Archive for the ‘BHO’ Category
Senators Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) filed Senate Bill 4 to exempt North Carolina from establishing a state-based health insurance exchange or a state-federal partnership exchange.
The bill also directs the N.C. Department of Insurance to return unspent taxpayer funds awarded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month to create a state-federal partnership exchange.
“Obamacare was forced on us against our will by the federal government, and they should shoulder the burden of implementing it,” said Sen. Apodaca. “Any claim that North Carolina would ‘control’ this program is nothing more than an illusion.”
Senate Bill 4 also rules out expansion of the North Carolina Medicaid program. In its 2012 decision on Obamacare, the U.S. Supreme Court exempted states from the federal mandate to expand Medicaid eligibility. Based on the court’s ruling, North Carolina has the authority to opt out of expansion.
Costs for North Carolina’s existing Medicaid program have increased significantly in recent years. In 2012, the General Assembly was forced to fill a surprise Medicaid shortfall that totaled more than $500 million. Recent figures from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that an expansion of the program would add hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state costs to North Carolina’s Medicaid budget through 2019.
“Senate Republicans are committed to ensuring every North Carolinian receives the highest quality health care and outcomes,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “Saddling our citizens with the enormous costs of a new federal bureaucracy and entitlements is simply not the way to achieve this goal.”
Under Obamacare, each state must have in place a health exchange where individuals and small businesses, which are now mandated to have insurance, can purchase health care coverage. There are three options: a state-run exchange, a state-federal partnership exchange and a federally-run exchange. Senate leaders have spent months evaluating the implications of each type of exchange.
In November 2012, former Gov. Beverly Perdue prematurely declared her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange – three months before the deadline for the state to make this declaration – while at the same time applying for $73.9 million dollars in federal grant funding to set up the new government program.
With the beginning of the new year, more of the provisions of Democrats’ massive, unpopular health care law are going into effect and news reports are, again, popping up illustrating all the negative impacts on health care this ill-conceived law will have.
The New York Times reported last week, “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own. In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013.”
Politico adds today, “If you work for a small business, your next health insurance premium may give you sticker shock. Many of the small-business and individual insurance policies are working the health reform law’s 2014 fees into their 2013 bills, contributing to double-digit premium increases for some people. All those new consumer benefits packed into the health reform law — birth control without a co-pay, free preventive care and limits on when insurers can turn down a customer — had to be paid for somehow.”
“Insurers say they have no choice but to increase premiums to cover those costs,” Politico writes. “But it’s hitting pocketbooks sooner than some people expected, and that’s causing controversy. Everyone, even many of the law’s supporters, admit premiums are going to go up under the health law — although many people will get subsidies to help pay for coverage. Many of the costs — and the priciest benefits — were pushed beyond the 2012 election to 2014. But if the public revolts when they see 10 percent,15 percent or 20 percent rate hikes, already shaky support for the health law could suffer. . . . Now, insurers are being proactive, arguing the health law is driving the increase in prices. ‘There’s a massive new health insurance tax that starts in 2014,’ said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans. ‘For policies that are sold in 2013 and extend into next year, there’s going to be taxes imposed. … As a result, like all taxes, they will be reflected in premiums charged.’”
Meanwhile, the health care law is already resulting in cutbacks at health providers and is likely to hurt job creation in the years to come. In a story titled, “Delaware Hospice lays off 52 workers amid federal changes,” the Delaware News Journalwrites, “Delaware Hospice’s Chief Executive Officer Susan Lloyd said Wednesday the nonprofit healthcare provider has laid off 52 workers in a restructuring necessitated by shrinking federal reimbursements. The job cuts, which carve significantly into the organizations 400-member staff, impact jobs in all departments in Delaware, and in Delaware and Chester counties in Pennsylvania, Lloyd said. . . . . Lloyd said the cuts were unavoidable and represent a national trend of providers adapting to changes in health care reimbursement. . . . ‘The decision was not made lightly and it is a direct result of a consequential decline in census and the need to position the organization to meet additional changes and challenges that the hospice industry anticipates with health care reform.’”
And USA Today reported recently, “Many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law, human resource firms say. Their actions could further dampen job growth, which already is threatened by possible federal budget cutbacks resulting from the tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. ‘It will have a negative impact on job creation’ in 2013, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses that employ at least 50 full-time workers — or the equivalent, including part-time workers — must offer health insurance to staffers who work at least 30 hours a week. Employers that don’t provide coverage must pay a $2,000-per-worker penalty, excluding the first 30 employees.”
Republicans warned about all these consequences as Obamacare was being debated, but Democrats and President Obama ignored them and the disapproval of the American people. In December 2009, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It’s abundantly clear that the more Americans learn about this bill, the more they oppose it. And now we know the same goes for businesses. Businesses that can’t insure workers face stiff fines, resulting in lost wages and jobs, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office. What’s more, studies suggest that this so-called employer mandate would have a disproportionate impact on low-income, entry-level workers. At a time of [high] unemployment, we should be doing everything we can to create jobs. This bill would only lead to more lost jobs.”
And the night Democrats jammed the bill through the Senate, Leader McConnell said “[H]ere’s the reality: the Democrat bill we’re voting on tonight raises health care costs. That’s not me talking — that’s the administration’s own budget scorekeeper. It raises premiums — that’s the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office talking. It raises taxes on tens of millions of middle class Americans. . . . It forces people off the plans they have — including millions of seniors.”
This terrible legislation still needs to be repealed and replaced, but until then it will unfortunately continue to raise premiums, raise health care costs, hurt care, and hurt jobs.
Thursday, KCC received a note from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation regarding the off-the-wall Fiscal Deficit “fix” just passed by Congress. Perhaps many of you received it, too. We all need to jump in together and save America from the bad economic policy. Read on:
There they go again.
Recently Congress passed a bill to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But instead of focusing on the real driver of our fiscal imbalance, runaway government spending, Congress passed a bill that’s all taxes and no serious spending reductions. The bill was filled with terrible economic policy from top to bottom. The one bright spot is that we’re finally starting to establish some permanency in the tax code, an important element of economic stability.
Take action today and remind Congress the American people still want them to cut spending!
Here’s a quick rundown of the bill:
Taxes: the bill fails to protect the economy from all the tax hikes. Everything from capital investment, to labor, to consumption, and even death will be more heavily taxed in 2013. None of that will spur economic growth.
Spending: remember when both President Obama and Speaker Boehner talked about a “balanced approach?” This bill is a classic Washington tax-and-spend bill with no spending cuts to be found. What’s worse, it actually includes billions in new spending.
Even while raising taxes on hardworking Americans, Congress recognized that high taxes hurt economic growth and so they handed out myriad special carve outs so their friends wouldn’t feel the bite. Wind energy, motorsports entertainment complexes and even the hard-up Hollywood tycoons got a special tax break in the bill.
In addition to the damage these policies will do to the economy, raising taxes in a deficit fight just puts a Band-Aid on the problem. Runaway government spending is still the main problem with the federal budget and with the nation’s economy.
Thank you for all you do for economic freedom and we look forward to fighting side-by-side with you in 2013.
Americans for Prosperity
The National Republican Party (RNC) has been a popular whipping post lately, after losing the Presidential election. Indeed heads will probably roll at their annual meeting in Charlotte, which KCC will cover for you. KCC enjoyed covering the RNC convention in Tampa hopes to bring you more such action.
Meanwhile, here in North Carolina, the state Republican Party certainly did its job and more during the last election cycle.
The Party helped elect, another Republican General Assembly and this time added on a Republican Governor. Good times have returned to Raleigh for the GOP.
There will be the old battles between the moderate and conservative wings of the Party as the libertarian wing, the tea party, moves along. No one knows if they will join their own, more fitting Libertarian Party, or continue to try to win (and fail) as a branch of NC Republicans.
Robin Hayes, chairman of the NCGOP, is up for re-election at this Spring’s state party convention. That three-day-event, will be held in Charlotte and KCC will have the dates for you soon.
Meanwhile, consider these accomplishments of the Republicans and other groups, as presented by the NCGOP:
- Historic dominance of all three branches of state government
- Landslide Republican gubernatorial win: McCrory 55%; Dalton 43%; Howe 2%
- Enabled Pat McCrory to be only the second statewide Republican to win Early Voting in NCSuper majorities in NC Senate (33/17) and NC House (77/43)
- Republican Lt. Governor to preside over GOP Senate (Dan Forest)
- Gained 3 US House seats to make a Republican majority congressional delegation (9/4)
- Landslide passage of Marriage Amendment in May
- Maintained Conservative Republican majority on NC Supreme Court
- Progress in County Commissioners: 54 GOP County Boards; 44 Democratic; 2 Non-Partisan
- Only “Swing” state not carried by President Obama in 2012 Presidential race. Yes, North Carolina did its party as the state voted for Mitt Romney in November. There was nothing else it could have done.
Editor’s Note: Conservatives, please make plans to attend the State Republican Convention in Charlotte and vote to keep Robin Hayes your state Chairman.
The Wake County Republican Party is soliciting information from small business owners about how they built their businesses. Anyone wishing to tell their story can do so simply by sending an e-mail to Ididbuildit@Wakegop.org .
The effort is in response to President Obama’s infamous quote that “if you own a small business, you didn’t build that…”
“Business people all over the country and right here in Wake County are outraged that the President would denigrate their hard work, ingenuity and risk taking,” said Susan Bryant, the Wake Republican Chairman. “His insensitive words were an insult to thousands of people, and he should be ashamed.
“We Republicans think America’s entrepreneurs are the key to what made us the greatest and most prosperous country in history, and in our local area, we want to recognize these unsung heroes of free enterprise.”
The party will feature the best stories from among those it receives at the new email address on its website, in various mailings and other advertising vehicles, and by inviting business owners to speak at events, according to Bryant.
American Crossroads on Wednesday, launched a new television ad in North Carolina that blasts President Obama for his failed economic policies, and demonstrates that contrary to Obama’s “Forward” campaign slogan, America is really moving backward on his watch.
Supported by a $811,000 television buy, the new 30-second ad will run in North Carolina for ten days. The spot, entitled “Forward?,” highlights a series of economic facts on the extent of Obama’s economic malaise, including that 40% of families are living paycheck to paycheck on Obama’s watch.
“For Barack Obama, ‘Forward’ is the new backward, because another four years of Obama’s economic policies will only keep moving America backward,”
said American Crossroads director of state and regional media relations Nate Hodson. “Obama’s hollow campaign slogan is another attempt to divert attention from the fact that during Obama’s tenure, unemployment, household incomes, gas prices and the national debt are all getting worse.”
Editor’s Note: American Crossroads is a non-profit 527 political organization dedicated to renewing America’s commitment to individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense through informed and effective political action. American Crossroads seeks to educate voters and empower citizens to hold lawmakers and office-seekers accountable for where they stand. (Emphasis added.)
TAMPA High atop the Republican National Convention on a Wednesday evening, this blogger has a fantastic view of everything. The delegates are milling about on the floor, media rushes about to get interviews, and speakers struggle to keep the attention of the audience.
Again, Wednesday evening, the Texas delegation is dressed alike, this time, with light blue shirts and cowboy hats. The North Carolina delegation, for photo day, chose to wear seersucker suits to stand out on the floor. This blogger has loaned her jacket out to a cold neighbor, here in the Tampa Times Forum. The Forum is the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team.
This convention has been as fun as advertised, though a bad back has slowed your blogger. She rented a scooter for the week and the RNC sent over a special Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) van that travels back and forth to the convention each day.
As regular readers may know, this blogger travels quite often to hear political speakers and has been active in politics since the age of six. After becoming seriously involved in the GOP and in the conservative movement at age 18, this 45-year-old no longer gets too excited at political speeches. It seems like after nearly 30 years in politics, we’ve seen and heard it all. KCC just doesn’t get too excited about it anymore.
However, something remarkable happened last night. Ann Romney happened.
She spoke about her life as a a wife, as a daughter of a Welsh coal miner, and the mother of five sons. Mrs. Romney discussed how it all started. How she went to a dance with Mitt. How they dated and fell in love.
They were married way too young because they were “crazy in love”, and at 22 she found herself the mother of their first son. She had no clue what to do. We’ve heard that story before.
Mrs. Romney told the crowd that things weren’t always easy, but she and Mitt could depend on one another and they knew they could clear every obstacle. She talked about how her husband, despite the demands of his work, always made time for his family. Mostly she showed his human side. If there were any doubts in this blogger’s mind about Mitt, Ann Romney’s speech took care of them.
Wednesday night’s theme was “We Can Change It”. Your blogger thinks a better theme would be “We Can Change It BACK” or “We Can Change if FORWARD”. Change is now a scary word after Mr. Obama came into office and raped & pillaged our nation.
The liberal media keeps writing about Romney’s “problem with women”. Polls are showing however, that among married women, Romney has a huge lead! Romney does not have a “women problem”.
He has a “liberal women problem” and there is simply nothing that can be done about that!
More to come….
Your faithful blogger is heading to Tropicana Field (home of the Tampa Bay Rays*) shortly with the North Carolina delegation to attend a “Welcome Event” for all Republican attendees of the Convention. We plan to bring you photos of your NC delegation as they interact with members of those of other states. KCC will be covering all the action.
Kim Gernado, the senior political reporter with NBC-17 in the Triangle, is here at the NC convention hotel and your blogger looks forward to working with her. You could just might see an interview with your blogger, as happened earlier at the baggage claim area in the Tampa airport. If not, watch them anyway, as they have the most fair coverage anywhere in the Triangle.
KCC will let you know about TV stations from other parts of the state later.
The major network are all but ignoring this convention. Only hosting it in Charlotte would be a better way to get attention, it seems. WRAL-TV in Raleigh couldn’t get enough of the now disgraced Johnny Edwards (his birth name) and now they are over-reporting Democratic activities in Charlotte. This is despite the fact that the Charlotte DNC convention may be the most poorly attended in years.
The local citizenry has been extremely nice to this blogger. KCC just went to Publix, a large Florida grocery chain, and the staff and other shoppers were extremely helpful. I told them I was one of their convention visitors and they bent over backwards to make sure we had a great shopping experience. Kudos to the locals here in St Pete. and to the staff of Publix at Bay Pointe Plaza (Store #00259).
Further, the police are everywhere. Most are dressed in brown and heavily armed (take that you protestors). KCC has thanked every one of them that she has seen. Even the Publix had a private, armed security guard. Kudos to St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area!
Finally, it is with sad news that we at KCC report that the revolution will not be televised. That means that very little of the convention will be on network TV. You can catch it gavel-to-gavel on C-SPAN or with commentary on Fox News Network. We hope you do tune in. America deserves better than the huge Federal Government that Barack Obama has given us. It’s time to give the government back to the people and downsize, like we do with our own finances.
If a new team defunds Planned Parenthood, and it’s your favorite charity, then donate to them!
More to come, so keep checking back!
ST PETERSBURG FL Schools are closed for Monday, the Port of Tampa closes on Sunday, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect. Yet the 40th Republican National Convention will go on as planned, albet a day late.
Kyle Downey, spokesman for the Republican National Committee told media that Monday had been planned to highlight President Barack Obama’s failures. Now that will be spread over the remaining evenings, he stated.
This blogger had quite the day traveling to Tampa International Airport. There were several people on the connection from Atlanta who were convention bound, but not all of them were happy and excited about making the trip.
As KCC was awaiting her van share ride to the North Carolina delegation hotel, a woman asked her why she was here.
KCC thought that to be a very odd question and replied “to attend and write about the Republican convention.” The other lady made it clear that she and her large group were all here to protest.
With all the talk of bad weather on the way, the local news media is actually WORRIED about the protesters. Apparently, they are all staying in tents, which could blow away, forcing shelters to open to accommodate the opposition.
Oddly, the protesters this blogger saw were worried about jobs and they were from union states like Wisconsin. She wanted badly to educate them that unions were preventing new jobs, and in fact destroyed jobs. Additionally, the best way for government to “create jobs” is to reduce regulations and then get out of the way. Those people have no need to be so mean, as it’s a simple difference of ideology.
Saturday night, downtown Tampa is completely blocked off and the police presence is heavy. Meanwhile, here in St. Petersburg seems to be the fun place to be. We look forward to getting out and exploring, rain or not. Unfortunately for this blogger, her back is acting up and has left her in a great deal of pain.
Sunday, we also look forward to dipping our toes in the Gulf for the first time. Growing up at a beach, KCC’s parents didn’t exactly take vacations to other beaches. So this will be a first for her.
Finally, we’d like to thank Rob Benningfield for all the love and support. Without him, none of this would be possible. I love you honey.
Back to the fun and more Sunday…
Gov. Beverly Perdue on Sunday vetoed legislation that would have paved the way for a robust local energy sector, lured private investment to the state and created new jobs for North Carolinians.
Below is a joint statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg):
Gov. Perdue’s latest flip-flop on shale gas exploration is an attempt to slam the brakes on the creation of a vibrant new economic sector in North Carolina.
“The General Assembly incorporated many of the governor’s recommendations in a bipartisan plan to begin developing the regulatory framework for affordable, clean energy alternatives. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that when decision time neared, she once again caved to her liberal base rather than support the promise of more jobs for our state.”
Gov. Perdue’s stance on the creation of an energy sector in North Carolina has changed repeatedly in recent years. After stating her support for the development of offshore energy, she vetoed the Energy Jobs Act, which would have put pressure on President (Barack) Obama to open the East Coast for energy exploration.
Earlier this year the governor flip-flopped again, expressing her confidence natural gas exploration could be done safely after a research trip to Pennsylvania. Her administration even issued a report concluding shale gas exploration could be done safely.
Editor’s Notes: A number of sources have expressed confidence that the Obama campaign was the reason beyond Perdue’s decision not to run for a second term as Governor of North Carolina.
Additionally, please contact your state legislators to encourage them to vote to override the governor’s veto. A special list of those needing to be contacted appear at the bottom of this page.