Democrats Worry About Spike in Obamacare Premiums Ahead of Midterms

Obamacare

As Democrats head into the November midterms with historically low approval ratings, another major factor could arise that will further contribute to the shrinking of their already-slim majorities.

As reported by The Hill, the Affordable Care Act – known colloquially as “Obamacare” – could face a significant increase in premiums due to a lapse in special funding provided by the coronavirus aid bill passed last year. That bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, temporarily increased financial assistance for Americans seeking healthcare through Obamacare; the increase was set to expire just one year after the bill’s passage.

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Commentary: Joe Biden and His Hostility to Conscience Rights

In 2020, the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center for forcing a nurse to assist at an abortion. Trump’s Department of Justice called the hospital’s bullying of the nurse “the kind of indecent coercion [that] violates everything this country stands for.”

In 2021, the Biden administration dropped this lawsuit. It did not want to defend the nurse. This rankled former Trump officials. “It is a dereliction of duty that is an insult to the bipartisan consensus that says you cannot force people to assist in abortions,” Roger Severino, the former head of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) told Fox News.

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Kemp Creates Commission to Find Solutions to Georgia’s Healthcare Worker Shortage

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order to create a special commission to examine how to fix the state’s healthcare worker shortage.

The 15-member Healthcare Workforce Commission must report its findings to the governor by the end of the year. Recommendations could include loan forgiveness programs, expanding education programs or technology investments.

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Two Georgia Physicians Forced to Pay Millions Over Allegations of Kickback Scheme

Two physicians, and the company they manage, agreed to pay millions to settle allegations of a healthcare kickback arrangement with other doctors, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

Specifically, Paul D. Weir, John R. Morgan, and Care Plus Management will distribute $7.2 million to solve the complaint over potential violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.

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Commentary: Schools’ COVID-Aid Joy Ride Could Send New Hires off a Fiscal Cliff – Again

As school districts across the country grapple with declining enrollments induced by the pandemic, many are engaged in spending sprees like those of the past leading to widespread layoffs and budget cuts when federal money ran out.

Bolstered by $190 billion in pandemic relief funding from Washington, the nation’s public schools are hiring new teachers and staff, raising salaries, and sweetening benefit packages. Some are buying new vehicles. Others are building theaters and sports facilities.

Using such temporary support for new staff and projects with long-term costs is setting the table for perilous “fiscal cliffs” after COVID funding expires in 2024, some education budget analysts say. And that’s on top of doubts about whether money to battle the pandemic is being properly spent in the first place.

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U.S. Senate Votes to Strike Down Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers and COVID National Emergency

nurse with hairnet and mask on

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to strike down Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate targeting healthcare workers at federally funded facilities. The measure passed on a party-line vote of 49 to 44.

No Democrat senators voted with Republicans to repeal the mandate, but GOP senators were able to get the resolution through the Senate because six Democrats missed the vote, The Hill reported.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who physician, and former military officer.  Before voting began, Marshall argued that the CMS vaccine mandate is “not about public health or science.”

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Postal Service Legislative ‘Fix’ Will Dump Workers on Medicare

A bill to “fix” the troubled United States Post Office (USPS) is on the verge of passage in the Senate but does it solve more problems than it creates? The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, H.R. 3076 was scheduled for a vote earlier this month but was blocked by Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) on a procedural technicality.  “We can’t afford to add stress on our already enormous national debt with poor financial planning, which I think this bill absolutely does,” Scott said of the bill.

Now it’s back and on track for a vote in the Senate.

The biggest financial liability facing the USPS is the legal requirement to fund 75 years of retirement health benefits in advance for its workers. Congress has found a way around that by dumping the future postal workers on to Medicare.

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Doctors Sue California for Threatening to Punish Them for not Facilitating Assisted Suicide

California doctors who object to assisted suicide are fighting an amended state law that implicates them in their patients’ intentional deaths.

They are suing California officials, including Attorney General Rob Bonta, Department of Public Health Director Tomas Aragon, and Medical Board members to block SB 380, which made it easier for patients to commit suicide under the End of Life Options Act that took effect in 2016.

The original law issued a broad exemption for healthcare providers, granting them a liability shield for “refusing to inform” patients about their right to physician-assisted suicide and “not referring” patients to physicians who will assist in their suicides.

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Hospitals Are Getting Away with Ignoring Price Transparency Rules, Experts Say

Many hospitals are not complying with laws requiring them to make their healthcare prices publicly available, according to multiple reports, and the Biden administration has so far refrained from issuing penalties.

The Hospital Price Transparency rule, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2021, is designed to promote competition in healthcare markets by requiring hospitals to post their prices, so that consumers can compare and shop between hospitals. The law mandates hospitals to post their pricing data “as a comprehensive machine-readable file with all items and services” as well as “in a display of shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format.”

However, according to recent reports, many hospitals have yet to comply with the rules a year after they have been in effect. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal last week found that many of the nation’s largest hospital chains were not complying with the new rules.

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by Maine Healthcare Workers Challenging Vaccine Mandate

Healthcare workers

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from Maine healthcare workers attempting to block the state’s vaccine mandate.

The group of unvaccinated workers argued that the law violated their First Amendment rights because the law doesn’t have a religious exemption.

According to the Associated Press, Maine is one of three states including New York and Rhode Island that have vaccine mandates that lack religious exemptions for healthcare workers.

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Roughly 40 Percent of Americans Say They Recently Suffered Financial Difficulties, Study Shows

Soldiers assigned the Ohio National Guard’s HHC 1-148th Infantry Regiment – 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the Ohio Military Reserve, give the thumbs-up for troopers assigned to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, to send more vehicles through the line at a drive through food distribution event at the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, May 9, 2020. The food bank teamed up with the Ohio National Guard and the Highway Patrol to conduct the first-ever drive through event at the food bank. More than 700 Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve members were activated to provide humanitarian missions in support of Operation Steady Resolve COVID-19 relief efforts, continuing The Ohio National Guard’s long history of supporting humanitarian efforts throughout Ohio and the nation. To date, the Ohio National Guard has assisted in the distribution of more than 9.9 million pounds of food and pantry items to Ohioans in need. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker)

Over 40% of U.S. households said they experienced severe financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing difficulties paying bills, credit cards and draining their savings, according to a Harvard University report.

The survey conducted by the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Public Radio asked roughly 3,600 participants between July and August about problems they faced during the pandemic and how it affected their lives in recent months. Respondents were asked about financial, healthcare, education and personal safety concerns.

Roughly 30% of adults interviewed said they used up all or most of their savings during the pandemic, while 10% reported they had no savings before the pandemic began, according to the report.  About one in five households had difficulties paying credit cards, loans, and other debts as well as utilities.

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Commentary: BidenCare Blows ObamaCare Costs Out of the Water

PolitiFact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year” came from former President Barack Obama selling ObamaCare, his massive government takeover of healthcare. “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,” Obama said. That was a lie. Now President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) want to expand that lie through their $3.5 trillion federal spending blowout pending in Congress. 

Obama also said we could keep our doctors under ObamaCare. Obama lied to me and millions of other people. When I left a full-time job in 2013 for contract work, I switched to an ObamaCare exchange plan. And no, I didn’t get to keep my doctor on that new plan. I also saw the cost of my ObamaCare plan increase by double digit rates for 2014.

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Commentary: Instead of Tightening Government’s Grip on Healthcare, Give Americans a Personal Option

Healthcare workers

As America begins to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview, the lesson from this once-in-a-generation crisis couldn’t be clearer: We need less, not more, central planning in our lives.

For example, a study earlier this year by health economist Casey Mulligan revealed that economic lockdowns mandated by government were counterproductive, given the significant steps workplaces took to prevent the virus from spreading.

The same is true with health care. By now, most folks know the story of how Operation Warp Speed — the previous administration’s unprecedented plan to trim bureaucracy from the vaccine development process — resulted in the creation of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time. But an equally important storyline is how states took a sledgehammer to their own bureaucracies to expand access to care for those in need.

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‘I Still Felt Incomplete’: Detransitioned Men, Women Describe How Frighteningly Easy it Was to Get Trans Surgeries, Hormones

Doctors room with surgeons

Multiple men and women who have detransitioned described how easy it was for them to get transgender surgeries and hormones in a new CBS segment — and how the surgeries or treatment negatively impacted them.

As lawmakers across the country introduce and pass bills focused on gender transitions, Lesley Stahl interviewed multiple medical experts and former or current transgender people who expressed fear that transgender surgeries and hormone treatments, often irreversible, are too easily attainable.

The CBS host said that the program “interviewed more than 30 detransitioners, who say they also had experienced regret, including these four, who hadn’t met before now.”

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Tennessee Becomes Second State to Ban Trans Hormone Treatments Before Puberty

child running with trans flag

Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation Tuesday that bans hormone treatment for prepubescent minors.

SB0126 goes into effect immediately, making Tennessee the second state to ban trans procedures for minors, NBC reported. The Arkansas state legislature overrode Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill banning transgender surgeries and procedures for minors in April.

Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act, prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors before puberty. Transgender surgeries include vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, breast implants, and facial surgeries.

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Biden Administration Facing Media Scrutiny for Not Allowing Press Access to Child Migrant Detention Facilities

Reporters in the White House Press Briefing Room expressed frustration on Wednesday with the Biden Administration for failing to provide proper information or press access regarding the increasingly overflowing migrant detention facilities on the southern border, as reported by Breitbart.

One reporter grilled White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on this issue, asking “It’s now been three weeks since….you were first asked about getting us some press access” to these facilities, which have been filling up with child migrants in particular. “Why have we still not seen any images inside these facilities?”

Psaki dodged the question, and instead tried to claim that Biden himself is receiving such information in briefings, saying that “he talks to plenty of officials.” Psaki also continued blaming other factors for the lack of information, including various restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the privacy of children who occupy these facilities.

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Teachers Union Boss who Fought to Keep Schools Closed Caught Dropping Kid off at in-Person Preschool

Remember the Chicago teachers union bigwig who defended school closures while wearing a bathing suit in Baja? We’ve got another one.

In Northern California, the same guy who has been claiming schools are too unsafe to reopen apparently doesn’t practice what he preaches.

A video posted by a Twitter account called “guerillaMomz” shows the president of the Berkeley teachers union dropping his daughter off at in-person preschool.

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Commentary: Vice President Biden, Don’t Take Away Our Healthcare Choice

President Donald Trump recently painted a picture for the American people of what healthcare reform would look if given a second term in office. 

Trump made a passionate argument for a framework anchored in choice and transparency, elements that stand in stark contrast to Obamacare—which used the power of the federal government to force people to purchase something simply for being alive: government-sanctioned health insurance.   

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YourChoice Direct Care Dr. Chad Savage, M.D. Examines the Affordable Care Act and the Need for Healthcare Marketplace Competition

Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredricks welcomed Dr. Chad Savage to the show to explain the Affordable Care Act and how the Trump administration is creating competition and transparency in the healthcare marketplace.

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