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The Patriots News Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:37 GMT  

The National Popular Vote Fallacy
In 2000, out of a total popular vote of 101,455,900, the Gore-Lieberman ticket won a narrow majority, 50,999,900 votes (50.26%) to 50,456,000 (49.74%) for Bush-Cheney.

http://www.cnsnews.com/rss/headlines.xml Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:37 GMT  


http://www.newsbusters.org/node/feed Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:37 GMT  


http://americandaily.ws/index.php/amdws-rss Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:37 GMT  


Breitbart Feed Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:37 GMT  

MN State Rep Wants $329,000 Refund from Jonathan Gruber for Work With 'Beyond Laughable' Error Rates

Minnesota State Representative Greg Davids is calling for embattled MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, the "architect" of Obamacare, to return all $329,000 he was paid by the state of Minnesota as a subcontractor on a 2011 contract to analyze the state's plan to develop its Obamacare health care exchange, MNSure.

On November 21, Davids sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting her to investigate Gruber's work.

"In recent weeks," Davids wrote, "significant concerns have been raised regarding the contract between the State of Minnesota and Dr. Jonathan Gruber entered into in March 2011. In light of troubling remarks by Dr. Gruber and MNsure, I believe that a review of Dr. Gruber’s work, and payments made to him, is necessary."

On December 9, Davids sent a second letter to Swanson.

"Earlier today," Davids wrote, "in testimony before Congressional investigators, Dr. Jonathan Gruber refused to answer questions regarding compensation for his work with state-based insurance exchanges. The evasiveness displayed by Dr. Gruber reinforces my concerns expressed in the previous letter."

"I implore your office to investigate Dr. Gruber’s work and its relationship to MNsure’s fiscal troubles," Davids requested again, "and urge you to explore all possible remedies for recovering the taxpayer funds wasted on his report."

"To date," Davids told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Wednesday, "I have received word via phone call that the Attorney General's office was working on a response, but nothing in writing yet."

Davids blasted Gruber's projections for the state of Minnesota about enrollment for the state's health care exchange, MNSure, when it launched.

"MNsure, Dr. Gruber and Governor Dayton's Administration repeatedly guaranteed that the exchange would serve 1.3 million Minnesotans by 2016, including over 600,000 in commercial plans - a financial necessity to avoid a taxpayer bailout," Davids told Breitbart News.

"Those projections were so far off that it has proved absurd," Davids said.

"Instead of 500,000 private enrollees by the end of 2015, MNsure has repeatedly lowered Dr. Gruber's projections and now estimates that fewer than 70,000 will enroll in private plans by the end of next year," Davids added.

"The error rate for Dr. Gruber's work is beyond laughable," Davids stated.

"It is a shame," Davids continued, "that nearly $600,000 in public funds was used for projections that were inaccurate from the moment MNsure opened. The Dayton Administration has essentially used over $150 million in taxpayer money to build a broken IT system for public health programs."

Davids, who has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1991, is scheduled to become Chairman of the powerful House Taxes Committee in January.

"There has been little to no transparency in Dr. Gruber's work with MNsure," Davids told Breitbart News. "Given that Dr. Gruber missed the deadline to submit his final report by four months - thereby avoiding scrutiny during the legislative process that led to MNsure's creation - it is sadly unsurprising that he may have failed to live up to other aspects of his taxpayer-funded contract," Davids concluded.

A Breitbart investigation into the state of Minnesota's 2011 contract in which Gruber was paid $329,000 as a subcontractor to develop economic projections using his proprietary Gruber Microsimulation Model has uncovered a disturbing pattern of billing practices that indicate a lack of oversight. April Todd-Malmlov, the former executive director of MNSure, the state's Obamacare health exchange, was the official responsible for that oversight.

Breitbart obtained copies of the Gruber invoices, the contract,  and the Gruber subcontract in a public records request filed with the state of Minnesota.

Though the contract, which was signed by former executive director Todd-Malmlov, clearly specifies that all Gruber's invoices should be itemized in detail, the invoices submitted by Gruber and paid by the state of Minnesota were notably lacking in itemization.

Gruber's invoices do not specifically tie to deliverables specified in the contract other than to assert vaguely that some of them were delivered. The invoices do not consistently refer to the deliverables specified in the contract, nor, with the exception of the final report, do they specify the dates the deliverables were completed, to whom they were delivered in the state of Minnesota, nor whether they were formally accepted by specific bureaucrats in the state of Minnesota.

Despite these shortcomings, former executive director Todd-Malmov authorized all of Gruber's interim payments as well as his final payment.

Gruber delivered two final reports, one in 2012 and one in 2013, each about 60 pages long. Todd-Malmlov formally certified her acceptance of both these reports.

But records obtained by Breitbart News from the state of Minnesota indicate there is no auditable trail for the work product that resulted in those final reports.

In addition, Gruber's invoices do not track specifically to the deliverables identified in Exhibit B of the contract. The deliverables in that exhibit are labeled Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, and Deliverable D. None of Gruber's invoices refer to Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, or Deliverable D.

The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable B is cryptic at best in describing what was delivered. The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable C actually does not match what is specified as Deliverable C in the contract. Only the final Gruber invoice--which refers to the final report referenced in Deliverable D-- tracks with any degree of specificity to the contract.








New York to Ban Fracking; Environmentalists Cheer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits.

New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing.

Wednesday's announcement, though not final, means a ban is all but etched in stone.

"Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, adding that the decision "will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: Fracking is too dangerous and must not continue."

Industry and its supporters expressed outrage at the decision.

"We are very disappointed that it appears the governor is unwilling to be a leader and is going to pass the buck at the expense of New Yorkers," said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"This technology has been used for over 65 years in the United States. It's been demonstrated repeatedly after drilling millions of wells that we're able to do it while protecting the environment and protecting the people."

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, responded that he would defer to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the decision.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, Martens said, and after that he will issue an order prohibiting fracking.

About 30 anti-fracking activists cheered the decision at a rally outside Cuomo's New York City office, chanting "Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for saving our air!" and "New York banned fracking — and next, United States!"

Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized environmental and health reviews that concluded fracking carries risks that haven't been studied enough.

The drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, which also runs under Ohio and West Virginia, was made possible by high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which releases gas from rock by injecting wells with chemically treated water at high pressure.

The technique has generated tens of billions of dollars in industry profits and landowner royalties, and has reduced energy bills and fuel imports. But it has also brought concerns and sparked protests over air and water pollution, earthquakes, property devaluation and truck traffic.

Zucker said he had identified "significant public health risks" and "red flag" health issues that require long-term studies before fracking can be called safe. He likened fracking to secondhand smoke, which wasn't fully understood as a health risk until many years of scientific study were done.

Martens noted the low price of natural gas, the high local cost of industry oversight, and the large areas that would be off limits to shale gas development because of setback requirements, water supply protections and local prohibitions. Those factors, he said, combine to make fracking less economically beneficial than anticipated.

Even if drilling were allowed in New York, it probably wouldn't take off any time soon because of the uncertainty around regulations and legal challenges and the huge number of promising drilling locations that remain in Pennsylvania, David Spigelmyer, president of the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition, said last week.

The Marcellus Shale is enticing to energy companies because of its proximity to the major demand centers of New York City and New England, which is paying more for gas because of delivery constraints. But the regulatory uncertainty remains too high to commit to drilling in New York, Spigelmyer said.

In states where fracking is not yet allowed or is happening but is subject to criticism, New York's move excited some anti-drilling activists.

"The more fracking expands, the more opposition grows," said Sharon Wilson, of the group Earthworks, who has organized anti-fracking activists in Texas, California and Colorado. "Industry is its own worst enemy because they continue to deny the impacts."

Fracking supporters decried the New York move. Karen Moreau, executive director of New York's branch of the American Petroleum Institute, said the Cuomo administration is denying landowners the right to develop their mineral resources.

"The secretary of energy, the U.S. EPA administrator and President Obama recognize the benefits of fracking, and yet the Cuomo administration simply did not want to anger their activist base," Moreau said.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition, which represents leaseholders, accused Cuomo of appeasing "environmental extremists" for political gain.

"Is our health department ignoring impacts of other energy options and suggesting that we continue with our reliance on coal and nuclear energy?" Fitzsimmons said. "Did our health department consider the health effects of poverty and unemployment?"

Cuomo said he is expecting lawsuits will be filed "every which way from Sunday."

In California, energy companies have been using a type of fracking to extract oil for many years and are pushing to expand such drilling. Environmental groups hope the New York decision will influence Gov. Jerry Brown, who has largely supported fracking. A scientific study is due to be released next month.

Californians will ask now, "If it's not safe for New Yorkers, why should we think it's safe for us?" said Charles Margulis, with the California branch of the national Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Fahey and Jenn Peltz in New York, Emily Schmall in Dallas and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.








Goodlatte: Court's 'Unconstitutional' Executive Amnesty Opinion 'Good Sign'

The recent court opinion declaring portions of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to be “unconstitutional” bodes well for future litigation against the president’s recent order, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte tells Breitbart News. 

Tuesday, District Court Judge Arthur Schwab ruled that aspects of Obama’s executive actions go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” to actually legislating. He made these judgments as part of an opinion dealing with a criminal case.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Goodlatte — whose committee has jurisdiction over immigration matters — said he agreed with Schwab’s analysis and expressed optimism about future court challenges to Obama’s executive actions. 

"I agree with Judge Schwab that President Obama's unilateral rewriting of our immigration laws violates the separation of powers and the President's duty to enforce the law,” the Virginia lawmaker said. “This ruling is a good sign for the states' lawsuit challenging President Obama's unilateral, unconstitutional actions.”

Goodlatte continued, saying that when Congress returns next year it must look at all options to take on Obama’s executive actions.

“Congress will continue fighting the President's actions early next year and should consider all the tools it has at its disposal, including potential litigation. Additionally, I am hopeful that the states will be successful in their effort to stop the President's actions from being implemented.”

Goodlatte recently signed on to an amicus brief the conservative American Center for Law and Justice submitted Tuesday in support of the recent lawsuit 24 states have filed challenging Obama’s executive amnesty. 

“The President’s executive overreach on immigration must be stopped,” he stressed Tuesday in announcing his support of the brief.









Politics and Election News - Election Projection Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:37 GMT  

Republicans' choice for VP in 2016 could impact Senate balance of power
Three sitting Republican senators, all facing competitive re-election campaigns in 2016, are among those mentioned as potential running mates for the GOP presidential nominee. RollCall.com reports that Senators Kelly Ayotte (NH), Rob Portman (OH) and ...
First preliminary projections for the 2016 Presidential Election
Today's news that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney would forego a third run for the White House caused me to recalibrate Election Projection's first preliminary presidential projections of the 2016 election cycle. Since the Republican and Democratic candidates ...
Update on EP's 2016 Presidential Election preliminary numbers
I wanted to post a quick update on my progress as I continue crunching the numbers and developing pages for the 2016 Presidential Election. The polls at this obscenely early juncture in the next year's race for the White House favor ...

DrudgeReportArchives.com Recent Headlines Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:38 GMT  

4.8 QUAKE HITS VEGAS
REPORT: Police try demilitarizing...
MONICA II: 'Can I ride in your lap to the White House?'
PHILLIPE: 'Knee to knee. Amazed she didn't try knee in between knee'...

MichelleMalkin.com Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:38 GMT  

George Stephanopoulos removes ‘Hillary 2016′ button long enough to call out ‘Clinton Cash’ author’s bias

**Written by Doug Powers

This past Sunday we saw another determined “journalist” attempting to get to the truth about the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising and Hillary’s rogue and now vanished email server (transcript from ABC News via American Thinker):

STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, the Democrats have said this is — this is an indication of your partisan interest. They say…

SCHWEIZER: Well…

STEPHANOPOULOS: — you used to work for President — President Bush as a speechwriter. You’re funded by the Koch brothers.

How do you respond to that?

SCHWEIZER: Well, George, what did I do when this book was completed?

I went to the investigative unit at “The New York Times,” the investigative unit here at ABC. I went to the investigative unit at “The Washington Post.” And I shared with them my findings, OK. These are not cupcakes. These are serious researchers and investigators.

And they are confirming what I’ve reported. So people can look at the facts and…

STEPHANOPOULOS: They haven’t come — they haven’t confirmed any evidence of any crime.

SCHWEIZER: Well, but — but it’s not up to an author to prove crime. I mean do you think that when people first started looking at Governor McConnell or they started looking at Menendez, that they immediately had evidence?

You need subpoena power. You need access to records and information. You need access to e-mails.

There’s all sorts of things that you can do. You can’t leave it up to an author to say that an author has to prove a criminal case.

Yep, ABC News’ chief political correspondent — who spent years as a Clinton staffer — questioned the objectivity of the author of a book about the Clintons because he used to work for Bush. Stephanopoulos had to willfully bury so much self-awareness before conducting the interview that he was still covered in dirt and holding the shovel.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Profiles in Objectivity
Baltimore mayor provided destruction ‘space’ for rioters, and they’re running with it

**Written by Doug Powers

On Sunday, these words actually came out of the mouth of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake:

“I made it very clear that I worked with the police and instructed them to do everything they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on. We also gave those that wished to destroy space to do that as well.

Welcome to Idiocracy. Enjoy your stay.

How is that “space for destruction” working out? Monday afternoon and evening those in their mayor-approved grievance parcels decided to go free-range — go figure.

Housing for the elderly that was under construction is now no more:

What a way to make a statement…

Mayor Rawlings-Blake has set a curfew, but it won’t start until Tuesday night. Wouldn’t want to impose on anybody currently taking advantage of their mayor-sanctioned destruction space.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

So much for mayor-approved grievance parcels
Open thread: Obama era perfectly encapsulated in one sentence; Krauthammer nukes Hillary apologists

**Written by Doug Powers

How about another Sunday open thread? This week’s mish-mosh of what’s-going-on is brought to you in part by Omaha Steaks, Johnnie Walker Red and Happyscrapper (not necessarily in that order).

*****

Last night was the White House Correspondents Dinner — well, another dinner for White House correspondents. The first one this year was hosted by John Podesta.

To save you a lot of time, this sums up the evening:

He’s probably listening to one of his own speeches.

Feel free to caption that pic. Degree of difficulty: No “have you seen my baseball?”

*****

A fairly short drive up I-95, mostly peaceful protests in Baltimore caused fans at the Orioles game in Camden Yard to be advised not to leave the stadium until the country’s first post-racial president is out of office.

*****

Most Trusted Name in News: CNN told their viewers who wanted coverage of the riots in Baltimore to turn to Twitter if they were curious about what was going on, because they were busy covering the Correspondents Dinner. The CNN auto-reply during Obama’s monologue at the WHCD was “unless this has something to do with the missing plane, we’d like to be undisturbed for the next hour.”

*****

Here’s a perfect summary of the Hope & Change epoch in about 50 words:

Racial protests supposed to be peaceful quickly turned into violent riots on Saturday evening, closing down the city of Baltimore for some time—and creating a panic for thousands of people as just 50 miles away elites in Washington partied with President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

That sounds about right.

*****

Diane Sawyer’s interview with Bruce Jenner on ABC pulled in 16.9 million viewers Friday, though there was a noticeable ratings drop in blue states right after Bruce admitted to being a Republican.

*****

On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos interviewed Peter Schweizer, the author of “Clinton Cash.” Steffy brought the kind of objectivity to this interview that only a former Clinton staffer could deliver.

*****

The Clinton Foundation today talked about its tax filings, claiming mistakes were made.

Team Hillary not entirely incorrect when they claim there’s not a shred of evidence to prove any Clinton wrongdoing. Why? Charles Krauthammer nailed it last week:

“The Clintons say there isn’t a shred of evidence against them. That’s because all the evidence was shredded.”

No use following up that one.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

The Beats go on

http://kkk.bz/?feed=rss2 Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:38 GMT  


RedState Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:38 GMT  

Congress is Investigating Asylum Seekers with Terror Ties

Last year, I discussed how the United States should be among the countries offering asylum to Iraqi Christians. The same can also be said about Christians in all territories currently under the Islamic State's control. However, our offer of asylum should not come without attempting to weed out those who could be threats to America. Unfortunately, some with ties to terrorist groups have managed to | Read More »

The post Congress is Investigating Asylum Seekers with Terror Ties appeared first on RedState.

Last year, I discussed how the United States should be among the countries offering asylum to Iraqi Christians. The same can also be said about Christians in all territories currently under the Islamic State’s control. However, our offer of asylum should not come without attempting to weed out those who could be threats to America.

Unfortunately, some with ties to terrorist groups have managed to slip in among the legitimate asylum seekers. As Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon notes, the United States Customs and Immigration Services has found that 638 aliens seeking asylum here are known to have terror ties. Understandably, there are plenty of people in Congress who would like an answer for this, and several high ranking Republicans have sent out a letter to Homeland Security Jeh Johnson requesting answers. You can find the full letter at the House Judiciary Committee website, but here’s the important part dealing with those asylum seekers who meet the “credible fear” requirement to bar them from acceptance:

In order to assess our concern, we request that you provide the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on the Judiciary with the following documents and information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 3, 2015:

  1. A copy of the alien file (A-file) for each alien who was found to have a credible fear in FY 2014 and 2015 (through May 1, 2015) who USCIS also found the terrorism bar to asylum eligibility may apply.
  2. For each individual covered by the above request, identify whether the alien has been released, and for each alien who has been released, whether the release decision was made by officers of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals.  For any alien who has been released by an order of an IJ, please state whether DHS filed a stay and/or an appeal of that decision.
  3. The number of cases nationwide where the asylum officer found a potential INA 208(b)(2)(A)(v) bar to asylum eligibility in a reasonable fear case.  For each individual covered by this request, please provide a copy of the alien’s A-file.

Please also make arrangements to brief staff of both Committees on this matter no later than June 5, 2015.  The restrictions against the disclosure of asylum-related material set forth in 8 C.F.R. §§ 208.6 and 1208.6 do not bar disclosure of this information to Congress.

This is an issue that has been known about for some time. Back in December, as the National Review notes, Secretary Johnson told the House Oversight Committee that he had found out about two men with terror ties who fled to Canada after being released by an American judge. Furthermore, confirming our suspicions, we also know that illegal aliens with terror ties have been entering the United States via Texas’ border with Mexico, and while they are not asylum seekers, the problems with relaxing the rules for entering this country remain the same in principle.

Digging a little further back to February of last year, we find that critics of the Obama administration’s decision to relax the terrorism bar to entry on asylum seekers appear to have been right in their concerns. From a Fox News article:

But critics say despite the good intentions, the change raises security concerns, particularly after a report published Thursday on asylum fraud.

“In light of these and other facts, it is thus deeply alarming that the Obama administration would move unilaterally to relax admissions standards for asylum seekers and potentially numerous other applicants for admission who have possible connections to insurgent or terrorist groups,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 100%, R-Ala., said in a statement on Thursday. “We need to tighten security standards for asylum, not relax them even further.”

Sessions also complained that the administration was, on its own, altering the Immigration and Nationality Act. “What is the point of Congress passing a law if the administration abuses its ‘discretion’ to say that law simply no longer applies?” he said.

If the United States is going to relax any of its rules for entering the country and being granted legal status, whether as citizen or through the granting of asylum, it needs to be done in consultation with Congress. It’s the same principle behind conservative opposition to Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. The President is using executive discretion where, Constitutionally, he has no authority to do so.

I am all in favor of being liberal in our acceptance of asylum seekers, as the persecution faced by so religious minorities in much of the Middle East is horrifying to think about. Nevertheless, as a nation, we have every right to ensure that we should not have a “credible fear” that those we admit have ties to terrorist groups. We need to make sure Congress continues to investigate this issue further. We deserve to know the answers/

The post Congress is Investigating Asylum Seekers with Terror Ties appeared first on RedState.

The Fight For The Surplus From The Unaffordable Care Act

[caption id="attachment_219510" align="alignleft" width="620"] The Costs Have FLown Sky-High SInce Obamacare Passed.[/caption] In a really unexpected piece of amazingly unpredictable economic data, we learn the following about the Health Insurance markets nationwide. In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an | Read More »

The post The Fight For The Surplus From The Unaffordable Care Act appeared first on RedState.

The Costs Have Flown Sky-High Since Obamacare Passed.

The Costs Have FLown Sky-High SInce Obamacare Passed.

In a really unexpected piece of amazingly unpredictable economic data, we learn the following about the Health Insurance markets nationwide.

In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products. Moda Health, the largest insurer on the Oregon health exchange, seeks an average boost of around 25%. – Wall Street Journal*

So how could this happen? Barrack Obama was gonna pay my car off. He was gonna pay my mortgage. It was all gonna be hope and change! Well, hope is not a plan and change doesn’t necessarily imply a 1st derivative in a positive orientation. Also, letting the government set insurance rates independent of market influence does lead to a propensity for politically savvy insurance executives to buy up a few politicians and effect regulatory capture. This could be the new motto of DHHS since the glorious dawning of The Unaffordable Care Act.

So what then happens once the government is regulated by the insurers instead of vice versa? The insurers and their payees then indulge in a nice, happy leverage fight over the surplus generated via the political corruption inherent to the Unaffordable Care Act. One group of auxiliary care providers eager to drink from the HMOs’ milkshakes consists of the companies that run air ambulance services. The Centives.com economics website offers details.

The air ambulance business has been booming. Since insurers usually pay the costs, companies have expanded their fleets and increased their coverage. The ambulances save lives. However, they’re falling upon hard times since insurers are beginning to ask consumers to pay more of their bills. Moreover, rapid growth in the industry has left it with a problem of oversupply, with each helicopter flying a fifth less than it used to in 2006. Costs are high. Helicopters start at about $4 million and can cost much more. The average flight is estimated to cost anywhere between $7,400 and $10,000. The average bills have gone up from $17,200 five years earlier to $40,800 now*. Those who go out of business first might be the non-profit ones who don’t have cash buffers for a decrease in demand.

The insurance companies are good at intimidation in their own right. They make other people pay them 100%+ mark-ups. They don’t let people drink from their milkshakes. This leads them to take defensive action and not pay for air ambulance transport. This means the patient, generally recovering from some horrific wound, then gets a $47,000 unpleasant surprise. Let’s hope the poor patient isn’t suffering hypertension when the bill arrives. The New York Times tells us quite the sad tale of how this whole Unaffordable Care Act drama is playing out.

Clarence W. Kendall, a rancher in Pearce, Ariz., was moving bales on top of a haystack when he fell eight feet and struck his head on the corner of a truck below. His health insurance covered most of the cost of treating the head trauma caused by the accident. But there was one bill, for $47,182 that his insurance did not pay. It came from the company that transported Mr. Kendall in a helicopter ambulance to a hospital in Tucson on the day of the fall, nearly two years ago. “That initial bill nearly gave me a heart attack,” he said. “I thought they’d have to come and get me again.” Mr. Kendall has not paid the charge, which he said was equivalent to a year’s income. As a result, Air Methods, the nation’s largest air ambulance operator, with over $1 billion in revenue last year, is suing him.

So insurers accomplish the regulatory capture of our caring and compassionate government. The Unaffordable Care Act allows them to petition for ridiculous rate hikes and thereby make obscene and unjustifiable profits at taxpayer expense. The people getting paid by the insurers watch all of this with a gimlet eye. They see the fat wallets and want their cash-stuffed envelope as well. Companies like Air Methods then charge the insurers ridiculous rates in line with the ridiculous rates that the insurers will not pay. At that point, these costs get passed to the insured patient who can’t afford them. This is how the Unaffordable Care Act helps make healthcare that much more unaffordable.

*-Via The Market Ticker.

**-As someone who makes a part of his living estimating the cost per operational hour of much more complicated helicopters than these medevac ones, I can only offer the considered opinion of “No ****ing way!”

The post The Fight For The Surplus From The Unaffordable Care Act appeared first on RedState.

Tech at Night: Rand Paul wins more privacy for the Islamic State

Part of the USA PATRIOT act ensured NSA could check up on conversations foreigners were having, that involved data passing into America, by going to the FISA courts and getting a warrant. After 9/11, when terrorist cells came here and murdered many Americans, we understood the need for that. Well, some Republicans remembered, but [mc_name name='Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)' chamber='senate' mcid='P000603' ] forgot, and it | Read More »

The post Tech at Night: Rand Paul wins more privacy for the Islamic State appeared first on RedState.

Part of the USA PATRIOT act ensured NSA could check up on conversations foreigners were having, that involved data passing into America, by going to the FISA courts and getting a warrant. After 9/11, when terrorist cells came here and murdered many Americans, we understood the need for that.

Well, some Republicans remembered, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 80% forgot, and it sounds like Paul won.

I wonder if the Islamic State will send flowers to thank him.


FCC is hard at work trying to clamp down on innovation as well as free speech(!). That’s Net Neutrality, folks. It’s always been a power grab.


I’ve been criticized in the past for saying copyright is too long, and has been made too strong. I get called weird and squishy for saying the copyright lengths and limits put in place by the founders are probably closer to what we need, than what we have now. Well when you don’t even own your own car anymore because of copyright, maybe people will believe me.


Looks like Michelle Malkin agrees with me on patents. Obama’s reforms were awful, and more comprehensive reform is a bad idea.


Governor Hogan in Maryland has been doing some nice things, like reducing tolls. Sad to hear he’s possibly going to raise some taxes in order to pick winners and losers.

The post Tech at Night: Rand Paul wins more privacy for the Islamic State appeared first on RedState.

Obama official: our Iraq policy is the same as our critics’

The Obama administration has three tried and true ways of dealing with crises. First, they blame others. Now seven years into his regime of shame, Obama is still trying to blame George Bush for everything. Second, they gaslight, that is they tell you against all evidence that something is working. Just this week, the White House claimed that its Iraq policy was working. I mean, | Read More »

The post Obama official: our Iraq policy is the same as our critics’ appeared first on RedState.

ramadi

The Obama administration has three tried and true ways of dealing with crises. First, they blame others. Now seven years into his regime of shame, Obama is still trying to blame George Bush for everything. Second, they gaslight, that is they tell you against all evidence that something is working. Just this week, the White House claimed that its Iraq policy was working. I mean, who is the press going to believe? Their own lying eyes? Or the word of their master? Third, they demand what the questioner would do. This last one, in particular, is juvenile in the extreme. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the critic would do. That isn’t even an issue. The issue is what the administration is doing.

As a sign of how bad things are going, the administration has gone from gaslighting to “hey, what’s your plan” in just two days. For instance:

Watching conservative pundits and politicians fumble over whether the United States should have invaded Iraq 12 years ago makes clear just how divided and unsure Republicans are about what they would do differently. When one peels away the rhetoric, what they advocate largely resembles the policies of the president they claim is such a failure: Barack Obama.

War lessons for the GOP,” the May 19 op-ed column by Michael Gerson, one of conservatism’s brightest minds, is a case in point. After conceding in hindsight that the Iraq invasion was a mistake (a view that many of us who supported the war now admit but that Obama got right at the time), Gerson says we should apply the hard lessons of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan moving forward, then goes on to fault Obama for a policy of “retrenchment and retreat,” “chronic indecision” and “weakness.” So what policy would embody the opposite of these traits?

This is sort of an epic version of the “what would you do differently” attack as it has elements of gaslighting involved. If you say our policy should avoid “chronic indecision”, etc.,  this assclown (who, by the way is in no small measure for the unmitigated chaos in the Middle East)  says:

All of that accurately describes Obama’s approach. Today the U.S. military has as many as 3,000 troops in Iraq helping to train security forces and more than 35,000 military personnel in the Persian Gulf to reassure and work with our partners. For nearly a year, U.S. warplanes have bombed targets every day in Iraq and Syria — nearly 3,000 airstrikes so far — and Special Operations forces engage against terrorist targets, as last weekend’s raid into Syria proved. In the past few weeks, Washington has begun military training of the Syrian opposition at a cost of $500­ million. And the United States is partnering with other countries; today European allies are contributing to the Iraqi air campaign and training mission, and Arab states (and Canada) are part of the strikes in Syria.

This is just ludicrous. There is no one, even this Derek Chollet fellow, who believes the policy of this administration in regards to [fill in the blank] has been anything but vapid, sophomoric, ineffectual and built upon wishful thinking. More to the point, Obama’s critics are under no moral, legal, ethical, or intellectual obligation to offer solutions particularly because those critics were not invited to the table when Obama decided he was going to screw the pooch. The critics have an obligation to point out what is happening. It is the administration that owes us answers on what it is going to do besides blame George W. Bush.

 

The post Obama official: our Iraq policy is the same as our critics’ appeared first on RedState.


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Obama has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
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We need segregated buses. This is Obamas America."
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What should we do with Obama the racist?


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