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President struggling to save his floundering signature law

November 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law risks coming unglued because of his administration’s bungles and his own inflated promises....

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Nov-18-13 5:44 AM

I have read it need 7 million members to break even, mainly young people.

It won't get 700,000 as the work gets out how EXPENSIVE it us and POOR the bronze coverage plans are.

Take the penalty, if you do not get a tax refund, they cannot ENFORCE the penalty.


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Nov-18-13 5:56 AM

I like the comparison to the seat belt law! I don't care if you use your belt or not, I will and do!

Reminds me of the latest no texting while driving, if I had a nickel for every time I see someone texting.....

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Nov-18-13 7:00 AM

No doubt this republican health care plan is troublesome. The Heritage Foundation trumpeted Obama's health care plan before it was called Obamacare. No problem. Stay the course. Social Security and Medicare went through the very same troubles but now Americans will riot if you reduce their SS or Medicare. We are repeating history is all. The right wingers will not tell you what they will replace the ACA with b/c they want to go back. Take away your rights. Deny preexisting conditions, cap plans, throw your children off your plans and let profits skyrocket rather than care. This is the fight. Go back to double digit annual increases or find a solution. Fight on!

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Nov-18-13 7:16 AM

"It's the law of the land" that's what the dems are saying that haven't jumped from the sinking ship yet. Well, laws can be changed. Esp. bad laws like this one. Slavery was legal once also. But the law was changed.

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Nov-18-13 8:14 AM

wvhoopie “No doubt this republican health care plan is troublesome.”

LOLOL Nice try, hoopie, but this debacle belongs 100% to you DEMORATS. Not a single Republican voted for this mess. There may be a few elements of the Heritage plan in that 2,400 page monster, but the version Republicans REJECTED is ALL YOURS, DEMS. Own YOUR piece of work proudly. LOL

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Nov-18-13 8:22 AM

Quite a large bandwagon of irate followers of the 3% who will pay higher insurance premiums.

..rally them wagons around the 26 GOPeer states that harhor 60% of the uninsured working poor and refuse them any insurance outspoken ideologists.

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Nov-18-13 8:33 AM

"There may be a few elements of the Heritage plan in that 2,400 page monster"..

Dear Pick/Choose Fact Checker:

WHat size "element" is the individual insurance mandate that is a key feature of the GOPeer Heritage Plan and that is the basis of Obamacare?

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Nov-18-13 11:20 AM

RockE, it’s understandable that you Demorats desperately want to pin at least some of the blame for the Obamascam debacle on Republicans. But Obamascam isn't the Heritage plan, the Heritage Foundation isn’t the Republican Party, and not a single Republican voted for Obamascam. Facts.

And since you brought it up, the individual mandate is the lynch pin to solvency of Obamascam, and is ONLY thing Obama himself has delayed as Republicans tried to do legally, through legislative action. Of course Obamboozler delayed it illegally, as is his custom, since the President can’t unilaterally choose to modify Congressionally-passed and signed law but Obamboozler does it on a regular basis.

America has finally found out “what is in it.” And Obamboozler’s popularity, and Demorat Party popularity, is in the tank. Demorat Congresscritters are bailing off the USS Obamatanic in droves. Enjoy the epic fail of a mess you made, Demorats. It’s all yours. LOL

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Nov-18-13 11:48 AM

NOTHING is any better than it's creator & user. Consider the source.

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Nov-18-13 1:19 PM

I've finally figured you out dying. You need to be the only person on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. That way, you wouldn't be bothered with all this humanity stuff. People are a hassle, aren't we?

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Nov-18-13 2:32 PM

Choker, you want health care for poor kids? Haven’t you ever heard of Medicaid? Sign up all those SNAP kids and their SNAP parents and get them to a doctor, stat. Duh...

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Nov-18-13 5:02 PM

calpatty, Like I said I'll wear mine, don't care what you do! I just don't need the goberment telling me to do so! Wore a helmit when I was younger, even in no helmit required Ohio.

I don't need the peeps telling me to watch the road when I'm driving a 2 ton vehicle 70 MPH down the highway!

Guam would be acceptable!

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Nov-18-13 5:58 PM

If the individual mandate in Romneycare was the greatest affront to freedom since Ronald Reagan invented freedom, why didn't..the conservative movement in general eviscerate Mitt in 2008?

Mr. Mandate killed at CPAC in 2008 and won the wingnutstakes. What changed?

If one were to cynically assume that conservative elites merely channel the basest instincts of the Base, perhaps one might think the reason the mandate became toxic was its association with the Kenyan-anti-colonialist-cop-killer-rapper-secular-socialist-dhimmi-in-chief.

But, conservative elites are men and women of principle, who put the welfare of human beings and America before expedient attacks and agitprop, so the cynical assumption cannot be true. -Geoff C Graham

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Nov-18-13 6:49 PM

rockhead, Do you work for a living? 114 million do and 91 million don't, I'm guessing the 91 million club for you! LOL

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Nov-18-13 7:08 PM

Troll, your slip is showing once again. The ACA was designed by the Heritage Foundation, a right wing think tank. Rmoney used that plan in Mass. when he was Gov. The Heritage Foundation based their plan on personal responsibility which meant everyone had to get their own coverage. I must say your ignorance on this is quite convenient, wouldn't you say Stool, I mean troll.

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Nov-18-13 7:14 PM

Stool eater, I mean slacker, you also conveniently forget the mess health care was before the ACA. Annual double digit increases were the norm. Rest hugs would do nothing and had no motivation to do anything since the problem was to the average American not the rich. So as per history, rest hugs don't care about every day Americans. The teabags nor the rethugs will tell you what their ideas are to fix health care b/c they have NO answers. None. Insurance profits have soared while screwing Americans. No stool slacker, once again the right wingers have no answers. Go back to to your stools.

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Nov-18-13 7:52 PM

Column: Don't blame Heritage for ObamaCare mandate

By Stuart Butler

Updated 2/6/2012 10:40 AM


Is the individual mandate at the heart of "ObamaCare" a conservative idea? Is it constitutional? And was it invented at The Heritage Foundation? In a word, no.

From USA TOday

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Nov-18-13 7:54 PM


The U.S. Supreme Court will put the middle issue to rest. The answers to the first and last can come from me. After all, I headed Heritage's health work for 30 years. And make no mistake: Heritage and I actively oppose the individual mandate, including in an amicus brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, the myth persists. ObamaCare "adopts the 'individual mandate' concept from the conservative Heritage Foundation," Jonathan Alter wrote recently in The Washington Post. MSNBC's Chris Matthews makes the same claim, asserting that Republican support of a mandate "has its roots in a proposal by the conservative Heritage Foundation." Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi and others have made similar claims.

The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive

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Nov-18-13 7:55 PM

I love the spin! LOL

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Nov-18-13 7:56 PM


instability through "adverse selection" (insurers avoiding bad risks and healthy people declining coverage). At that time, President Clinton was proposing a universal health care plan, and Heritage and I devised a viable alternative.

My view was shared at the time by many conservative experts, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars, as well as most non-conservative analysts. Even libertarian-conservative icon Milton Friedman, in a 1991 Wall Street Journal article, advocated replacing Medicare and Medicaid "with a requirement that every U.S. family unit have a major medical insurance policy."

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Nov-18-13 7:58 PM


My idea was hardly new. Heritage did not invent the individual mandate.

But the version of the health insurance mandate Heritage and I supported in the 1990s had three critical features. First, it was not primarily intended to push people to obtain protection for their own good, but to protect others. Like auto damage liability insurance required in most states, our requirement focused on "catastrophic" costs — so hospitals and taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for the expensive illness or accident of someone who did not buy insurance.

Second, we sought to induce people to buy coverage primarily through the carrot of a generous health credit or voucher, financed in part by a fundamental reform of the tax treatment of health coverage, rather than by a stick.

And third, in the legislation we helped craft that ultimately became a preferred alternative to ClintonCare, the "mandate" was actually the loss of certain tax breaks for those not choo

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Nov-18-13 8:00 PM


And third, in the legislation we helped craft that ultimately became a preferred alternative to ClintonCare, the "mandate" was actually the loss of certain tax breaks for those not choosing to buy coverage, not a legal requirement.

So why the change in this position in the past 20 years?

First, health research and advances in economic analysis have convinced people like me that an insurance mandate isn't needed to achieve stable, near-universal coverage. For example, the new field of behavioral economics taught me that default auto-enrollment in employer or nonemployer insurance plans can lead many people to buy coverage without a requirement.

Also, advances in "risk adjustment" tools are improving the stability of voluntary insurance. And Heritage-funded research on federal employees' coverage — which has no mandate — caused me to conclude we had made a mistake in the 1990s. That's why we believe that President Obama and others are dead wrong abou

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Nov-18-13 8:02 PM


That's why we believe that President Obama and others are dead wrong about the need for a mandate.

Additionally, the meaning of the individual mandate we are said to have "invented" has changed over time. Today it means the government makes people buy comprehensive benefits for their own good, rather than our original emphasis on protecting society from the heavy medical costs of free riders.

Moreover, I agree with my legal colleagues at Heritage that today's version of a mandate exceeds the constitutional powers granted to the federal government. Forcing those Americans not in the insurance market to purchase comprehensive insurance for themselves goes beyond even the most expansive precedents of the courts.

And there's another thing. Changing one's mind about the best policy to pursue — but not one's principles — is part of being a researcher at a major think tank such as Heritage or the Brookings Institution. Serious professional analysts actually take pa

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Nov-18-13 8:03 PM


Serious professional analysts actually take part in a continuous bipartisan and collegial discussion about major policy questions. We read each other's research. We look at the facts. We talk through ideas with those who agree or disagree with us. And we change our policy views over time based on new facts, new research or good counterarguments.

Thanks to this good process, I've altered my views on many things. The individual mandate in health care is one of them.

Stuart Butler, Ph.D., is a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation (****heritage****), where he is the director of the Center for Policy Innovation.

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Nov-18-13 8:11 PM

From Heritage Foundation...

"Butler’s abiding passion is health care reform. He has argued for a restructured system based on consumer choice and state-led innovation. In 1989’s “A National Health System for America,” Butler and Heritage colleague Edmund F. Haislmaier wrote a groundbreaking explanation of how distortions in the tax code created a health care system that denies individual choice and drives up costs.

When President Clinton began his bid to federalize health care upon taking office in 1993, Butler was one of the nation’s most-quoted experts on why the Clinton proposal wouldn't work. But he also consulted with lawmakers to develop an alternative reform.

At the time, liberal pundits were among those who thought the Butler approach was superior. Michael Kinsley, then editor of The New Republic, called it “the simplest, most promising, and in an important way, the most progressive idea for health care reform.”

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