The Obama administration has been accused by Republicans of setting up "death panels" that will supposedly "ration health care" for Americans via Obamacare.
That false claim was started by former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and called "lie of the year" in 2009 by Politifact.com.
However, Palin and other Republicans have been oddly silent about Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) limiting how many times poor people can go to a hospital emergency room.
Gov. Scott asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for permission to limit the number of times that people with Medicaid could go to the ER in 2012.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services refused to do so because Gov. Scott's request violated the Social Security Act by “arbitrarily denying coverage of a mandatory benefit and would not be in patients’ best interest," noted the Miami Herald.
Gov. Scott ignored the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's decision and declared that people on Medicaid can only go to the ER six times a year, regardless of their medical condition.
In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says it will withhold 10 percent of federal matching funds for Florida’s Medicaid program and escalate that penalty by 5 percent each quarter, reports the Bradenton Herald.
Governor Scott also rejected the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.
The Scott administration claims that limiting emergency room medical care will encourage patients to stay out of expensive ERs and use primary care doctors instead.
While that would be cheaper, many doctor's offices do not accept Medicaid patients who often have no other choice but to use the ER.
Ironically, Republican President George W. Bush and GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney told poor people to use the ER for health care, noted The Washington Post.
The City of Tamarac, Fla., has set up a red-light camera across from a local hospital to photograph and ticket motorists who are rushing to the ER with an emergency.
People with real medical emergencies have had their tickets upheld by a local magistrate, whose salary comes from city income such as ticketing.
“I really couldn’t breathe, I was sweating, just a lot of things going on,” motorist Jacob Alcahe told Local 10. “I was just kind of scared and I wanted to get to the hospital as soon as possible."
Alcahe soon received a $158 ticket in the mail for running the red light at the hospital’s entrance.
Back in February, Shelley Rappaport was suffering a kidney stone attack, ran the same light to get to the ER and was ticketed.
She challenge the violation at city hall, but lost.
"I had all expectations that it was going to be thrown out," she told ClickOrlando.com. "It was literally a life-or-death situation."
However, Tamarac Mayor Harry Dressler defended the ticketing outside the ER.
“The city is not condoning anything,” Dressler told Local 10. “Neither are we preying on anyone.”
When asked if people should wait for a green light during an emergency when they're having trouble breathing, Dressler refused to answer.
“Okay, it’s two minutes before my meeting," Dressler stated. "You’re going to have to excuse me. Please tell your viewers it’s illegal and it’s dangerous."
"The person that's acting as the judge is paid by Tamarac," Fort Lauderdale ticket attorney Ted Hollander countered. "Tamarac is the same city that's giving the ticket so why wouldn't that person say, of course, Tamarac gets the money?"
By its own count, the City of Tamarac has issued 494 red-light violations at the intersection since the camera was turned on in August 2013.
The Affordable Care Act has extended health-care coverage to 6 million low-income Americans via Medicaid expansion and signed up 4 million uninsured Americans through online exchanges.
While the roll out for the ACA was rocky, much like President George W. Bush's Medicare Drug Expansion in 2005, the legislation is being parodied on three floats during New Orleans' annual Mardi Gras celebration, notes the conservative website GatewayPundit.com.
The right wing website BreitBart.com says the floats, which "mock [the] failure of Obamacare," will appear in the Mardi Gras parade on March 4.
Citizen Link, the political arm of the Christian ministry Focus on the Family, recently announced that Obamacare is a "colossal failure."
Stuart Shepard, the host of Citizen Link Report, made the claim at beginning of this week's program (video below).
"Obamacare, the colossal failure of Obamacare care, has put many [U.S. Senate] races into play," stated Shepard (pictured).
While Republicans and conservatives such as Shepard see Obamacare as dooming Democrats, anti-Obamacare ads by the GOP failed in 2012 when Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) both won re-election, reports The Washington Post.
Beyond his one sentence political analysis, Shepard presented no evidence that Obamacare is a "colossal failure."
Nor did Shepard mention that 6 million uninsured Americans who are now eligible for Medicaid coverage because of Obamacare, notes Reuters.
Obamacare also banned insurance coverage denial based on pre-existing conditions, allows children to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26 and provides caps for out-of-pocket spending by Americans.
The colossal failures are actually the states that refuse to expand Medicaid, leaving about 5 million Americans without coverage, "thanks largely to hostility to the law among GOP governors," reports The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
People in Arkansas like what many refer to as "Obamacare" when it's not called "Obamacare," says a new poll.
According to the poll by Talk Business-Hendrix College, 48 percent of Arkansans support the expansion of Medicaid (called the "private option") in their state for poor people, while 32 percent oppose it, if the question doesn't include the word "Obamacare."
However, if "Obamacare" is mentioned in the poll question, only 35 percent support it, while 39 percent oppose the health care expansion for low income people, notes TalkingPointsMemo.com.
Of course, it was the passage of the Affordable Care Act that included expanding Medicaid in the states.
In another question, people were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Obamacare. A whopping 62 percent don't like it, while 27 percent do.
The hatred for the ACA in Arkansas seems to have a racist edge, reports The Huffington Post. A recent sign outside Smokin' Joe's Ribhouse in Rogers, Ark., read, "Obamacare [is] America's punishment for slavery years."
Sources: TalkingPointsMemo.com, Talk Business, The Huffington Post
Republicans are now claiming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) discourages Americans from working.
The GOP makes this claim based upon a recent estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, which speculated that some Americans may choose to work fewer hours because their health insurance is not dependent on their jobs.
"Anything that discourages work, and that's essentially what the CBO found, that this discourages some people from working, [is] not a good thing at a time when the economy's still struggling," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told ABC News today, noted TalkingPointsMemo.com.
However, the CBO never claimed the ACA would discourage work, but that didn't stop Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., from parroting the same claim (video below).
"I think any law you pass that discourages people from working can't be a good idea," Blunt told Fox News Sunday, according to RawStory.com. "Why would we want to do that? Why would we think that was a good thing? How does that allow people to prepare for the time when they don't work?"
Before making their false "Obamacare makes you lazy" claims, Republicans falsely claimed that the ACA would cost the United States. about 2 million jobs, which was debunked by the CBO, Politifact.com and The Washington Post.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., countered on Fox News Sunday that if people left their jobs, those same jobs would be worked by other Americans.
"The point I want to raise is that these jobs will be filled. It's not going to have an impact on our economy," said Sen. Cardin. "We have people waiting to work. So, these jobs are all filled. Our economy will move forward."
Elko County, Nev. has approved a plan to force inmates to pay for their own meals and medical care while they’re imprisoned in the county jail.
The Elko County Commission agreed last Wednesday to charge inmates $6 daily for meals, $10 for a doctor visit and a $5 fee for being booked, notes ABC News.
People who are in jail for less than 24 hours and those who work jobs in the jail will not be charged. Inmates, who are found innocent, will not be charged either.
“We’re not the Hilton,” Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitts told the Elko Daily Free Press. “These guys shouldn’t have a free ride.”
However, if those "guys" have paid their local taxes, they are actually paying twice to be in jail. Also, the Hilton is where people choose to stay, jail is not.
The jail's fees will be deducted from prisoners’ accounts, which are normally funded by family and friends, not the inmates themselves.
The prisoners’ accounts are used to by items such as shampoo, deodorant, envelopes and candy.
“All I’m doing is taking my cut first, before they buy their candies,” added Sheriff Pitts. “They need to pay for their food first before they get their dessert.”
However, Elko County may have to spend money in a legal fight to charge prisoners.
“I was aghast that anyone was even thinking of doing this,” Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU Nevada, told the Associated Press. “It is unconstitutional, cruel and unusual punishment.”
“There is no value in trying to punish them further than the sentence that they are already serving,” added Story.
Sources: Associated Press, ABC News, Elko Daily Free Press
Rep. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) recently aired a bogus attack ad against his 2014 opponent Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).
Rep. Tillis' ad falsely claims that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Obamacare would cost 2 million jobs (video below).
The ad goes on to blame Sen. Hagan because she voted for Obamacare, notes The Washington Post.
"How many workers will have to lose their jobs?" states the ad's voice over. "How many people will have to pay for Kay Hagan’s loyalty to Obama?"
The ad also includes the caption: "Congressional Budget Office estimates 2 million lost jobs do to Obamacare.”
However, the "2 million lost jobs do to Obamacare" claim is so untrue that even GOP Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) fact-checked his own party, reports TalkingPointsMemo.com.
CBO director Doug Elmendorf told Rep. Ryan on Wednesday that the CBO never claimed that Obamacare would cost 2 million jobs, but some Americans may choose to work less under the law. And if those dropped hours were added up, it might be equal to 2.5 million jobs by 2024.
“The reason we don’t use the term ‘lost jobs’ is there is a critical difference between people who like to work and can’t find a job, or have a job that’s lost for reasons beyond their control, and people who choose not to work,” stated Elmendorf.
"Just to understand, it is not that employers are laying people off," Rep. Ryan asked, which Elmendorf confirmed.
CNN's Carol Costello also debunked the fake claim by the GOP that Obamacare would cost 2 million jobs, notes MediaMatters.org (video below).
The Internet giant AOL is changing how it funds its employees' 401(k) retirement accounts.
Normally, companies match employee contributions monthly, but AOL is going to make one lump-sum matching payment at the end of the year.
Mother Jones reports that this trick helps AOL financially by not having to match 401(k) plans for employees who leave or are fired in the middle of the year (video below).
AOL employees will also get shorted because AOL's matching funds won't gain interest for them during the entire year.
Amazingly, AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong is blaming these choices on Obamacare.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Armstrong recently told CNBC, "Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company... As a CEO and Management Team, we had to decide, 'Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare costs to our employees or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut other benefits?'"
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a new poll on Obamacare, which shows most Americans don't like Obamacare, which they don't understand to begin with.
The poll shows that 54 percent of the American public have an unfavorable view of Obamacare, while 34 percent have a favorable view.
But digging deeper into the poll results shows an astounding amount of ignorance and enormous lack of logic on behalf of the American people.
Mother Jones reports that 27 percent now say that Obamacare has "negatively affected" someone in their family, which isn't not even statistically possible because Obamacare has not even affected 27 percent of Americans yet.
What's more likely is that people have had their insurance premiums raised, which has happened every year for decades, but now they are now blaming Obamacare and giving the health insurance companies a free pass.
According to ThinkProgress.org, another shocking number in the poll is that 62 percent of Americans believe that only parts of Obamacare have gone into effect, even though most of the law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
The poll also reveals more staggering stupidity: 10 percent of Americans (30 million) don't even know that Obamacare is in effect at all.
Sources: Mother Jones, Kaiser Family Foundation, ThinkProgress.org