“The New York Times is lawyering again in defense of the Affordable Care Act in an editorial tendentiously titled More Specious Attacks on Reform. Hence the tendentious title of this post. In reality, legal arguments typically have two sides and dismissing one as specious (or frivolous) is almost always unwarranted and undermines the credibility of the critic, in this case the editorial writer of the Times.”

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‘A new poll of likely voters in the states and districts with the most competitive Senate and House races brings more bad news for President Obama and his party.

“In the congressional districts and states where the 2014 elections will actually be decided, likely voters said they would prefer to vote for a Republican over a Democrat by 7 points, 41 percent to 34 percent,” reports Politico, which commissioned the survey by research firm GfK. “Among these critical voters, Obama’s job approval is a perilous 40 percent, and nearly half say they favor outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”‘

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“During his first run for the presidency in 2008, President Obama blasted the influence of insurance lobbyists and vowed to take on the industry if elected. Yet as president, he passed a health care law that funnels more than $1 trillion in subsidies to insurers, and fines Americans who do not purchase their products. And on Friday, the Obama administration relented to pressure by the insurance industry, vowing to use additional taxpayer dollars to help bail out insurers from losses racked up as part of his health care law.”

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“According to those in the elite salons of Washington, ObamaCare cannot be repealed. The conventional wisdom on the cocktail circuit contends that once you mandate health insurance for millions, you cannot unmandate it. This theoretical belief has become accepted in Washington as a dogmatic article of faith. And the Obamacrats and most of the press believe that repeating this mantra often enough will make it so.”

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“A large number of people who’ve signed up for private health insurers through the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange have not paid their first month’s premiums, meaning they are at risk of going without coverage through November.”

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“State officials disclosed a $300 million shortfall in state revenue collections Monday, putting the state’s stellar bond rating in jeopardy — and placing new pressure on lawmakers and Gov. Terry McAuliffe to break their budget deadlock.”

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“Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Monday President Barack Obama’s health care law must be repealed but urged his fellow conservatives to offer alternatives to the president’s policies. The Republican governor introduced his state proposal that he says would act as an alternative to Medicaid. In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Pence said his plan would help expand health coverage for low-income residents but provide more flexibility to allow people to manage their own health care needs.”

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“Of course, no services are ever actually free since consumers pay indirectly for them through their premiums.”

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“Many insurers only dipped a toe into the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces for their first year.

Cigna, one of the country’s largest insurers, offered 2014 plans to individuals in fewer than half a dozen states. Humana is only in a little more than a dozen states. The biggest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, didn’t offer any policies through the federally run online portal and only a few elsewhere.”

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“I have been a huge fan of the popular Healthy Indiana Plan since it was conceived by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2008 as a way to expand sensible health coverage to uninsured Hoosiers.

Daniels’ successor, Gov. Mike Pence, is unveiling his own 2.0 version of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) during a talk at the American Enterprise Institute today, but the plan already is getting a great deal of pushback from conservatives. The original HIP program relies largely on state funding, but the new version will draw primarily on federal funding by expanding Medicaid, an option granted to the states under the Supreme Court’s rewriting of the ACA.”

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