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Want to keep your health plan? Then DEFUND Obamacare in the coming Continuing Resolution on 9/30/2013.

Since the establishment GOP is promulgating the talking point that supporting U.S. Senator Mike Lee and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to defund Obamacare in the coming Continuing Resolution on 9/30/2013 is ‘crazy’ and ‘politically disastrous’. I wanted to write a piece exposing what will soon happen to millions of Americans if we do not defund Obamacare in the coming CR on 9/30/2013. Unlike what President Obama promised. You can not ‘keep your plan if you like your plan’ and yes ‘someone will take it away from you’. That someone is President Obama via his health care law. Watch President Obama make this promise below:

Below I will link to some real world examples of what is beginning to happen because the Obamacare HIX – health insurance exchange – will be opening on 10/1/13 in Illinois.

Firstly, here is a letter that Aetna clients received just last week. These clients will soon be losing their health insurance plans and will be forced into and Obamacare compliant plan as of 12/30/2013.

Secondly, here is an advance copy of a letter that Humana individual and family policy holders will begin receiving this fall. After the September 30, 2013 continuing resolution battle is over.

Thirdly, here is an advance copy of a letter than Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois clients will receive after October 1, 2013.

October 19, 2013 UPDATE: It is now confirmed…. you know… now that the main stream media is reporting it. “Thousands get health insurance cancellation notices“. – NBC News.

October 5, 2013 UPDATE: As I warned back in the first week of August. Americans – many of which supported Obamacare and voted twice for President Obama – are now receiving letters from their insurance carriers notifying them of the termination of their existing policies and details about their Obamacare compliant replacement plans. Replacement plans that dramatically increase their out of pocket risk and their premiums. To read the most recent news story click here.

September 29, 2013 UPDATE: Other Blue Cross associations are already sending out their policy termination letters. Click here to see a copy of a letter that was just sent out to Independence Blue Cross policy holders.

Click here to read the termination and replacement letter (which doubled this policy holder’s deductible) from Regence Blue Shield of Nebraska.

Click here to see a copy of the California Farm Bureau Federation policy termination letter sent to their insured members.

These policy holders have two options. Either agree to change their existing plan to an Obamacare compliant plan (along with the premium increases required) by December 31, 2013. Or, agree to keep their existing plan until December 31, 2014. They will then be issued an Obamacare compliant plan. Either way, they will be not be able to keep their existing plans. Exactly the opposite of what President Obama promised. I discussed this for the Fox Business television network on 9/30/2013:

Even low cost, high deductible health plans are now in jeopardy because of Obamacare.

This is happening right now. Not next year, not in 2015, right now. However, we CAN stop this by defunding the Obamacare exchanges in the coming CR on 9/30/2013.

Fourthly, here is a letter that doctors in Illinois just received 2 weeks ago. They too will be losing their health insurance plan because of Obamacare because the exchanges are opening on 10/1/13. They too will be forced into the Obamacare exchanges if we don’t stop funding Obamacare on 9/30/2013.

Why is this happening now?

Governor Quinn had originally expected 16 health insurance carriers to offer products within the Illinois Obamacare exchange. At this juncture, only 6 carriers have chosen to sell plans within the exchange. They are as follows:

Humana
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Aetna
Coventry
Land of Lincoln Health
The Carle Foundation, a nonprofit hospital network based in Urbana

Since these carriers have chosen the option to offer a “Medal” (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum) product within the exchange all individual/family health insurance plans that they have already sold in years 2011, 2012 and 2013 must conform to the design of the “Medal” plans sold inside the exchanges. This means that they must add all 10 of the federally mandated “Essential Health Benefits” and the plans must be redesigned to conform with the deductible and other out of pocket expenses that will be included with the “Medal” plans sold inside the exchanges.

This also means that millions of Aetna, Humana & Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois clients will not be able to keep their existing plans. They will instead by forced to accept a change to their plan design either on 12/31/13 or by 12/31/14 if they sign an amendment that has yet to be approved by the Illinois Department of Insurance. Again, they will not be able to keep their existing health insurance plans.

The two largest carriers that are staying out of the new Illinois Obamacare health insurance exchange are United HealthOne and Assurant Health. Because these two carriers are staying out of the exchange, the PPACA (Obamacare) law allows them to continue to design their products differently than the plans sold within the exchange. Although they must still adopt all 10 of the new federally mandated “Essential Health Benefits” and they must also offer guaranteed insurability (no preexisting conditions) to all applicants during ‘Open Enrollment” periods. The deductible and coinsurance arrangements that they can offer to their clients can be higher than the standard deductibles and coinsurance arrangements that will be offered in the exchanges.

This means that their prices will be inherently lower than the “Medal” plans sold inside the exchanges. This is most especially true for individuals with MAGI – Modified Adjusted Gross Incomes – higher than $46,000 a year. These individuals will receive no taxpayer provided ‘subsidy’ to artificially lower the cost of the expensive health insurance plans that will be sold within the new health insurance exchanges. To find out what you will pay for insurance in the new health insurance exchanges use the Kaiser Family Institute’s “Advance Premium Tax Credit” calculator by clicking here.

Because these two carriers are staying out of the Obamacare exchange. Not just here in Illinois but around the country. They are both now able to make the following commitment to potential new policy holders. If you purchase a health insurance plan from either of these carriers prior to 2014 you will not lose or have to change that health plan and you will not receive a premium increase until the December 30, 2014.

Watch United HealthOne make this promise here.

Read Assurant Health’s promise here.

Spouses are losing their health insurance plans because of Obamacare

CNN is now reporting that UPS is now dropping spouses from their corporate health insurance plans because of Obamacare.

Many more companies will follow because Obamacare does not require employers to offer coverage to spouses. They must only offer an Obamacare ‘QHP’ – “Qualified Health Plan” to employees and their dependent children up to the age of 26.

Just last week I lost the 13th individual health insurer since Obamacare passed. Again, because the most onerous provisions of Obamacare will begin on 1/1/14 if we do not stop it. See this insurance company’s exit letter here.We can reverse much of this by defunding Obamacare in the coming CR on 9/30/2013. The other individual health insurers who have pulled out of the individual health insurance market since the passage of Obamacare are as follows.
1.) American National
2.) American Republic > 35,000 people LOST their health plans when American Republic exited the market. Hundreds of jobs were lost as well.
3.) American Medical Security
4.) American Community Mutual
5.) Standard Life & Accident
6.) Principle Financial
7.) nHealth
8.) World Insurance
9.) Unicare
10.) Guarantee Trust Life < One of my clients in Naperville, Illinois who received that letter lost her plan during Breast Cancer treatment!
11.) Coventry
12.) Physicians Benefit Trust
13.) Independence Holding Group
Obamacare is creating a massive insurance monopoly. These smaller carriers that I used to be able to offer to my clients, the carriers with the good prices are now gone. They are being gobbled up by the larger carriers. Obamacare must be stopped now. Unlike the talking points being promulgated by the establishment GOP both discretionary and mandatory spending for Obamacare can be stopped via an amendment penned by Senator Ted Cruz which can be attached to the coming Continuing Resolution on September 30, 2013. WATCH Senator Cruz explain exactly what he has prepared to stop discretionary AND mandatory spending for Obamacare on 9/30/2013.

We can not count on any of our Illinois U.S. House reps to stand with principled men like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on 9/30/2013 because each and every one of them have been voting to fund Obamacare for the last 3 years. You will find their recorded votes in every Continuing Resolution since their first chance to defund Obamacare in HJRes48 on March 15, 2011 here > http://twitpic.com/d3zi33 If you think this Obamacare funding by Republicans is isolated to Illinois, you could not be more mistaken. Click here to see how many times your Congressman voted to fund Obamacare since HJRes48. Be sure to track their votes from 2011 forward. Check every year since then as well.

You see, HJRes48 was Republican’s first chance to defund Obamacare after gaining a majority in the House of Congress where spending originates in January 2011. This majority was EARNED by us. It was then given to Republicans. What have they done with it? They have voted again and again to fund Obamacare during every Continuing Resolution and debt ceiling deal. Please do not buy into the talking points used by Congressional reps who have stated that “I have voted to repeal Obamacare more than 30 times. Just look at my voting record to repeal Obamacare!” Many are referring constituents to this link which contains their recorded votes to repeal Obamacare.

Repealing Obamacare and defunding Obamacare are two entirely different things. The more than 30 repeal votes have gone nowhere. This is because U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid will not allow these repeal votes to come to the floor in the U.S. Senate. These votes are purely symbolic. This is why it takes no courage to vote for these repeal votes. The real courage is in defunding Obamacare. This is what these Reps and Senators must now do to protect all of us from what is coming in a few short months under Obamacare.

Defunding Obamacare means attaching the legislative rider that has been penned by Senator Ted Cruz to the continuing resolution on 9/30/2013 that prohibits any funds from being spent on any activities to implement or enforce Obamacare. It will also rescind any unspent balances that have already been appropriated for implementation of Obamacare. Lastly, it turns off the exchange subsidy and new Medicaid spending that are on auto-pilot. In other words both discretionary and mandatory spending for Obamacare comes to a screeching halt.

Why is this crucial now? According to the CRS – Congressional Research Service – the Obamacare legislation provided $1 billion in mandatory implementation funding when it was enacted, HHS projects that theses fund have already been spent. According to CRS, Obamacare “administrative costs will have to be funded through the annual discretionary appropriations.” This means HHS needs more money to implement Obamacare. It is now up to our Republican Reps and Senators to make sure they do not get it. If we do not stop funding for Obamacare now, more Americans will suffer. Just like this mother with a sick child:

Now is the time to take a stand. The excuses these Reps and Senators have used in the past have been “Obama won’t get reelected so we don’t have to take a stand right now” so let’s vote to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood in this CR. Or, “The Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare so let’s not take a stand now” let’s vote to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood in this CR as well.” Those excuses are over and in less than 60 days the full weight of Obamacare will be doled out on the American people. Americans all over the nation will lose their health insurance plans. All because the exchanges are opening around the country in less than 60 days.

WHAT ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE:

DELAYING Obamacare needs Democrat support. DEFUNDING Obamacare needs NO Democrat support! And, no matter how many times members of the establishment GOP say ‘we can’t stop mandatory spending for Obamacare‘ they are lying. In 2011 Congress stopped $2.2 billion of mandatory spending for Obamacare. We did it then and we can do it again.

This year, the Obama administration has waived or delayed major features of Obamacare such as the employer mandate and the law’s procedures for verifying one’s income prior to receiving APTX – Advance Premium Tax Credits – in the exchanges. However, according to the Congressional Research Service the Obama administration has actually inadvertently delayed half of the legally imposed Obamacare implementation deadlines. It is time to delay the rest.

Listen to the establishment talking heads who are attacking Senator Cruz and Senator Lee for attempting to educate the public on the necessity of defunding Obamacare coming on 9/30/2013. If you know nothing else, the fact that Joe Scarborough supports not defunding Obamacare in the CR should be all you need to know. Listen to the “Morning Joe” attack here.

Below, I discuss how the IRS is writing new law empowering themselves with powers they were not given in the original Obamacare legislation. They did this so that they can penalize employers in the 26 states that have rejected a state based exchange. The IRS is not a Legislative branch. They can not write new law! This is legislative tyranny and it must be stopped. If we do not stand for what is right now, all of this will be implemented beginning 10/1/13 when Obamacare exchanges open.

Again by Executive fiat, without Congressional approval. Barack Obama allowed Congress and their staffers a waiver from Obamacare. So that now, when they lose their Congressional health plans and are forced into the Obamacare exchanges we the people will be paying 75% of the cost of their Obamacare health insurance plans. Again, now is the time to defund not repeal Obamacare.

Lastly, neither Senator Ted Cruz nor Senator Mike Lee are calling for ‘shutting down the government’. They wish to fund all of the normal functions of government, social security, military, entitlement funding etc. Everything but Obamacare. The decision to ‘shut down the government’ would only be made by President Obama. Again, it is not our desire to do so. Unlike the rhetoric from the establishment GOP, historical precedent proves that Republicans have benefited politically when a government shut down occurs. The Heritage Institute has provided other excellent talking points to refute the rhetoric coming from those in the establishment who are against the common sense effort to defund Obamacare in the coming Continuing Resolution on 9/30/2013.

ACTION ITEMS. September 20, 2013 UPDATE: To defund Obamacare in the coming Continuing Resolution on 9/30/2013 we will need cooperation from both chambers of our U.S. Congress. The House and the Senate. On Friday September 20th House Republicans stood united (less one vote) and passed HJRes59 – the “Continuing Appropriations Resolution Act of 2014 over to the U.S. Senate. HJRes59 defunds Obamacare whilst appropriating amounts for continuing operations, projects, or activities which were conducted in Fiscal Year 2013. These continuing operations, projects, or activities are as follows:

  • the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (division A of P.L. 113-6);
  • the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (division B of P.L. 113-6);
  • the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013 (division C of P.L. 113-6);
  • the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013 (division D of P.L. 113-6);
  • the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (division E of P.L. 113-6); and
  • The Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (division F of P.L. 113-6).

Currently U.S. Senators John Cornyn (Texas), Bob Corker (Tennessee) and Richard (North Carolina), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and John McCain (Arizona) have threatened a CLOTURE vote which would end the debate in the U.S. Senate over the new House continuing resolution bill HJRes59 which defunds Obamacare. This cloture vote would prevent any filibuster and allow U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to restore funding for Obamacare by stripping that section out of HJRes59 and then sending it back to the House next week. Please call these Senators offices and the offices of any other Republican U.S. Senator who threatens a cloture vote.

Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk signed Senator Mike Lee’s letter pledging to defund Obamacare and then removed his name less than 24 hours later. We suspect he will also vote for cloture. We must contact Kirk’s office and the offices of any other U.S. Senators like Lindsey Graham and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who have also hinted at voting for Cloture.

“If 41 Republicans stand strong and oppose cloture, they can defeat Reid’s plan to fund ObamaCare. However, if Republicans waffle and vote for cloture, it will grease the skids for Reid’s plan to defund ObamaCare. Any Republican who votes for cloture is voting to fund Obamacare.” – Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund.

“If Reid pursues this plan — if he insists on using a 50-vote threshold to fund ObamaCare with a partisan vote of only Democrats — then I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add ObamaCare funding back in,” – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

The aforementioned U.S. Senators are not to be trusted to reflect the will of the vast majority of their constituents. As such, they need to hear from you right now, before and all throughout the real battle to defund Obamacare which begins next week in the U.S. Senate. The pledge that your U.S. Senator needs to sign is Mike Lee’s pledge. View it here.

Please note: Senator Ted Cruz has a bill to defund Obamacare and many conservative organizations have said they fully support that bill. That bill is S.1292. However, the Cruz bill alone is not enough! Senators must also signed Senator Mike Lee’s letter. See which Senators have done so thus far. If you call your Senator’s office and are told that he/she has signed on as a cosponsor of Cruz’s bill to defund Obamacare you must tell them that it is imperative that they ALSO sign Senator Mike Lee’s letter – and do so TODAY! The Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044.

Call the Senators who are not on Senator Lee’s letter and ask that they sign the letter. Tell them you think it is important for them to sign that letter or you will presume they will fund Obamacare.

Please sign and distribute this petition to the White House to grant We The People an Obamacare exemption.

To hear our side and the establishment GOP side of this issue please click here to listen to an on air debate between Senator Mike Lee and Karl Rove recorded on the Sean Hannity show 8/12/13.

I discussed delaying and stopping funding for Obamacare on the Joe Walsh radio show on Chicago’s Am560 on 8/23/13

C. Steven Tucker on delaying and stopping funding for Obamacare on the Sara Marie Brennar radio show on 8/21/13

I discussed delaying & stopping funding for Obamacare on Bloomington’s Robert Rees show on Cities 92.9 FM 8/16/13

I discussed delaying and stopping funding for Obamacare on the statewide Illinois Tea Party conference call on 8/12/13

I discussed delaying and stopping funding for Obamacare on the Joe Walsh show on Chicago’s Am560 8/6/2013

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Illinois begins audits and cuts to Medicaid. Rationing of care begins.

On July 7, 2012 the Illinois Tea Party broke down the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ parts of SB2840 and it’s amendments as well as HB5007. Together, these two pieces of legislation comprise what Governor Quinn refers to as ‘Medicaid Reform’. Whilst there was and still is genuine concern over the fiscal impact of Illinois expanding Medicaid nearly 2 years before the rest of the country. There was some good in HB5007. Specifically, the implementation of what most other state Medicaid programs already had in place for years. Namely, a TPA – Third Party Administrator.

The role of this TPA is to audit Illinois’ Medicaid program by verifying each year if current Illinois Medicaid recipients are still:

1.) Living in Illinois.
2.) Still living (not dead)
3.) Making the same income they were when they first qualified. If their income levels have increased rendering them no longer eligible, they are to be purged from our Medicaid rolls.

This is a very good thing since a pharmacist from another state recently stated during testimony that “some of our best customers are on the Illinois Medicaid program.”

The results of the first audit of Illinois’ Medicaid rolls are shocking indeed. According to the Chicago Tribune: Of the first 20,500 recipients screened by an outside contractor, the auditors recommend that 13,709 be removed from the rolls. Yes, that’s two-thirds of the first group screened, flagged as ineligible to receive their current Medicaid benefits. How so? In some cases, the recipients make too much money to qualify. In other cases, they don’t live in Illinois.”

Later in the same article the Tribune states: “Full stop. You may ask, as we do: Why didn’t state officials pluck this low-hanging fruit long ago?If Illinois officials knew, or suspected, that thousands of people were improperly receiving Medicaid coverage, why didn’t they act years ago to save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars?”

Since Julie Hamos – Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services chief – is quoted in the article as ‘doesn’t yet know‘. The Illinois Tea Party would like to clear up this mystery for her.

During Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Governorship, our Illinois Medicaid program was expanded illegally without legislative approval. Adding to the rapid bankruptcy of our Illinois Medicaid program was the fact that under Blago’s Governorship, legal residency status was not required on the Illinois’ “All Kids Covered” Medicaid application. Understand that when we use the term legal residency we are referring to U.S. citizenship. It took an investigation conducted by former Chicago Tribune reporter Dennis Byrne to determine just how many illegal immigrants were enrolled on our “All Kids Covered” program. The shocking answer was 75%.

Whilst the Illinois legislature is to be commended for finally implementing a TPA. They are still ignoring one of the largest drains on our Illinois Medicaid program. One that is a clear violation of Federal law. Namely, the 77,000 illegal immigrants who are still enrolled on our Medicaid program. None of which will be removed under Quinn’s ‘Medicaid Reform’ bill or any other legislation proposed.

According to Kaiser Health News the cost to cover just emergency treatment – much of it related to delivering babies – for more than 100,000 illegal immigrants is a $2 billion drain on the federal Medicaid program annually.  This being the case, one must ask. Why is there not a number 4 question added to the above TPA discovery process which asks: Are you a U.S. citizen?

By allowing thousands of illegal immigrants to stay on Illinois Medicaid program, lawmakers are disenfranchising Illinois residents who are not only legal U.S. citizens but are also medically fragile children. Part of Governor Quinn’s aforementioned ‘Medicaid Reform’ bill was $1.6 billion of top down, authoritative, across the board Medicaid cuts. $15 million of which pertain to medically fragile and technology-dependent children.

Equally disruptive and cold-hearted is the fact that Senate Bill 2840 eliminated Illinois’ Cares Rx program, which provides prescription drug coverage for 180,000 fixed and low income Illinois seniors. Seniors on fixed incomes of less than $16,000 have now lost their drug coverage. Community care and in-home care programs also faced severe cuts, resulting in the loss of services for thousands of seniors across the state. There is a word that properly defines this type of top down, authoritative, across the board cuts – rationing. And it’s about to get much, much worse.

Since 2000, Illinois Medicaid rolls have doubled, from fewer than 1.4 million people to nearly 2.8 million, or more than 1 in 5 Illinoisans. Starting in 2014, the President’s health care law is about to exacerbate this problem exponentially. According to various estimates, from 500,000 to more than 900,000 more Illinois residents will qualify for Medicaid when the PPACA (Obamacare) Medicaid expansion takes effect in 2014. This is because the PPACA expands Medicaid to childless adults for the first time ever. There are more than 15.1 million childless adults in the U.S. who will now be eligible for Medicaid. The PPACA also mandates that another 9 million Americans who already qualify for Medicaid but never enrolled do so beginning in 2014.

The ‘silver lining’ in Chief Justice John Roberts historic ruling on the PPACA last year was that states were now given the option to expand Medicaid. Since then many states have run the numbers and decided against expanding Medicaid. In contrast, Governor Quinn is moving ‘forward’ with Medicaid expansion with Senate Bill 26 which will voluntarily expand Illinois’ Medicaid program to nearly 350,000 additional individuals, who are between the ages of 19 and 64 with incomes under 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. The Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) states the cumulative cost of this expansion could exceed $2.9 billion by 2020. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured estimates a similar number of $2.4 billion by 2020.

Worse yet, our Illinois Medicaid program already has unpaid bills piling up after lawmakers enacted a budget pushing $2.4 Billion of 2011’s bills into 2012. As they have been doing repeatedly for years now. In fact, on January 30, 2012, the Civic Federation released its “Budget Roadmap” for fiscal year 2012. In it, they highlight the fact that state officials now believe the Illinois Medicaid program will have between $21 and $23 billion in unpaid bills by 2017.

Purging illegal immigrants from our Illinois Medicaid rolls and implementing real reforms such as those proposed by the Illinois Policy Institute will save Illinois’ billions and insure that Illinois’ truly indigent and those with special needs are cared for. Until such reforms are implemented, Illinois Medicaid patients will continue to suffer from low reimbursement rates and long payment delays. Nursing homes and hospitals will continue to run out of money while they wait for reimbursement. And, doctors will continue to turn away poor patients and those with special needs.

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Joel Pollak and Jan Shackowsky Take Questions on Israel in Illinois’ 9th

First a HUGE Hat Tip to Andrew Marcus of www.FoundingBloggers.com for doing the job the Main Stream Media refuses to do in Illinois’ 9th District.













After the debate Jan Shackowsky was asked a few questions from her constituents. Sadly, she refused to answer any of them. In stark contrast, her opponent, Joel Pollak readily answered any and all questions:

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