Tuesday, February 4, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
Obamacare A Job Killer
Conservative critics of Obamacare warned all along that the health care scheme was a job killer. Those arguments were brushed aside in 2010 when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid rammed Obamacare through Congress on a party-line vote. Then in 2011 the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report indicating that Obamacare would reduce employment by 800,000 workers.
Of course, liberals rejected those claims, and it turns out that the CBO was wrong. It underestimated the job losses: A new report triples its 2011 projection to “a loss of at least 2 million full-time jobs.”
But the bad news doesn’t end there. The CBO also predicted that the disastrous rollout of Obamacare would result in one million fewer people signing up. Fewer people signing up increases the likelihood of additional premium spikes and the dreaded death spiral.
Does Putin Have Your Health Info?
The security of the Obamacare website has been an ongoing concern from the day it first launched. Cyber security experts have testified that the personal financial information every user provides on Healthcare.gov is vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. In fact, we know from congressional hearings that top Obama officials ignored warnings from their own security experts that the site was not ready to launch in October.
Today brings more reason for concern. Bill Gertz, a respected national security reporter, writes that intelligence agencies warned the Department of Health and Human Services last week to scrub Healthcare.gov for malicious software that could enable cyber-attacks. Concerns arose over reports that a tech company with connections to the government of Belarus may have written part of the code for Healthcare.gov.
The Republic of Belarus lies to the east Poland and is strongly aligned with Russia. It is essentially a dictatorship, ruled by the same man for the past 20 years. Last year, a state-controlled telecommunications company in Belarus temporarily hijacked internet traffic from several countries, including the United States.
In addition to the risk of identity theft, Gertz writes, “The malicious code could reroute Obamacare website data to Belarus, or possibly permit illegal backdoor access to the Healthcare.gov networks and other government and health industry networks.”
Responding to this latest security threat from Healthcare.gov, Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said, “I continue to call on HHS to shut down and properly stress test the site to ensure that consumers are protected from potential security risks from across the globe.”
Of course, the Obama Administration has absolutely no intention of doing that. In fact, it is not even required to inform you if your data is stolen from the Obamacare site.
Obamacare = Big Government Incompetence
Tens of thousands of Americans who struggled with the glitchy Obamacare website and managed to get signed up are discovering another glitch. If there is a mistake of any kind on their application (user error or not), they are stuck with it.
More than 20,000 Americans have filed appeals of various errors — they were signed up for the wrong policy, they are being overcharged, their children are not signed up — and the government appears powerless to help them. The computer system is reportedly not allowing federal workers to make any changes.
It appears that the “appeals process” is among many aspects of the Healthcare.gov site that have not been built yet. Attorneys at the National Health Law Program warned the Obama Administration in late December that “there is no indication that infrastructure … necessary for conducting informal reviews and fair hearings has even been created, let alone become operational.”
Unfortunately, for thousands of Americans stuck in this “Obamacare purgatory,” the Washington Post reports that the appeals process is “not among the top priorities for completing parts of the … computer system that still do not work.” Evidently, the insurance companies want to make sure they get paid first.
Kudos To Cantor
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor may have delivered the most significant presentation at the House GOP’s recent policy retreat in Cambridge, Maryland. During his 40-minute remarks, Cantor urged his House colleagues to reconnect with the middle class and speak in ways that appeal to their concerns and dreams.
Cantor reportedly told his fellow Republicans, “Ninety percent of Americans work for someone else. Most of them not only will never own their own business, for most of them that isn’t their dream. Their dream is to have a good job, with an income that will allow them to support their family.”
“We shouldn’t miss the chance to talk to these people,” Cantor said, adding, “Which is why we will present and pass our plans to relieve the middle class squeeze.”
Cantor’s remarks suggest he understands the economic challenges facing the American middle class. Perhaps he’s been reading my recent reports arguing for a greater emphasis on middle class job security and less rhetoric aimed at corporate CEOs.
Whatever the reason for the change, Cantor is on the right track.
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