Exposed: Obama Admin Caught Making Illegal Move That Makes ObamaCare Look Even Worse

The Obama administration has been caught — once again — seeking to circumvent the law related to Obamacare by diverting billions in funds intended for the U.S. Treasury to cover private insurance companies’ losses.

In 2014, Sen. Marco Rubio inserted language into the omnibus spending bill which specifically barred the Department of Health and Human Services from dipping into the general funds of the Treasury to bailout failing insurance companies, the Washington Post reported.

Marc Thiessen, writing for the Post, observed that the provision is “quietly killing” Obamacare, while the New York Times headlined in December, “Marco Rubio Quietly Undermines Affordable Care Act.” The Hill called the provision, “the biggest blow in the GOP’s five-year war against Obamacare.”

Both the Post and the Times pointed out that private insurers have been taking heavy losses participating in the healthcare exchanges, and to entice them to stay, the Obama administration was subsidizing the companies with taxpayer dollars.

According to the Times report, in 2014 “insurers lost $2.9 billion more than expected on Obamacare…Thanks to Rubio’s provision, the administration was allowed to pay only 13 cents of every dollar insurers requested. Without the taxpayer bailouts, more than half of the Obamacare insurance cooperatives created under the law failed.”

Several insurers have pulled out of the remaining exchanges. United Healthcare and Aetna, two of the nation’s largest providers, have indicated they are considering pulling out of Obamacare altogether, due to the billions in losses they have sustained.  

As a means of mitigating the disastrous financial impact of the law on insurers, the Obama administration announced earlier this month it will hand out $7.7 billion to companies from fees collected through the ACA. The only problem is $2 billion of that money is supposed to go the Treasury’s general funds.

Doug Badger, a senior fellow with the Galen Institute, writes the “reinsurance fee” is $107 for every man, woman and child with a private health plan, which adds up to billions in collections each year.

“The law states a fixed share ‘shall be deposited into the general fund of the Treasury of the United States and may not be used’ to offset insurance companies’ losses. But the administration gave all of it to the insurance companies last year, and got away with that heist. So they’re trying it again,” Betsy McCaughey wrote in Investors Business Daily.

According to Badger, the amount the Treasury is supposed to receive — but won’t because the Obama administration has directed it be paid to private insurers — is $3.5 billion over the two years.

The Daily Signal reported Thursday that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating the multi-billion dollar transfer of taxpayer money.

“[Earlier this month], the administration announced that they would be using billions of taxpayer dollars to make payments to insurance companies under the Obamacare reinsurance program,” Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn., a member of the committee said Wednesday during a hearing with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. “The announcement that the administration made represents an illegal wealth transfer from hardworking taxpayers to insurers.” 

The Ways and Means Committee has also taken up the issue. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas; Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam, R-Ill.; and Subcommittee on Health Chairman Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, asked Burwell for documents related to the reinsurance program in a letter sent Feb. 9.

“It appears that the administration has illegally diverted funds from the U.S. Treasury to fund the transitional reinsurance program established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” they wrote. “Not only is this diversion inconsistent with past policies promulgated by the administration but it is incompatible with clear congressional instructions contained within the ACA. We ask that HHS immediately submit to the Treasury all diverted funds.”

The Obama administration’s diversion of funds is just the latest example of changing provisions of ACA without congressional approval. Other instances included delaying implementation of the employer mandate twice, delaying the individual mandate for two years, and not creating a means to adequately verify whether those signing up were actually eligible for health care subsidies.

Wow: Hillary Just Said THIS Is ‘One Of The Greatest Accomplishments Of Our Country’

At the Democratic presidential debate Sunday night, Hillary Clinton listed Obamacare as one of the “greatest accomplishments” in United States history.

Presumably that would means it ranks up there with defeating the British in the Revolutionary War and founding a new nation, conceived in liberty; growing the country from “sea to shining sea”; becoming the greatest industrial power in the history of the world at the forefront of opportunity and invention; defeating the Nazis and Japanese in World War II; passing the Civil Rights Act of 1965; and placing the first man on the Moon.

During Sunday night’s debate, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell asked Clinton if it was fair to say Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants to kill Obamacare. The Democrat socialist has advocated for Medicare-for-all during the campaign.

“Here’s what I believe,” the former secretary of state said. “The Democratic Party in the United States worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care Act passed. We finally have a path to universal health care. We’ve accomplished so much already, I do not want to see the Republicans repeal it, and I don’t want to see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.”

Sanders responded saying that 29 million Americans still have no healthcare coverage and Truman and President Franklin Roosevelt wanted universal healthcare as a “right” for all. He also noted that the United States is spending far more for healthcare per person than other industrialized countries such as Great Britain, France and Canada.

“But the fact is, We have the Affordable Care Act,” Clinton responded. “That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party and of our country.”

The candidate went on to list some of what she believes are the achievements of the ACA, including: 19 million Americans obtain healthcare coverage [the vast majority of which through expanding Medicaid]; the end of pre-existing conditions preventing people from getting coverage; and younger Americans up to 26 years of age being able to stay on their parents plans.  

Clinton re-iterated that she believes it would be a mistake to go back. Critics of Obamacare would point out several promises made in the lead up to the entitlement program’s passage that have not borne out including:

1. President Obama stating, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” Politifact rated that statement the “Lie of the Year” in 2013 as the ACA began to be implemented.

2. Premiums have not gone down an average of $2500 per family as the president promised, but have spiked under the new regime. In four states in 2016 alone, they have gone up over 30 percent, and in another 17, they increased over 20 percent, the Daily Signal reported.

3. Obamacare would be deficit neutral. According to Congressional Budget Office report issued last year, the ACA will likely cost nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years, while taking in only $600 billion in taxes.

Added to this list of problems with the ACA that over half of the state exchanges have failed at a cost of $1.1 billion to taxpayers, the Washington Beacon reports.

Given these facts, Hillary Clinton may want to reconsider the “greatest accomplishment” characterization.

BREAKING: Obama Just Dropped The Hammer On Republicans In Congress With One Move

President Barack Obama vetoed legislation that would have repealed much of Obamacare, which marked the first time such a measure has reached his desk since the law was passed in 2010. The legislation would have also defunded Planned Parenthood.

The president wrote in a veto message to Congress regarding his decision, “Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto.”

The president claimed, “Republicans in the Congress have attempted to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act over 50 times.”

The measure was passed using budget reconciliation, the means employed by Democrats in 2010 to pass the Affordable Care Act. Reconciliation measures are filibuster-proof in the Senate.

“Now, is someone named Obama going to sign a bill into law repealing ObamaCare? Of course not,” Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Thursday. “But we have now demonstrated that, if we elect a Republican president, we can use this same path to repeal ObamaCare without 60 votes in the Senate.”

“The idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth,” Ryan added in a video he shared on Friday. “This law will collapse under its own weight or it will be repealed.”

“The veto was the eighth of Obama’s presidency and the sixth since last year, when Republicans took over both chambers of Congress,” The Hill reported.

The president in his veto message also acknowledged the reconciliation bill would also “effectively defund Planned Parenthood,” which he argued provides important health services.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which has been a strong advocate for defunding Planned Parenthood issued the following statement from Senior Counsel Casey Mattox:

The president has chosen to continue funding for the abortion giant that helped get him elected rather than expand health care choices for women. All he has done is kill an historic bill that would have redirected existing funding from the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood to thousands of better, low-cost community health care providers that serve women and families far more comprehensively.

It is past time to end the government’s immoral partnership with Planned Parenthood that has been forced upon the American people.

h/t: CNN

Huckabee Just Poked Obama Right In The Eye By Releasing THIS In Response To His Gun Plan

The “unconstitutional” is being fought back by the unconventional.

In the wake of President Obama’s Executive Order on gun control Wednesday, former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee gave Americans a chance to take a shot — literally — at Obama’s signature policies.

The Republican presidential candidate is now advertising “Obama agenda shooting targets” at MikeHuckabee.com. Buyers can choose targets labeled “Obamacare,” “75,000-page Tax Code,” or “Common Core.”

“Americans should go out and buy a new gun – and to improve your accuracy, you can take aim at Washington stupidity, blow holes in ridiculous government programs and shred our unfair tax code with a customized shooting target,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee called Obama’s executive orders on restricting firearms “unconstitutional.”

“Basically President Obama told law-abiding gun owners, ‘if you like your gun, you can keep your gun.’ We’ve heard that lie before when he promised, ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’” Huckabee charged.

Huckabee said he will always stand for gun rights.

“I will fight until my dying breath to protect the 2nd Amendment. While the President may want to take your guns, my idea of “gun control” is hitting your target. So before you pull the trigger, aim your sights on the ObamaCare nightmare, the Common Core disaster, or our 75,000 page tax code monstrosity,” he said.

Speaking recently in Iowa, which he referred to as the “grassroots of America,” Huckabee said rage has overtaken anger due to Obama’s continued executive orders that bypass America’s elected Congress.

“I would repeal every one of Obama’s executive orders,” Huckabee vowed.

Huckabee called for a return to the checks and balances the Founding Fathers designed for the three branches of government. He said it is time “we quit letting the Supreme Court act like it’s the supreme being.”

h/t: Breitbart

Big Brother Vs. The Little Sisters … Obama Administration Takes Nuns To Supreme Court

The Obama administration’s lack of understanding of the spiritual depth and commitment of private religious charities is shocking. The callousness of the federal effort to compel a noble Catholic religious order—the Little Sisters of the Poor—to forsake its faith commitments shows the depth of the intolerance of the behemoth secular state under President Obama.

The story is one of courageousness on the part of the nuns of this religious order. Founded in France in 1839, the Little Sisters of the Poor has spread to many other countries, including the United States, with the charitable goal of giving aid and comfort to the poor. The Sisters take the normal vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but also add hospitality, which they extend to some of the “least of those in our midst.”

In March, the nuns will continue their long battle against the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its head, Sylvia Burwell, when the Sisters and their lawyers come before the Supreme Court.

The case concerns the long reach of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) and its unyielding interpretation by HHS that threatens to place the Little Sisters of the Poor in a moral dilemma. HHS is requiring the Sisters and other religious institutions such as sectarian colleges, seminaries, and faith-based charities, to provide contraceptives—including abortion-inducing drugs (i.e., abortifacients)—in the health plans they offer to their employees. The Little Sisters and other religious entities are refusing to comply, even though non-compliance will mean huge and potentially destructive fines imposed by the federal government. This is the same moral choice that was imposed on private for-profit corporations in 2014, which resulted in the Hobby Lobby case. There, two firms—Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties—successfully challenged the contraceptive mandate imposed by HHS and the Affordable Care Act by making use of the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In a calculated retreat, HHS claims that it has provided a “way out” for the Little Sisters. But is this a sleight-of-hand trick telling the nuns that they can avoid the moral issue? HHS and the Obama administration may be used to trying to make moral issues appear inconsequential in order to achieve their secular goal of opening wide the pathway to abortions, but the Little Sisters know complicity in wrongdoing when they see it. Here are the specifics:

HHS now offers to have the Sisters sign a form saying that they have religious objections to providing the contraceptive choices to their employees. This then has the effect of shifting the provision of contraceptives to either the health insurance company or to a third party that administers the health plan. Either way, the contraceptives are provided through the Little Sisters’ plan. The Sisters say that what HHS is proposing is a distinction without a moral difference. As they argue in their brief:  “In short, it [the HHS proposal] is designed to force a religious employer to allow its own plan to be used to facilitate access to the very contraceptive coverage that it finds religiously objectionable.”

The provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are clear. The complaining party must show that a regulation imposed by the federal government “substantially burdens its free exercise of religion.” The Little Sisters of the Poor face ruinous fines in the millions of dollars if they refuse to comply. That is a substantial burden. The government is then obliged to show that it nevertheless has a “compelling interest” in enforcing the requirement, and it must satisfy the court that it has “no less burdensome way” of accomplishing its regulatory end.

The difficulty the federal government faces here is that it has exempted many others, including churches and their religious auxiliaries, “grandfathered plans,” and small employers, which clearly demonstrates that the requirement is not so compelling that no exemptions can be granted. In addition, HHS could extend the general exemptions it already offers to other religious entities to the Little Sisters, which would be the least restrictive means of meeting the requirement. Under the Hobby Lobby case, the court also suggested that the government itself could offer to assume the costs of the contraceptives sought by exempted employees without implicating the religious employer.

This is a case where Big Brother simply refuses to recognize the deeply held religious views of private charities whose work with the poor and downtrodden is activated by the example of Christ himself. Here is a simple message the Supreme Court should send to Burwell, President Obama, and HHS: Let the Little Sisters continue to serve the poor and vulnerable. Leave them alone.

– See more at: http://www.visionandvalues.org