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cumulative signups for ACA graph
Jonathan Cohn:
Those figures remain shy of original, internal projections that HHS made. But that's in good part the result of Obamacare’s early technical problems, with federal and many state sites effectively non-functional for October and part of November. The day-to-day, week-to-week pace of enrollment is now closer to what experts had predicted all along, though in February it lagged a bit. (The original projection for last month was 1.27 million; actual enrollment turned out to be 940,000.) By the time open enrollment ends, on March 31, the total number of people selecting private plans almost certainly won’t be the 7 million target the administration once identified. It should be more than 5 million, although how much more remains to be seen.

Of course, these numbers offer just one, very partial glimpse of how the Affordable Care Act is working. HHS doesn’t have data on whether these people had insurance previously—and, if they did, what kind of coverage it was. HHS can't say how many people have actually paid premiums. Nor can HHS track how many people have gotten insurance outside the marketplaces, by purchasing private coverage directly from carriers or obtaining Medicaid and other government programs directly from state offices.

Stick with folks like Jonathan Cohn and Sarah Kliff and ignore the horse race style coverage, most of which is awful. The program is both functional and viable, but it's easier to report whether targets were hit than "we won't know the impact on the uninsured or how many signups are healthy, and therefore restrain next year's premiums, for some time".

Greg Sargent:

CNN polls on Obamacare take the added step of asking why people disapprove of the law. Result: CNN polls offer a more nuanced view of public opinion on health care than some others do.

Today’s CNN poll finds that 39 percent of Americans favor Obamacare, while 57 percent oppose it. That’s awful, right? But it turns out only 39 percent oppose the law because it’s “too liberal,” while 12 percent say it “isn’t liberal enough.” That’s a total of 51 percent who favor the law or don’t think it goes far enough.
And if you peek into the internals, it turns out that Republicans and conservatives are the only groups who oppose Obamacare as too liberal.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Been moral swamp for years, with torture and evidence "loss." MT @johnson_carrie Fight btwn Feinstein & CIA could drag into legal swamp.
@tomricks1
AP:
In an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee declared on Tuesday that the CIA interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency's possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration.

The CIA clandestinely removed documents and searched a computer network set up for lawmakers, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a long and biting speech on the Senate floor. In an escalating dispute with an agency she has long supported, she said the CIA may well have violated criminal laws and the U.S. Constitution.

NJ.com:  
Gov. Chris Christie has called the George Washington Bridge scandal an obsession of the press that the public doesn’t care about, but two polls released today show the ordeal continues to erode his political support and public image.

One survey, the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, showed Christie’s popularity at an all-time low after dropping 20 percentage points since November.

What’s more, 41 percent of voters surveyed said they approved of Christie’s job performance and 44 percent disapproved — the first time the poll has shown results to be more critical than supportive of the Republican governor since he took office in January 2010.

But the executive director of PublicMind, Krista Jenkins, cautioned that the 3 point difference was within the 3.7 percentage point margin of error.

"One of the defining characteristics of the governor that makes him a nationally sought after Republican is his widespread appeal in a Democratic state," Jenkins said. "Bridgegate continues to erode that asset."

At the same time, a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of 729 registered voters released today and conducted Feb. 22-28 showed a record low number of voters — 23 percent — said the word "trustworthy" described Christie very well, down 20 points from October.

David Cay Johnston:
"Can you stream me now?"

If the answer is no, you're probably going to be looking at the spinning wheel of death on your laptop for a very long time. After making a big, bold promise to wire every corner of America, the telecom giants are running away from their vow to provide nationwide broadband service by 2020. For almost 20 years, AT&T, Verizon and the other big players have collected hundreds of billions of dollars through rate increases and surcharges to finance that ambitious plan, but after wiring the high-density big cities, they now say it's too expensive to connect the rest of the country. But they'd like to keep all that money they banked for the project.

Proud to honor Harlem by delivering @JumaaneWilliams message to the Capitol. #team26
@MonteFrank1
Joseph Williams:
My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Cheap

After veteran reporter Joseph Williams lost his job, he found employment in a sporting-goods store. In a personal essay, he recalls his struggles with challenges millions of Americans return to day after day.

Sean Trende, written before Republican David Jolly's win yesterday in FL-13 over Alex Sink:
The Hill and USA Today both agree that there is a broader lesson to be learned from this race about the 2014 elections.  I’m much less certain. To begin with, special elections aren’t bellwethers, except when they are. If that doesn’t sound particularly helpful, well, it isn’t meant to.
Oh, and if you missed it, here's Between Two Ferns with Barack Obama and Zach Galifianakis. TIME:
The first step, says Mike Farah, Funny Or Die’s president of production and an executive producer of Between Two Ferns, was a meeting at the White House last July, which was part of the official effort to engage with Hollywood on the topic of the Affordable Care Act. He and his team came prepared with ideas. At the top of the list was Between Two Ferns.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Senate Clear-Washing Sabotaged by CIA Hubris (11+ / 0-)

    How hubristic has the CIA become (and what are the lessons for other unaccountable agencies) if the CIA cannot resist the temptation to persist in sabotaging the following?

    Feinstein’s agenda was probably merely to do a modest amount of what could be labeled “Clear-Washing”:

    1.    Symbolically demonstrate a pride-preserving token-degree transparency-imposing commitment and capability:

    a.    more than a decade after the Senate had visibly been a a powerless and/or unprincipled bystander to the now decade-old post-9/11 executive branch unilateral rush to systematically torture of suspects,

    b.    many years after this torture was gradually revealed to have little value for preventing terrorism,

    c.    five years after this torture has been loudly terminated, disavowed and clearly insulated from any vulnerability to criminal prosecution.

    2.    Insulate Senate against humiliation and criticism for:

    a.    Today again being a powerless and/or unprincipled token supervisor and virtual bystander, with repeatedly ‘too little and too late’ reactions, to

    b.    NSA surveillance programs that are still active, still expanding and still being progressively disclosed.

  •  sheesh (5+ / 0-)

    "too Liberal", "not Liberal enough"

    I'm beginning to think Americans don't deserve any healthcare reform.

    The world watches the mighty (and monied) effort to overturn the ACA which is, compared to the rest of the modern world, weak tea but a definite start.

    And reading poll results which seem to reflect slavish adherence to RW talking points shows that maybe the rank and file needs to be plunged back into the "good old days" of personal bankruptcy from a broken leg, paying many thousands of $$ per year for the privilege of being dropped when you need your coverage most, or dying prematurely due to zero coverage and zero hope.

    stop whining and just get on with it - it's the law and it is definitely the future.

    "Please proceed, Governor"

    by portlandzoo on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:45:50 AM PDT

  •  Between the two ferns worked... (22+ / 0-)

    Tons of People Visited Healthcare.gov after Obama "Between the Two Ferns" Appearance

    White House Senior Communications Advisor Tara McGuinness announced via Twitter Tuesday that the Funny or Die website is currently the top referrer to Healthcare.gov.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:46:20 AM PDT

  •  Embrace Obamacare (26+ / 0-)

    I think Mike Barnicle, on Morning Joe (in a rare moment of Zen), made an excellent observation; Dems running on fixing O’care need to sound like they embrace the law and not like they’re making excuses for it.  A series of ads should be developed that highlight individual ACA successes (not hard to find true stories, rather than the farces that the Koch brothers sponsor). Dem candidates should  sing it’s praises and talk about making it “even stronger”, rather than “fix the problems”. Frank Luntz would certainly never advise the Repugs to speak negatively about current Republican policy!

    "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

    by GoodGod on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:47:39 AM PDT

  •  I guess most people never considered Christie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    trustworthy (43%) and he was considered an asset?  wtf?  Must be the gop segment which values liars and thieves.

  •  The Failure of Test-Based Accountability (3+ / 0-)

    my examination of the blog post of that title by Marc Tucker

    in this piece which I invite you to read

    peace

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:49:59 AM PDT

  •  Obamacare is becoming an asset (9+ / 0-)

    Not yet, but getting there and the Republicans will be running against it like one of those cartoon characters that runs right off a cliff and doesn't realize the ground is gone. You know, as Chris Christie is demonstrating right now.

    Remember to kick it over.

    by sprogga on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:55:59 AM PDT

  •  Sink's loss in FL-13 (3+ / 0-)

    all I can say is thank FSM she did not choose to run for Governor again.

    Word was (overheard at one of my Democrat Club meetings) that she lost to Scott (and remember there was slightly more than 1 percentage point between the two - Scott=48.87 and Sink=47.72) because of her dislike of campaigning on the road, but that could have been gossip.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:59:40 AM PDT

    •  I really don't buy the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, Josiah Bartlett

      idea she was a bad campaigner.  She lost because the 2010 electorate was unusual in Florida, and because of her connection to Bank of America.

      •  What I understood was (0+ / 0-)

        It was not that she was bad at campaiging, but that she didn't do enough of it, particularly on the road.  Just have to get out there and press the flesh if you want to win elections.

        However, after a bit of research I found the article below and maybe she does just suck at campaigning after all.

        Alex Sink Campaign Named Worst of 2010 by MSNBC

        Sink's biggest crime, according to MSNBC, is that she lost to Rick Scott -- a man with no political experience who ran a company involved in the biggest medicare fraud case in American history. In other words, with competition like that it should have been a home run.
        If you will pardon the pun, it seems she can't sink the chip shots.

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:50:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe she shouldn't run again. Perhaps she isn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem

      a good campaigner after all.

      Chuck Todd said when you lose to Medicare fraud and then a lobbyist then you are not a good campaigner.

      President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

      by Drdemocrat on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:35:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That seat has been held since 1971 (0+ / 0-)

      by a Republican- her chances were slim to none, IMO.
      It's a special election with 27% turnout- in an R+ district, the Republicans will always win in low turnout elections.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:58:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That seat is one Dems NEED to win (0+ / 0-)

        It's an R+1 seat, it was an open election, the GOP was running a fucking lobbyist with no experience and the Dems had someone with considerable sums of money and name recognition.  

        If the Dem Party can't win R+1 seats in an open election then we're fucked.

        Oh also I believe that turnout was closer to 39% and Sink lost by 3,500 votes.  Sink just sucks.  Her chances were very good, especially considering most of the polling had her up.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:56:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting...those same Republicans and Liberals (9+ / 0-)

    who say they are against the ACA, for whatever reason, are the same folk who have also been against Obama on almost every single breath he has taken since entering office.

    Some of them wanted the ACA dead.... Can't forget that. If it were up to these people many of the millions of folk who desperately need this law to stay healthy and who currently has healthcare through the ACA would not have it today....

    So nice....

  •  Really hate to pile on poor li'l Chris ..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, skohayes, a2nite

    If the slime of handing out 9/11 "memorabilia" like Cracker Jacks prizes wears off too soon, dump another bucket for reneging on two promised dealership licenses for Tesla.

    Okay, i'll throw in some "fairnissity":

    There were Dem or dim mayors and Union leaders who where gobbling up the Cracker Jacks. And we might find some D-NJ designations who supported the Tesla ban to ensure their new, deeply-discounted SUVs.

    But i gotta ask Joysy: wasn't Jersey Shore and Snooky a bad-enough-already contribution to the New Dark Ages?

    Try not to party-hardy on election-eve next time....please. I'm from Illinois, have sworn off all mind altering substances till post election.

    21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

    by geez53 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:05:23 AM PDT

    •  Illinois? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geez53, Stude Dude

      The only state with more corrupt politicians than New Jersey.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:59:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why i quit drinkin' ....... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        Franklin wasn't kidding when he said "A democracy, if you can keep it". We the people have been remiss at our end of the equation, degrading politics to just a shallow us-vs-them team sport that we watch instead of fully engaging in. Think of it as: this site has ONLY 1 million+ uids or Red State has ONLY whatever no. of uids. Civics is barely covered in K-12 and infomedia is way too heavy on horse-race analysis compared to figuring some truths as to how we should govern ourselves.

        BTW. It's only the few/all Governors in Illinois who are corrupt all the other politicos are pure as the driven snow (when that snow is down wind of the coal slag heap). ;}

        21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

        by geez53 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:59:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, you should try to live in Kansas (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Josiah Bartlett, geez53

          When I moved out here from the east coast, the first election I voted in was for the county sheriff. The incumbent won and the day after the election, he arrested his opponent for trying to blackmail people into voting for him.

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:41:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Williams retail piece was great (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp, a2nite, Ohkwai, fiercefilms

    the suspect all employees of being thieves practice has been going on for at least 28 years, which is the last time I was a clerk - after graduating from college I never set foot in that chain again.

  •  The lesson (4+ / 0-)

    of Fla-13 is this:

    Democrats have yet to find a way to get their groups to turnout in non-presidential years.  The hope was that the lessons learned in 2012 by Obama could be applied and help reverse the drop-off in turnout.

    It didn't work in FL-13, despite the amount of money spent there.  Maybe it will be different in the fall - but the simple truth is at this point the 2014 electorate is likely to look like the 2010 electorate (which looked like the 2006 electorate).

    In many of the post mortems I am reading I see a similarity between what the Romney people were saying about 2012 and the excuses being offered.  The Romney people said the electorate in 2012 wouldn't look like 2008.  They were wrong.  I read people saying that 2014 won't look like 2010 - the right isn't is hyped up, etc. I suspect they are likely to be as wrong.

  •  ACA in this morning's WSJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JJ In Illinois
    last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.

    This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates.

    http://online.wsj.com/...
    •  Obama would rather talk about Crimea at this point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hmi

      than ACA.  That is one sad state of affairs.

      At-risk Senators bullied him and Sebelius into further delaying the law once again.  Dems who loved this POS law enough to vote for it want nothing to do with it in an election year.

      •  that's actually not true (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, askew, enemy of the people

        doesn't matter how often you say it.

        * PUBLIC SPLIT ON OBAMACARE REPEAL: The new NBC/WSJ poll also finds, as usual, that Obamacare polls badly, with 35 percent saying it’s a good idea, and 49 percent a bad idea. And:

        Forty-eight percent of voters say they’re more likely to vote for a Democrat who supports fixing and keeping the health-care law, versus 47 percent who are more likely to back a Republican who favors keeping and eliminating the law.

        This is in line with suggestions by Dem pollster Stan Greenberg and others that Obamacare is ultimately more of a polarizing issue than a wedge against Dems.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        but from CNN:

        Today’s CNN poll finds that 39 percent of Americans favor Obamacare, while 57 percent oppose it. That’s awful, right? But it turns out only 39 percent oppose the law because it’s “too liberal,” while 12 percent say it “isn’t liberal enough.” That’s a total of 51 percent who favor the law or don’t think it goes far enough.

        And if you peek into the internals, it turns out that Republicans and conservatives are the only groups who oppose Obamacare as too liberal.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        Kaiser finds the same thing on repeal (unpopular) compared to keep and fix.

        Bottom line: it's a wash. That's the data.

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:02:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What's not true? That Dems are running away (0+ / 0-)

          from ACA?

          IMHO, the damn GOP is going to retake the Senate because of ACA, Greg.  Alex Sink should have won yesterday, and she didn't even vote for ACA.

          And this is meaningless:

          Forty-eight percent of voters say they’re more likely to vote for a Democrat who supports fixing and keeping the health-care law, versus 47 percent who are more likely to back a Republican who favors keeping and eliminating the law.
          Geez.. people answered the poll on party lines..  

          Analysts have put a lot more weight on Obama's job approval numbers than anything else.  And that is at an all-time new low in the latest NBC poll.

          I believe a good part of that disapproval comes from the ACA failed roll-out and delays.  It is not going to be a good year for incumbents.

          •  and a big rebound in Bloomberg (2+ / 0-)
            President Barack Obama is rebounding from record-low approval ratings as he remedies the botched rollout of his health-care website and moves past the budget standoffs of the last several years.

            Less than eight months before the November midterm elections, Americans are evenly split, with 48 percent approving of Obama’s job performance, up from 42 percent in December -- the biggest positive change of his presidency, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. He’s also registering an improved favorability rating at 49 percent, the highest since last June.

            that's Ann Selzer, one of our best pollsters (she does the DMR Iowa poll).

            http://www.bloomberg.com/...

            Gallup is at 45.

            HuffPost pollster aggregate is stable.

            Months to go.

            Ocare isn't the issue, the economy is. As goes the economy, so goes the election.

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:12:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  nice sober look at feb numbers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JJ In Illinois
            No matter what, enrollment is likely to fall short of the Congressional Budget Office’s original projection of 7 million and quite possibly the revised estimate of 6 million. And that could reflect a combination of causes—everything from website problems to political resistance to the cost of the plans, which may simply make the coverage less attractive. On the other hand, enrollment of 5 million people ought to be enough for the system to sustain itself, though conditions will vary from state to state. And it's not like the projections were that scientific in the first place.

            The real question of Obamacare is whether it bolsters economic security, improves health care quality and access, and slows down the rising cost of medicine. Raw enrollment numbers can help answer that question, but only a bit.

            http://www.newrepublic.com/...

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:31:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't get me wrong.. ACA has been a boon (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Greg Dworkin

              to the poor and the chronically sick.

              More importantly, it has raised the bar for what is perceived as minimum requirements for health insurance - i.e. guaranteed coverage and no limits.

              Expanding Medicaid, however, did not need a 3000 page bill.  ACA didn't need to be as complicated or affect as many people to simply do that.

              And, whether it is right or wrong, the public, in general feels ACA is a failure - or, at the very least, is not a success.  The CBS/NYT poll from a couple weeks ago was brutal.

              Yes, polls will change and not agree with each other.

              And, I agree that the economy could be a more important factor.  But the economy is not hanging around the necks of individual Senators like an Obamacare vote is.

              •  it's really not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JJ In Illinois

                along same lines but broader topic, interesting Edsall report on conventional wisdom:

                The key finding in the P.R.R.I. study is that working-class whites in the South are – no surprise — far more conservative than their counterparts in the rest of the country. Lumping all of these voters together exaggerates this constituency’s overall rightward tilt.

                The regional differences are striking in the cases of both partisan voting patterns and how voters feel about particular issues.

                The pre-election P.R.R.I. study found that white working-class voters in the South backed Romney over Obama 62-22, compared to a 46-41 Romney advantage in the West, a 42-38 edge in the Northeast and an Obama lead of 44-36 in the Midwest.

                Similarly, while working-class whites in the South opposed same-sex marriage by 61-32 in the P.R.R.I. survey, in the Northeast they favored it 57-37; in the West they were split 47-45; and in the Midwest they were modestly opposed, 44-49. In the case of abortion, majorities of non-college whites outside of the South believe the practice should be legal, while those in the South were opposed 54-42.

                In general, the findings of the P.R.R.I. study suggest that outside the South, Democrats should be able to make significant inroads among working-class whites – and, in fact, they have. In 2008, when Obama was losing nationally by 18 points among noncollege whites, in Michigan he carried these voters 52-46; in Illinois, 53-46; and in Connecticut, 51-47.

                http://www.nytimes.com/...

                "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

                by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:36:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  more... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JJ In Illinois
                "Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-nine percent say they oppose the law because it's too liberal, but 12% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough."

                That means half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it doesn't go far enough. Roughly 6% oppose the law but don't have an opinion on whether it is too liberal or not liberal enough.

                http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

                Point is, by Nov, except in heavily white Southern districts, we are in decent shape on Ocare, but the headwinds form the economy will decide.

                "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

                by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:07:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Say what? He'd rather talk about Crimea than the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, askew

        ACA???

        Obviously you didn't see the President touting the ACA these past weeks.

        In terms of Dems running away from the ACA, the only Dems running are those in red states where Obama lost in the last election. Heck, forget about the ACA, these are states where these Dems could lose just by shaking hands with the President. In other words, states that are loaded with folk who just despise the black guy President.

        In terms of the ACA, over 4.2 million people have already signed up and counting.

        Do you really believe the President is actually shamed by the fact that his healthcare law is already helping millions of people???

        I would take that kind of shaming any ol' day!

      •  People should actually read the new (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBraden, Amber6541

        exemptions to the mandate before making statements like the "rule was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare."  The biggest exemptions was made for veterans who are already receiving VA health care benefits, the small business mandate (extended for an additional year for those with fewer than 50 employees) and an additional year for larger businesses to 90% of their employees.  None of this has to do with preserving health plans that don't comply with the law.  

        The ACA changes currently being effected  are now mostly trying to clean up some overlooked or conflicting policies within the Act.  We can expect these changes will continue for the next few years regardless of political posturing.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:26:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are misinformed (0+ / 0-)

          DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES document dated March 5, 2016:

          Extension of Transitional Policy through October 1, 2016

          On November 14, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter to the State Insurance Commissioners outlining a transitional policy for non-grandfathered coverage in the small group and individual health insurance markets.  CMS announced in its November 14, 2013 letter that, if permitted by applicable State authorities, health insurance issuers may choose to continue certain coverage that would otherwise be cancelled, and affected individuals and small businesses may choose to re-enroll in such coverage.
          And are now extending those out-of-compliance plans for two additional years:
          We have considered the impact of the transitional policy and will extend our transitional policy for two years – to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2016, in the small group and individual markets.
          So, the cancellation of all of those sub-standard plans that were originally delayed 4 years from the inception of the law, was delayed another year in November and now two more years.  A total of 7 years.

          Oh.. but wait.. I read on DailyKos that the ACA was a resounding success! Hooo boy!

          •  minor tweak that affects few people (0+ / 0-)

            on the individual market, turnover can be every 18 months. Irrelevant for policy, decent enough politics.

            It's amazing to me that you ignore the drop in uninsured (gallup) and millions who sign up (Charles Gaba) as well as those who intend to (Gallup) (and btw preceding links are data, not opinion) or effect on budget (LA Times)  and blow it off.

            For some reason you conflate "love it" (not true with ACA, for sure) with "need it" or "intend to do it",  or 'does what it's intended" better measure of success.

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:24:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I was referring to the latest round of regulations (0+ / 0-)

            the bulk of which were as described by my post.    Extending the acceptance of some plans was a small part - and I would say a negligible part - of the regulations changed.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:46:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The mandate is basically toothless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hmi

      Which cuts against the idea that it is big government coercion. Now it is just laughable.

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:37:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)
        In fact, "the penalty is the maximum of either $95 or 1 percent of taxable income in 2014," according to Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center. "For people with higher incomes, it can be much more sizable than $95."
        http://www.npr.org/...

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:30:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Evangelicals melt down in the face of (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohkwai, gchaucer2, a2nite, Stude Dude, offgrid

    Fox promoted science program:

    The best part: “Cosmos” is labeled “a glossy multi-million-dollar piece of agitprop for scientific materialism” as if that’s a bad thing. I mean, I understand why religious zealots might think it’s cool to slander a science documentary in language suggesting it’s all a Communist plot. (The Big Bang — brought to you by Stalin and the good ole boys at the KGB.) But if there is one thing that the United States sorely needs right now, it’s more effective propaganda in support of facts and the scientific method.

    And, of course, it is no accident that Giordano Bruno appeared in the first episode of “Cosmos.” Because whether or not Bruno himself was a scientist, there’s not a whole lot, besides their relative lack of access to killer barbeque tools, that differentiates the current crop of intelligent design advocates and Texas textbook revisionists and inheritors of the Moral Majority mantle from the shame and terror of the Holy Inquisition.

    http://www.salon.com/...

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:06:14 AM PDT

  •  Big opportunity for Progressives! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Stude Dude, Amber6541

    While we're all enjoying the Christie story, someone in NJ should begin the process of rebuilding the Democratic party.
    It's obvious that Dem corruption enabled Christie and some of the local machine bosses and union bosses are going to take a hard fall.
    This should be a good opportunity for some new organizing based (in my opinion) especially on women, teachers, etc. Union solidarity should also be an issue, because Christie successfully "divided and conquered" the unions. This strategy on the part of the gop and Wall Street has been one of the main reasons for the decline of organized labor.
    NJ is still rebuilding from Sandy, and it could potentially be a model for climate change remediation, clean energy, etc.

    Progressives should jump on this prize and claim it, quick.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:30:39 AM PDT

  •  Another Christie Scandal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Stude Dude

    That has been a little bit neglected lately was the packing of the NJ Supreme Court, and the issue about Loretta Weinberg and the court nomination that was pulled the day before the "time for traffic problems in Ft. Lee" email.

    I assume that will re-surface again, sooner or later.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:55:55 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for Joseph Williams story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Greg Dworkin

    I know quite a few people with his story. The USA is failing us, on purpose.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:53:48 AM PDT

  •  Most evil Koch thing = climate change denialism (0+ / 0-)

    So many to choose from, but their climate change propaganda manages to reach ever-deepening nadirs, since it goes to the survival of civilization as we know it, 'n shit.  But yikes, so many to choose from.  Freaking hydra o' evil.

    Inevitably, the Koch's are also against net neutrality.  Absent a favorable SCOTUS ruling, net neutrality is always gonna be a potential Achilles heel, although not a fatal one.

    The mind boggles at the enormity of the Koch's evildoing.  Damn...

    P.S., BTW, FYI and FWIW, I used the Startpage search engine above.  More on search engines and privacy here.

    "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

    by dackmont on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:43:50 PM PDT

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