American Government? What a Waste.

I understand that Republican leaders in Congress are working to repeal Obamacare. What a splendid idea that is: to try to rid the country of a law that, while it has its flaws (mostly, it doesn’t go far enough), by all credible accounts is working remarkably well. This is their 61st attempt to jettison the health-care legislation. Way back in July of 2012, Nancy Pelosi tweeted that House Republicans had thus far devoted 88 hours and 53 minutes to trying to kill Obamacare. Can you imagine what that total is now, three and a quarter years later? Read more »

BizFeed: Health Insurers Want Big Rate Increases

Ben Franklin surgical mask


1. Health Insurers Seek Big Rate Increases

The News: Health insurance companies say the new patients they attained due to health care reform are much sicker — and expensive — than expected. And now, insurers around the country are hoping to raise rates 20 percent to 40 percent, according to the New York Times. That includes Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in five states (not including Pennsylvania.) Read more »

Obamacare Survives Supreme Court Ruling



In a 6-3 decision on Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allows the federal government to provide subsidies for health insurance in states — like Pennsylvania — without their own health insurance exchanges.

The case saves essential subsidies for 6 million people in 34 states who rely on them to get care. Approximately 500,000 are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. (States with their own exchanges would have continued operating normally.)

In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

He also wrote that the “credits are necessary for the federal exchanges to function like their state exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

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Obama Adviser Apologizes for Penn Comments

The presidential adviser who told a Penn audience that Obamacare passed, in part, due to “the stupidity of the America voter” has apologized for his comments.

Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor, made the comment at a Penn conference on health care more than a year ago. Video of the comment had emerged in recent months, fueling a new round of GOP criticism of the law.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said in the video. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the America voter, or whatever.”
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Penn’s Ezekiel Emanuel Wants to Die at 75

Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Penn’s Ezekiel Emanuel — known for being Rahm‘s brother and a key figure in the development of Obamacare — has a provocative piece in The Atlantic: “Why I Hope to Die at 75.

It’s causing quite a stir.

Emanuel goes to great pains to say that he’s not trying to create a policy enforced on anybody else — but he does say he figures, essentially, that the fun and creative and useful part of his life will be more or less done when he’s 75. When he hits that age, he says, he’ll stop going to the doctor for checkups and let his body take its natural course — no life-extending medicine for him.
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Christie in Nashville: Smacks Obama on Middle East Policy, Calls for Obamacare Repeal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

Speaking to reporters Saturday at a conference of the National Governors Association in Nashville, Tennessee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continued to talk like a man with plans for a 2016 presidential run while finding new ways to be coy about actually committing to said presidential run. 

For starters, reports that Christie took former BFF President Barack Obama to task for his foreign policy in the Middle East:
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Mennonite-Owned Business Wins SCOTUS Birth Control Ruling

By now, you’ve probably heard that Hobby Lobby won its case challenging the ObamaCare mandate that private employers provide birth control to female employees who were already receiving employer-provided health insurance. Hobby Lobby argued that providing birth control violated the religious beliefs of the company’s owners.

Less-publicized: A Pennsylvania company was also one of the challengers to the mandate, and is claiming victory today:

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