Where Are We After the King Case?

We cannot depend on the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. This is why the Truth Squad doesn’t hold out much hope for the origination case that is still working its way through the courts.

The Truth Squad believes we’ll get one more good shot at repeal in 2017 – IF a Republican president is elected and the GOP hangs on to the House and Senate.

Regardless of what happens, the Truth Squad is working to tear Obamacare down brick-by-brick and build up as much free market space in healthcare as possible. One way to do both is to bring back true catastrophic insurance. Our proposal is here and our ideas for getting states to nullify Obamacare to allow the sale of true catastrophic insurance are here.

The Truth Squad has talked it over we have resolved to keep at it, even if Obamacare is NEVER repealed. OCTS will stay motivated even if all we can do is fight the Left to a draw on Obamacare and stave off single-payer. In that scenario, the fight over Obamacare drags out 30 or 40 years, but eventually the deal gets re-cut and we end up in a better place than we are now. The fight will look like the fights over abortion after Roe v. Wade and over school busing after those contentious court cases. It took decades of civil discontent and agitation, but busing finally got trimmed back and the busing issue, which caused a lot of people a lot of heartburn for a very long time, finally got somewhat resolved. The same thing is happening now in the abortion fight. After decades of keeping up the fight, the pro-life movement is finally getting somewhere with changes in public opinion among young people, personhood bills, and the application of health regulations to abortion clinics.

The fight over Obamacare could end up the same way, but we must stay in the fight. We can still make headway because Obamacare has never enjoyed the support of a majority of the American people. It’s very divisive, and all the problems are still there after King – the rising costs, the loss of freedom, all of it. We can take a page from Lenin’s book: “collect every grain of rudimentary protest…., utilize every manifestation of discontent ….”

Please help us. Keep pressuring Obamacare from all angles. The subsidies and Medicaid expansion costs are adding to the national debt, so keep fighting deficit spending and working for a debt-free future alongside the Tea Party. Spread the word that bringing back true catastrophic insurance would make more sense than the Obamacare law that wiped out all low-cost insurance options.

Please follow us on Twitter. We tweet all the bad news about Obamacare every day, and provide links. It’s like getting a high-priced, specialized newsletter for free. We’re not aware of any other effort out there that provides a steady drip-drip-drip of criticism of a particular government program every single day. It’s a weapon, let’s use it. If you know anybody who likes to retweet, please let them know about us. We also have a Facebook page where we put some of our tweets, if you prefer that.

Lastly, we hear others starting to say, ‘I’m tired.’ Well, we’re not tired and we’re not ever going to get tired. There’s too much at stake. But we need your help. Please help us by spreading the word and talking up free market solutions in healthcare every chance you get.


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Top Tweets – Still Plenty Wrong with Obamacare

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‘All the Bad News About Obamacare Every Day’

From wild spending to perverse incentives, there are “Six Problems With The #ACA That Aren’t Going Away”

Kentucky premiums up 45% in 2 yrs, after promise they would go down. #WheresMy2500

Meet the ‘extra-small network’; networks still shrinking under #Obamacare, the Incredible Shrinking Network Law

‘Another #ACA Dream Goes Bust: Healthcare co-ops last year suffered an estimated $377M in underwriting losses’

Big insurers getting bigger under #ACA as merger frenzy hits; headed to “one monster conglomerate”?

Health spending up 4 quarters in a row; #ACA to blame

CBO projection that repealing #ACA increases deficit built on flawed assumptions; deficits INCREASE after 5 years

Told you so: “Getting a Medicaid card doesn’t always guarantee healthcare”

GAO: Medicaid spent $35B on experiments in 13 states w/o clear goals, pace accelerating

Many Americans prefer cash, barter, and charity to #Obamacare

Immediate impact of Tea Party Patriots protests: 4 co-sponsors added to HR1953 to end #ACA sweetheart deal for Congress and staff

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Government Fails to Show Subsidies Included in Original Healthcare.gov Design

In a Freedom of Information Act case currently in court, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) has thus far failed to produce any records showing that the calculation and display of subsidies were any part of the original Obamacare federal exchange design.

The case (Civil Action No. 15-0510) was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in April. Plaintiff’s recent motion for an expedited hearing was opposed by the Obama Justice Department and is currently stalled before an Obama appointee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The FOIA request as originally filed asked for software specifications setting forth all functionality of the Healthcare.gov website. Suit was filed after the government failed to respond to the request within the statutory time. Plaintiff then narrowed the request in a settlement agreement with the government to “records setting forth specifications for a subsidy calculator in the original RFP for Healthcare.gov. ‘Subsidy calculator’ means functionality for actually calculating enrollee tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. ‘RFP’ means the Request for Proposal, Request for Quotation, or equivalent record (however captioned).”

Plaintiff made clear to government counsel and later to the court that plaintiff’s interest in the records has to do with the King v. Burwell case currently pending in the Supreme Court. The Court is expected to decide by the end of June whether the text of the Obamacare law permits subsidies to flow through the federal exchange. Thus, it has been made clear to government counsel and to the court that the settlement was time-sensitive and it was in the government’s interest to produce such records if it could.

Instead, the plaintiff received 535 pages resulting from the original FOIA request which, coincidentally, had been completed during settlement talks. Plaintiff also received a promise from the government that it would produce the results of a new search based on the settlement language.

The 535 pages all related to the Data Services Hub, the support system for all state and federal exchanges, not to the Healthcare.gov website or customer interface. A Data Services Hub Statement of Work (Version 1.0 dated September 30, 2011) did briefly reference Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) a handful of times, but all of the references were consistent with the Data Services Hub supporting state exchanges or facilitating financial transactions with insurers. Nothing in the Statement of Work described subsidy functionality as a part of the federal exchange, or proved that the government contemplated the flow of subsidies through Healthcare.gov from the outset.

Thus, the 535 pages were a misdirection not germane to plaintiff’s request or expressly stated interest. As of this writing, plaintiff has not received any other records in response to the settlement agreement. Government counsel, after indicating that the new search might take 10 days or so, claimed at the end of that time that the search could take additional weeks. Therefore, plaintiff filed a motion for an expedited hearing, further narrowing the case to 19 records specifically cited in the Data Services Hub Statement of Work, documents that are potentially responsive to plaintiff’s settlement language (e.g., “Eligibility and Enrollment – Exchange Business Architecture Supplement”).Plaintiff asked the court to set a hearing date forthwith and order the government to bring all 19 records to the hearing.

Plaintiff also invited the government to produce any records showing subsidies were included in the original design of the federal exchange website.

No additional records have been produced as of this writing. Instead, the Obama Justice Department opposed plaintiff’s motion for an expedited hearing and requested the court to order the parties to submit a briefing and production schedule as late as July 1st, conveniently after the Supreme Court is expected to rule in the King case. As of this writing, the court has not ruled on plaintiff’s request for expedited handling.

The bottom line is that the Obama administration, aided by the Obama Justice Department and an Obama court appointee, has stonewalled plaintiff’s now very narrow request. Plaintiff threw down the gauntlet and dared the administration to demonstrate that the flow of subsidies through the federal exchange was contemplated from the start in the very first Healthcare.gov design document, not added later in contravention of the plain text of the Obamacare law when the administration saw how few states were actually willing to establish their own exchange. While the absence of subsidy functionality in the first design of the federal exchange would not necessarily determine the outcome of King v. Burwell, such absence would be highly suggestive of the correct result.

[Editor’s Note - Competitive Enterprise Institute earlier filed a similar case (Civil Action No. 14-2138) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia based on a broader request. That case now involves 12,000 potentially responsive records on a production schedule running out through October.]






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Top Tweets – Predictions Wrong Again

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‘All the Bad News About Obamacare Every Day’

They got it wrong, again: number of clinic patients UP, not down, after #Obamacare

Enrollment stalling out just about everywhere; “very bad omen for insurer bottom line results”

#ACA paperwork costs states $880M, 27 million worker hours (bend that cost curve, baby!)

Ohio Medicaid expansion already $1 billion over budget

Unpaid hospital bills going UP, not down, in Minnesota after Medicaid expansion

Kentucky hospitals hemorrhaging $1B because Medicaid / exchange plan mix far less favorable than predicted

#ACA Basic Health Program undermines insurers, by siphoning off the young and heavily subsidized, in MN

IRS falling down on the job on tax credit eligibility verification

Senate subcommittee investigating allegations of rampant fraud in #Obamacare subsidies

 Yo, Washington! You have screwed up healthcare so bad, just GET OUT OF THE WAY!

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Obamacaid Is Displacing Private Insurance

Comment: People who had their own insurance are dropping it and going on welfare.  More dependency. Less choice.  Higher cost.  This isn’t healthy.

“The proportion of commercially insured patients, either through Obamacare’s exchanges or through workplace coverage, actually fell in states that expanded their Medicaid programs. In those states, commercially insured patients comprised 65.2% of all patients in 2013, 64.4% in 2014, and then fell to 62.8% in 2015.”

New estimate of Obamacare’s fiscal impact on private doctor practices
Scott Gottlieb, M.D.,  May 29, 2015 | Forbes

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Obamacare Wrecks Vermont

Comment: We’d love to quote this whole article.  Please follow the link to understand in detail why federal unicorn-and-rainbow health care is as unpleasant and unaffordable for the patients as it is unworkable for physicians.

“Just a few years ago, Vermont lawmakers in this left-leaning state viewed President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act as little more than a pit stop on the road to a far more ambitious goal: single-payer, universal health care for all residents.”

“Then things unraveled. The online insurance marketplace that Vermont built to enroll people in private coverage under the law had extensive technical failures. The problems soured public and legislative enthusiasm for sweeping health care changes just as Gov. Peter Shumlin needed to build support for his complex single-payer plan.”

“Finally, Shumlin, a Democrat, shelved the plan in December, citing the high cost to taxpayers.”

“[...] Vermont stands as a cautionary tale. Despite an eventual cost of up to $200 million in federal funds, its online marketplace, or exchange, is still not fully functional, while disgust with the system is running deep among residents and lawmakers alike.”

” [...] “It’s just been a spectacular crash, really,” said state Rep. Chris Pearson, a member of Vermont’s Progressive Party. “We’ve gone from this vision of being the first state to achieve universal health care to limping along and struggling to comply with the Affordable Care Act.”

“The bitterness stems partly from the fact that Vermont had some of the biggest elements of the Affordable Care Act in place long before it took effect.”

“Health insurance companies here already could not refuse to cover people, or charge them more, if they had pre-existing medical conditions. The state also already had more generous Medicaid eligibility rules than most, and programs that helped lower-income people pay for private insurance, which made it less expensive for many than the new exchange plans.

And here, Gentle Reader, is the bottom line:

“To many Vermonters, the new federal law complicated a state system that had already provided good coverage and muddied the route to an even better model.

Vermont’s health exchange stands as a cautionary tale In Vermont, Frustrations Mount Over Affordable Care Act

The New York Times | June 07,2015

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Poll: Obamacare Hits All-Time Low

Comment: Americans still want to help people who are truly in need–we all want that–but even the unACA Booster Club’s life-time members over at ABC and the Washington Post have had to admit that the Intolerable Act is getting even less popular the more it kicks in (and we do mean ‘kicks’).

“Support for keeping the subsidies comes despite the law polling as poorly as ever. The survey finds opinion on the health-care law among the worst in Post-ABC polling; 54 percent oppose, up six percentage points from a year ago. Support ties the record low of 39 percent, which was last hit in April 2012.”

Public to Supreme Court: Don’t gut Obamacare
By Peyton M. Craighill June 8, 2015

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Obamacaid Expansion Breaking State Budgets

Comment: Isn’t it amazing? Despite billions in borrowed federal money added to the national debt pouring into states, they’re worse off than before!  Now that’s Obamacare you can believe in!

“[...]Kentucky hospitals received $506 million more in Medicaid reimbursement since January 2014 because of the expansion and that the expansion generated more than 12,000 new jobs in health care and related fields.”

“But a report last month by the Kentucky Hospital Association said Obamacare overall has left them facing billions of dollars in cuts and forced them to lay off staff and shut down services. Most of the newly-insured in the relatively poor state enrolled in Medicaid, which hospital officials said now pays 82% of the actual cost of treating patients. So even though hospitals are getting $506 million more in Medicaid payments, officials said, it costs $617 [million] to provide care to those patients.

White House: Medicaid expansion would save billions, 5,200 lives
Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Ungar, USAToday June 4, 2015

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Top Tweets – A Look Ahead

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‘All the Bad News About Obamacare Every Day’

The Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case is expected in late June.  Meanwhile, Tea Party Patriots is organizing nationwide protests against the Congressional Exemption to Obamacare for June 17th.

Supposed King ‘drafting’ error in the bill 11 times

O-admin refuses to let Treasury testify on how they interpreted subsidy portion of #ACA (WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?)

 Congress behaving like “spoiled brats” over challenges to their special treatment under #Obamacare

The special subsidies for Congress is looting. We should clawback their ill-gotten gains!

Medicaid expansion enrollment surges past expectations in at least 7 states, more than double in IL, KY, WA

Medicaid expansion displacing private ins (told you so); change in patient mix financially straining doctor practice

#Obamacare is biggest fed expenditure increase, up 30% in one year (bend cost curve down? You betrayed us!)

Employers moving people to part-time in anticipation of #ACA employer mandate

#ACA EHRs: $27B billion squandered, patients neglected, good physicians demoralized, easier to commit fraud

‘Off to the races’ for insurer death spiral as end of risk corridor money prompts big rate hikes



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Comment: Hi, unAffordable Care Act calling, 2014. Can you afford me now?  2015 – Can you still afford me NOW?  2016 – Hold on a sec, here’s another hike.  How about NOW?

“ALBANY – Health insurers in New York are seeking an average 13.5 percent rate increase in 2016, saying the state has wrongly lowered their requests for premium hikes in recent years.”

“The 18 insurers requested the 13.5 percent increase for individual policyholders and 14.3 percent for small-group policies, the state Department of Financial Services, which oversees the industry, said on Tuesday.”

NY health insurers seek 13.5% increase in 2016
Joseph Spector 6:44 p.m. EDT June 2, 2015

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