental health.

Pentagon leaders have said that spiral personnel costs to include healthcare are eating up too much of the military’s annual budgets and putting training and readiness missions at risk.

[…]

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By Design: Price of Electricity Skyrockets to Record Levels

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – The price of electricity hit a record for the month of October, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That made October the eleventh straight month when the average price of electricity hit or matched the record level for that month.

The average price of electricity in October was 13.2 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH), up from 12.8 cents per KWH in October 2012—and up from 9.3 cents per KWH in October 2003.

Americans now pay 42 percent more for electricity than they did a decade ago.

In November 2012, electricity was 12.7 cents per KWH, which was down from the 12.8 cents per KWH price of November 2011. But, in December 2012, the price of electricity stayed at 12.7 cents per KWH, matching the record monthly price of 12.7 cents per KWH that had been reached in December 2011.

In each of the ten months since then (January through October 2013), the price of electricity has hit a record level for that month.

Although the average price of electricity hit the all-time October record this year, the price in October actually dropped from September, when it was 13.7 cents per KWH.

According to the BLS data, electricity prices tend to fluctuate during the year, hitting their peaks in the summer months, then dropping to lower levels in the fall, winter and spring.

This year, electricity cost 12.9 cents per KWH in January, setting a January record. It stayed at that level in February, setting a February record. Then it dropped to 12.8 cents in March and April–nonetheless setting records for those months. In May, it climbed to 13.1 cents, setting an all-time record for May. Then it jumped to 13.7 cents per KWH in June and stayed at that level through July, August and September.

The 13.7 cents per KWH price of electricity of June through September 2013 was the most expensive electricity has ever been in the United States since BLS started tracking electricity prices in November 1978.

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (Barack Obama, January 2008)