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Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« on: November 13, 2013, 02:51:23 PM »
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=AA5C6855-608C-4942-B90F-83D43B649DF6

 Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
By: Jonathan Allen and Seung Min Kim and Jennifer Haberkorn
November 13, 2013 10:06 AM EST

Democrats are on the verge of abandoning President Barack Obama on vital elements of his signature health care law at a time when his poll numbers have been sliding with three years left to go in his second term.

House Democrats used a closed-door meeting Wednesday to hammer the White House’s handling of the Obamacare rollout and aftermath. And Senate Democratic leaders have given their assent for the party’s most vulnerable lawmakers to sign onto efforts to adjust the health care law.

At Wednesday’s raucous caucus meeting, Democrats blasted the White House for failing to come up with a way to ensure that President Barack Obama’s if-you-like-it-you-can-keep-it promise about health insurance plans will be fulfilled. And they’re unconvinced the White House will meet its self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to fix the HealthCare.gov website.



“They’re telling us all about actuarial tables and all about how the process would work and all of this is fine and great and it would be great in a classroom and you would get an A on your test, but this isn’t about getting an A on your test, this is about ads,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, a Memphis liberal.

Behind the posturing is a real fear amongst Democrats that the GOP will be able to expand the political map in 2014, putting once-safe seats into play. The anger directed at David Simas, the deputy senior adviser to the president, and Mike Hash, the director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, came from Democrats in swing districts as well as from veteran allies of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who hail from traditionally safe areas such as Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley.

The meeting came one day after former President Bill Clinton said that Obama would have to find a way to keep the promise to let folks keep their insurance policies. Democratic aides said Wednesday that his remarks provided air cover for lawmakers to increase pressure on the White House to come up with a fix.



Collectively, the House Democrats issued a stern warning to the administration officials: Fix it or face a full-scale rebellion.

White House aides contend that there’s little to worry about. For all the clamor, they argue, Democrats on Capitol Hill haven’t yet joined “repeal and replace” Republicans in trying to dismantle the law. The White House understands the frustration, they say, but notes that Democrats are invested in making the law work and aren’t walking away from it.

The president looks at this as “a matter of policy first and politics second,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday of Democratic concerns about 2014.

Whether that holds true if the website isn’t working on December 1 — and if their constituents lose existing plans that they are satisfied with—remains to be seen. The administration officials assured House Democrats that the website would be running smoothly by the end of this month.



Rep. Mike Doyle of Pittsburgh, an influential member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee told the administration officials that he would vote for the GOP bill if they couldn’t come up with better reasons for him to back the president, portending a dam-breaking vote on Friday if the White House can’t find a way to repair the damage it has suffered within the Democratic Caucus. He further suggested that if the White House can’t get the website fixed in time, the president will irreversibly lose the public’s trust on Obamacare, according to a source who was present.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), like Doyle a member of Pelosi’s inner circle, complained about White House efforts to portray insurance cancellation notices as affecting just a small percentage of the population.

“You say it’s only 5 percent,” Eshoo told Simas and Hatch, “but it is much more than 5 percent in my district.”

In the Senate, Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu, who is in a tough re-election race, has drafted a bill that would allow Americans to keep insurance policies that are scheduled for cancellation. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who are also battling to keep their seats in 2014, signed on, as did Sen. Joe Manchin, from West Virginia, who is not up for re-election next year.

In a blow to the White House, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) this week became the first senator from a heavily Democratic state to join them.

Simas and Hatch faced a firing line in the Capitol Wednesday.

“It’s ugly,” said one Democratic source in the meeting. “There’s no way Obama and Pelosi will let their legacy go down in flames. I just wouldn’t want to be from a swing district right now. Or anything that closely resembles one.”

It has been a stunning turnaround for a party that won a showdown over a government shutdown and threatened default on the nation’s debt just a few weeks ago by standing solidly behind Obama when he refused to negotiate change in the health law to re-open the government and avoid hitting the debt ceiling.

“The caucus is very, very upset about the fact that the process hasn’t worked, and Republicans have this bill,” Cohen said.

If they stand with the White House on Friday’s vote, they face the worst of all possible worlds: Campaign ads pointing out that they not only backed Obama’s broken promise but also opposed legislation to fix it. The White House has two days, they warned, to come up with an alternative way to ensure Americans aren’t thrown off their health plans. The president has vowed to find an administrative fix—rather than a legislative one—but that has proved difficult so far.

“They were being urged [to come up with] something that would allow Democrats to express their desire to have standard plans, affordable plans, competitive plans,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).

The White House argues that the bill from Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton could lead to insurance companies offering 2013 plans in 2014 not just to people who currently have them but to new consumers. Those policies wouldn’t have to abide by new quality standards imposed by the Affordable Care Act, including the provision that prohibits insurers from denying coverage to applicants because of pre-existing medical conditions.

On whether the White House has an alternative to Upton, Carney said, “the president does want to and is discussing with lawmakers the ways we can make improvements.” Expect “an announcement from him sooner rather than later” on how to provide for those who are hurt by cancellations.

Simas and Hatch also contended that the Upton bill would undermine the benefits of the law.

“The message was talking about what’s really in this Upton bill, which is to go back to the old insurance [system]—another way to get rid of the Affordable Care Act,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). In an earlier interview, Schakowsky expressed frustration with the White House handling of the Website problems, asking why, if an A team had been brought in to fix the site, the A team hadn’t been hired to build it in the first place.

The administration officials also urged no votes from House Democrats because, they said, the Upton bill would allow insurers to keep healthy people on the old plans, denying the exchanges the very demographic whose participation in the exchanges is crucial to balancing out the costs of covering sick Americans.

Insurance industry sources say that it’s likely too late to undo the cancellation notices that already have gone out, meaning the Upton bill is unlikely to actually restore coverage.

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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 03:41:48 PM »
Eshoo's district included Silicon Valley, and she won last time 62% to 30%.

So she's not speaking up out of political fear for herself, but for all her democrat colleagues.

Long before you get to the website, the basic design has to work.

Forcing people to put more of their dollars into health insurance, does not go down well, even in democrat districts.

Forcing healthy young uninsured to buy insurance, and forcing people to pay for stuff they didn't want or have, just so Obama's constituency of ghetto crack mommas could have Cadillac coverage is a failed math equation.
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 03:49:15 PM »
The Democrats are screwed.  There is no way out of this for them.

Restoring the old plans cuts the legs out from under Obamacare.

Not allowing those with the old plans to keep them pisses off more and more people.  Just wait til the employer plans get cancelled and another 100 million people are without policies.

They're painted into a corner with no exit.
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 03:51:42 PM »
Except Limbaugh Theorem. Single Payer.

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 03:54:02 PM »
Except Limbaugh Theorem. Single Payer.

Single payer?  There's no support for single payer, especially now.  If anything, the Republicans should offer a plan with tax credits, sales across state lines, and HSAs. 

Rush is wrong a lot lately, too.  Just like Eric Erickson. 
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 04:00:49 PM »
Single payer?  There's no support for single payer, especially now.  If anything, the Republicans should offer a plan with tax credits, sales across state lines, and HSAs. 

Rush is wrong a lot lately, too.  Just like Eric Erickson.

So says the great seer Sinkspur.....

Tax Credits are part of the problem in this damned economy..... social engineering via taxes.    In case you missed it people can already deduct the cost of their insurance on their taxes, what the Democrats want to do is tax people for employer-provided insurance... and why should people who already get an EIC get more credits (or free money) with additional credits for health insurance - which if they are poor they are probably already eligible for getting FREE on medicaid.........

+++++++++++++++++

Your health insurance premiums may be deductible on your tax return if they provide for reimbursement for doctor/dentist fees, hospitalization, surgical fees and other medical and dental expenses. It’s a deduction in the medical expense section of Schedule A (itemized deductions.)

For questions about life or disability insurance payments, see Can I Deduct my Life and Disability Costs?
Can I deduct the health insurance premiums that I paid with "pre-tax" dollars?

No. If the premiums for your employer –sponsored health insurance were paid with “pre-tax” dollars, the cost is not deductible on your tax return. You know that you paid with “pre-tax” dollars if the amount that you paid for that insurance is not included in Box 1 (wages) of your Form W-2 (Wages & Tax Statement.)
Are my Medicare premiums deductible?

You can deduct the premiums you pay for Medicare B (supplemental medical insurance) and Medicare D (voluntary prescription drug insurance program.)

If you are covered under social security (or if you are a government employee who paid Medicare tax), the amount paid for Medicare A is not deductible.
Can I take the health insurance premiums for my family as a deduction on my Schedule C?

Yes, if you were self-employed and had a net profit for the year, you may be able to deduct such premiums but not on Schedule C. The deduction would be on Form 1040, line 29 (Self-employed Health Insurance Deduction.)

However you cannot take the deduction for any month that you were eligible to participate in any employer (including your spouse’s) health plan at any time during the month, even if you didn’t actually participate in the plan. Also the policy must be in your name or the name of your business. For more information see page 18 on  IRS Publication 535.

 
Is the health insurance premium included in my child's college tuition deductible?

Yes, if the amount is separately stated.
Is the premium for contact lens replacement deductible?

Yes.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline massadvj

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 04:02:53 PM »
They put all their faith in a Chicago community organizer with zero experience at running anything, and now they are shocked... SHOCKED to find OPapaCare is an unmitigated disaster.

Anyone who voted for OPapaCare lives in a political Hotel California.  They checked in but they won't be able to check out.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline EC

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 04:06:04 PM »
They put all their faith in a Chicago community organizer with zero experience at running anything, and now they are shocked... SHOCKED to find OPapaCare is an unmitigated disaster.

Anyone who voted for OPapaCare lives in a political Hotel California.  They checked in but they won't be able to check out.

Grrrr - They can check out any time they like, but they can never leave.

Even more appropriate in this context - and closer to the lyrics.
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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 04:09:50 PM »
Grrrr - They can check out any time they like, but they can never leave.

Even more appropriate in this context - and closer to the lyrics.

 :thumbsup:  :beer:

Offline massadvj

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2013, 04:14:29 PM »
Grrrr - They can check out any time they like, but they can never leave.

Even more appropriate in this context - and closer to the lyrics.

Purists.  Sheesh.
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Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 05:10:48 PM »
They put all their faith in a Chicago community organizer with zero experience at running anything, and now they are shocked... SHOCKED to find OPapaCare is an unmitigated disaster.

Anyone who voted for OPapaCare lives in a political Hotel California.  They checked in but they won't be able to check out.

Obama is such an egotist he will take down anyone who makes trouble for him, doesn't lie for him, or exposes him - including the democratic party.  I think he's a lot like Hitler who had thousands of Germans drowned because he felt they had abandoned him or felt they hadn't done enough to make the Reich the dream he had.  Democrats are so mean spirited I have to believe someone has had a psychological profile done on Obama and are really troubled by what he might do.  I have seen nothing to indicate that but people are still treading VERY lightly around him and had to have the Clintons really fire the first salvo because the feeling would be they are untouchable, even for Obama.
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 05:18:55 PM »
So says the great seer Sinkspur.....

Tax Credits are part of the problem in this damned economy..... social engineering via taxes.    In case you missed it people can already deduct the cost of their insurance on their taxes, what the Democrats want to do is tax people for employer-provided insurance... and why should people who already get an EIC get more credits (or free money) with additional credits for health insurance - which if they are poor they are probably already eligible for getting FREE on medicaid.........

+++++++++++++++++

Your health insurance premiums may be deductible on your tax return if they provide for reimbursement for doctor/dentist fees, hospitalization, surgical fees and other medical and dental expenses. It’s a deduction in the medical expense section of Schedule A (itemized deductions.)

For questions about life or disability insurance payments, see Can I Deduct my Life and Disability Costs?
Can I deduct the health insurance premiums that I paid with "pre-tax" dollars?

No. If the premiums for your employer –sponsored health insurance were paid with “pre-tax” dollars, the cost is not deductible on your tax return. You know that you paid with “pre-tax” dollars if the amount that you paid for that insurance is not included in Box 1 (wages) of your Form W-2 (Wages & Tax Statement.)
Are my Medicare premiums deductible?

You can deduct the premiums you pay for Medicare B (supplemental medical insurance) and Medicare D (voluntary prescription drug insurance program.)

If you are covered under social security (or if you are a government employee who paid Medicare tax), the amount paid for Medicare A is not deductible.
Can I take the health insurance premiums for my family as a deduction on my Schedule C?

Yes, if you were self-employed and had a net profit for the year, you may be able to deduct such premiums but not on Schedule C. The deduction would be on Form 1040, line 29 (Self-employed Health Insurance Deduction.)

However you cannot take the deduction for any month that you were eligible to participate in any employer (including your spouse’s) health plan at any time during the month, even if you didn’t actually participate in the plan. Also the policy must be in your name or the name of your business. For more information see page 18 on  IRS Publication 535.

 
Is the health insurance premium included in my child's college tuition deductible?

Yes, if the amount is separately stated.
Is the premium for contact lens replacement deductible?

Yes.

I have no idea what your problem is.  Insurance premiums are deductible only if they exceed a certain percentage of one's income.  And most people never get there.

As for tax credits, I am in favor of ANYTHING that lowers taxes for ANYBODY.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2013, 05:20:22 PM »
I have no idea what your problem is.  Insurance premiums are deductible only if they exceed a certain percentage of one's income.  And most people never get there.

As for tax credits, I am in favor of ANYTHING that lowers taxes for ANYBODY.

Then lower the tax rates across the board.  The credits are nothing more than another scam to be used to bleed honest taxpayers money out of the government.  Better yet the Fair Tax.
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Online Fishrrman

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2013, 10:12:26 PM »
sinkspur writes:
[[ As for tax credits, I am in favor of ANYTHING that lowers taxes for ANYBODY. ]]

I agree with you -- but can't figure out why, when I put up a post yesterday advocating a deduction for personally-purchased insurance premiums and a tax credit for out-of-pocket medical expenditures (before the "deductible limit" is reached), you said "no" to both of those ideas.
(you can read my original post here: http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,119787.msg485400.html#msg485400
and you can read your response here: http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,119787.msg485407.html#msg485407)

If people are going to be forced into buying insurance, the cost of the premiums should be deductible (or at least partially so).

And if the policies they do buy have high deductibles before they're even able to USE the insurance they've obtained, the cost of the care (before the deductible kicks in) should get a tax credit of some sort.

Many, MANY people are not going to be able to 1) afford "insurance" under ObamaCare and 2) are going to have a hard time paying before their artifically-high deductibles have been reached...
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 10:13:15 PM by Fishrrman »

Offline EC

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Re: Tensions escalate between Democrats, White House
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 04:59:43 AM »
Purists.  Sheesh.

When it comes to The Eagles: guilty as charged.  :laugh:
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