#Obamacare: Maryland considers dumping its non-functional exchange

December 18, 2013

satire oops embarrassed button

Hey, remember how the state exchanges were supposed to be the examples of Obamacare exchanges that actually worked well? (1) You might not be hearing that claim much longer, now that Maryland, one of the enthusiastic early recruits, is open to the idea of shutting down its exchange:

That said, the pace of enrollments is still far too low. If the exchange is able to replicate its best weekday and weekend performance during every one of the 104 days between now and the end of the open enrollment period on March 31, Maryland will still only achieve about three-quarters of its goal of signing up 150,000 people with private coverage. The site may be better, but better isn’t good enough.

Under those circumstances, the question raised by Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat, about whether it would be better for Maryland to scrap its effort to build its own exchange and instead join the federal one has merit. Indeed, Gov. Martin O’Malley acknowledged on Monday that the option — and all others — remain on the table.

That’s a hard possibility for Governor O’Malley to acknowledge. Under his leadership, Maryland was one of the most aggressive states in the effort to build out its own exchange — a strategic decision that appears in retrospect to have involved no small amount of hubris and political ambition. Walking away now from all that effort and tens of millions in expenditures would be particularly embarrassing.

It would also have policy implications. Maryland decided to build the kind of exchange it did because officials wanted to create something of a one-stop portal that would integrate shopping for private plans and enrolling in Medicaid. Theoretically, that would make the system much easier to navigate for families in which, for example, the children are eligible for Medicaid and the parents for private plans. The state also had designs on eventually integrating enrollment for other social services — like food stamps and energy assistance — into one system. Scrapping the state exchange altogether would ensure that none of that would be possible, at least not anytime soon.

That would be sure to make Obama and Sebelius sad. It also would do wonders (he wrote sarcastically) for Governor O’Malley’s dark-horse presidential prospects. (2) Well, that and the Baltimore jail scandal.

via David Freddoso, whose newsletter you should subscribe to.

Meanwhile, The New York Times, of all papers, reports “broad skepticism” (3) regarding the Affordable Care Act:

The poll found that just one-third of uninsured Americans expect the law, the Affordable Care Act, to improve the nation’s health care system, while the same proportion think the law will help them personally, according to the poll.

Overall, there is no consensus among uninsured Americans on how the health care system will fare once the law takes effect. While one-third expect improvement, two-thirds anticipate either a worsening or no difference at all.

“It will hurt everybody in the long run,” said Cat Ping, 55, of Indianapolis in a follow-up interview. Ms. Ping, who does not have insurance, added: “I don’t care how they spin it, Obamacare is not affordable. It’s wrecking our total economy.”

Emphasis added. I dunno. I’d call two-thirds approaching a consensus on at minimum the law’s uselessness, wouldn’t you?

Some people have gone beyond skepticism to fighting back. In that newly-born hotbed of resistance against Progressive busybody-ism, Colorado (4), two state legislators have had an interesting idea: they’ve introduced a bill that would grant a state tax credit to anyone fined taxed under Obamacare for not having insurance:

Reps. Dan Nordberg of Colorado Springs and Jared Wright of Grand Junction announced that they will introduce a bill to give a tax credit to anyone who gets fined for not buying health insurance — at an amount equal to the federal penalty under the Affordable Care Act for not purchasing insurance.

The pair of conservatives are calling it the “Healthcare Liberty Act.”

“Many Colorado families are relying on us as their elected representatives to try to mitigate the adverse effects of Obamacare,” Wright said. “Our bill is an appropriate response to the tax penalty and will help people in Colorado who simply cannot afford this expensive new government health insurance mandate.”

I like it: rewarding people for defying an unjust law. It won’t get through the Democrat-controlled state senate nor past the Democrat governor, but it’s one heck of an appealing idea. And it will give state Republicans another nice club to beat Democrats with in the upcoming elections, especially with the exchange doing so well that its director wants a bonus.

via Jim Geraghty

RELATED: More bad news for Obamacare fans.

Footnote:
(1) Relatively, compared to the total train wreck that is the federal exchange.
(2) No kidding. The Democratic bench is so thin that this hack is considered to have serious, albeit second-tier prospects.
(3) This is news only to MSNBC viewers and Santa Monica liberals, of which there is probably a considerable overlap.
(4) Where the Blue grip has suddenly become shaky. Must be Michelle Malkin’s influence.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Democrat city council of Annapolis plots coup d’etat against Republican mayor. Updated

November 11, 2013
"Cancel elections? Wonderful idea"

“The people have voted! So what?”

Democrats love democracy, except when the people vote for a Republican:

Days after a Republican was elected mayor of Annapolis, City Council members say they will revisit legislation that would strip the mayor’s office of much of its power.

Democratic Alderman Ross Arnett of Ward 8 tells The Capital he will introduce a charter amendment to move Annapolis to a council-manager style of government. The city manager would report directly to the City Council, not the mayor.

A Republican hadn’t been elected mayor since 1997; apparently, the prospect of Mike Pantelides (R) finally winning against the incumbent (D) was just too much for the poor dears on the council, so they’re going to save the people from themselves.

Now, I don’t know Annapolis politics, so maybe –just maybe– the council has a good reason for making this extraordinary move against the popular will. Perhaps Pantelides is corrupt? Maybe he’s another Bob Filner? What could be so horrible that the good Democrats on the council must take such stern measures?

Doing a little research, I went to Pantelides’ campaign site to see what I could learn. And the truth, my friends, was terrifying. From his “issues” page, the monster Pantelides advocates:

The Pantelides Plan:

No new taxes
Immediate Freeze on hiring
Meet with Department Heads and require them to justify each line, item by item in their budget
Streamline city government through consolidation of departments
Explore merging services such as transportation and waste removal with Anne Arundel County
Removing wasteful spending from budget that is not specifically spent to better our city and people

The horror. Hide your children’s eyes!

I can see what likely truly upset the Democrats: Pantelides would cut into their patronage jobs and crony contracts, all the name of saving the taxpayers of Annapolis some money and giving them a more efficient city administration.

How dare he??

But, don’t worry. The Democratic city council is there to save the day, ready to strip the mayor of his powers and render his office meaningless.

Just like the people’s votes.

PS: It just occurred to me that Annapolis is home to our Naval Academy, where future officers sworn to defend freedom of the seas and our liberty are educated. The irony is palpable.

PPS: Of course, the council is showing restraint. They, at least, are going to hold a vote, unlike the Democrats of Wilmington, NC, who launched the only violent coup in US history in 1898 against a Republican-Populist city administration that dared include Black officials. Stealing power seems rather to be a tradition with them, it seems.

via reader Lance

UPDATE: Frontline State, a conservative blog and news site in Maryland, cautions that this may not be as naked a political move as it seems at first glance. The question, as editor Jim Jamitis points out, will be to see who jumps on the bandwagon.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Genius: Maryland legislator proposes “Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act”

March 10, 2013
"Watch out! He's got a Pop-tart!!"

Protecting the right to keep and bear Pop-tarts

Proof once again that mockery is a wonderful weapon. In the wake of little Josh Welch getting in trouble with school officials for the horrible crime of biting his Pop-tart into the shape of a gun and playing with it, a Maryland lawmaker has introduced a bill to… Well, to tell school officials to stop being a bunch of idiots:

A Maryland state senator has crafted a bill to curb the zeal of public school officials who are tempted to suspend students as young as kindergarten for having things — or talking about things, or eating things — that represent guns, but aren’t actually anything like real guns.

Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore Harford Counties, introduced “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013? on Thursday, reports The Star Democrat.

Presumably the provisions of this bill would also protect the infamous toddler-terrorist in Pennsylvania who gave delicate school officials the vapors with her dreaded pink bubble-gun. Perhaps she should consider asking for asylum, if this bill goes through.

My favorite part of the legislation, however, is this:

The bill also includes a section mandating counseling for school officials who fail to distinguish between guns and things that resemble guns. School officials who fail to make such a distinction more than once would face discipline themselves.

Now I call that a useful law!  It’s a shame our education professionals seem to need it.

RELATED: More insane anti-gun hysteria from Dan Mitchell and Eric Owens.

via Sissy Willis and Iowahawk

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Anti-gun hysteria: from the ridiculous to… Maryland

March 5, 2013
"Watch out! He's got a Pop-tart!!"

“Watch out! He’s got a Pop-tart!!”

And here I thought my beloved California was insane. Well, it looks like Maryland is trying to give us a run for the title.

You may have heard about 7-year old Josh Welch, a potentially dangerous proto-terrorist who was suspended from school in Anne Arundel County for the shocking crime of… breaking his pastry into something vaguely resembling a gun and, allegedly, saying “bang-bang.”

The horror.

But wait, it gets better!

Fearful that students may have been traumatized by a little boy acting like, well, a little boy, Park Elementary school is offering counseling to those who may be just too upset to go on after being threatened with junk food:

“I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

(…)

If your children express that they are troubled by today’s incident, please talk with them and help them share their feelings. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.”

This is how Rome fell, isn’t it? Far from being “troubled,” I’m willing to bet Josh’s friends were about to make their own “improvised food guns” and join in the fun.

Maybe they should offer them self-defense classes, instead:

This is the natural, ridiculous, and pathetic outcome of the anti-gun hysteria that the Democrats, the Left, and their allies in the media (but I repeat myself) have tried to generate nationwide in a shameless exploitation of the mass shootings at Aurora, Newtown, and elsewhere, in order to push their gun-control people-control agenda. Far from contributing to a rational discussion of the facts about gun violence in general and the likely causes of mass shootings, in particular, they instead use fear to try to rush through useless legislation — unless the intended use is the gutting of our natural right to keep and bear arms.

And in the course of using fear and misinformation press their agenda, they also create a climate in which children get suspended for carrying a loaded Pop-tart, packing a pink bubble-gun, and saving a busload of their classmates.

The only good I can see coming out of this is that these and other incidents will make the anti-gun left look so ridiculous that their anti-2nd amendment initiatives lose steam.

I hope.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bongino: #Guncontrol is “people control”

March 4, 2013

It’s a shame Dan Bongino lost his race for the US Senate from Maryland last November. As Professor Jacobson says, we could use a lot more like him in office. But, like Elizabeth Emken here in California, Bongino was running a Republican in a deep Blue state, and the odds were too long to overcome… this time.

Anyway, here’s Dan speaking at a “Guns Across America” rally in Maryland from last January; the takeaway line is his comment that gun control is really people control, and that when we use the left’s terms, we give the progressives the advantage in the argument. Point well made, and it’s one I’ll strive to remember:

And did you feel his passion, his conviction, and his willingness to keep fighting? When you live in a Bluer than Blue state (as both he and I do), it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. Time and again we lose elections, we see those in charge doing stupid, harmful things, and many of our friends and neighbors, frankly, look at us as if they’re seeing some sort of alien, all because we take seriously the philosophy behind the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and believe in an America that really is exceptional.

Citizens like Dan Bongino are a tonic against the urge to give up.

PS: Elizabeth Emken is considering a run for the House in 2014 against freshman Democrat Representative Ami Bera in CA-7, near my old stomping grounds in Sacramento. I know little about Bera, but I’m sure Emken would make a positive contribution toward moving this country back in the right direction. If she runs, we’ll be sure to follow the race.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)