In this installment of the Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the massive toxic spill caused by the EPA in a Colorado river, the agency’s response to the disaster and the double standard by which business and the feds are held to account.
It looks like the crass ad campaign aimed at getting keg-standing frat boys and promiscuous coeds to sign up for health insurance on Colorado’s Obamacare exchange is failing badly.
“The White House has set a goal of ensuring that roughly 40% of all enrollees on the federal exchange are young and healthy,” reports CNN’s Political Ticker.
“As of November 30, just 11% of total enrollees in Colorado’s exchange fall into the targeted 18 to 34 age bracket. The majority of new enrollees – more than 60% – are between 45 and 65.”
If this trend holds, it means that the funding ratios for Colorado’s insurance pools won’t work because there won’t be enough ‘young invincibles’ in the system. As I explained in a post about a similar problem in Kentucky, too few young and healthy people translates into an insufficient wealth transfer to older and sicker people.
Right now, Obamacare’s supporters are telling themselves that young people always wait till the last minute to comply, so all will be well when the enrollment period ends in March. That might be true. But if enough young invincibles pay a fine instead of enroll, Colorado, Kentucky and any other state with too few net payers will see next year’s premiums surge through the roof.
Politico reports that in a campaign speech in Colorado today President Barack Obama framed his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) this way:
“Let me tell you something, Denver, I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care that you get,” Obama told the crowd at a campaign stop in Colorado. “I don’t think insurance companies should control the care that you get. I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get. I think there’s one person to make these decisions on health care and that is you.”
What the President neglected to mention is that instead of employers, insurance companies, and politicians – and despite his comments about individuals – the constituency he really favors making health care decisions is the federal bureaucracy.
ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is intended to capture millions of Americans newly eligible for government coverage that will be – at least initially – cheaper than their current private provider. The state-based, but federally-directed, health care exchanges are really just Trojan horse structures allowing HHS to seize control of the states’ traditional role in regulating health insurance whenever a state defies a federal prerogative.
And let’s not forget that the Independent Payment Advisory Board is empowered to act as a backdoor ration board, setting price caps on medical reimbursements that will distort the market and cause shortages. In socialized systems like Britain and Canada long waiting times are the norm, as are denials of procedures in favor of pain management.
All of these elements – Medicaid expansion, federally managed health exchanges, and IPAB – empower one group: unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. To claim as the President does that private individuals will be the ones calling the shots on health care decisions is either foolish or deceptive, and I don’t think the man is lacking in smarts.
Ever heard of the Colorado Model? The brainchild of four rich liberals, it helped turn a reliably Republican state into a lock-down Democratic state in less than a decade. RedStateexcerpts the keys to its success:
Eric O’Keefe, chairman of the conservative Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, says there are seven “capacities” that are required to drive a successful political strategy and keep it on offense:  the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition,  to pursue investigations,  to mobilize for elections,  to fight media bias,  to pursue strategic litigation,  to train new leaders, and  to sustain a presence in the new media. Colorado liberals have now created institutions that possess all seven capacities. By working together, they generate political noise and attract press coverage. Explains Caldara, “Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up.”
Throw in some Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizing and the wealth of liberal elites, and you’ve got a strategy being exported to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, among others.
The good news is that conservatives and Tea Partiers can use these principles to swing the balance of power the other way. The time is now.
Listening to President Barack Obama’s post-budget deal remarks it was jarring to hear the Commander-in-Chief say that the group most benefited from a budget deal was…a group of Colorado 8th graders visiting the nation’s capitol next week.
Apparently, visiting a national monument trumps military personnel getting their paychecks on time. No doubt a child’s field trip is important, but it pales in comparison to making sure soldiers and their families can make mortgage payments and buy food. If Obama can’t correctly identify which of the two is more important, it shows just how clueless (or careless) he is about governing priorities.
If you follow the debates over whether voters should be required to present a photo ID at their polling place, you’ve probably heard the standard Democratic refrain before: there’s very little real voter fraud out there and voter ID policies are just a cynical Republican plot to suppress turnout amongst key Democratic constituencies. As is the prevailing tendency, however, liberal rhetoric is now being undermined by stone cold facts.
Last week, the U.S. House’s Administration Committee heard testimony on a Colorado study that used the 2010 election to put claims of scarce voter fraud to the test. The results, as The Hill reports, were shocking:
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, told the panel that his department’s study identified nearly 12,000 people who were not citizens but were still registered to vote in Colorado.
Of those non-citizen registered voters, nearly 5,000 took part in the 2010 general election in which Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet narrowly defeated Republican Ken Buck.
Colorado conducted the study by comparing the state’s voter registration database with driver’s license records.
We applaud our Democratic friends for their efforts to increase voter turnout. We just wish they’d stick with legal voters.
If former GOP House Rep. Tom Tancredo can overcome his current 5 point gap to become Colorado’s next governor, we’ll all need to brush up on the principles and policy preferences of his new political home: the American Constitution Party.
As would be imagined, the ACP is in-line with Tancredo’s stance on border security, and regulating the number of immigrants. The party also seemingly provides a home for Christian libertarians. If Tancredo pulls off the biggest surprise of the 2010 midterm elections it will be fascinating to see whether the ACP can get any of its platform through Colorado’s soon-to-be Republican legislature.
As November’s elections loom increasingly dire for Democrats, their mainstream media waterboys desperately recast the American electorate as “anti-incumbent” rather than the more accurate “anti-liberal” or “anti-Democrat.” Today’s latest example: The Washington Post, perhaps liberals’ chief media waterboy, reacted to last night’s primary elections with their daily political newsletter headline “Senator’s Win Tests Anti-Incumbency Theory.”
The Post’s Dan Balz bizarrely claims that a Democratic incumbent beating a Democrat challenger endorsed by Bill Clinton somehow alters our assessment of America’s mood:
Senator Michael Bennet (D) of Colorado turned back a sharp challenge from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff on Tuesday night on a busy day of primaries that offered fresh clues about the anti-establishment mood of voters… Bennet’s challenge was seen as the latest test of anti-incumbent sentiment in a year in which two Senators and four House members have been defeated. His victory proved that the benefits and resources of incumbency can offset the liabilities that many officeholders are carrying this year.”
Earth to The Washington Post, MSNBC and other liberal media sirens: American voters aren’t simply “anti-incumbent,” they’re anti-liberal. They’re not simply looking to replace incumbent liberals with other liberals, so one Democrat beating an alternative Democrat doesn’t rebut that fact. After all, you don’t tend to see trusted conservative incumbents like Senators Jim DeMint (R – South Carolina) or Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma) needing national political figures to parachute in to rescue them as Senator Benet did. Americans’ revulsion toward the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda is threatening liberal incumbents, not incumbents generically. You’re not fooling anyone other than yourselves.
So far, President Barack Obama is 0-for-everything when it comes to getting directly involved in any campaign other than his own. In a three month span, he helped lose Democratic campaigns for governor in Virginia and New Jersey, and the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat.
Now, it looks like he picked losers in two Democratic primaries. Just when it seemed like the Joe Sestak pay-not-to-play offer couldn’t get weirder, the challenger in Colorado’s contested primary confirms that he too was approached about dropping out. For those keeping score, Sestak beat Arlen Specter and Andrew Romanoff currently leads 60%-40% over the appointed incumbent Michael Bennet. Whatever happened to the will of the people?
But what should we expect from a chief executive whose only “win” so far in office is a scandalously passed health care industry takeover that may go down as the most corrupt bargain ever brokered between a president and Congress. The lesson here is that this president is as hapless at electoral horse trading as he is with legislative deal making.
I’ll be in attendance all week, one of about four conservatives (out of hundreds of panelists). I’ll be participating in panels on the future of California, the military-industrial complex, President Obama’s foreign policy, globalization, U.S. relations with China, the GOP’s prospects for renewal, special interest politics, “the politics of fear”, and the maturation of President Obama (details here). I’ll also be speaking at the Boulder County GOP’s Lincoln Dinner on Wednesday night.
I’d love to see any of you there. If only to double the conservative population of Boulder.