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The future of Obamacare ‘insurer bailouts’ is not looking good

President-elect Donald Trump is bad news for insurance companies who hope that Congress will bail them out with changes to two Obamacare programs. The programs sunset at the end of this year, but conservatives are staying vigilant against the possibility that Congress will try to use the lame-duck session to give insurers more money. Insurance companies have spent millions lobbying lawmakers to keep the risk corridor and reinsurance programs. The Daily Signal reported: Conservative groups like Freedom Partners and Republican lawmakers have cautioned that the Justice Department could attempt to settle with insurance companies and tap into ...

Policy expert: President Obama planning ‘backdoor attempt’ to bail out insurers

President Obama is working on using a special fund to bail out insurers who claim they lost money on the Obamacare exchanges – a plan that bypasses the consent of Congress. National Review has the commentary: If it successfully executes this plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will have circumvented Congress to secure a taxpayer bailout for insurers — directly contradicting Congress’s intentions as expressed by multiple spending bills, and possibly violating federal law. Currently, insurers are suing HHS for more than $2.5 billion promised them under ACA’s “risk corridor” program, which was designed to ...

Trump policy adviser: ‘That’s the plan: Try to pass a tax cut’

Conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation Fellow and Economist Stephen Moore Wednesday during a Politico forum says he would tell President-elect Trump to first focus on slashing business taxes and then follow up later with reforming individual tax rates. Reuters has the details: Trump's proposal would reduce the official corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, allow corporations to repatriate overseas profits at a 10 percent rate and reduce the top individual tax rate to 33 percent from 39.6 percent. Moore estimated that the cuts would lead to a revenue loss of about $3 trillion over 10 years, for which Trump would compensate with ...

Martin: Sessions Will Protect the Constitution and Uphold the Rule of Law

Washington, DC – Tea Party Patriots CEO and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin released the following statement today, reacting to reports that President-elect Donald Trump has selected U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General. “Tea Party Patriots and our millions of supporters around the country are thrilled that President-elect Donald Trump has selected Senator Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. Attorney General. Senator Sessions is a man of the highest integrity who has been a strong ally of Tea Party Patriots and the Tea Party movement. He has spoken at several Tea Party Patriots events over the years and Americans should know he is ...

Bill Clinton denies calling Obamacare ‘the craziest thing’ but check out this video

Former President Bill Clinton – after he was questioned by an audience member at a recent event – apparently denied an earlier statement in which he said out-of-control Obamacare premiums and diminishing coverage for those working overtime are “the craziest” thing. “That is not at all what I said. No? Oh, really? Go read it,” the former president said to the audience member. Let’s “go read” his earlier statement for ourselves, like the former president suggested. “So, you’ve got this crazy system where – all of a sudden – 25 million more people have health care, and then the people who are out there busting it, ...

Business Insider: ‘Americans’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing’

Obamacare proponents are quick to point to the relatively slow rise in premium increases of employer-sponsored health-insurance plans as a way of dismissing those frustrated by the president’s signature health-insurance law. These same critics, however, fail to consider the hidden costs of Obamacare in out-of-pocket medical expenses like deductibles, which have spiked in recent years. Business Insider has the details: In 2016, 83% of workers have a deductible — an amount that they have to pay themselves for medical care before insurance covers it — with an average of $1,478. The average deductible for workers has gone up $486, or 49%, since ...

VA executives awash in bonuses despite ongoing wait-list scandal

Veteran Affairs employees raked in a combined $177 million in bonuses in fiscal-year 2015 even though VA offices across the country remain plagued by reports of mismanagement and continued manipulation of veteran wait-list times. USA Today has the scoop: More than 300 senior executives of the troubled agency received $3.3 million in bonuses, for an average payment of about $10,000 each. The non-executives received about $900 on average. Among those receiving bonuses was the former top VA official in Ohio who retired the same day he received a notice he was going to be fired. Another was the former chief of staff at the Phoenix VA Medical Center ...

U.S. attorney general declines to prosecute EPA employee in center of pollution scandal

The Environmental Protection Agency employee in the thick of the scandal that polluted three U.S. rivers due to a Colorado mine wastewater spill will not face prosecution, the U.S. Attorney General’s office says. The Washington Examiner has the details: The EPA's Office of Inspector General said Wednesday that it found evidence the unnamed employee may have violated the Clean Water Act and given false statements. But spokesman Jeff Ladga said the Justice Department will not pursue the case. Instead, the case will be sent to the agency's leaders. "The EPA is required to report to the Office of Inspector General any administrative action taken ...

Utah representative calls on U.S. House to stop HHS from dipping into special taxpayer fund to bail out health insurers

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is asking his colleagues in the House of Representatives to join him in filing a suit to make sure those at the Department of Health and Human Services don’t use a special legal-claims fund to bail out health-insurance companies who allegedly suffered losses because of Obamacare. The Washington Free Beacon has the story: Stewart wrote in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that the agency’s intention to settle with insurers by paying them from the a government fund used to make legal payments is a “brazen effort” to violate a section of the law that prohibits Congress from using appropriated funds to make ...

IRS persists in singling out, delaying tea-party groups’ tax-exempt-status applications

Authorities at the Internal Revenue Service after promising to speed up processing on long-in-limbo tax-exempt-status applications of conservative groups is reversing course and doubling down on their demands for additional documentation. The Washington Times has the scoop: More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group’s lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be protected, out in the public. Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the filing was made as part of a court case, and that’s one of the few narrow ...