Obamacare: fewer, more expensive choices for all

August 5, 2013

Remember how President Obama used to prattle on about how his healthcare legislation would “bend the cost curve down?” Ah, those were the days. Now, however, it’s South Carolina’s turn to discover just what a lie that was:

The South Carolina Department of Insurance has estimated that health insurance rates in the soon-to-be-established federally facilitated exchanges will increase by 50% to 70% in the individual market and by 10% to 20% in the small group market.

The department announced Friday that it has completed its review of health insurance forms and rates for carriers that are seeking federal certification to sell in the exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service established July 31 as the deadline for carriers to submit changes to their federal applications.

“Due to a number of new federal requirements going into effect next year as part of the Affordable Care Act, consumers should plan for premiums to increase significantly,” said Ray Farmer, director of the S.C. Department of Insurance, in a news release.

Rate increases may be higher or lower than the estimated percentage increase based on the product chosen, age and smoking status, among other factors, Farmer said.

And just what are those “other factors?” Per BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, among them are:

“However, as has been acknowledged by many stakeholders, it is still worth noting that health insurance rates must now also factor in additional benefit requirements, new federal taxes/fees, required changes in how we calculate rates and guaranteed issue of coverage,” the company said.

In other words, government mandates (1) are jacking up rates for everyone. If this is “bending the cost curve down,” I’d hate to see what Obama’s idea of “going up” is.

This, by the way, can be seen as the “other shoe dropping” to some earlier news from the Palmetto State: a major insurer leaving the market and dumping 28,000 people on the remaining insurers, due to Obamacare.

In other words, you can’t keep the plan you liked and the plan you get will cost you more.

This is the Democrats’ idea of “making things better.”

Footnote:
(1) For which no Republican member of Congress voted. This anti-constitutional fiasco is a wholly-owned Democrat operation, and we need to remind people of that at every opportunity between now and election day in 2014 and 2016.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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New Tone Watch: Nikki Haley is just like Hitler’s mistress!

September 5, 2012

Again I ask, what is in the water South Carolina Democrats are drinking?

S.C. Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian, never a loss for a quick quip, tossed a few stinging one-liners at the Wednesday delegation breakfast.

On Gov. Nikki Haley participating in daily news briefings in a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame: “She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”

Yes, because the democratically elected Indian-American Republican governor of a US state is so very comparable to the mistress of a genocidal dictator and who joined him in suicide in that bunker.

Yeesh.

The Nazi comparisons are flying fast from the Democrats at their convention. California Democrat Party chairman John Burton compared Paul Ryan to Goebbels, while a Kansas delegate compared him to Hitler, himself.

It’s nothing new for high-ranking Democrats to liken their opposition to an exterminationist German fascist party, though; Nancy Pelosi, while Speaker of the House, claimed Americans protesting as part of the Tea Party movement were brandishing swastikas at town hall meetings.

Must be that elevated political discourse they keep talking about.

UPDATE: PJM’s Bryan Preston says Harpootlian should do the decent thing and resign.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#WarOnWomen: SC AFL-CIO president uses bat to repeatedly bash Haley effigy

May 22, 2012

***Written by Sister Toldjah***

ABC News sets the scene:

Donna Dewitt, the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, is seen in this video bashing a piñata of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s face while Dewitt and her colleagues were at a retreat in Columbia, S.C. Saturday afternoon.

“Well I will say, she looks like a tough old girl here,” Dewitt says as she gears up to swing at the piñata.

She repeatedly hits the piñata, which bears the phrase “Unions are not needed, wanted or welcome in South Carolina” below Haley’s face. In her State of the State address this year, Haley said, “We’ll make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted and not welcome in the state of South Carolina.” Dewitt whacks the piñata down and continues to wail away at it once it’s fallen. Onlookers cheer her on, urging her to continue hitting the piñata.

“Give her another whack. Whack her again,” a woman screams.

“Hit her again” another man says.

The video is around 30 seconds. Click below to watch it:

Dewitt defended her actions:

Dewitt told ABC News she has no regrets about the incident and said there was “no ill intent” in what she was doing. Dewitt said her colleagues brought the pinata and were using it as a “memoir” of Haley’s words and actions towards unions in her time as governor.

“They made it and I would have played the game with them no matter it would have been pin the tail on the donkey with Nikki Haley’s face on it. I still would have played,” Dewitt told ABC News over the phone. ”There was no ill intent. We were certainly have a good time. I’m not mad or angry.”

“We’ve been the brunt of her comments now for two years and that’s what the whole thing was. She’s been whacking at us over the last two years,” Dewitt, who has been president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO for the past 16 years and will retire at the end of June, continued.

Do I think Dewitt was fantasizing about that REALLY being Gov. Haley she was beating down with that bat? No (and btw, if it were a man who had been doing the hitting, would NOW have stepped in? Nah.). Nevertheless, the imagery is disturbing – and dare I say a blatant violation of President Obama’s established New Tone Order where we’re all supposed to be civil to each other over tea and toast and not say or do anything that would make our fellow man feel compelled to go out and commit a violent act. Since the mainstream media happily went along with him in the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by doing their level best not to use words or display actions that might “incite violence”, I’m sure they – along with liberal pundits and politicos – will be lined up to express their outrage and condemnation at the very thought that someone, especially a person in a position of power and influence like Dewitt, would symbolically bash the pinata head of her organization’s chief opposition – and a nationally known Governor at that.

The video has proved to be a big embarrassment for the national AFL-CIO, which reportedly wants the video taken offline (via Michelle Malkin). Not quite sure why the concern, considering much worse tactics displayed by the AFL-CIO in the past towards its political opposition. Maybe they’re just trying to clean up their act during a crucial election year. Unfortunately for Big Labor, neither their paper trail – nor their video trail – can be erased from history.

Cross-posted from the Sister Toldjah blog.


Dear South Carolina: You need a new GOP

April 6, 2012

Good Lord. First it was possible indictment, now it’s possible impeachment:

The latest impeachment possibility for Gov. Haley revolves around an investigation regarding the possibility that she lobbied while sitting in the state legislature. “Right now, the ball is in the court of the Ethics Committee,” Rep. Chip Limehouse (R) told Brian Hicks of the Charleston Post and Courier.

Republican fundraiser John Rainey filed a lawsuit against Haley back in November alleging that Haley lobbied on behalf of the Lexington Medical Center while sitting in the South Carolina General Assembly. The lawsuit included an email exchange between Haley and the CEO of Lexington Medical Center, in which Haley stated, “We have some work to do not only to switch votes but to hold the ones we have. We are as close as we are going to get and can’t afford to leave one stone unturned. We were all given assignments and are working on them. Fingers crossed!”

The ethics lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge two weeks ago on jurisdiction grounds, but it was referred to the House Ethics Committee.

Haley’s office naturally denies the charges.

Like I said before, I don’t know whether the charges against Haley are valid and I’m not a particular fan or foe of hers. (Though I did like what I saw and heard of her in 2010.) I don’t know whether she’s been a good or a bad governor. But these repeated smear jobs thrown at her since before the election, all the previous of which have been shown to be baloney, strongly hint that there is something rotten in the SC Republican Party, particularly when members are willing to ally with Democratic operatives against against a Republican governor. I usually roll my eyes at charges of racism, but I’m growing more willing to credit Haley’s accusations against her fellow Republicans and toss in “sexism.” I think some of these guys may have a real problem with a brown woman in the state’s highest office. (1)

Yeesh. It reminds me of what happened to Sarah Palin in Alaska: baseless ethics charge after baseless ethics charge, old-boy Republicans working with Democrats, until she was forced to make a choice between her job and financial ruin.

Dear South Carolina Republicans: Your state has much more important things to deal with. If you don’t like your governor, run a strong candidate against her in the next primary election and don’t renominate her. But stop with the political cannibalism.

It’s embarrassing.

Footnote:
(1) You scoff? Let me present just one example among many: State Senator Jake Knotts and “raghead.” Yeah, the state party later condemned Knotts, but, call me a cynic, I have a sneaking suspicion it was a case of  CYA.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


No Haley investigation, or, South Carolina politics stink

March 31, 2012

A couple of days ago, I wrote about allegations that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley would soon be indicted on federal tax charges. I also speculated at length that the source was cheap, dirty, Chicago-style politics originating at the White House.

I’m happy to say I was wrong on both counts. First, from The Daily Caller:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she’s being smeared once again by another blogger posting “lies” and spreading “trash” about her online.

“Sorry fellas,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page Thursday. “I’m not going anywhere no matter how many lies you put on a blog.”

Haley’s comments are in response to a report by The Palmetto Public Record, a South Carolina political blog, that she could be indicted in a federal investigation soon. She has denounced the post as totally false.

The blog said she could be indicted in federal court over the finances of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina, a worship center her family is involved with, “as early as this week.”

(…)

In an interview with TheDC on Friday, Tim Pearson, Haley’s chief of staff, elaborated by saying that the indictment rumors can’t be true because federal authorities haven’t contacted Haley about an investigation. He also told TheDC that Haley has not received any sort of target letter that would be typical of such a federal investigation.

“No one has asked to sit down with her and interview her,” Pearson continued. “There’s been no contact because the investigation doesn’t exist. You can’t have an indictment without an investigation. So all of this stuff is just totally false.”

He also added that federal authorities have not contacted Haley’s parents, either.

In the interview with a South Carolina newspaper, Haley said she had never done any accounting work for the Sikh center, which would kind of make tying her to accounting fraud a bit difficult.

More from ABC:

ABC News has learned that the Internal Revenue Service never conducted an investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s involvement in a Sikh temple’s finances.  Nanette Downing, Director of EO Examinations, stated in the letter, “…we did not conduct an examination for the above period (tax year ended 2009)”.

Eric Hill, a program manager at the IRS, said in a separate letter to Haley’s chief of staff Tim Pearson that “we determined an examination was not warranted at that time.

Click through to the article to see an interview with Haley.

In other words, this is just another example of the gutter that is South Carolina Republican politics and an old-boys’ network that cannot tolerate an outsider breaking in.

As to the other point that I was apparently wrong about, that the IRS investigation was something cooked up by the Obama administration to derail Haley’s chances at national politics? Guess what? I don’t regret a word.

While I do regret contributing in any small way to the impression that Haley might be corrupt, I stand by my low opinion of the low character of those running the government in DC right now. Had there been a federal investigation, and given the deep influence of the “Chicago Way” on the president and his advisers, the assumption of a political hit-job would have been perfectly reasonable.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Governor Nikki Haley facing indictment?

March 29, 2012

There’s some disturbing news out of South Carolina today: rumors that Governor Nikki Haley, considered a rising star in the Republican Party and a possible vice-presidential nominee, may be facing indictment for tax fraud charges:

A highly ranked federal official has also privately confirmed rumblings of an investigation and possible indictment of the governor, though the official was not aware of the specific timeframe.

Yesterday, Palmetto Public Record exclusively reported that the Internal Revenue Service has been investigating since March of 2011 the Sikh worship center run by Gov. Haley’s father. At least five lawsuits have been filed against the Sikh Society of South Carolina since 2010, alleging that the group bilked contractors out of nearly $130,000 for the construction of a new temple.

The article also points out that Haley was the bookkeeper for the temple until sometime in 2003, and the investigation is centering on what happened to the money she was supposed to be tracking.

I have no comment on the case, itself; after all, we know almost no facts. The Palmetto Public Record promises a more detailed investigative article later.

But, the potential politics of this are very interesting and, well, some could easily “question the timing.”

Look at the background: Haley came out of nowhere as an obscure state representative whose main issue was government transparency to win first the Republican nomination and then the general election in 2010. She had won the endorsements of Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, the latter of which provided a rocket-like boost to her campaign. She was also the victim of a savage smear campaign (accusations of an affair, among other things) by her Republican rivals that garnered her great sympathy around the country. (In fact, the antics of some factions of the SC Republican Party had the rest of the nation asking “What’s wrong with you people?”)

Since her election, Haley’s star within South Carolina seems to have dimmed somewhat, (1) and I know some conservatives nationally were letdown by her endorsement of Mitt Romney. But, still, she remains a popular figure with many and is thought of as a possible running-mate for Governor Romney.

And here’s where my cynicism-alarm starts going off.

MSM propaganda and the advantages of incumbency aside, Barack Obama has a tough road to reelection. And he does have a history of using “hardball means” to knock opponents out of contention. Ask all those he got disqualified from the ballot during his state senate run in Illinois, including his mentor, Alice Palmer. And ask yourself (or maybe David Axelrod) how Jack Ryan’s supposedly sealed divorce records got released during the 2004 US senate race, derailing his campaign and leaving Obama to face… Alan Keyes.

If that’s dismissible as ancient history, consider recent years in which Obama allies have gone after his vocal opponents: the campaign in Alaska against Sarah Palin in 2009, then thought to be his likely rival in 2012, leading her to resign the governor’s office (I’m sure this had at least moral support from Camp Obama); the recent coordinated-by-MMFA campaign to silence Rush Limbaugh (with Palin (again) and Sean Hannity in the crosshairs); or the on-and-off White House war on FOX News in general.

“But that’s different,” you say. “Those all were just dirty politics; this is a possible criminal matter.” Well, it’s not as if presidents haven’t abused the powers of the IRS in the past, and Obama has brought the subject up before

So, doesn’t it seem just a bit convenient that, just as Romney starts to look like he really is going to be the nominee, one of his likely VP picks suddenly faces potential legal troubles? Possibly take a card out of his deck (2), maybe even stain him a bit with her troubles? Keep in mind, Obama earned his chops in the fetid swamp of Illinois politics, the state which Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin called the “Land of Coincidence.” (See also)

Well, maybe there really is a case against Governor Haley. Maybe she was doing something hinky with the books and should be prosecuted. Maybe I should be wearing a tinfoil hat. Maybe this is all another in a long line of Obama-related coincidences.

Maybe. But I question the timing.

via JCinQC

Footnote:
(1)  While I don’t follow the state’s politics much, I’ve had the impression some who supported her are disappointed. Can any SCans reading this confirm or deny this?
(2) I mean, would you want Biden debating someone as telegenic and, well, intelligent as Haley?

Afterthought, 3/30/12: Something else for the cynical — Haley was a loud voice criticizing the NLRB for its role in teh controversy over Boeing’s decision to build a new plant in right-to-work South Carolina. A bit of payback? (via)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)