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Department of What is WRONG with These People?

US & SA Realpolitiks Stink

Patrick Cockburn in “Cracks in the House of Saud” discusses President Obama’s visit to King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia last week. It was Obama’s first visit there in over five years reveals Cockburn.

Cockburn explores the present relationship troubles between the two regimes. He writes: Read below the fold...

flotsam's picture

No money for schools because teachers might get it

The first minute of this video has local weatherman turned state representative, Greg McMaster saying, in answer to a question about restoring funding for education, "You need to recognize that for every dollar that you put into that school there are different entities that want part of that money, some of it going to teachers, others going to education [??!!].... Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Michael Hiltzik, Consumer Reports on Medicaid clawback: "Trust us, and don't worry about a thing."

Summarizing the Medicaid clawback issue, again, Paul Craig Roberts explains what can happen to your estate if ObamaCare forces you into Medicaid because your income is under 138% of the Federal poverty level:

In violation of moral philosopher John Rawls’ second principle of justice [q.v.], some of the poorest Americans will pay the highest cost of health care as they, and they alone, are subject to having the family home and any other assets they might possess confiscated by the state in order to reimburse Obamacare for the cost of their medical expenses....

OBRA 1993 requires all states that receive Medicaid funding to seek recovery from the estates of deceased Medicaid patients for medical services received in a nursing home or other long-term care institution, home- and community-based services and related hospital and prescription drug services regardless of age. It also allows, at state option, recovery for all services used in the Medicaid state plan at age 55 or older. At minimum, states must pursue recovery from the probate estate which includes property that passes to heirs under state probate law, but states can expand the definition of estate to allow recovery from property that bypasses probate. ...

[A] For cash-strapped states, recovery provides an income stream, and with the expansion of Medicaid states will be in dire need of money, particularly in the current economy.

Obamacare revises Medicaid regulations in order to make more Americans eligible for Medicaid. Revised regulations include an increase in age and income limitations, and the asset test no longer applies. Prior to these revisions, applicants were not eligible for Medicaid if they had more than a specific dollar amount in assets. But, under Obamacare, those who likely own a home or have savings set aside–for example, early retirees or people who have lost their jobs and, as a result, are in a low income bracket–will find themselves in Medicaid, and their assets will be looted by the government when they die for medical services used at age 55 and up. ...

[B] Estate recovery was not an unintended consequence of Obamacare. The House Ways & Means Committee and The House Energy & Commerce Committee share jurisdiction over health care, including Medicare and Medicaid, and both worked extensively on Obamacare. So, don’t bother thinking that the members of these committees didn’t know that estate recovery would impact millions of Americans who would be tossed into Medicaid. The asset test was dropped and the age limit was increased explicitly in order to expand Medicaid. Yet, did We the People hear any concern about estate recovery? Certainly not in the many floor speeches given by Democrats as well as Republicans or from the media.

Obama stated during his 2008 presidential campaign that transparency would be the leverage needed to ensure that people stay involved in the national health care reform process. The expansion of Medicaid was part of the process. [C] Did Obama or your representatives tell you that Medicaid, depending on your age, is a loan subject to deferred payment by your estate? Did they tell you the government subsidy for a private plan at an exchange is a loan, that must be repaid if your income increases? Transparency was highly selective. The bait was shown but not the hook.

(I've bracketed and lettered three points I want to refer back to later.) Well, it looks like the issue of Medicaid clawback is starting to get some traction, since there's pushback. First, let's consider the case of Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times. I know reporters don't write the headlines, but sheesh! Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Priorities

Thread: 
metamars's picture

Fatal(?) Defects in ExposeTheTpp.org (TPP = Economic Treason) - 'The Plutocrats are Laughing at You', #4

Tags: 

Does ExposeTheTpp.org rise to the level of civil guerrilla warfare, in the 1% vs. the 99%? No way, Jose. Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

It is not enough to be rich, we want to be loved

Thread: 

Finance Executives Are Confused About Why the Nation Loathes Them

Last week’s Politico Magazine ran a story quoting Wall Street executives who have become saddened and bewildered by how little pull they have in Washington:

Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Making Rick Perry look good (and that wasn't easy)

Jon Walker:

In light of the continuing problems with Healthcare.gov it is clear Republican governors made an incredibly smart political decision when they opted not to build their own state-based exchanges. If you separate it from the policy implications, on a purely political level it was one of the smartest collective political moves in years.

It should now be obvious to everyone that building an insurance exchange is an incredibly difficult task. ...

By refusing to do the thankless and difficult job of creating such a complex system they managed push all the responsibility back on President Obama and the design of the law itself. Under this scenario the Obama team completely fell on their faces and took Obama’s poll numbers down with them.

And so they did!* As usual, Walker does all right up to a point. And, as always, that point is single payer. Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Manager's weird motivational trick: "I'll go to jail if you don't make the launch date!"

I'm not making this up! WBUR:

With a July email sharing a video link to his summer testimony assuring lawmakers the site would work on time, he urges his team not to fall short, writing:

" 'I wanted to share this with you so you can see and hear that ... I under oath stated we are going to make Oct. 1,' [Henry] Chao [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services project manager in charge of HealthCare.gov] wrote. 'I would like you (to) put yourself in my shoes standing before Congress, which in essence is standing before the American public, and know that you speak the tongue of not necessarily just past truths but the truth that you will make happen.' "

So, if you want another view into Obama's reign of terror at HHS, CMS, HHS, CMS, and associated contractors, that quote should do it for you. "Make the deadline, or Henry goes to jail!" Dear Lord. (All down to Obama, too: 2013-04-20: "We will implement it.") Read below the fold...

Have I mentioned lately what an asshole Obama is?

Obama's Top Economic Adviser Tells Democrats They'll Have to Swallow Entitlement Cuts. I'm not even going to go into the detail because that would imply we should compromise on any of it. Here's what we ought to do instead: Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Joan Walsh to reality-based community: STFU

Shorter Walsh: Keep calm and take your cues from Obama's presser:

As predictably as night follows day, on Monday the media establishment pivoted away from obsessing about GOP extremism and the party’s alleged “civil war” to the “train wreck” that is, allegedly,* the Affordable Care Act.

And liberals helped lead the pivot.

Don’t get me wrong:

No, I won't!

The problems with Healthcare.gov are real, and disturbing, and must be fixed asap. (Think Progress has a dispassionate assessment here.)

Hilariously, the Think Progress URL, generated by the site or chosen by the author on WP sites like Think Progress, includes the word "debacle." However, some Walsh-like entity higher up in the Think Progress food chain toned that down to "Bumpy Rollout." Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Mike Duke leadership FAIL

Mike Duke is the CEO of Walmart, the world's largest recipient of food stamps.

House Republicans are gearing up for massive food stamp cuts.

Many of Walmart's customers and employees are food stamp recipients. Any cuts to the food stamp program will have a devastating effect upon Walmart's sales. So why isn't Duke using the tremendous clout of Walmart to defend food stamps? Read below the fold...

STOP NSA! Authoritarianism Ending Individualism!

Re the NSA scandal, Obama postures that he wants to open a CRIMINAL investigation of what amounts to an information leakage on his own CRIMINALITY in defying our first, fourth and fifth amendment rights. His along with the other two branches of our government.

Fascistic enough for you? It is for me.

Norman Solomon in “Obama’s Willing Executioners of the Fourth Amendment”: Read below the fold...

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