There has been little news, lots of noise, and ceaseless flim-flams every day this month. Most of what passes for news is posturing and preparations for later fights to come or feints to delude the public that these fights/debates will one day take place. Even “news” such as the latest “Sandy” disaster are shadowboxing in the culture/political wars the nation has yet to resolve.
There was some news today yet it too smells of future fights and a looming disaster that will cull the population more than murders in Benghazi and Connecticut combined. Many more deaths. Yup Unravel #5 continues.
The news today came from the influential and powerful District of Columbia Appeals Court and leads many to ask – is the White House buckling on HHS mandate? In a press release the victorious Becket Fund provides the news:
“Today, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. handed Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College a major victory in their challenges to the HHS mandate. Last summer, two lower courts had dismissed the Colleges’ cases as premature. Today, the appellate court reinstated those cases, and ordered the Obama Administration to report back every 60 days—starting in mid-February—until the Administration makes good on its promise to issue a new rule that protects the Colleges’ religious freedom. The new rule must be issued by March 31, 2013.
The court based its decision on two concessions that government lawyers made in open court. First, the government promised “it would never enforce [the mandate] in its current form” against Wheaton, Belmont Abbey or other similarly situated religious groups. Second, the government promised it would publish a proposed new rule “in the first quarter of 2013” and would finalize it by next August. The administration made both concessions under intense questioning by the appellate judges. The court deemed the concessions a “binding commitment” and has retained jurisdiction over the case to ensure the government follows through.“
That’s astonishing. This late in the less than one year for implementation of the Obama health scam and new rules are still being promised, or written, or flim-flammed. On something so relatively simple as the contraception mandate the Obama flim-flammers are now declaring to a court that appears dubious that they never intended to enforce the rule they had stated they had every intention of enforcing. What is going on?:
“First, it’s interesting that the White House hasn’t announced a review of its HHS contraception mandate outside of court. As far as is publicly known, the Obama administration considered its “accommodation” in the spring of this year as its final word, and had every intention of enforcing it. Until now, the suggestion that the rule was under review was an argument intended to delay judicial scrutiny of the administration’s attempt to impose its own definition of “worship” via bureaucratic decree.
This decision forces an end to that strategy. The “intense questioning” forced the administration to make what the appellate court considers a binding submission, and now has to produce a revamped rule that won’t infringe on religious liberty. It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that the Obama administration insisted that its “accommodation” didn’t infringe on religious liberty, so this concession gives the strong impression that the White House’s legal team is admitting that it in fact does infringe on the freedom of religious expression.“
We are as confused as the celibate nuns (Sisters of the Poor) that will be, or not be, forced to be provided with contraceptives or leave the United States.
The Sisters of the Poor are not the only ones confused about what is going to happen as Obama’s health scam begins to operate on the helpless populace. At businesses large and small insurance providers are holding question and answer sessions for employees. What is being heard is ugly:
“One of the first things I learned was that some of the employees were bracing for a big hit in terms of their costs. Single person coverage hadn’t changed very much – around $50 each two week pay period – and seemed fairly reasonably priced to me. But the employee plus spouse plan (2 people) had shot up more than 30% and was well over $150 per payday. The full family plan which covers children had taken an even bigger hit and was going to be costing almost $290 per paycheck. One woman who works in the computer graphics section was wandering around afterwards looking stunned, saying to three people in a row, “That’s half of my paycheck. That’s half of my paycheck. What am I going to do?”
There were other changes to the cost structure, with co-pays, deductibles and maximum out of pocket expenses being altered. None of these new price plans seemed to be very popular.”
The insurance provider suggested that people beg their doctors for “samples” of drugs that doctors get from drug companies. Consumers are also advised to take refuge with discount cards. Another cost saving measure was to buy in bulk. Of course Barack Obama made a deal with the drug companies in 2009 to not allow Medicare to negotiate prices – something that would have brought down costs.
The government won’t buy in bulk at negotiated lower prices but individual consumers are told that is a way for them to lower costs. It gets worse. As Mark Steyn notes, the doctor won’t see you now:
“Last summer, she returned to the old neighborhood and thought she’d look for a doctor. The sweet old guy with the tweed jacket in the neatly painted cape on Main Street had taken down his shingle and retired. Most towns in the North Country now have fewer doctors than they did in the 19th century, and the smaller towns have none. The Yellow Pages lists more health insurers than physicians, which would not seem to be an obvious business model. So she wound up going to the health center she’d endowed so lavishly with your tax dollars just a few years earlier.
They gave her the usual form to fill in, full of perceptive inquiries on her medical condition: Do you wear a seat belt? Do you own a gun? How many bisexual men are you now having sex with? These would be interesting questions if one were signing up for eHarmony.com and looking to date gun-owning bisexuals who don’t wear seat belts, but they were not immediately relevant to her medical needs. Nevertheless, she complied with the diktats of the Bureau of Compliance, and had her medical records transferred, and waited . . . and waited. That was August. She has now been informed that she has an appointment with a nurse-practitioner at the end of January. My friend pays $15,000 a year for health insurance. In northern New Hampshire, that and meeting the minimum-entry requirement of bisexual sex partners will get you an appointment with a nurse-practitioner in six months’ time.”
And forget the privacy we have been promised:
“After prolonged consultation with the computer, the “pharmacist” informed her (and the rest of us within earshot) that her insurer had approved her Ortho but denied her Valtrex. I was thinking of asking her for cocktails at the Plaza, when I noticed the other women in line tittering. It seems that Ortho is a birth-control pill, and Valtrex is a herpes medication.
So good luck retaining any meaningful doctor-patient confidentiality in a system in which more people — insurers, employers, government commissars, TSA Obergropinführers, federal incentive-program auditors — will be able to access your medical records than in any other nation on earth.”
The National Enquirer will have a field day planting stalkers at pharmaceutical outlets. It’s another good idea (electronic record keeping) gone completely bad.
“There are just 33 problems. That’s the number of states that have chosen to either not implement a state exchange at all or engage in a hybrid system that leaves many of the problems up to the federal government, as is the case with Illinois, Delaware and North Carolina, or which remain undecided on whether to accept the responsibility for developing the exchange.
Already, 25 states representing 45 percent of the U.S. population have told the Obama administration that they will not be spending the time, energy and effort to build a state exchange, when ultimately the federal government would have to approve virtually every decision that was made. These states have effectively told the Feds that they won’t own the vast array of problems created under ObamaCare when they won’t have the flexibility or ability to fix them.”
What we learned on Friday health care exchange decision day: 25 states won’t build them
“The feds foolishly assumed every state would build a state exchange even though, during the legislative process, they didn’t attempt to get the buy-in they’d need to assure that. In truth, the objections to building exchanges have at least as much to do with logistics as politics.
For political reasons, the Obama administration didn’t even release draft regulations for what exchange-eligible plans must cover until two weeks ago. Right now, insurance carriers are frantically running those requirements to actuaries, who are frantically pricing them, so that the carriers can then file for necessary rate-hikes with state insurance commissions across the country. [snip]
Most of the reporting on exchanges takes for granted that the exchanges “will do this” and “will do that,” just like a “Travelocity for health care.” Not much of it grapples with what it takes to make the exchanges do that, which is a daunting technological synching of federal government data (on a hub not yet created) with each state’s health care regulatory structures and their technological components, which would then apply a complicated sliding-scale formula never before used by the IRS to inform consumers what subsidies are available to them to buy from an array of insurance choices still being created by insurance companies, which meet a set of guidelines for Essential Health Benefits not yet finalized.“
At this late date the rules are still being written. The rules apparently will still be in a fetal state by March of next year. Anyone who has ever been involved in a large company switchover from Windows to a later version of Windows or to a newer version of a word processing program knows the vast amount of planning and staff retraining required for even a mundane update (wait until companies decide to switch to the significantly different Windows 8). Obama has no such experience.
Obama’s health scam is bad as law. As a day to day health program it will only get worse.