CBO’s Alternate Facts About Obamacare

Millions may lose coverage next year if Congress does not repeal Obamacare.

That’s not what this week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis says, but it is reality. CBO’s estimating models seem impervious to reality.

In the real world, the Obamacare exchanges are in crisis, millions of uninsured people willingly pay or avoid IRS penalties, and consumers struggle with rising premiums and cost-sharing requirements.  Read more on National Review Online.

The Rand Paul Bill: Obamacare Plus?

House Republicans are expected to roll out their highly anticipated bill to repeal and replace Obamacare this week, but a more obscure measure introduced by Rand Paul (R-KY) is gaining attention and should not escape notice.

Paul, who has positioned himself as a leading conservative critic of the forthcoming GOP proposal, has sponsored a measure that would leave untouched both Obamacare’s $1 trillion in taxes and its Medicaid expansion.

Stranger still, though Paul has characterized Republican plans for an age-related refundable tax credit as “Obamacare Lite,” his bill does the unthinkable: It retains the Obamacare income-related refundable tax credits.  Read more on Forbes.

It’s Time To Shut Down Healthcare.gov

During the early 1970s, students at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology carried out what is reputed to be the first e-commerce transaction: the sale of an undetermined quantity of marijuana.

This year, global online retail sales are projected to exceed $2.4 trillion. By 2020, e-commerce will account for 14.6 percent of all retail purchases, nearly doubling its market share in just five years. Consumers shop online for everything from cars to car insurance.

Which raises the question: Do we really need HealthCare.gov?  Read more on The Hill.

Insurance Industry Campaigns To Keep Unlawful ObamaCare Cash

When is a government program not a government program?

When the insurance industry says it isn’t.

In its effort to keep billions in unlawful Obamacare corporate subsidies flowing, the industry is trying to persuade Congress that it receives no federal funds through the federal “reinsurance” program. Good luck with that.  Read more.

DOJ’s Zero Tolerance Of Zero Tolerance

A Justice Department report critical of the Baltimore police missed the point. So did those who praised and faulted it. [Credit: NY Post]

A Justice Department report critical of the Baltimore police missed the point. So did those who praised and faulted it. [Credit: NY Post]

The Department of Justice report on Baltimore police practices has prompted predictable reactions from Left and Right.

The report confirmed suspicions on the Left that police unconstitutionally harassed African-American males. From the Right came reflexive defenses of the police.

Both have a point.  And both miss the point.  As does the report itself. Continue reading

Obamacare Consensus: Insurers Need Government Handouts

Congress and the courts are losing patience with the government's lawless implementation of Obamacare, which involves unlawful expenditures to subsidize insurance companies.  [Credit:forbes.com]

Obamacare’s survival depends on government handouts to insurers. [Credit:forbes.com]

The Commonwealth Fund recently released a study of the Obamacare individual market.  It found that corporate subsidies like the reinsurance program have played a “crucial role in helping insurers transition.”  Because that “transition” has so far gone poorly, the authors recommend that policymakers not allow the reinsurance program to expire at the end of the year, as required under current law. They believe that the handouts should continue “until the reformed market has matured.”  To find out why that’s a terrible idea, click here.

Does Putin Back Hillary?

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Democrat standard-bearer Hillary Clinton in happier times. [Credit: thepoliticalcarnival.net]

Perhaps because I’m in Italy, I’ve not been infected by the contagion that has spread more rapidly than the Zika virus: the febrile notion that Russian president Vladimir Putin is subverting our electoral process in an effort to elect Donald J. Trump as president.

Never has such conspiratorial speculation mutated so quickly into received wisdom. Continue reading