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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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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‘Only Socialism Can Defeat COVID’ Flyers Found on University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Flyers posted around University of Wisconsin-Madison promising that “Only Socialism Can Defeat COVID” were promoting a Feb. 11 event held by the Madison, WI branch of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT).

According to the flyers, “capitalism offers no solutions” to COVID-19 and only makes things worse, as the organization criticizes solutions that involve “get[ting] back to work.” 

As Campus Reform previously reported, The IMT is an organization that supports a “socialist transformation of society.” They have branches across the U.S. and other parts of the world. 

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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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Wisconsin Democrats Renew Efforts to Rollback Act 10

Chris Larson

Ten years after Act 10 became law and changed what Wisconsin school teachers can include in their school contracts, Democratic lawmakers in the state continue to try and roll it back.

Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, and a handful of Democrats this week introduce what they are calling the Collective Bargaining for Public Education Act.

“Wisconsin’s public education sector has a unique and critical role to play in our state. To ensure the effectiveness of these institutions, we rely on highly qualified individuals and their talents to move our state forward,” Larson said in a statement. “The legislation we have introduced establishes the right of employees of school districts, CESAs, technical college districts, and the UW System to collectively bargain over wages, hours, and conditions of employment.”

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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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