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Posts tagged ‘Eric Cantor’

Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote.


Image: Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote

 

By Todd Beamon

Rep. Doc Hastings on Thursday became the latest House Republican to announce his retirement — two days after he was part of a critical coalition of House leaders, made up of retiring GOP members and representatives primarily from Northeastern states, that backed a controversial bill to raise America’s debt ceiling without restrictions.

“Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday, and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House,” Hastings said in a statement.

First elected in 1995, Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and recently called for overhauling the Endangered Species Act, charging that the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.

The announcement came a day after GOP Rep. Gary Miller, 66, of California said that he was retiring after more than 15 years in the House because of family issues.

Hastings is now the 24th member of Congress to say that this year would be his last. He joins 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats to disclose their impending departures from Capitol Hill.

In the House, he is the 11th Republican and 18th member overall to announce his retirement.

But on Tuesday, Hastings and Miller joined with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and 23 other House Republicans to support a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing authority — agreeing to President Barack Obama’s demands for a debt-limit increase without any conditions.

Boehner backed the legislation, which won on a 221-201 vote. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

Besides splitting the House leadership — the No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking House GOP woman, was among the leaders to vote “no” — the vote rankled conservatives, tea party supporters and rank-and-file Republicans.

The Senate Conservatives Fund even charged that Boehner should be replaced as speaker.

These groups were further outraged the next day when the Senate voted — after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and Minority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, led an assault on a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz — to pass a similar debt bill on a straight 55-43 party-line vote.

In the House, the 28 Republicans voting for the measure included six who are retiring at the end of the year. Besides Hastings and Miller, they are Howard Coble, N.C.; Buck McKeon, Calif.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; and Frank Wolf, Va.

“You’ve got retirees, the leadership and Republicans in safe districts with a Northeastern bias,” political analyst and pollster Doug Schoen explained to Newsmax on Thursday.

“Basically, the votes they gave were enough to get it passed — and they didn’t want to put anyone at risk,” he added. “It was retirees, leadership, and Northeastern moderate Republicans who could take the vote without a problem.”

Others in the top House leadership who supported the debt ceiling bill included Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Mich.; Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Calif.; Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Ky.; and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, Calif.

Those Northeastern Republicans on board included four from New York — Reps. Chris Collins, Michael Grimm, Richard Hanna, Peter King — as well as three each from neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Seven California House members backed the measure.

“Put it another way: For the Republican base, this is toxic — and the way the process was organized was to insulate the party and its grass-roots as much as possible to avoid any political problems,” Schoen told Newsmax.

The primary problem was avoiding another federal government shutdown, similar to the partial one that lasted 16 days in October and cost taxpayers $1.4 billion — especially when the GOP could possibly retake the Senate in this fall’s congressional elections.

“It goes back to their basis thesis: We get through this. We don’t fight on an issue we can’t win because, ultimately, this election is moving in our direction — and we don’t need to have a problem like the problem we had with the government shutdown.”

Political strategist Dick Morris described the House skirmishing on Thursday as “phony” and “fraudulent.”

“Boehner went to his caucus and said: ‘Hey guys, let’s approve the debt limit in return for pretty-good spending cuts or other restorations,'” Morris told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV. “The House Republicans said, or enough of them said: ‘We’re not going to vote for a debt-limit increase under any circumstance. You could balance the whole budget and we’re not going to go for it.’

“He didn’t have his 218 votes to pass it — and he couldn’t get any Democratic votes if there were cuts,” Morris said of Boehner.

The Ohio Republican then put together the GOP coalition to support the clean bill.

“All of these Republican congressmen can now go to their primary opponents from the tea party and say, ‘Hey, I voted against raising the debt limit’ — knowing darn well that they were willing to vote for it if they needed it,” Morris said.

Schoen saw it another way.

“The Republican Party did not want to vote to increase the debt ceiling,” he said. “Because they are in the majority, they had to provide some votes — in this case, 28 — to go along with near-unanimous Democratic support to get it done.

“The leadership understood that it was in their interest, long-term, to increase the debt ceiling without any riders or any possibility of paralyzing the government,” Schoen added. “The vast majority of Republicans, for a variety of reasons, disagree.

“For John Boehner, this became a practical step to avoid more political harakiri.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Ryan, Republicans Blame Obama for Stalling Immigration.


Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system fails to become law.

The GOP’s emerging plan on immigration is to criticize Obama as an untrustworthy leader and his administration as an unreliable enforcer of any laws that might be passed. Perhaps realizing the odds of finding a consensus on immigration are long, the Republicans have started telling voters that if the GOP-led House doesn’t take action this election year, it is Obama’s fault.

“If the president had been serious about this the last five years, we’d be further along in this discussion,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said Sunday.

House Republicans last week unveiled a road map for an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system that calls for increased border security, better law enforcement within the U.S. and a pathway to legal status — but not citizenship — for millions of adults who live in America unlawfully. The proposal requires those here illegally to pay back taxes and fines.

But one of its backers, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, said distrust of Obama poisons interest among some in his Republican caucus.

“Here’s the issue that all Republicans agree on: We don’t trust the president to enforce the law,” said Ryan, his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.

Ryan said a plan that puts security first could only pass the House if lawmakers believe the administration would enforce it — an unlikely prospect given Republicans’ deep opposition to Obama. The president’s waivers for provisions in his 4-year-old health care law have increased suspicions among Republicans.

“This isn’t a trust-but-verify, this is a verify-then-trust approach,” Ryan said.

Asked whether immigration legislation would make its way to Obama for him to sign into law, Ryan said he was skeptical: “I really don’t know the answer to that question. That is clearly in doubt.”

The Senate last year passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addressed border security, provided enforcement measures and offered a long and difficult path to citizenship for those living here illegally. The measure stalled in the GOP-led House, where leaders want to take a more piecemeal approach.

In the meantime, Republicans have started uniting behind a message that Obama won’t hold up his end of the bargain.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said “there’s a lot of distrust of this administration in implanting the law.” And Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., last week warned that distrust of Obama would trump the desire to find a solution for the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally.

“We just don’t think government will enforce the law anyway,” Rubio said, recounting conversations he’s had with fellow Republicans.

Immigration legislation is a dicey political question for the GOP. The party’s conservative base opposes any measure that would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally, but many in the party worry that failing to act could strengthen support among many voters for Democratic candidates.

In 2012, Obama won re-election with the backing of 71 percent of Hispanic voters and 73 percent of Asian voters. The issue is important to both voting blocs.

The White House, meanwhile, is trying to give Republicans a chance to hammer out their intra-party differences in the hopes they find a way to give legal standing to those here illegally.

“We ought to see a pathway to citizenship for people,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday. “We don’t want to have a permanent separation of classes or two permanent different classes of Americans in this country.”

McDonough said the White House remains optimistic that legislation that includes citizenship could reach the president’s desk: “We feel pretty good that we’ll get a bill done this year.”

Jindal spoke to CNN’s “State of the Union.” Ryan appeared on ABC’s “This Week.” Cantor was interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” McDonough appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Eric Cantor: Obamacare Living ‘on Borrowed Time’.


House Republicans plan a renewed push on healthcare reform, with a vote on an alternative plan before the end of the year, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Sunday.

Further, party members held a “very robust discussion” about immigration during their annual retreat, held last week, Cantor told “Face the Nation” jost Major Garrett in an interview aired Sunday. Party members don’t trust the Obama administration to properly implement immigration reform.

“We just heard the President in his State of the Union address say, you know what, if he can work with Congress, he’s going to do it his own way,” said Cantor. “And that sort of breeds this kind of distrust and I think we’re going to have to do something about that in order to see a way forward on immigration.”

Editor’s Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself. 

Story continues below.

Cantor said a successful immigration policy will have to ensure that the nation’s borders are controlled.

“This goes back to the distrust,” said Cantor. “There’s not been a determined sense that we are going to secure the borders and make sure that the laws on the books are being implemented now. I would say that is a precursor and has to happen first.”

Immigrants want to come to the United States because the nation’s laws create opportunity, and “we want to make sure, before anything else, that there is border security and implementation of the laws.”

Cantor said he believes both sides of the immigration issue should deal with one principle they can agree on — the children.

“Most people say this country has never held kids liable for the misdeeds of their parents,” said Cantor. “I think that in many instances, kids have been brought here and some, unbeknownst to themselves, and brought here illegally, and yet they know no other place is home. Certainly we ought to take care of that problem.”

Cantor said Republicans also want to help the nation’s problems with job growth.

“We know that 75 percent of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck,” said Cantor. “We’ve come up with some real solutions to help America work for those people too.”

Cantor said that Americans need to be able to trust that President Barack Obama will implement laws that are passed.

“Look what he’s done with Obamacare, said Cantor. “He has selectively enforced that law and some have raised constitutional questions whether he can even do some things like that.”

As a result, Cantor said, “Obamacare is on borrowed time. Policies are being canceled, prices are going up, access to hospitals are being limited … we want a healthcare system that works for all Americans.”

Part of the Republicans’ plan for health care reform deals with people with pre-existing conditions.

“We don’t want them to go without coverage,” said Cantor. “We just deal with it in a way, and provide high risk pools, so that we can limit the increase in costs for everybody else and do it in a much more effective manner.”

Further, Cantor said Republicans believe people should have their choice of insurers, and should be able to buy coverage across state lines.

“We ought to have patient-centered care, not care dictated by Washington, which is why we want to promote health savings accounts,” said Cantor. “These are the kind of things that are in our proposal.”

Editor’s Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself. 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Cantor: GOP to Push Bill to Protect Health Records from Obamacare.


Image: Cantor: GOP to Push Bill to Protect Health Records from Obamacare

 

By Newsmax Wires

Congress returns to work Monday with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda.

Republicans intend to focus on every facet of President Barack Obama’s health care law. They see a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout as the GOP looks to maintain its House majority and seize control of the Democratic-led Senate.

First up in the House, according to Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is legislation addressing the security of personal data, part of his party’s effort “to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare.”

“If a breach occurs, it shouldn’t be up to some bureaucrat to decide when or even whether to inform an individual that their personal information has been accessed,” Cantor wrote in a memo to House Republicans, promising other steps to curb the healthcare law.

“And in the coming weeks, we will continue to address other areas where greater transparency is demanded, including the disclosure of reliable and complete enrollment data,” he wrote. “These steps will be part of the overall effort to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare by ultimately repealing and replacing the law with patient-focused reforms that expand access, ensure quality care and help control costs.”

Republicans also promise closer scrutiny of the administration’s tally of enrollment numbers in the program.

Democrats will press to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour and extend unemployment benefits, trying to cast the party as more concerned with the less fortunate and intent on dealing with income inequality. The issues resonate with liberals, the core Democratic voters crucial in low-turnout midterm elections.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said an extension of federal benefits for an estimated 1.3 million Americans who saw their payments stopped on Dec. 28 is more than an economic issue.

“It’s about real people, people with families struggling to put food on the table, to make ends meet, including … 200,000 military veterans who are among these folks who are losing their benefits,” he told reporters Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled a vote Monday night on legislation by Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., to extend jobless benefits for three months.

“For decades, Republicans and Democrats put partisanship and ideology aside to offer some security for job-seekers, even when the unemployment rate was lower than it is today,” President Barack Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. “Instead of punishing families who can least afford it, Republicans should make it their New Year’s resolution to do the right thing, and restore this vital economic security for their constituents right now.”

Rancor ruled in the first session of the 113th Congress with few bills passed and sent to the president. The combination of divided government and the upcoming elections stand as an obstacle to major legislation in the second session, counting down to November when all 435 House seats and 35 Senate seats will be on the ballot.

Still, Congress must deal with some significant unfinished business before delving deep into political votes and extended breaks for campaigning.

The Senate was to vote Monday on Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to become the head of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to fill the powerful post, replacing Ben Bernanke.

Lawmakers face a Jan. 15 deadline to agree on a spending bill to keep the government running and avoid a partial shutdown that roiled Congress last fall. Passage of legislation in December scaling back the automatic, across-the board cuts gave the House and Senate Appropriations Committees time to draft a massive, trillion-dollar-plus measure to run the government through September.

A short-term measure is likely this month just to let the government continue operating.

The GOP-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate spent a chunk of last year wrangling over renewing the nation’s farm bill after passing separate, competing versions of the five-year, roughly $500 billion measure. In dispute are crop subsidies and how deeply to cut the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program, with the House slashing $4 billion and the Senate $400 million annually.

Lawmakers are pressing for a compromise that can win approval from the House and Senate.

Several contentious issues loom in the near term.

Twenty-six senators have signed on to a new Iran sanctions bill that Obama opposes while his administration negotiates with the Iranian government over its nuclear program. Proponents of the legislation are seeking to gain the support of further senators when Congress reconvenes, with the hope of securing a full Senate vote this month.

Although the issue may not be an immediate legislative priority for returning lawmakers, it could become a major point of discussion as advocates and opponents of fresh penalties make their cases.

Reid spared the administration a vote in December, but this month he may not be able to hold off proponents of tough sanctions.

The majority leader did promise Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a vote on her legislation to give victims of rape and sexual assault in the military an independent route outside the chain of command for prosecuting attackers. Her solution would take the decision from commanders and give it to seasoned military lawyers.

The top echelon of the military, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and other Senate Democrats and Republicans oppose her plan. Reid backs, it as do several top conservatives such as Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., but Gillibrand is still short of the 60-vote, filibuster-proof threshold.

Unclear is whether the House will tackle major legislation to overhaul immigration laws. Advocates remain hopeful, buoyed by Speaker John Boehner’s hire of a Senate aide who worked on bipartisan immigration legislation for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Boehner’s willingness to stand up to outside conservative groups and tea partyers over the budget.

Boehner and Obama have spoken about a piecemeal approach after the comprehensive Senate measure stalled in the House. But some House Republicans still resist any legislation, fearing it would lead to negotiations with the Senate and a final bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

GOP: All Americans Deserve Obamacare ‘Hardship’ Exemption.


Image: GOP: All Americans Deserve Obamacare 'Hardship' Exemption

By Todd Beamon

House Republicans stepped up their attacks on Obamacare on Friday — after President Barack Obama admitted that “we screwed it up” — charging that the healthcare law should be delayed for all Americans, not just those who lost their insurance.

“With this latest delay, the Obama administration is once again admitting that the president’s healthcare law is unworkable and unaffordable,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “Millions have lost the plans they liked, only to find themselves priced out of new policies with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

“The administration’s action does nothing to address the problems at the center of the president’s healthcare law, or to help the families suffering its consequences,” the Ohio Republican continued. “All Americans deserve a hardship exemption from this train wreck of a law, and a focus on patient-centered reforms that will help lower costs and protect jobs.”

Late Thursday, the White House announced that Americans whose insurance has been canceled could buy “catastrophic plans” or avoid buying insurance altogether. The surprise announcement came just four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for Americans to choose coverage that will begin on Jan. 1.

The decision has roiled the insurance industry and sent the stocks of such major insurers as Cigna Corp., Aetna Inc., and Humana lower on Wall Street.

At his last news conference of the year, Obama admitted on Friday that “we screwed it up” regarding the botched rollout of the healthcare plan’s individual mandate on Oct. 1.

He continued to blame many of the problems with the rollout on technical issues regarding the HealthCare.gov website, which covers 36 states that lack their own exchanges.

“There are a whole bunch of things that we’ve been taking a look at,” Obama said at the White House session.

That was not enough for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and other GOP legislators, though, who have long attacked Obamacare as unworkable, expensive, and unfixable.

“Our entire healthcare system can’t be fundamentally changed at any given time subject to the random impulses of President Obama,” Cantor said in a statement. “How can anyone make healthcare decisions today knowing that the law may be unilaterally changed again tomorrow?

“Many Americans had good healthcare that they liked and could afford, but lost it due to Obamacare,” he added. “Absent affordable alternatives, these families are now being told to simply go without care for a year or buy a bare-bones plan that doesn’t offer them the care they need. Is that the promise of Obamacare?

“Republicans have consistently asked for a one-year delay of the mandates for all Americans, and put forward a proposal to allow American families to keep their health plans,” he said. “The White House actions clearly prove Obamacare can’t work as designed. It’s time for Obamacare to be delayed for all.”

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon who is vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, said that “at this point, no one is particularly surprised at the Obama administration’s inability to govern in a coherent and orderly manner.

“But President Obama and his team are showing a remarkable level of disregard for how their decisions will affect millions of Americans and how Obamacare is harming real people in real ways.

“American families are doing all they can right now to plan and adjust to the fallout of Obamacare, whether it’s losing their current healthcare coverage or facing higher costs,” Price added. “Does the administration honestly believe it can simply paint over the damage it is doing with these sort of last-minute maneuvers? This law is fundamentally flawed.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee referenced her questioning of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week during a hearing of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“We asked Secretary Sebelius point-blank what would be the next holiday surprise, and she was silent,” Blackburn, the committee’s vice chairman, said in a statement. “Yet, here we are with another major policy shift.

“The sad reality is that when the law takes effect come Jan. 1, more Americans will be without coverage under Obamacare than one year ago. What’s worse, the administration knew millions of plans would be cancelled, but the president kept repeating his solemn promises knowing they would not be kept.”

In another setback for HealthCare.gov, a top federal official told the House Oversight Committee this week that “high” and “moderate” security risks had been discovered on the site in recent weeks.

The disclosures by Teresa Fryer, chief information security officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, bolstered claims by Republicans, technology experts, and users that HealthCare.gov was vulnerable to security breaches.

“There were two high findings,” Fryer said in transcripts released on Friday by Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the oversight committee’s chairman. “One high finding was identified in an incident that was reported in November.”

Of the disclosures, Blackburn’s Volunteer State colleague, Diane Black, said: “It is deeply concerning that, almost three months after HealthCare.gov was launched, we are still learning of new and serious security risks with the Obamacare website.

“The fact is, this program was never ready to be launched, and it is reprehensible that this administration would proceed with implementation when the security of millions of Americans’ personal information is at risk from cyber threats and identity theft.

“Obamacare should be stopped in its entirety, but in the meantime, the very least this administration can do is properly notify someone if the personal information they have entered into the website is under threat — something that the federal government is currently under no obligation to do.”

Black noted that the legislation she introduced this week would require the government to notify Americans of such data breaches.

“Until Obamacare can be fully repealed, we must do what we can to protect Americans from this disastrous and dangerous law,” Black said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Latest Obamacare Debacle Stuns Insurers, Market Shares.


Image: Latest Obamacare Debacle Stuns Insurers, Market Shares

By Sandy Fitzgerald and Cathy Burke

The Obama administration‘s decision to allow people whose insurance has been canceled to buy “catastrophic plans” or avoid buying insurance altogether is causing howls of protest from the health insurance industry and a dip in market shares on Wall Street.

Thursday’s surprise announcement came just four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for Americans to choose coverage that will begin on Jan. 1, reports The Washington Post.

ObamaCareYou Can Win With The Facts

“This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” Robert Zirkelbach, spokeman for American’s Health Insurance Plans, told the Post.

Within hours of the announcement, several insurers’ shares, which had been up in early trading started to drop on Friday, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Aetna Inc.  Cigna Corp.,  and Humana,  all of which have significant roles in the Obamacare marketplaces, all marked slight downgrades of less than 1 percent.

Meanwhile, two other major Obamacare insurers, WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group Inc. went up by about 1 percentage point.

Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans warned Thursday that “this type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers.”

Lawmakers are also speaking out about the change.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., once again demanded a delay for Obamacare for everyone, saying the latest exemption shows the healthcare law is not working, and changes in the system should not be based on Obama’s “random impulses,” reportsBloomberg.

And Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that the “sad reality” is that fewer people will have coverage under Obamacare than were covered a year ago.

“Rather than more White House delays, waivers and exemptions, the administration should provide all Americans relief from its failed law,” Upton said in an email to Bloomberg.
However, the Obama administration insists that allowing people to buy catastrophic coverage or opt out altogether is the right, fair thing to do.

“This is a common sense clarification of the law,” said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. “For the limited number of consumers whose plans have been canceled and are seeking coverage, this is one more option.”

The policy change went out in a letter to Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen, of New Hampshire, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who had asked the administration Wednesday if people whose plans were cancelled could qualify to be exempted from having to buy insurance, reports The Hill.

Two of the senators, Landrieu and Shaheen, are expected to face tough races in their 2014 re-election bids. Landrieu has been distancing herself from Obamacare for some time, andcriticizes Obama in her first campaign commercial over his handling of the new healthcare law rollout as she begins her re-election fight in Louisiana for a fourth term.

And in October, Shaheen called on the White House to extend Obamacare’s open enrollment period amid efforts to fix glitches plaguing the government’s health insurance exchange website HealthCare.gov.

All five Democrats issued a statement Thursday to say they’re pleased with the changes.
“This clarifies an option that will help those consumers who have had their plans cancelled this year transition more smoothly into the marketplace,” the senators said.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the new rule means that consumers whose insurance has been cancelling for not meeting federal standards enforced under Obamacare can buy cheaper “catastrophic” coverage if their new out-of-pocket costs are too high.

Previously, the coverage was only available for buyers under the age of 30. Now, everybody can apply for the same hardship exemption younger policy buyers enjoy.

The Obama administration says the change is expected to affect fewer than a half-million people, Bloomberg reports. Insurers fear the exemptions will keep younger, healthier people from buying insurance plans, which could cause problems down the line when it comes to keeping plan prices from climbing.

But California alone has already reported that more than 1 million insured people received letters telling them they are losing their policies.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The GOP’s Paul Ryan Problem.


From the Conservative HQ website.

Back in 2011, when Paul Ryan’s name was floated as a possible Republican presidential candidate we said, “Not so fast, Paul” and pointed out that his much ballyhooed “Path to Prosperity” budget plan allowed spending to rise to $4 trillion over the next five years.
Even worse in the minds of fiscal conservatives and limited government constitutional conservatives, Ryan’s proposal reduced deficits, but it did not eliminate them until 2040, 27 years from now, according to the CBO analysis.
The Path to Prosperity document included projections for the public debt between 2011 and 2021, and it showed debt going up every single year. Ryan’s budget showed the debt increasing to $16.2 trillion in 2012 (we’ve already blown past that) and rising every year after that up to $23.1 trillion in 2021 — and the latest projections show it rising even faster than those made back in 2011.
Despite Ryan’s command of the budget numbers he seems incapable of grasping — or more likely simply ignored — the basic law of Washington spending and politics: for every dollar of revenue raised, spending inevitably goes up more than a dollar.
Back in the late 1980s, Richard Vedder, and Lowell Gallaway of Ohio University, co-authored a study for Congress’ Joint Economic Committee that found that every dollar of new taxes imposed led to more than one dollar of new spending. Over the ensuing years that study has been updated and the results are always the same.
In November 2010, Vedder and The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore released an updated and more sophisticated version of the study showing that “over the entire post-World War II era through 2009 each dollar of new tax revenue was associated with $1.17 of new spending. Politicians spend the money as fast as it comes in — and a little bit more.”
What Moore and Vedder found was that no matter how you controlled for the economic variables, spending always went up faster than revenue. The alternative models produce different estimates of the tax-spend relationship — between $1.05 and $1.81. But no matter how they configured the data and no matter what variables they examined, higher tax collections never resulted in less spending.
As Vedder and Moore noted, “The only era in modern times that the budget has been in balance was in the late 1990s, when Republicans were in control of Congress. Taxes were not raised, and the capital gains tax rate was cut in 1997. The growth rate of federal spending was dramatically reduced from 1995-99, and the economy roared.”
The sequester worked because it was aimed strictly at the spending side of the federal budget, which is why Democrats hated it.
The problem we have today is that, led by Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and the rest of the current House Republican “leadership,” Republicans refuse to hold to the conservative principles that were proven to work back in the late 1990s.
If we were inclined to be charitable we would say that today’s House Republican “leaders” don’t seem to understand that liberals and the Democratic Party exist solely to divide up the spoils extorted from producers by the welfare state and that cutting federal spending undermines their very reason for being.
However, the unholy alliance of House Appropriations Committee members, military industrial complex do-boys, and principle-free professional politicians who came together behind the Ryan spending deal, shows us that deep down inside establishment Republicans are ready to enter into “grand bargains” to raise taxes and increase spending not because they don’t understand, but because they share those same impulses.
The slogan, “Bad, but not as bad as Obama,” isn’t going to elect another Republican president or garner many liberty-minded votes in a congressional election, but that’s where Paul Ryan is taking those House Republicans who drank the Kool-Aid and voted for the deal he “negotiated” with the Democrats.
Paul Ryan’s record of supporting TARP, supporting the Bush administration’s spending binge, supporting the 2011 debt ceiling deal, and now leading the effort to undo the one conservative element of that deal that was actually working, shows that, despite the evidence that he lives his personal life according to conservative principles, he cannot be trusted to lead Republicans to govern America according to limited-government constitutional conservative principles.
Richard A. Viguerie pioneered the use of direct mail in politics. He made it possible for candidates and causes to raise money from millions of small contributors rather than from a few “fat cats.” Read more reports from Richard Viguerie — Click Here Now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Richard Viguerie

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