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News Briefing for April 18

HEALTHCARE: Under Obamacare, Competition Is Costly For Consumers “Normally, market competition is good for consumers. More competition generally means competitors are battling each other to lower their prices and/or raise the quality of their goods. But when it comes to Obamacare, the market is working backwards, at least for people receiving health insurance subsidies through the exchanges. The more competitive the marketplace, often the more people have to pay for insurance. How did this happen? The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, created a series of exchanges where people can shop for health insurance if they don’t already receive it from ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 16

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Marco Rubio and the Three-Strikes Theory of Politics “…In the past year or so, Rubio has been trying to regain the trust of his party’s hard-liners, saying that nobody has an automatic right to immigrate to the United States and stressing that improving border security should be the first priority. He’s had some success in this enterprise. “I think that Sen. Rubio has done something that most politicians don’t do,” Jenny Beth Martin, the president and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, told Politico. “He evaluated what went wrong … [and] is working to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes ...

News Briefing for Friday, April 10

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare spending leads to a higher budget deficit so far in 2015 “The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that the federal government saw a higher budget deficit in the first half of fiscal year 2015 compared to 2014, and said higher spending due to Obamacare is part of the reason. CBO said the budget deficit was $430 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2015, a $17 billion increase. While there were several contributing factors to that increase, CBO said spending on Obamacare was a significant change from 2014 to 2015. First, CBO said Medicaid spending rose by $31 billion from October 1 through March 31 compared ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 9

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The Speaker strikes back (Op-ed by Jenny Beth Martin) “House Speaker John Boehner’s latest volley in his petty war against conservatives in the GOP conference – while saying much more about himself than the men he’s targeting – provides a great opportunity for a discussion about Congress’ stewardship of taxpayer dollars. In the aftermath of the failed attempt to displace him in January, Boehner moved into recrimination mode with considerable dispatch.  For his sin of allowing colleagues to place his name in nomination for speaker, Rep. Dan Webster (R-Fla.) was bounced from the Rules Committee, along with his ...

News Briefing for Wednesday, April 8

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: TEA PARTY PATRIOTS EXCITED BY PAUL PRESIDENTIAL ANNOUNCEMENT “Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin expressed excitement at Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential run Tuesday. “It’s exciting to see another energetic, visionary conservative enter the contest for the 2016 nomination,” Martin said in a statement. “Sen. Paul has been at the forefront of the liberty movement, and he will do a lot to shape the debate as the GOP field expands.” Paul was part of the Tea Party wave when he was first elected to the Senate from Kentucky in 2010. He officially announced his presidential candidacy Tuesday. “Rand Paul ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 2

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare’s Misery Index: How Covered California Imposed ‘Widespread Consumer Misery’ “President Obama doubtless plans for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to be the keystone of his legacy. That calls for an examination of Obamacare’s largest wholly-owned subsidiary. Covered California turns out to be something of a misnomer, but it’s definitely a success at spending money. Covered California has shelled out $454 million, nearly half a billion dollars, on a computer system. Covered California bosses also spent tens of millions on grants to promote the program, in addition to an $80 million television, ...

News Briefing for Wednesday, April 1, 2015

HEALTHCARE: CALPERS COULD OWE OBAMACARE $770 MILLION IN “CADILLAC TAX’ “California government entities and their unions are panicking because Obamacare’s punitive 40% “Cadillac Tax” beginning in 2018 will directly hit the low-deductible and broad-provider network type of “platinum” healthcare coverage that public employees have enjoyed under the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS). With the Cadillac Tax estimated at $770 million, public employees face a radical change to “narrow networks” and up to 1,000 percent increase in annual healthcare deductibles. California public employee unions and CalPERS took a ...

News Briefing for Friday, March 27

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The GOP quandary: How far right without falling over the edge? “…Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is at or near the top of most early polls among Republicans, likes to boast how he stuck to conservative principles to win statewide office three times in a centrist state. “To win the center, you don’t have to go to the center, you have to lead,” he said last week during a Tea Party Patriots telephone town hall. Tea party loyalists are still somewhat wary of Walker, though, because of past positions on immigration and government support for ethanol, a big issue in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucus. In 2006, he ...

News Briefing for Thursday, March 26

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The GOP quandary: How far right without falling over the edge? “…Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is at or near the top of most early polls among Republicans, likes to boast how he stuck to conservative principles to win statewide office three times in a centrist state. “To win the center, you don’t have to go to the center, you have to lead,” he said last week during a Tea Party Patriots telephone town hall. Tea party loyalists are still somewhat wary of Walker, though, because of past positions on immigration and government support for ethanol, a big issue in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucus…” ht...

News Briefing for Monday, March 23

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Cruz to launch White House bid, will tea party go along? (Tea Party Patriots mentioned) “…While tea party leaders still like Cruz, they’re also looking elsewhere for 2016. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, regarded as a new voice and a Washington outsider, has drawn a passionate following, particularly in Iowa. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucus, retains a loyal conservative following. Walker so far has pulled ahead of everyone, and held a telephone town hall last week with followers of one group, the Tea Party Patriots. Afterward, the group said on its website “there is perhaps no one the ...