Submitted by lambert on Fri, 05/17/2013 - 12:17pm
Citizen's Council for Health Freedom, reader-funded attendance at an ObamaCare conference in DC
"States haven't made a lot of progress yet in connecting to the data hub; systems don't 'talk' to each other. Hope that systems will be in place perhaps by 2015." -- Susan Dentzer, RWJF
"Will they be ready? No one knows the answer to that. There's a political and a technical consideration...If a state chooses not to cooperate, then it's very difficult for the feds to put up a very successful, exchange in a state." -- Brett Graham, Leavitt Partners.
"It's a three year implementation being done in 10 months. By its nature, it's unrealistic." -- Keven Counihan, Access Health CT
"The truth is, it's not going to be fully functioning on 10-1" -- Christine Ferguson, RI (Exchange)
"And October 1 is very very soon." -- Cynthia Crose, Arkansas Insurance Dept.
"I don't know what happens this fall if it's not ready. -- Sandy Praeger, NAIC
Oh, I know what happens: Obama makes a massive public relations push, says "it's ready," the career "progressives" chime in, and our famously free press rolls over (and what do any of them care, becaue they're already covered! Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Thu, 05/16/2013 - 3:29pm
Even before we get to the glitzy stuff, like using social media to crosscheck income eligibility. Atlantic Wire:
In its 5-4 ruling last year, the Supreme Court upheld the law's mandate that Americans have health insurance, saying that Congress can enforce the mandate under its taxing authority and through the IRS.
As a result, the agency has to administer 47 tax provisions under Obamacare. They include the right to levy a penalty against businesses and individuals who don't provide or acquire insurance. Noting that the IRS will collect the penalties, the decision labeled them a tax.
The IRS also has to determine how to distribute annual subsidies to 18 million people who make less than $45,000 a year and thus qualify for subsidies in buying health coverage, as well as how to deliver tax credits to small businesses that buy coverage for workers.
In addition, the agency will collect taxes on medical devices and a Medicare surtax on people making more than $200,000 a year, as well as conducting compliance audits of tax-exempt hospitals.
The financial burden for all this IRS enforcement is expected to total $881 million for fiscal years 2010 through 2013, according to the Treasury Department.
But former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress last year that he would need another $13.1 billion for the job in 2014. It's uncertain as to whether the funds will be forthcoming from Congress, which has cut the IRS's budget in each of the past two years.
$13.1 billion doesn't seem like a lot of money these days. But I imagine to the IRS it's a pretty big deal (and what Federal agency ever turned down more money?) Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Thu, 05/16/2013 - 3:19pm
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Submitted by lambert on Tue, 05/14/2013 - 9:04pm
PDF here. Note that the new dataflow to "consumer reporting agencies" is not on the chart. NOTE: This is definitely not a left wing site, but I'm not seeing signs of the fever swamp, either. Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 05/14/2013 - 8:01pm
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Submitted by lambert on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 6:27pm
Submitted by lambert on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 12:43pm
Reuters on the IRS scandal, which does seem to be genuine:
IRS Kept Shifting Targets in Tax-Exempt Groups Scrutiny: Report
That's the headline. And by "shifting" we mean "expanding."
When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as 'Tea Party,' but later they focused on criticisms by groups of "how the country is being run," according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday.
Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.
At one point, the agents chose to screen applications from groups focused on making "America a better place to live."
Yeah, who could want that? Still, I guess as long as you don't put "Occupier" in the Occupation (!) line on your 1040, you should be OK, right? Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 12:42am
I'm guessing yes. Here's a Douthat column from early May:
This is not some modest pilot program or experimental initiative that we’re debating, after all: It’s a massive reorganization of a hugely important sector of the American economy at a time when our economic and fiscal challenges are not exactly slight. And saying “if you agree there are unfairnesses in the current health care system, then you must agree to try out our $1 trillion program while we continue the debate” is just not a recipe for sound policymaking, no matter how dysfunctional the opposition party is at the moment.
That’s because America rarely just “tries out” major expansions of the welfare state: Rather, our history strongly suggests that programs in motion tend to stay in motion, and that the best time to change a potentially-dysfunctional system is before it gets entrenched — before interest groups organize themselves around perpetuating those dysfunctions, before voters become accustomed to the program’s guarantees, and before the political system learns to take its existence for granted and turns to other debates instead. Whereas once something becomes the Way We Redistribute, it’s both hard to pare back and harder to propose alternatives, no matter what the data ultimately show about the program’s actual effectiveness.
It’s true, as Frakt and Carroll note, that no alternative reform is likely to be implemented as quickly as Obamacare itself. But it’s also true that if you favor a substantially-different alternative, cheering on the law’s full implementation while participating in a “conversation about how to make [it] more efficient and effective” is likely to lead to that alternative being passed sometime around the Fourth of Never. And this reality means, in turn, that for all the dilemmas that the current state of the Republican Party creates for thoughtful opponents of the new health care law, they still have an obligation to oppose.
Clue Stick, Ross: "You can't beat something with nothing." And there's a perfectly sound "substantially-different" alternative proposed by at least conservative, and a doctor: Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 10:47pm
Adapting a comment I made over at NC: Realize that the administration is now in full campaign mode on ObamaCare during the rollout, and will likely be through 2014 at least.
Therefore, you should treat every single statement on ObamaCare -- every single statement -- uttered by administration officials, Democratic think tanks, career "progressives," and Obots generally as carefully engineered and centrally co-ordinated bullshit,* exactly as if we were in the midst of a political campaign. Read below the fold...