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Politics

Republicans Drop ‘Repeal,’ ‘Replace’ From ‘Repeal and Replace’ Pledge

Washington – The House Republican leadership held a press conference Thursday to announce that the party is dropping both the “repeal” and “replace” portions of their oft-repeated pledge to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The phrase now contains only the word, “and.”

“While we are no less opposed to this destructive, highly-flawed piece of legislation, the reality is that repealing the law is all but impossible at this time,” said Eric Cantor of Virgina, the House Majority Leader. “In terms of the ‘replace’ aspect of our promise, to be honest, all we had come up with was the name: ‘Oboehnercare.’ And even on that front, I think you’ll agree, we had our work cut out for us.”

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, many Republicans have promised repeatedly to “repeal and replace” it, including the Republican candidate for president in 2012, Mitt Romney. But none of the various alternatives that have been put forward have gained any traction, and in the meantime, the Affordable Care Act appears to have survived its disastrous rollout. The White House recently announced that they had met their goal of getting 7 million Americans enrolled in health care plans through the law, and the more time that has passed, the more of a foothold the Affordable Care Act has gained.

Finally, Cantor said, the party leadership was forced to look each other in the eye and admit the time for repealing and replacing Obamacare had come and gone.

“It is time to focus on more achievable goals,” Cantor said, “like getting a gun into the hands of every American, regardless of their age or mental health status. We can do that, if we work together.”

Finally, Cantor said, conservatives and Republican voters should not lose heart.

“I urge you not to see this as a defeat,” Cantor said. “For what word are we left with? ‘And.’ And isnt’ that perhaps the most open, the most possibility-filled word in all of the English language? So, let me say this to you today, and you can consider it a new Republican call to action, if you like. And, ladies and gentlemen. And.”

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National

Obama Vows to Hit Target Health Care Enrollment Number by 4017

Washington – President Obama held a press conference Friday to assure the American people that his Affordable Care Act was on track to reach its target of 7 million enrollees by the year 4017. The president pointed out the date was less than 2,000 years after the initial target date, March 31st of next year.

“We will have this website up and working by no later than 3011,” Obama said, referring to healthcare.gov, which has been plagued by technical problems since its troubled October rollout. “And at that point, people will be able to get on the site and shop for an affordable insurance plan that covers them for things they really need.”

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NPN

Week in Review with Ed K. Mulrooney 11-17-13 (Video)

Trusted newsman Ed K. Mulrooney reviews the previous week’s top stories.

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National

Woman Was Fine with Her Health Care Plan, Until Discovering it Covered Two Band-Aids and Some Gauze

Sacramento, CA – Karrie Banh, a 35-year-old small business owner, thought she had great health coverage.

“It was affordable, and I was under the impression that it covered me for the things I needed,” Karrie said. “Then I found out that wasn’t true.”

Karrie is one of the millions of Americans who make up the individual health insurance market. She was covered under Anthem Blue Cross California, but when Karrie needed to be hospitalized six months ago, after a bad car accident, she experienced a terrible surprise — she wasn’t as covered as she thought she was. In fact, she was hardly covered at all.

Karrie’s plan covered her for two Band-Aids and a modest roll of gauze padding. “The third band-Aid, and any gauze over that initial roll, I would have to pay for,” she said.

That wasn’t all she would have to pay for. Karrie required surgery to repair a broken bone in her left leg, and was in the hospital a total of five days.

“I never worried about the bills while I was in the hospital” Karrie said. “I figured, I was covered. I was much more concerned with the surgery and that it go well, without any complications.”

The surgery went fine, and Karrie has since fully recovered, though she does bear a large scar on her left calf where the incision was made.

The scar, she could handle, she says. The really painful surprise came when she discovered what her Blue Cross plan actually covered, and what it didn’t.

“I was in shock when the bills came in and I called Blue Cross, and they told me the plan covered only the two Band-Aids and the gauze,” Karrie said. “I thought the woman was kidding. I said, ‘You’re funny,’ and she said, ‘Thank you, dear, but I’m not kidding.'”

Karrie says she was assured by a Blue Cross representative that the plan would cover hospital stays. “I blame myself, too, obviously, for not reading the fine print of the plan,” she said. “It’s my responsibility. But I really do think it’s deceptive for the insurance company to do that — to tell you you’re covered when you’re not.”

As a result of the huge hospital bills, Karrie has had to take out a second mortgage on her home and dig into her retirement savings.

“There’s almost nothing left now,” Karrie said. “I’m going to have to worry about that after paying off the debt.”

Karrie has since changed health care providers, and is now actively searching for affordable, sufficient coverage through the healthcare.gov insurance marketplace. As far as her old Blue Cross plan, because the plan didn’t comply with the so-called “ten essential health benefits” that the Affordable Care Act requires, Blue Cross chose to cancel the plan rather than modify it to fit the new law.

Karrie thinks that’s just fine. “I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through,” she says. “Two Band-Aids and a roll of gauze, it’s just not enough. Trust me.”

Categories
Politics

White House Suggests Uninsured Run Into Nearest Street, Shout, “Give Me Insurance!”

Washington – With the healthcare.gov website often down for maintenance, and not working properly even when it is active, Obama Administration officials have suggested that uninsured individuals seeking health coverage could register by phone or by conventional mail. However, criticism has mounted since those options were suggested, due to the fact that the uninsured would still have to eventually be logged into the site to officially enroll, thereby not making either option an effective end-run around the problems with the web portal.

On Tuesday, the White House unveiled a new option for those looking to enroll in a health care plan: run into the street and shout, “Give me health care!”

The suggestion came from White House press secretary Jay Carney, in an answer to reporters questions at a daily press briefing.

“We understand the website is not operating as we would like, and that the other options, the phone option and the mail option, still present people seeking health insurance with a lot of the same difficulties,” Carney said. “So today we’d like to propose that those individuals seeking health coverage run into whatever major street is nearest to them, extend both arms as fully as possible and yell, ‘Give me health insurance!’ We have place literally hundreds of thousands of facilitators — or as we call them, Navigators — all over the country, and once they hear that cry, they will come running and take that individual’s information, and get them on the road toward getting fully enrolled in a health care plan that works for them.”

Carney was immediately asked whether that individual’s information would still have to be entered in the same web portal that is experiencing problems.

“Yes, it would,” he said. “And I see where you’re going with that. But, look, this option gets them on the road to enrollment, and that’s the important thing. Plus, it allows them to vent some steam at the same time. And we know people are frustrated. And after all, aren’t we talking about improving our health here? I mean, isn’t that’s what this is all about? That’s a healthy thing to do, to relieve some stress that way. Believe me, I just screamed in the parking lot for about twenty minutes, before I came in here. I felt a hundred times better afterwords.”