“Father” of Canadian Health Care Admits its a Failure

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Claude Castonguay, the father of the Canadian Health Care system, and a model adopted by the NHS in Britain, has said his model is failing:

Just yesterday, I wrote about how unpopular the British healthcare system has become. Today comes news that the man largely responsible for Canada’s conversion to a single-payer health care system has admitted the system’s failure:

“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

As more and more nations throughout the world seek to infuse more private, market-based solutions into their government-controlled healthcare systems, for some reason lefties in this country want to make the same mistake that countries like Canada made decades ago…

(CR Online)

One person eventually wrote a book about their experience, noting in a CITY JOURNAL article:

was once a believer in socialized medicine. I don’t want to overstate my case: growing up in Canada, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the nuances of health economics. I wanted to get into medical school—my mind brimmed with statistics on MCAT scores and admissions rates, not health spending. But as a Canadian, I had soaked up three things from my environment: a love of ice hockey; an ability to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit in my head; and the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people. When HillaryCare shook Washington, I remember thinking that the Clintonistas were right.

My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks….

One of David Gratzer’s books opened my eyes to what was going on up in Canada and gave me ammunition to respond to silly liberal emotive arguments. The book is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.” But, many people believe the Michael Moore’s of the World:

Spiking Premiums is “Working as Designed”

The designer of Obamacare, noted today as premiums spike more that the bill is working as designed (the video included his latest remarks coupled with his earlier remarks):

ZERO HEDGE notes (see also BREITBART):

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor and architect of ObamaCare Jonathan Gruber told CNN’s Carol Costello on Wednesday that ObamaCare, which is set to see a sharp increase in premium prices next year, is going just as planned.

When asked what could be done to the Affordable Care Act in order to drive the prices of premiums down, Gruber responded by saying “the law is working as designed.”

Working as designed?

YES, as designed:

I have pointed this out before… single-payer is the goal:

An after thought. Since the DNC leadership has said — recently — the goal is single-payer… the question becomes this then: “what other area of life would a person want single payer in?” The airlines? Fast-food? Grocery stores? Car dealers? Education? Gyms?

In other words, why would someone reject a single airline, a single grocery-store (sorry weekend BBQ’ers, no more carne-asada from Vallerta), one gym, etc. — competition drives prices down and offers the best way (supply and demand) to get to the consumer what they want… but reject all that for a system that is failing in Canada, Britain, and the like?

It seems counter-intuitive that the left likes to break up large companies/corporations that get too big, and speak about/to the “evils” large companies inflict on the consumer, but then want single-payer. Odd indeed.

…read more…

Some Obama-Care Updates

Take note over the years the stories of “mom-and-pop” doctors going out of business because they could not afford to stay in business. The small insurance companies warning they would go out of business, and why the LARGER insurance companies wanted this because they knew it would run their competition out of business. But even the larger companies got bit in the ass… super corporations cannot form to handle the burden. But we also know that a single-payer health care system ~ w-h-i-c-h  h-a-s  w-o-r-k-e-d  NOWHERE.

Near ‘Collapse,’ Minnesota to Raise Obamacare Rates by Half

Minnesota will let the health insurers in its Obamacare market raise rates by at least 50 percent next year, after the individual market there came to the brink of collapse, the state’s commerce commissioner said Friday.

The increases range from 50 percent to 67 percent, Commissioner Mike Rothman’s office said in a statement. Rothman, who regulates the state’s insurers, is an appointee under Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat. The rate hike follows increases for this year of 14 percent to 49 percent.

Harken Health is quitting Obamacare exchanges in Chicago, Georgia

….So a loss of $70 million after less than a year in operation in just a few markets. Harken’s plan was to reduce costs for expensive treatments down the line by allowing all of its enrollees unlimited primary care visits with no co-pays and no deductibles. However those visits could only be with doctors at Harken’s own health clinics. One health broker told Modern Healthcare her clients didn’t like the idea of giving up their regular doctors:

Susan Morris, an independent broker in Atlanta, said Harken “did a poor job of marketing the plan to agents and brokers.” In addition, she said her individual customers didn’t like the idea of giving up their regular primary care doctors and instead using Harken’s staff providers. And Harken didn’t have enough clinic locations to serve the large Atlanta market….

ObamaCare rates in MN skyrocket 60% to stave off “collapse”

Seems that Washington DC isn’t the only place that’s learned the art of the Friday afternoon news dump. Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced yesterday afternoon that the state had approved health insurance premium increases that will average 60% in MNsure, the state’s ObamaCare exchange. The statement blamed big losses by insurers in the state, and bad predictions about utilization rates, for the decision:

Rothman said that Minnesota’s rate increases are part of a national trend in the individual health insurance market, with nearly all states looking at double-digit rate increases as insurers seek to align premium revenues with expected claims costs. States’ rate increases are also exacerbated by cuts to critical federal programs that were intended to stabilize the market and rates for consumers.

However, Minnesota’s individual market also faces unique challenges because of a disproportionate concentration of individuals with serious medical conditions whose high claims costs must be absorbed by a relatively small risk pool, pushing up rates for everyone in the individual market.

Citing ongoing financial losses, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced in late June that it is leaving the individual market, except for its Blue Plus HMO affiliate. The company’s decision affects approximately 103,000 Minnesotans, or about 40 percent of the state’s total individual market…..

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee is dropping most of its Obamacarecustomers

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee announced Monday it would no longer offer plans in three of the state’s most heavily populated regions. The insurer posted an explanation on its website (along with a map):

We’re trying hard to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work in Tennessee and are offering plans in most of the state for 2017.

Because of many challenges, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to end coverage in three regions for 2017 – the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville regions (shaded in orange below)…..

Loony: Minnesota ObamaCare rates to skyrocket by 36% to 67%

Count Minnesotans among the consumers who will get a big rate shock in November when open enrollment begins for ObamaCare. Insurers have applied for massive increases in the state MNsure exchange, with premiums escalating between 36% to 67%, and possibly more. And they’ll get it, because the alternative for insurers is to pack up and leave:

Minnesota health insurers are seeking big premium increases next year for people who buy coverage on their own, with proposed jumps for thousands of people averaging anywhere from 36 percent to 67 percent.

About 270,000 people buy coverage through Minnesota’s individual market, where shoppers buy through insurers, brokers or the state’s MNsure health insurance exchange…..

At Least Six Swing States Face Double-Digit Premium Hikes under Obamacare

Double-digit Obamacare premium hikes projected in 2017 may bode in Donald Trump’s favor, as several swing states are being impacted by double-digit increases under the law and consumers are expected to see the hikes around Nov. 1 — one week before heading to the polls.

Trump has promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but Hillary Clinton has vowed to make the Obamacare exchanges work. Some say the way she would do that is through raising taxes.

“Any reports of premium increases will immediately become talking points on the campaign trail,” stated Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “We’re in an election where the very future of the law will be debated.”

The Heritage Foundation found dramatic increases on premiums in Wisconsin and Florida as well as Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina under the law in comparison to before Obamacare went into effect. Currently, insurers in the Obamacare marketplace in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois are wanting double-digit hikes on premiums.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is reportedly requesting to increase rates by more than 18 percent, while in Ohio, the average requested hike is around 10 percent. In Pennsylvania, companies want hikes averaging 23.6 percent, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

One Of Nation’s Largest Health Insurers Deals Devastating Blow To Obamacare, Drops Out Of Most Marketplaces

Obamacare has been a total disaster.

Exchanges collapsing, premiums skyrocketing, policies cancelled.

Remember when President Obama lied to us about 92 million times and said that if we liked our plan we could keep it?

That was fun…

Over the past year, we have seen major health insurance companies give up on the massive failure.

Now, one of the top health insurers has said enough is enough.

BREAKING: Top health insurer dropping out of most ObamaCare marketplaces ….

— The Hill (@thehill) August 16, 2016

Obamacare Solidified

Had to add this short exchange on my FaceBook. I said: “Trump wants Hillary’s plan for healthcare. So either way it [Obama-care] is getting worse.” To which this reply came:

  • M.H. said: “No he doesn’t. If you like I can help you come to the trump side.”

To which I replied:

…here is his more recent dilliniation of renaming “single-payer” with “heart-payer,” it’ll be INCREDIBLE:

  • “That’s not single payer, by the way. That’s called heart. We gotta take care of people that can’t take care of themselves. But the plans will be much less expensive than Obamacare, they’ll be far better than Obamacare, you’ll get your doctor, you’ll get everything that you want to get. It’ll be unbelievable.”

American Spectator:

INDIANA PRIMARY WILL DECIDE OBAMACARE’S FATE

If Trump wins in the Hoosier State tomorrow, repeal is a dead letter.

Indiana’s Republican primary is not merely the Cruz campaign’s last chance to stop the Trump juggernaut, it will also determine the ultimate fate of Obamacare. If Trump wins Indiana tomorrow, he will almost certainly win the Republican presidential nomination only to lose the general election to Hillary Clinton, who is committed to preserving the unpopular law. Even if Trump manages to eke out a win in November, he will probably be hobbled by a Democrat-controlled Senate that will kill any Obamacare repeal bill. A vote for Trump in the Hoosier State tomorrow, in other words, is a vote for Obamacare.

[….]

In addition to being the most unpopular presidential candidate in decades, he is viewed askance by key demographic groups without whose support no candidate can win. A recent Gallup survey found the following: “Donald Trump’s image among U.S. women tilts strongly negative, with 70% of women holding an unfavorable opinion and 23% a favorable opinion of the Republican front-runner.” Women make up more than half of the electorate — election over.

Which brings us back to Obamacare. Trump can’t repeal the perversely titled “Affordable Care Act” or anything else if he can’t get elected president. And when he loses in a landslide to Hillary Clinton, she will claim a mandate to expand President Obama’s “signature domestic achievement.” In other words, she will make the already intrusive and dysfunctional health “reform” law even worse. Her vision for building on Obamacare’s “successes” involves a soviet-style regulatory regimen that would dictate how insurance companies, drug manufacturers, and care providers operate and what they charge their customers.

Clinton also plans to exhume the dreaded “public option.” According to her campaign website, “Hillary supports a ‘public option’ to reduce costs and broaden the choices of insurance coverage for every American.” This idea was so bad it never made the cut to be included in Obamacare. Even single payer advocates have denounced it. And it gets worse. Clinton also plans to expand Obamacare eligibility to illegal aliens: “She believes we should let families — regardless of immigration status — buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so.”

This illustrates the cognitive dissonance that plagues Trump’s supporters. By backing a candidate whom no one believes can win the general election, the very government policies that make them angry will be perpetuated for at least another four years. Trump’s supporters are angry about how Obama and Congress have handled illegal immigration. Yet their candidate will lose badly to a woman who supports amnesty and openly declares that she will make sure illegal aliens receive taxpayer-paid health care. They hate Obamacare, but their candidate will inevitably lose to a woman dedicated to expanding it….

In case you forgot how bad Obamacare is, Life News has this:

Congressional conservatives are taking a stand against the Obama administration’s abortion agenda by blocking one of the president’s Health and Human Services nominees. Until the White House investigates whether California is unlawfully forcing health insurers to cover abortions, Mary Wakefield, the deputy HHS secretary candidate, will have to wait.

The Senate Finance Committee, led by Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), is placing an obstacle before Wakefield – not out of personal animosity, but concern for the right to life and religious freedom in California. A couple of years ago, the state’s department of health mandated that insurers provide coverage for abortions as a “medically necessary procedure.”

As a result, some churches and Catholic institutions were forced to violate their religious beliefs. Pro-life groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation condemned the directive as discriminatory and filed lawsuits against the state’s department of managed health care, but the mandate remains….

“Affordable” Care Act’s Sticker Shock

HotAir notes this “sticker shock”

Entitlement programs in general spend tomorrow’s money on payments today — in essence, picking the pockets of our children and grandchildren for our own benefit. Here in Minnesota, the state takes that more literally. The NBC affiliate in the Twin Cities reports that families who qualified for MNsure’s Medicaid program are finding out that they’re getting coverage for free now, but leaving their children with tax liens that run into the tens of thousands of dollars:

[….]

let’s not pretend that ObamaCare, Medicaid, and Medicare don’t already do exactly what we see here from KARE11. Those programs promise coverage that we cannot possibly fund in real time, which is one reason why our national debt has skyrocketed above 100% of GDP in the past several years. We are placing liens on the backs of our children, grandchildren, and even more distant generations in order to make ourselves feel good about our own generosity to ourselves. The only difference between that and what MNsure has done to its Medical Assistance customers is that it’s easier to pretend with the rest of the entitlements.

Why MSNBC is Last In Cable News Ratings (Soros vs. Koch Brothers)

~ Re-Posted ~

Had to post this from NewsBusters. The rhetoric from the media (MSNBC, CNN, and the like) has been mind-numbingly shallow. I also wish to say that I doubt Ball has ever mentioned any add as being backed by Soros. To wit, before getting to the NewsBusters piece, let me explain why people fear government via a post of mine answering a local writer:


And any person should acknowledge why someone should “fear” government more than business. In fact, I made this point on my FB outgrowth of this blog in talking to my liberal friend:

…this is to show how the Obama admin is stacking the books with GM. You see, when the government chooses winners-and-losers instead of getting contracts with private companies (like Ford, GM, etc.), they are invested to [i.e., forced to] only choose a government run business and stock their fish (so-to-speak) with GM fleets… leaving the non-government company to flounder.

This next audio deals with the differences of the Koch brothers, in comparison to the Left’s version of them, Soros. There are many areas that one can discuss about the two… but let us focus in on the main/foundational difference. One wants a large government that is able to legislate more than just what kind of light-bulbs one can use in the privacy of their own home. Soros wants large government able to control a large portion of the economy (see link to chart below), and he has been very vocal on this goal. The other party always mentioned are the Koch brothers. These rich conservatives want a weak government. A government that cannot effect our daily lives nearly as much (personal, business, etc) as the Soros enterprise wants. And really, if you think about it, what business can really “harm” you, when people come to my door with pistols on their hip… are they a) more likely to be from GM, or, b) from the IRS?

The possibility of them being from the IRS is even more possible with the passing of Obama-Care [i.e., larger government]. So the “fear” (audio in next comment) I think the Left has of “Big-Business” is unfounded, and the problem comes when big-business gets in bed with big-government. Here I am thinking of (like with the penalties that were found to be Constitutional in the recent SCOTUS decision) a government that can penalize you if you do not buy a Chevy Volt, or some other green car in order to save the planet. When this happens, guys coming to my door because of unpaid (hypothetical… but historical examples abound of the tax history of our nation) “fines” are likely to be IRS agents because of a personal choice made in the “free-market.”

Appendix: If the above example didn’t inspire any liberal fear (forced to go green or be penalized), maybe this one will?

…First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want. It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own. Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines. Which agency would do the best job? Hmmmm … I know! How about TSA? With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun? Hey, no worries. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates. The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all. Isn’t choice great? Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own. Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway. Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t. Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership….

…read more…

This is why people fear government, to answer John’s question.


Back to the excellent NewsBusters response to “Krystal Ball” on MSNBC:

Honestly, how does this woman have a job in a news division?

Oh. That’s right. MSNBC isn’t a news organization. How could I have forgotten?

Saying Republicans don’t want young people to buy health insurance is preposterous.

What conservatives don’t want is the government to force young people to purchase something that morbidity tables show will likely have absolutely no benefit for them until the distant future so that others who likely will benefit much sooner can get it either for free or far more cheaply.

Irrespective of what Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts foolishly ruled last year, this is neither Constitutional nor ethical.

As for these young people dying if ObamaCare is not enacted, that asininely assumes that people won’t have the money to pay for their care if they get sick or won’t purchase health insurance when they reach an age when they believe they need it.

For example, Ball mentioned prenatal care and tetanus shots. As a person that owns an insurance agency, I certainly would be telling a client looking to have children to purchase health insurance.

As for Pap smears, the Mayo Clinic recommends women over 21 do them every two to three years.

The cost varies state by state. In New York City, you can get one for as little as $150.

As such, a woman in that city doing it even once every two years would save thousands of dollars paying for it herself rather than buying health insurance.

As for cholesterol tests, these are now available online for as little as $40.

…read more…

This great, short, update comes via The Lonely Conservative:

The short answer to the question posed above is “Not even close.” It’s not the Koch Brothers or ALEC. Nope. The biggest spender in the dark money game is the Tides Foundation. Oh and by the way, Tides is a big liberal group.

Whenever “ALEC” and “dark money” are mentioned in the media, however, there ought to be a third name given at least equal attention – the Tides Foundation. That’s because Tides, the San Francisco-based funder of virtually every liberal activist group in existence since the mid-1970s, pioneered the concept of providing a cut-out for donors who don’t wish to be associated in public with a particular cause. It is instructive to compare the funding totals for Tides and ALEC.

A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars. (Read More)

So there.


BIG versus SMALL


(You can enlarge the article by clicking it.) This is a local, small town magazine, and John Van Huizum writes a regular piece that I will critique here-and-there. Here is my first installment:

I wish to write a response to a recent Concepts article by John Van Huizum, entitled “What Does ‘Free’ Mean?” There are a couple issues worth responding to or in-the-least offering a differing viewpoint on. The first of Mr. Huizum’s positions that needs de”concept”ualizing is the idea of “greed.” Mr. Huizum spoke of history, something Dr. Sowell reminds us of in the telling of Richard Sears ferocious greed in wanting to overtake Montgomery Ward.[1] This type of greed leads to lower prices. Alternatively the Fords, Rockefellers, and the Carnegies found ways to offer goods at lower prices. This type of greed leads to Carnegie — for instance — becoming a “prodigious philanthrop[ist] – building more than 3,000 public libraries in 47 states…, founding Carnegie-Mellon University and the Carnegie Institute of Technology (C.I.T.), establishing Carnegie Hall in New York, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and much more.”[2]

In a wonderful response to Donahue’s 1979 challenge to Milton Freidman on the issue of greed and if greed has ever caused Dr. Friedman to doubt capitalism. Milton Friedman responded that “the world runs on individuals pursuing their own interests, the great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory from an order of a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of the grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and free trade.”[3] So I wish to proffer another history that maybe, just possibly Forbes is taking into account and Mr. Huizum is not.

Another point worth politely rejecting is the definition given to Forbes by Mr. Huizum on freedom: “free from ANY government regulation.”[4] This is a fallacy of straw-man.[5] Mr. Huizum does not show a full knowledge of Forbes understanding on this matter. Nor does the facile dealing with this complex issue and the putting forth of a false definition as if-it-were Forbes do this topic justice.

One last point, the most important. Unlike big business when it makes mistakes, big government cannot go out of business. Unlike corrupt government, corrupt business cannot print money and thereby devalue a nation’s currency. Businesses cannot coerce you by force (tax liens, garnishing of wages, or armed IRS officials, etc) into an action. So the “greed” of the corporation pales in comparison to the greed of government.[6] Which is why our Founders stated that, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government” (Patrick Henry); “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master” (George Washington).

Footnotes:

[1] Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2004), 361.
[2] Michael Medved, The 10 biggest Lies About America (New York, NY: Crown Forum, 2008), 132; see also, “What Did He Get for That Money?
[3] youtu.be/RWsx1X8PV_A
[4] John Van Huizum, Agua Dulce/Acton Country Journal, Vol. XXII, Issue 21 (May 26, 2012), 19.
[5] a) Person A has position X; b) Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X); c) Person B attacks position Y; d) Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
[6] Dennis Prager, Still the Best Hope (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2012), 35-36.

Why We’re Losing Liberty ~ Robert George (PragerU)

Was the Constitution written in a way that was designed to protect freedom and limit the government’s size? Has it been effective in doing that? And what’s the Supreme Court’s record when it comes to protecting our rights? Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, answers these questions and more.

New Penalties Hit Employers This Week (+ Can Obamacare Cure Whiteness?)

Via Watchdog!

Employers who reimburse their workers for health care costs will face massive tax penalties beginning Wednesday.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, with its mandate that all Americans purchase insurance and requirement for businesses to offer employees insurance plans, many small companies provided coverage by directly reimbursing medical costs or for the cost of private insurance plans. Businesses do it because that’s a less complicated process than dealing with an official health insurance plan, but continuing to do so after July 1 could cost them hundreds of dollars in fines each day.

Business groups are calling attention to what they say is an obscure part of Obamacare that could crush small businesses who are unaware of it.

“It’s the biggest penalty that no one is talking about,” said Kevin Kuhlman, policy director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, on Tuesday.

The penalties will only affect businesses with less than 50 employees. Those with more than 50 employees are already required to offer a health insurance plan.

The new rule is the result of an Internal Revenue Service interpretation of part of the ACA. It seems intended to force employers to offer a group health insurance plan (or leave their employees to fend for themselves on the health insurance exchanges).

The IRS says those reimbursements — technically known as “employer payment plans” — are “considered to be group health plans subject to the market reforms, including the prohibition on annual limits for essential health benefits and the requirement to provide certain preventive care without cost sharing.”

The end result?

Such an arrangement fails to satisfy the market reforms and may be subject to a $100/day excise tax per applicable employee (which is $36,500 per year, per employee) under section 4980D of the Internal Revenue Code,” according to the taxmen.

Business groups say the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

Even though the total fine is capped at $500,000 per year, that’s still miles ahead of the $2,000 fine that could be waiting for larger companies (those with more than 50 employees) that fail to comply with the individual mandate part of the ACA.

The NFIB says 14 percent of their members do not provide health insurance plans, but instead offer reimbursement.

The owner of a Minnesota-based company with 17 employees told NFIB the new rules would require health benefits to go through the payroll process. That means it is subject to taxes, which reduces employees’ benefits and increases the business’ costs.

“Reimbursing employees for the cost of insurance or medical services is a way for small businesses to help their workers without the administrative headache of setting up a costly group plan,” said Kuhlman.  “Most small employers don’t have HR departments or benefits specialists, so this is a simpler, easier way to help their employees.”…

(…See more at Forbes)

The real question is… will Obamacare cover related illnesses to “whiteness”?

(Via The Daily Caller and Campus Reform) Robinson has belatedly made her Twitter feed private, but Thursday Campus Reform published screenshots of several older tweets on her account that show a persistent pattern of hating whites, Christians, and even other blacks.

In one particularly strange pair of tweets made in March, Robinson admitted to having severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition characterized by emotional and mood problems. Due to her difficulty treating it, Robinson theorized her menstrual mood swings may simply have been caused by white people rather than any internal hormonal fluctuations…

[….]

In addition to making the statement that the American flag is a symbol of “race, class, gender, & sexuality oppression,” Robinson made the claim that that the ultimate expression of love from “conservative whites” is to threaten someone else with “death and rape.” 

Robinson has made numerous other tweets that fall along the same subject lines:

“Not Fully Forthcoming” In Politispeak Means “LIED”

Via Libertarian Republican:

Halperin is enormously respected in the Inside-the-Beltway media community. For him to make this admission is huge. The exact quote: 

No, and I owe all of my Republican sources an apology. They kept telling me he was hugely involved, and the White House played it down. They were right, the Republicans were right.