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News Briefing for Friday, February 27, 2015

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: MITCH MCCONNELL CAVES (Quote by Jenny Beth Martin) The Senate GOP calls retreat on amnesty. “…And the third reaction? That came from Tea Party Patriots chair Jenny Beth Martin, who said in a statement: Throughout the election cycle Republicans vowed to do everything they could to stop the President's overreach. Now, the Republicans in the Senate under Majority Leader McConnell's guidance are playing games. Today we have learned that Sen. McConnell's plan is to bring a bill to the Senate floor that would fully fund the Department of Homeland Security without defunding executive amnesty! Congress has the "power of the ...

News Briefing for Friday, February 20th, 2015

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare's Co-Ops: A Bigger Scandal Than Solyndra? “The decline and bankruptcy of insurance co-ops conceived by Obamacare is being trumpeted as another emblem of the law’s many failures. But the fiasco speaks to a much more parochial flaw that animates progressive PGR -0.15% views on healthcare. The co-ops aren’t dying only because they were hastily constructed, or poorly managed. Their disaster is far more willful and deliberate. They meant to lose money. Last year, the co-ops made a big bet. While private plans were raising their premiums for the second year of Obamacare, the co-ops proposed sharp cuts. Liberal policy makers ...

News Briefing for Friday, February 13, 2015

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Taxpayer Watchdogs Urge Members to Protect RAC Program: Program is Highly Effective Anti-Medicare Fraud Tool “Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) was joined by five organizations in a letter to members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, urging them to protect the Recovery Audit Program (RAC) from further meddling when Congress considers legislation regarding Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) patch, or “doc fix.” The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) RAC program is a highly effective post-payment auditing tool that has been largely sidelined by ...

News Briefing for Friday, February 6, 2015

HEALTHCARE: IRS Seeks 9,000 New Employees as It Prepares to Enforce Obamacare “As millions of Americans brace for tax season, the Internal Revenue Service is requesting a $2 billion boost to its budget and 9,000 new employees as it prepares to enforce Obamacare’s tax provisions. President Obama released his $4 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2016 this week, which includes $13.9 billion for the Internal Revenue Service. The agency asked Congress for close to $2 billion more for operations than last year—a 16 percent increase. The billions of dollars will help the agency bolster its staff by adding more than 9,280 full-time employ...

News Briefing for Friday, January 30, 2015

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: It's Time to Pass the Lee Balanced Budget Amendment (Jenny Beth Martin’s op-ed) “With the president’s recent lawlessness on executive amnesty and GOP efforts to beat it back, it’s easy to forget that just three and a half years ago, we were on the cusp of a grand bargain. President Barack Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner would tackle a range of ever-present fiscal crises, everyone would make tough concessions, and the nation would be on sound fiscal footing for a generation. Alas, it was not to be. In a rare moment of fortitude, the speaker wouldn’t go along with the massive tax increases the president wanted. ...

News Briefing for Friday, January 23, 2015

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Iowa Freedom Summit brings big names to state (TPP-sponsored event) http://www.kcci.com/news/iowa-freedom-summit-brings-big-names-to-state/30873014   A mighty conservative summit in Iowa: 23 speakers but no Bush, no Romney (TPP-sponsored event) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/22/inside-the-beltway-a-mighty-conservative-summit-in/   Sherwin-Williams Calls Average Hair Color at Tea Party Gathering 'Balanced Beige' (TPP-sponsored event) The South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convened in Myrtle Beach over the weekend, and one thing that stuck out was how few young people were in the ...

News Briefing for Friday, January 16, 2015

HEALTHCARE: Burwell urges GOP to 'move beyond' ObamaCare arguments “Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Thursday promised a "vigorous" defense of ObamaCare this Congress as she outlined policy priorities she said could receive bipartisan support, such as addressing prescription drug abuse and accelerating the development of medical cures. "I hope we can move beyond the back and forth of the Affordable Care Act," Burwell said at the New America Foundation. She also downplayed Republican plans to target pieces of the healthcare law now that the GOP is in control of both chambers on Capitol Hill.  "We want to find ...

News Briefing for Friday, January 9, 2015

HEALTHCARE: N.J. private insurance premiums rising faster since Affordable Care Act passed, study shows “Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the cost of premiums in New Jersey each year have risen faster than the national average, according to a study released today by a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. Premiums for New Jersey employer-sponsored health coverage climbed an average of 4.4 percent a year from 2003 through 2010 to $5,153 per single person, according to the study by the Commonwealth Fund. But from 2010 to 2013, the average premium rose 6.4 percent a year, to $6,200. The spike was even greater for family polici...

News Briefing for Friday, January 2, 2015

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare PR push goes silent “Health care reform advocates who struggled for decades to pass Obamacare left the job half-undone. They failed to sell it. They also underestimated the unrelenting intensity and duration of the opposition that makes the law so vulnerable to legislative and legal challenges even now, nearly five years after its passage. The White House and its allies are trying fresh messaging strategies for 2015 enrollment, including a lower-key sales pitch and narratives from real people who are happy with their coverage. Those success stories didn’t exist before coverage began one year ago. Yet the messaging missteps ...

News Briefing for Friday, December 19

HEALTHCARE: Surprise: Insurers Extend Another Obamacare Deadline, Costs to Spike in 2016 The law. It's working, you guys. It's working so well that one entire year into its full implementation, insurers feel compelled to extend yet another alleged deadline because the so-called 'back end' of the program's website is still a hot mess.  That big "re-branding" campaign can't come soon enough, in order to allow supporters to keep on highlighting Obamacare's unparalleled success: “Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Barack Obama's health care law, the insurance industry said Tuesday it will give customers more time ...