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Report: Obama Handed Out $434 Million in Fraudulent Obamacare Payments

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A new report finds that the Obama administration handed out $435 million in fraudulent Obamacare payments meaning that once again we see that fraud was Barack Obama’s middle name.

The Obama administration was one of the most crooked and corrupt in U.S. history, so it isn’t surprising we are still learning just how bad he was. It is likely we’ll be finding things like this for decades to come as the full criminal scope of his eight disastrous years in office come to light.

This time the Washington Examiner has the sorry tale:

The Obama administration improperly paid out $434 million to Obamacare customers to pay down the cost of insurance in 2014, the first year the law’s health insurance marketplaces went online, a federal watchdog reported Monday.

Trending: Report: Schiff’s ‘Whistleblower’ Coordinated Attack on Trump with Alexander Vindman

Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General released a report Monday that outlined the improper payments during Obamacare’s first year.

In a review of 140 health insurance policies sold in 2014, the inspector general found that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services improperly paid out financial assistance payments for 26 policies.

Well, isn’t that just peachy?

So, why haven’t we seen a full repeal of Obamacare? After all, isn’t that what Trump and may Republicans promised us in 2016?

Well, you can partly thank party traitor John McCain for that failure.

As Townhall’s Justin Haskins noted recently:

For instance, in June, with the support of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the Trump administration’s Department of Labor finalized a rule permitting sole proprietors, employees of small businesses, and small business owners with a “commonality of interest”—such as living in the same state or working in the same industry—to join together to purchase association health plans. AHPs allow thousands of people to buy insurance as a large group and across state lines, dramatically increasing health insurance options. These plans also lower costs for those in an association because they can negotiate prices as a group in the same way large employers can. Further, these plans don’t allow people to be denied coverage or forced to pay higher prices because of a preexisting condition, protecting those with health problems from the possibility of losing coverage or having to pay significantly more than other members of an association.

Additionally, earlier in August, the Trump administration changed federal rules governing the length of short-term health insurance plans, increasing their maximum period from three months to 12 months and allowing these plans to be renewed for up to 36 months. Short-term plans are great options for many young Americans and healthy adults who don’t receive coverage through a parent or employer and don’t have enough money to purchase an expensive Obamacare plan. Short-term plans often cost much less than $200 per month, more than half of what many mid-level Obamacare insurance plans cost. The reason they are cheaper is because they are exempt from many of the Affordable Care Act’s costliest mandates, including “essential health benefits” like alcohol and substance abuse coverage and maternity care, and because insurance companies can choose not to renew the plan once its period expires.

Still, the GOP and the Trump administration have gone a long way to gut Obamacare — mercifully — despite Juan McLame’s petulant attempt to derail the Trump agenda.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Healthcare

Amid Impeachment Row, White House Works to Clarify Drug Prices

The White House took these actions as the Democrats continued to hold the nation hostage through impeachment.

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The Democrats have long claimed that they are able to “walk and chew gum at the same time” – an anecdote meant to assure the nation that this impeachment fiasco won’t detract from the normal business of the United States, which our public servants were elected to perform.

Unfortunately, this has been far from the truth, and the work that we sent these representatives to Washington to do is not getting done…or, at least not by them.

New rules from the Trump administration on Friday would require insurers and hospitals to disclose upfront the actual prices for common tests and procedures to promote competition and push down costs.

But the sweeping changes face stiff pushback from the health care industry and a coalition of major hospital groups quickly announced that hospitals will sue to block the changes.

Even in an ideal world where information flows freely, patients and their families would have to deal with a learning curve to become comfortable with the intricacies of health care billing.

“This shadowy system has to change,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “The patient has to be in control.”

A final rule would apply to hospitals and a proposed regulation would apply to insurance plans. Disclosure requirements for hospitals would not take effect until 2021; for insurers, the timing is unclear. The requirements do not directly affect doctors.

And why is this so important?

Officials say the rules would shine a spotlight on the confusing maze of health care prices, allowing informed patients to find quality services at the lowest cost. Prices for an MRI scan for example can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on where it’s done.

Healthcare has consistently ranked as one of the top concerns for Americans, particularly when it comes to the candidates for whom they vote.  Given what we know about the left’s reluctance to focus on this all-important issue in favor of impeachment, we expect that 2020’s election could be a reckoning for the Democrats.

 

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Healthcare

Poll: Only 10% of Americans Want Private Health Insurance Abolished–Are Democrats Listening?

a new poll finds bad news for Democrats on their plan of ending private healthcare insurance as only ten percent agree with the plan.

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Just about the entire field of Democrat candidates for President want “Medicare for all” and an end to private healthcare insurance. But a new poll finds bad news for Democrats on this topic as only ten percent agree with the plan.

The new The Hill-HarrisX poll released on Friday is not good news for left-wing Democrats who think that Americans want “free” healthcare.

With the Democrat candidates all pushing one version or another of government-run healthcare, the poll does not seem to show much support for the idea at all.

According to Daily Caller:

The poll, which was conducted between September 20-21, asked 1,000 registered voters which statement about health care “comes closest” to their view.

Coming out on top with 27% was the following statement: “Medicare/Medicaid should be expanded to cover all citizens regardless of age or income, but people should be able to purchase private supplemental plans.”

Next up, 25 percent agreed that “Any citizen should be able to sign up for Medicare/Medicaid regardless of age or income while those with private plans could keep their existing insurance.”

The third highest was 19 percent who felt that the whole system should just be left alone.

Then came 18 percent who said the government shouldn’t be paying for any healthcare at all.

Then, bringing up the rear, only a tiny ten percent agreed with this statement: “Medicare/Medicaid should be expanded to cover all citizens regardless of age or income and private health plans should be abolished.”

The final result shows that fully 89 percent oppose the Democrat’s healthcare in varying degrees.

This poll is not good news for the liberals.

Are Democrats listening?

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Culture

REPORT: Fake News Could Be Infecting Your Brain

Here is just one hilariously terrifying example

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One of the 21st century’s most necessary and profound battles will be fought over the very concept of the truth itself.

We live in a world of “fake news”, wherein you and your neighbor could read the exact same data and come to wildly different conclusions, likely skewed by your political allegiances having been weaponized by the mainstream media.  Climate change is just one great example where two scientists, graduating from the same school, in the same year, taking the same classes with the same professors, and performing academically identical to one another could have wildly different beliefs on what exactly is happening with our environment.

Then, there are the “deep fakes”; video clips masterfully created by digital artists in order to place a person in a place they’ve never been, saying things that they’ve never said, with alarmingly convincing realism.

Here is just one hilariously terrifying example:

And while that one is simply silly, take a look at this interview with Bill Hader where, ever so subtly, the impressionist comedian transforms into both Tom Cruise and Seth Rogen while speaking:

Remember, this technological wizardry is advancing in addition to the glut of “fake news” being propagated in basements and newsrooms alike, all around this great nation.

A new report states that the danger of this technology isn’t just being tricked by our peers, or creeped out by these deep fakes.  These sort of falsehoods are leaving very real impressions within our own minds.

According to a joint study conducted by both American and Irish researchers, fake news almost certainly influences voters, and can even cause many to form false memories based on fabricated news reports they’ve seen.

After analyzing voters in the week leading up to the 2018 Irish referendum on abortion, researchers say that individuals are more likely to form false memories based off of a fake news report if it aligns with their political beliefs. Furthermore, the more a topic elicits an emotional response, the more likely a person is to form false memories that support their preconceived notions. With this in mind, the study’s authors say they expect fake and fabricated news to have a similar effect on U.S. voters in 2020.

“In highly emotional, partisan political contests, such as the 2020 US Presidential election, voters may ‘remember’ entirely fabricated news stories,” explains lead author Gillian Murphy of University College Cork in a media release. “In particular, they are likely to ‘remember’ scandals that reflect poorly on the opposing candidate.”

Just how did researchers come to this conclusion?

A total of 3,140 potential Irish voters were surveyed. Each person was asked about their voting plans heading into the abortion referendum. Then, each participant was given six news reports. Two of those news stories were completely fabricated, and consisted of political figures on both sides of the abortion debate engaging in illegal or immoral behavior. After reading each of the six news stories, participants were asked if they had heard about the depicted events before, and if so, they were requested to recall specific memories.

Next, participants were told that some of the news stories they had just read were false, and were asked to identify which reports they believed to be fake. Each study subject also completed a cognitive test.

Almost half of the participants reported a memory pertaining to at least one completely fabricated news story, and many even recalled intricate details about a fake story. Interestingly, those in favor of legalized abortion were more likely to remember a false claim about anti-abortion figures, and those against legalized abortion were more likely to recall a false memory about pro-abortion political figures.

Of course, these concerns don’t end within one’s own mind, especially in a nation such as the United States, where the mainstream media is constantly goading We The People toward conflict.

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Healthcare

Trump Rolls Back Obamacare’s Birth Control Rule… Shielding Nuns From Contraceptive Mandate

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President Trump neuters ObamaCare birth control coverage mandate and tightens regulations on plans covering abortion.

The Trump administration finalized major rule changes aimed at rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate and tightening restrictions to ensure that taxpayer subsidies aren’t used to fund abortions.

Obama prosecuted nuns to force his will on them, but Trump protects them. See the difference?

Washington Examiner:

The Trump administration will exempt employers from providing insurance coverage for birth control if it conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs, scaling back a rule created under the Obama administration.

The rule, released Wednesday, will take effect in 60 days and will affect between 6,400 and 127,000 women, according to the Trump administration. The religious exemption applies to any type of employer, but the moral exemption doesn’t apply to publicly traded businesses or government entities.

The rules received praise from Susan B. Anthony’s List, an anti-abortion group that holds a moral objection to certain types of birth control. The group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, in a statement slammed the original rules created under the Obama administration as “repeated violations of conscience” that were “deeply contrary to the core of our nation.”

But the American Civil Liberties Union lashed out at the rule in a statement, saying it would allow “virtually any employer to claim a religious exemption that enables it to deny any employee insurance coverage for contraception.”

“This rule will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of Americans, particularly women, to get the health care coverage they need,” Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, said in a statement. “This rule will be used as a license to discriminate and represents a chilling return to the days when the government treated women’s sexuality, and thus contraception, as immoral, perpetuating harmful stereotypes that have long been used to discriminate against women.”

The birth control mandate was created as an outgrowth of Obamacare. The law was written to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to decide what type of preventive care health insurance plans should cover without a co-pay, and the Obama administration determined that all forms of birth control should fall within that list. Making such decisions through the rulemaking process, however, means that different administrations can change or reverse them.

The Obama administration had issued rules saying that employers must cover all forms of contraception, from birth control pills to emergency contraception. The obligation had exemptions for houses of worship, but not for companies that had closely held religious beliefs. More than 55 million women relied on the provision, the Obama administration had said. More

The administration proposed tighter rules on ObamaCare plans that cover abortion. Those changes are intended to ensure that taxpayer-provided subsidies for health insurance are not used to pay for any abortions.

Now it’s time to completely defund Planned Parenthood.

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Healthcare

Here’s How Trump’s Actions Have Helped People With Pre-Existing Conditions & Major Health Issues

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Until Obamacare is banished and gone forever I don’t want to see anymore campaigning on healthcare. I want it gone. Period.

It was rammed down our throats in the dead of night and could be removed just as easily. Please share this information with anyone arguing GOP are bad on pre-existing conditions.

If Republicans hold the House and Senate I believe Obamacare will be completely gone…

NY Post:

Democrats have tried to make Tuesday’s elections about health care. As with most issues, they equate government spending with success — liberals claim they care more than conservatives because they spend more of other people’s hard-earned money.

Full disclosure: My husband, Russ Vought, is deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. But speaking strictly as the mother of a child with a life-threatening genetic disease, I know that other policy changes can make a critical impact on the lives of sick patients without government spending.

And so does the Trump administration, which has taken several vital steps to reorient the federal bureaucracy toward the chronically ill and individuals with pre-existing conditions.

First, the administration has made expanded access to prescription drugs a top priority. In the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, the Food and Drug Administration OK’d 971 generic drugs — a record, breaking the old mark of 937 approvals set just last year. Compare that to the 651 green-lighted in 2016 and the 492 the year before under President Barack Obama.

The more rapid approval of generic drugs has had an impact on patients’ wallets — and lives. A recent Council of Economic Advisers report found that the slowdown in prescription drug price growth over the past two years saved consumers $26 billion through July.

When it comes to brand-name drugs, Team Trump has worked hard to bring new and potentially innovative treatments to the sickest of patients. Toward that end, President Trump signed the “right-to-try” law in May, allowing terminally ill patients the right to access experimental treatments that may save their life, without government bureaucrats interfering.  More

The more the government spends on a program, the more that program costs US taxpayers, the more the Democrats hail it as a success. And if it’s still failing, their only solution is to spend more of our money on it. You know a one trick pony donkey…

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Healthcare

Socialist Swedes Complain That it Takes Months or Years to Get Their World-Class Healthcare

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Everyone says Sweden has the best healthcare in the world, but Swedes say it sometimes takes moths or even years for the government to get around to letting them have it. It is just another strike against socialized healthcare.

With Democrats constantly pointing to Europe — especially places like Sweden – to tell us that socialist healthcare works perfectly well, we get a different story from the people actually living under the very system of which the Democrats are enamored.

The story comes from the AFP news wire service:

Sweden has the fifth-highest life expectancy in Europe and cancer survival rates are among the continent’s highest, according to 2017 OECD figures.

But Swedes are frustrated over their universal healthcare, one of the main pillars of their cherished welfare state, with long waiting queues due to a shortage of nurses and available doctors in some areas.

“Swedes have little confidence that politicians will solve this,” said Lisa Pelling, chief analyst at progressive think tank Arena Ide.

“There is a risk their faith in the welfare state will be eroded,” she told AFP.

Swedes, who on average pay more than half of their income in tax, see access to healthcare as the most important issue in the September 9 general election, polls suggest.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats, the largest party, are on course for a record low score, after losing voters disgruntled over rising immigration putting a strain on the welfare system to the far-right Sweden Democrats.

Sweden’s healthcare system is their main benefit for the exorbitant taxes they pay. But they sometimes spend months or years waiting for it.

“One dental patient in central Dalarna county told AFP six months passed before his check-up, while emergency room queues at Stockholm’s largest hospitals average four hours.,” AFP said.

Six months! Can you put up with a toothache for six months while waiting for your government to allow you to go see a dentist?

This is what happens when government takes over health care, folks.

Is that what you want, America?

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Healthcare

Calif. Democrat Gavin Newsom Promising to Bring Government-Paid Healthcare to Illegal Aliens

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Democrat Gavin Newsom is running for governor of California and will more than likely win. So, with a full head of steam, Newsom is now promising to bring single-payer, 100 percent government-run healthcare to California and he also intends to allow illegal aliens to access this “free” healthcare.

Newsom recently commented on his plan:

“I’d like to see if we can control our own destiny,” Newsom said. He continued, “I’m not naive about it. I did universal health care when I was Mayor [of San Francisco], fully implemented regardless of pre-existing conditions, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status.”

“San Francisco is the only universal health care system for all undocumented residents in America, very proud of that. We proved it could be done without bankrupting the city. I’d like to see that we can extend that to the rest of the state.”

A recent estimate of what it would cost to eliminate all private healthcare insurance and implement a state takeover all healthcare providers calculated that it would cost $400 billion EVERY YEAR. And, if you’ve ever paid attention to the history of estimates like this, you’ll know that this calculated cost is probably too low maybe even by half.

This cost of $400 billion a year is more than double California’s entire state budget (and I mean its whole budget, not just its healthcare costs). So… where is all this money coming from?

But as Hot Air’s John Sexton reported, Newsom also noted that California has a homeless problem. But Sexton has a perfect point to highlight Newsome’s disconnect between free healthcare and homelessness:

But what does Newsom think is going to happen when he announces single payer health care regardless of immigration status? That’s going to be a huge magnet for illegal immigration from across the border but also from illegal immigrants currently spread out around the country. How is California going to pay for all of that?

Good question, John!

Still, also as Sexton notes, maybe there is a small voice of sanity on the Gold4en State as the business community therea is warning that the state will be utterly bankrupted by Newsom’s free healthcare ideas.

The Sacrament Bee wrote:

A group of influential, deep-pocketed business and health care organizations that have long helped shape the legislative agenda in California have joined forces to oppose any future effort to craft a universal, single-payer health care system for the nation’s largest state.

The main focus of the coalition, called “Californians against the costly disruption of our health care,” is to kill any single-payer health care bill in the state Legislature, said Ned Wigglesworth, a political strategist for the coalition.

“As long as proponents plan to bring this back time and again, we think it’s important to have a strong, unified presence to oppose it,” Wigglesworth said, referring to Senate Bill 562, the 2017 single-payer bill pushed by the California Nurses Association that was shelved last year by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

Take a look at Newsom’s comments:

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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