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Posts tagged ‘ObamaCare’

Christians Flock to Obamacare Alternative.


A Christian healthcare sharing program that’s been around for more than 20 years has exploded since the launch of Obamacare, Fox News reported.

Exempt from the Obamacare mandate to buy health insurance, Medi-Share is a network of Christians who pool their financial resources to cover members’ medical expenses in what the organization deems a “proven biblical model of healthcare.”

Editor’s Note: Health Benefits of Prayer Revealed!

According to Fox, the nation’s three largest ministries have 242,000 members from all 50 states. Since the Oct. 1 Obamacare rollout, Medi-Share has enrolled 30,000 new members, more than the number of people who selected Obamacare plans in 24 states.

“Fellow believers who are living God-honoring lifestyles, based on biblical principles and service to others,” according to MyChristianCare.org, who meet the following requirements are permitted to apply to join the network:

• Attend church regularly and submit a “verifiable Christian testimony indicating a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and profess the Statement of Faith;

• Abstain from sex outside “traditional Christian marriage” ;

• Cannot use tobacco or illegal drugs and cannot abuse alcohol or legal drugs;

• Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a green card or visa and Social Security number living full time in the United States.

A “New Testament way of thinking,” Medi-Share is not health insurance, and there is no guarantee that it will cover a member’s healthcare costs. But CEO Tony Meggs told Fox that during its 21 years in existence, there have been only a handful of complaints about coverage.

Medi-Share does not cover abortion or morning-after pills, since those things violate members’ religious beliefs.

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a healthcare consumer advocacy group, told Fox News that Medi-Share does not offer the same protections as federally regulated coverage.

Editor’s Note: Health Benefits of Prayer Revealed!

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Rasmussen Poll: 33 Percent of Americans Hurt by Obamacare.


One in every three Americans has been hurt by Obamacare, according to a new poll.

The Rasmussen Reports survey says that 33 percent of likely U.S. voters have suffered a “negative personal impact” due to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. The figure has increased by 4 percentage points from 29 percent earlier this year.

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The same percentage, 33 percent, have seen changes in their coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a survey of 1,000 voters conducted Feb. 28 to March 1. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Rasmussen says that 56 percent of Americans regard the new law unfavorably, including 16 percent who view it “very unfavorably.”

Only 40 percent have a “somewhat favorable” opinion of Obamacare, while just 14 percent of Americans feel that they have been helped in some form by the law.

Forty-seven percent of Republican voters say they have been personally hurt by Obamacare, compared to 19 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independents.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

Restaurants Across US Now Charging Diners An Obamacare Tax Surcharge.


RELATED STORY: BOMBSHELL! IRS Warns Obamacare Tax Will Be Forcibly Taken From Your Tax Return

Some restaurants have made the decision to charge customers for Obamacare: Gator’s Dockside restaurants in Florida have added a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their diners’ tabs, while at least one popular restaurant in Los Angeles has added a 3% charge to bills. –

obamacare-tax-now-being-added-to-restaurant-checks

In Florida, The Gator Group told CNN Money that the company had to implement “the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015.” So even though their employees won’t get health insurance coverage until December, customers are feeling the pinch now.

The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign [in the restaurant] reads. “Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.

The Gator Group employs 500 people, half of whom work part-time. Right now, they only offer health benefits to management. Instead of cutting their full-time employees to part-time to avoid the mandate as so many restaurants have chosen, the Gator Group decided to simply charge customers the added costs.

“I’m just trying to keep the employees I have that I’ve worked hard to train,” Sandra Clark, the group’s director of operations told CNN Money:

In addition to the costs of providing health care, the company hired one additional staffer and a consulting firm to make sure it is complying with the law and to assist in the additional tracking of workers’ hours and wages required by Obamacare.

In Los Angeles at the upscale restaurant Republique, customers have not always reacted positively to the ACA surcharge appearing on their bills.

One customer wrote: “1 star for the 3% healthcare surcharge. An employer who really cares about their employees’ health pays for this themselves. But because you and I both know that I’m finically [sic] well off your [sic] going to mandate me to pay for what YOU think if a great idea? You might fool other customers into believing that you truly care about your employees health but your [sic] not fooling this customer.”

So, companies are passing the costs of Obamacare on to the consumer. Economists totally did not see this comingsource – CNS News

by NTEB News Desk

NYT/CBS News Poll: GOP Has Edge in 2014 Midterm Elections.


The Republican Party is the favorite among Americans in an early look at the 2014 midterm elections, with a higher percentage of people saying they would back the GOP over the Democrats.

According to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted Feb. 19-23, 42 percent of people say they plan to support the GOP in November, compared to 39 percent who say they will back the Democrats. Republicans, according to the survey, are benefiting from the support of independents.

“Even though the [Republican] party itself is deeply divided and most Americans agree more with Democratic policy positions…Republicans hold their edge despite the fissures in their party,” the Times reported.

The survey of 1,644 also found that 59 percent of respondents are disappointed with the Obama presidency, compared to 40 percent who are satisfied.

The president’s approval rating has also dipped 4 points since last month to its worst standing in the past two years, with the exception of a CBS News survey in November just after the botched roll-out of Obamacare.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job the president is doing compared to 41 percent who approve.

“Such ratings amount to an early political alarm for Democrats on the ballot this year. When a party controls the White House, its performance in midterm congressional elections typically tracks closely to the popularity of the sitting president in the fall,” the Times says.

A massive majority of Americans are also deeply dissatisfied with Congress with 79 percent saying they are unhappy about the way things are going in the nation’s capital, including three in 10 who say they are angry, CBS News reports.

A majority of Americans surveyed also said they want both parties to do more to address the concerns of the middle class, reduce the budget deficit with both tax increases and spending cuts, and let illegal immigrants stay in the country and apply for citizenship, according to the Times.

The poll also indicated that that the Affordable Care Act appears to have solidified some opposition to Democrats, while historical trends such as an older, whiter midterm electorate are also favorable to Republicans, the Times reports.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

Reid Slammed for ‘Horror Stories’ Claims.


Image: Reid Slammed for 'Horror Stories' Claims

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while calling “horror stories” about Obamacare lies, “attacked the character and integrity” of Americans who are not afraid to show how Obamacare is hurting them, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips says.

On Wednesday, Reid said on the Senate floor that there are “plenty of horror stories” being told about Obamacare that are untrue.

Later in the day, the Nevada Democrat amended his statement, saying he wasn’t referring to stories told by everyday Americans, but the “vast majority” of advertising financed by the conservative Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, Fox News reported.

He also continued to criticize the Koch brothers, calling them “un-American,” after earlier in the day accusing them of “trying to buy Americans.”

Phillips, in a response posted on the Americans for Prosperity website, said some of the people sharing horror stories are “battling serious, life-threatening illnesses,” and accused Democrats like Reid of trying to divert attention from Obamacare’s failures by “declaring war on its victims.”

“Instead of admitting that the health care law is a bad deal for Americans, Senator Reid has chosen to attack the brave men and women who are sharing their personal stories about Obamacare,” Phillips said.

In particular, Reid and other critics have focused attention on one Americans for Prosperity ad featuring Julie Boonstra of Michigan, who says she has leukemia and her healthcare has become unaffordable under Obamacare.

She and the conservative group are standing behind the ad despite the criticism.

“The president’s allies are perfectly fine with brushing these horror stories under the rug — but that’s not so easy for people like Julie Boonstra in Michigan and Emilie Lamb in Tennessee, who are being forced by people like Senator Reid to live out the consequences of Obamacare every single day,” Phillips said.

The Koches also responded to Reid, chastising him for using an ad featuring a woman suffering from leukemia for his attack on Republicans.

“While Charles Koch and David Koch were not responsible for the advertisement in question, we believe it is disgraceful that Senator Reid and his fellow Democrats are attacking a cancer victim as part of their campaign against Charles Koch and David Koch,” said Koch spokesman Philip Ellender.

Republicans are also slamming Reid’s original remarks, with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., calling them “astounding and offensive.”

South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune is demanding an apology from Reid to all those who have felt they are harmed by Obamacare.

“The majority leader, and any Democrat who agrees with him, owes an apology to all Americans who are suffering under this disastrous law and whose personal stories he has dismissed as ‘untrue,'” Thune said.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has read personal stories on the Senate floor several times about Obamacare’s negative impact on his state’s constituents, his spokeswoman Amber Marchand said in a press release.

“A fair question for the majority leader’s office today: Does Harry Reid believe Missourians are making this up?” Marchand said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Witnesses Warn House Panel: US Is in a ‘Constitutional Crisis’.


Multiple witnesses told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Congress is in danger of ceding all of its power to the presidency if it continues on the path it is on.

“We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government, constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley told the committee. “For Congress not to act borders on self-loathing.”

“If you want to stay relevant as an institution, I would suggest that you not stand idly by and let the president take your power away,” testified Elizabeth Price Foley, a law professor at Florida International University.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, heads the committee and told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “It didn’t start with Obama.”

Previous presidents on the left and right were guilty too, he said, as were previous Congresses that passed sweeping bills such as Obamacare that gave the executive branch more power.

“But this president has gone beyond even what Congress has given him and even beyond what previous presidents have done,” Goodlatte said.

Obama’s use of executive orders to enact rules on his own has sparked concern from Republicans and some Democrats.

One tool that Congress has is to bring a lawsuit, Goodlatte said, but he acknowledged that courts historically have not been interested in injecting themselves into such disputes because they feel they are political.

“It’s not a political dispute,” Goodlatte said. “It’s a dispute about what the Constitution says the Congress’ authorities are.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

Arizona Gov. Brewer Mulls Signing Religious Protection Act.


Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she will closely review a bill that would let business owners cite their religious beliefs as legal justification for refusing service to same-sex couples and others.

The legislation was approved Thursday with overwhelming Republican support, reports The Arizona Republic.

Brewer, a Republican, told CNN Friday she will review the bill carefully, but didn’t reveal her opinion of the legislation.

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“I think anybody that owns a business can choose who they work with or who they don’t work with,” Brewer commented to CNN in Washington, DC, where she is attending a governors’ conference. “But I don’t know that it needs to be statutory. In my life and in my businesses, if I don’t want to do business or if I don’t want to deal with a particular company or person or whatever, I’m not interested. That’s America. That’s freedom.”

The governor’s advisers said she will meet with lawmakers, the business community, and others as she weighs whether to sign the bill, which gay rights activists say will legally permit discrimination.

“In this instance, you have a bill that had a party-line vote,” an unnamed adviser told The Republic. “It puts her in a difficult spot.”

Story continues below video.

Brewer does not plan to return to Arizona until Tuesday, but people on both sides of the issue took to Twitter  to push her to act.

Social conservatives call the bill a matter of religious freedom, reports the Republic, and are urging Brewer to sign the bill so people and businesses will not be forced to act against their religious beliefs and offer services to homosexuals or others with whom they disagree.

“In America, people should be free to live and work according to their faith, and the government shouldn’t be able to tell us we can’t do that,” Joseph E. La Rue, the legal counsel at Scottsdale-based religious-liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom, told The New York Times. “Faith shouldn’t be something we have to leave inside our house.”

LaRue’s group and the Center for Arizona Policy, described as one of the state legislature’s top lobbies, drafted the bill.

Some Arizona business leaders voiced strong opposition to the religious freedom bill, as did most of the candidates to replace Brewer in the November election, reports The Arizona Capitol Times.

Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and James Lundy, who chairs the organization’s board of directors, sent a letter to Brewer Friday begging her to veto the bill, saying it would have “profound, negative effects on our business community for years to come,” reports the Capitol Times.

They praised Brewer for the work she and the Arizona Commerce Authority have done strengthening the state’s economy, but said the controversial bill will represent a setback.

The council also warned that the bill could cause problems by alienating businesses looking to relocate and hurt tourism as the state readies for next year’s Super Bowl.

Brewer is religious and typically follows the party vote on social issues like abortion and gay marriage, but few people are speculating how she’ll decide on the new legislation.

But even if she follows the party on the bill, she may face repercussions from some Republicans who have been against her since she expanded Medicaid last year.

Arizona is the first state to pass a broad right-to-refuse-service bill, but Brewer in 2001 rejected similar legislation, State Bill 1070, which would have barred the state from taking action against a person’s professional license based on religion. That bill was also passed along Republican party lines.

If Brewer neither signs or vetoes the bill, it will still become law without her signature. But she has only once allowed a bill to go through without signing it, so watchers expect her to act.

But Republican consultant Chris Baker denied Brewer is in a politically precarious position.
“She is a lame duck for all intents and purposes, and unlike (SB) 1070, which really was for her a political decision, she’s not under that type of pressure,” Baker said. “For the most part, she’s free to do what she thinks is in the state’s best interest.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Rep. Tom Cotton: Obamacare Best Example of President’s Failed Policies.


President Barack Obama has “irresponsibly added trillions of dollars to our national debt” while concentrating too much power in Washington — and Obamacare is the best example of the president’s failed policies, Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton said in this week’s GOP address.

“The debt slows economic growth today and it places an immoral burden on our kids and grandkids,” said Cotton Saturday. “And the President’s policies concentrate too much power in Washington — they give more control to bossy bureaucrats, who want to run your lives, while handing out special favors and privileges to the elite and well-connected.”

And in Arkansas, where like most states Americans “have had their grit tested over the last several years through a financial collapse, recession, and a stagnant, jobless recovery,” Obama’s policies are causing the problems, Cotton said.

Story continues below video.

Obamacare promised to lower costs and improve care while cutting spending, said Cotton, but that hasn’t happened.

“We now know the sad reality of Obamacare: lose your insurance, lose your doctor, lose your job,” he said.

“President Obama promised you could keep your plan if you like it. That’s not true. Five million Americans face cancellations, and the President’s own estimates predict that tens of millions more will lose their plan. Many more are losing access to their family doctors, specialists, and local hospitals. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will cost the equivalent of at least two-and-a-half million full-time jobs.”

Meanwhile, the healthcare law adds trillions in new spending during a time of record debt and means less money in paychecks and less capital for businesses, Cotton said.

“Less growth means less opportunity and more stress for families,” noted Cotton. “And the Congressional Budget Office says we’ll still have 31 million uninsured in 10 years — the same number President Obama used to sell the law in the first place.

He pointed out one of his state’s constituents, a woman named Elizabeth, who says her monthly premiums “have risen 85 percent because of Obamacare’s new coverage mandates.”

“She’s now forced to pay for things she does not want and can’t afford, simply because Washington politicians and bureaucrats think they know what’s best for her and her family,” said Cotton.

“What’s worse, Obamacare isn’t just raising her premium costs. Elizabeth now takes home less total pay than she did in 2011 – and that’s after two raises and a promotion. She’s stopped shopping at locally owned businesses because she can’t afford their prices, so Obamacare is hurting her local community, too.”

For such people, Cotton said, Obamacare is “anything but an amazing success story,” and wrong for Arkansas and America.

“Republicans in Congress are committed to stopping the harms caused by the President’s policies, repairing the damage, and getting America working again,” said Cotton. “We’re advocating reforms that trust patients and their doctors – not Washington bureaucrats. And we’re working to get spending under control. That’s because we trust you to make the right decisions for you and your family.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Biden: ‘We May Not Get to 7 Million’ by Obamacare Deadline.


Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged on Wednesday that it will be hard to reach the target on the number of people signing up for health insurance by a looming March 31 deadline for Obamacare enrollment.

The Congressional Budget Office had originally forecast that 7 million people would sign up for insurance, many with help from subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

But the program got off to a rough start in October when a website used to shop for insurance plans failed to work for almost two months. The nonpartisan CBO recently trimmed its enrollment forecast for 2014 to 6 million.

Biden, on his way to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Minneapolis, spoke with a small group of people in the city who are working to help others sign up for insurance, and thanked them for their work.

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“We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that’s a hell of a start,” Biden said, according to a pool report of his meeting.

The Obama administration said last week that 3.3 million people have enrolled in private Obamacare health plans between Oct. 1 and Feb 1.

The deadline for 2014 coverage is March 31, and the administration and allied groups are pushing to convince more uninsured people in big cities to sign up.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Albert Hunt: Obama, Christie Need to Reset Their Narratives.


There were several reports this month about the Affordable Care Act, most of them positive: Participation is up; the so-called risk corridors, which critics call a giveaway to insurance companies, will make the government money; and the law will increase labor demand.

But more attention has been lavished on the negative: Over a decade, the equivalent of 2.5 million workers will drop out of the labor force because there are alternative health-insurance options, and the employment mandate was postponed again.

Separately, the drumbeat continued around Chris Christie. The Republican governor of New Jersey held a marathon news conference more than five weeks ago as he fired top aides whom he blamed for causing huge traffic disruptions on the George Washington Bridge last autumn. Christie insisted he knew nothing about the closures, which allegedly were political retaliation against Democrats.

Few new facts emerged about the initial controversy. But there has been a rash of other allegations, some stretching back to the 51-year-old governor’s high school days.

These two story lines — one involving Democrats, the other about Republicans — share common elements; they entail significant political fallout. Obamacare, even as the results get better, will hurt Democrats, perhaps seriously, in this year’s congressional elections. And a blow has been delivered to the presidential aspirations of Christie, who just three months ago was virtually coronated by Time magazine as the Republicans’ great hope for 2016.

Both demonstrate that once a narrative is established in U.S. politics, it’s very hard to shake.

The proliferation and growing influence of social media can accelerate a news narrative, like these two stories, says Teddy Goff, who directed President Barack Obama’s digital strategy in 2012. Over time, however, social media also may help a countertheme prevail, he says. This has little to do with overhyped chatter about media bias. There are effective offsets to media partisanship: the Internet versus talk radio; Fox News versus MSNBC. The mainstream media’s only discernibly consistent bias is on cultural issues — abortion, gay rights, guns, race – – while a smaller-movement conservative news media, oblivious to balanced or fair journalism, effectively pounds messages that often end up in the mainstream media.

That message pounding, coupled with the Obama administration’s miscues — the White House still resists tapping a chief executive officer to run the health-care initiative — has locked in, for now, a negative view of Obamacare. This despite some good news: More than 10 million Americans have new or better health-insurance coverage than before; health-care costs are moderating; and reforms such as prohibiting discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions are kicking in.

Optimists such as Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, think that once the kinks are worked out, Obamacare will become popular, much as Medicare and the prescription drug plan for seniors did. Still, as he acknowledges, “It’s taking a long time for people to understand” that the benefits outweigh the problems. Democrats running in November don’t have a long time.

Neither does Christie. Even if no new evidence emerges to contradict his proclamations of innocence, the damage may be irreversible. The governor’s appeal as a front-runner was that he could beat Hillary Clinton; his base is big-money Wall Street guys. As he gets hammered daily and now trails Clinton in presidential trial heats, the rationale and the base are eroding. He can’t shake the narrative.

It’s so embedded now that the best scenario for Christie is that he convinces voters that he had a bunch of second-rate top aides who engaged in political thuggery and that he had no clue what was going on. That’s not a compelling narrative for a would-be president.

 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

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