American Elephants

The Failed State ObamaCare Exchanges: by The Elephant's Child

The disastrous rollout of ObamaCare continues apace, but the federal government spent more on broken stat-run exchanges than it did on its own troubled system. Fourteen states plus the District of Columbia established their own health insurance coverage under ObamaCare. Of those fourteen, seven remain dysfunctional, disabled or seriously underperforming. The development of those exchanges was funded by the federal government through a series of grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion —almost double the $677 million cost of the federal exchange.

Oregon: Spectacular failure. $48 million “early innovator” grant from the federal government, which hoped the exchange would be a model for other states. Delays, delays, delays. Consultants warned that it was headed for disaster. Total federal grants —$303 million.  I’m not sure that they have signed anyone up yet.

Maryland: Obama used Largo, Maryland as the background for a speech touting the benefits of ObamaCare. Maryland promptly turned out to be one of the worst in the nation. Announced this week it was terminating $193 million contract with Noridian Healthcare Solutions, its IT contractor. Officials now say the existing system is so flawed they may dump the whole thing.

Massachusetts: The state’s 2006 reform supposedly helped inspire the design of ObamaCare. They hired CGI, the same contractor who built the federal exchange. Technical glitches from day one. By January the state lagged further behind their original enrollment goal than any other state. Only 5,428 people signed up during the first 3 months, 0.8% of the first year goal. $135.6 million in federal grants, and an early innovator grant.

Vermont: The Affordable Care Act is not progressive enough for Vermont. State officials said they would pursue a single-payer program beginning in 2017. Failed launch, $165.2 million in federal grants, still not working. Calls for an investigation.

Minnesota: Exchange was glitchy on rollout, problems persisted for the next few weeks. 14 exchange officials received bonuses prior to launch, the director took a tropical vacation while the site struggled. Officials and contractors blame each other. Outside assessment warned that problems would not be fixed by the end of open enrollment on March 31. Total federal grants $153.7 million.

Nevada: One official described the failure of the exchange as ‘catastrophic’. The system enrolled just 16,000 of the 118,000 expected. Projections have been reduced to 50,000. State officials are said to be thinking of ditching their own exchange in order to join the federal system. Federal grants $83.7 million. (All lies, according to Harry Reid)

Hawaii: Hawaii’s exchange was taken down right after the launch, but enrollment remains exceedingly low. The state has signed up just 4,300 people for coverage, the lowest of all the states. Total federal grants $205 million.

All Democrat-run states, but that is surely just a coincidence. We can probably assume that those who have signed up are those most in need of health insurance, those with pre-existing conditions, and the healthy folks will wait for a better offer.  Those who signed up early will be the most costly.


Republicans Tell The Health Care Stories of Real People by The Elephant's Child

The Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Harry Reid, is one of the most corrupt politicians in the country.  He has used earmarks and influence to enrich himself and his family. He seems to have reached the point where he will announce anything he can think of to attack Republicans. Remember his nutty claim during the 2012 presidential claim that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any taxes.

Now he’s back with an hysterical rant against those who criticize the Democrat’s signature legislation:

Across the country Americans who were once denied insurance because they suffered for something like cancer or as simple as acne have been able to buy affordable health insurance they could afford and could trust. Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.

Every “horror story” about ObamaCare is a lie? Five million people have lost their existing coverage and they are all liars?

The leukemia patient whose insurance policy was canceled could die without her medication. Mr. President, that’s an ad being paid for by two billionaire brothers. It’s absolutely false.

Harry Reid is obsessed with the Koch brothers. Billionaires are supposed to be Democrats, belong to George Soros’ Democracy Alliance and give money to Democrat campaigns, not to curing cancer.

The problem is that Republicans have the gall to use a favorite tactic of the Democrats against them. The Republicans are using “anecdotes” or stories of people who have been hurt by ObamaCare to explain the failures of ObamaCare.

Edie Littlefield Sundby, the stage-four cancer patient who lost her team of physicians, parents who can’t take their sick kids to the hospitals at which they were formerly treated. It is clear that ObamaCare is poorly devised, that Obama’s promises of keeping your insurance and keeping your doctors, and paying $2,500 less were all pure hooey, and that the vast number of Americans who receive their health care through their employers are being gulled until “after the election.”

As they usually do, Democrats were interested in getting people signed up, dependent on government for their health care, and in income redistribution. There is clearly little interest in the law about the actual health of the American people. Read the whole thing, for the response of Americans.

The “anecdotes” that Democrats used at the time to try to drum up enthusiasm for their plan — that our health care cost too much (costs had been declining for several years); the uninsured could not get insurance (the uninsured didn’t want insurance, and apparently still don’t); all the folks with pre-existing conditions (That seems to be the only anecdote to which they are still clinging) were not exactly true.

All the warnings about cost and incentives and unexpected consequences went unheeded. The Democrat politicians who drummed this stuff up have never done anything but politics, but locked in the back rooms of Congress they were sure that they could order one-sixth of the American economy, and it would all be ever so wonderful. Well, hubris.  They’ve made a mess of it, but they will not give up. It has passed unworkable, descended into uncaring, and more horrors will be revealed as we get past Obama’s illegal executive revisions. They will attempt to revise it into a single-payer plan, which is what they really wanted all the time.

Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws by The Elephant's Child

The House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on executive overreach. Members of Congress and constitutional law experts testified yesterday, warning that the legislative branch is in danger of ceding its power in the face of an “imperial presidency.”

The hearing, “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” focused on the multiple areas  where President Barack Obama has bypassed Congress, ranging from healthcare and immigration to marriage and welfare rules.

Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, testified that the expansion of executive power is happening so fast that America is at a “constitutional tipping point.”

My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” he said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” Turley said.

Jim Gerlach (R-PA) said “The ACA has been revised, altered and effectively rewritten by the president and his administration 23 times since July.”

Representative Tom Rice (R-SC) said, “When we have these constant changes at the president’s whim, think about what that does to businesses’ planning capabilities and hiring capabilities and their expansion capabilities. We shouldn’t wonder why our economy is struggling.”

Thursday Morning Cute by The Elephant's Child


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