Chad’s Morning Brief: Boehner Could Take Legal Action Against Obama, Obamacare Numbers Continue to Fall Short, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of June 25, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Is House Speaker John Boehner finally ready to take on President Obama? According to Roll Call, we could find out soon.
Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, told Republicans Tuesday he could have an announcement within days on whether the House will file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, challenging the executive actions that have become the keystone of the administration.
The lawsuit could set up a significant test of constitutional checks and balances, with the legislative branch suing the executive branch for ignoring its mandates, and the judiciary branch deciding the outcome.
Boehner told the House Republican Conference during a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning that he has been consulting with legal scholars and plans to unveil his next steps this week or next, according to sources in the room.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said further action is necessary because the Senate has not taken up bills passed by the House targeting executive actions. The House has passed a bill expediting court consideration of House resolutions starting lawsuits targeting executive overreach and another mandating that the attorney general notify Congress when the administration decides to take executive action outside of what has been authorized by Congress.
“The president has a clear record of ignoring the American people’s elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy,” Steel said. “The House has passed legislation to address this, but it has gone nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, so we are examining other options.”
It remains unclear which executive action or actions the House would challenge, but Obama has given Congress ample targets. In the last several years, he has issued executive actions halting deportations of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the country as children, extending the family and medical leave benefits to gay couples and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. He has also worked around legislative deadlines for enacting provisions of the Affordable Care Act and issued other executive actions relating to the environment and the gender and race pay gap.
IF Boehner goes forward with legal action you can bet it will be called racist. The Democrats are waiting, will the Republicans stand up to them and fight back?
More good news for Obamacare as new figures show that 4 million people are newly insured. According to the Daily Signal, that is still 22 million short of the goal.
Another number falls short as well. The source who supports and helped implement Obamacare said about 38 million uninsured are eligible for Obamacare and “all of them should be interested in obtaining it.”
Assuming the most positive estimates—that 85 percent of the 8 million enrollees have paid their premiums and 43 percent had coverage before—the newly insured would number only about 3.9 million. By this time, CBO had projected 19 million would have been removed from the ranks of the uninsured, and CMS predicted 26 million.
Fewer than 4 million newly insured “doesn’t put much of a dent in the problem,” said the source.
Many enrollees were gained due to “coverage substitution,” according to health care policy expert Edmund Haislmaier of The Heritage Foundation, which publishes TheDaily Signal.
Haislmaier, who testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform earlier this month, said this means that people who had insurance then substituted what they had for new coverage with more in the way of subsidy dollars.
“If you’ve got coverage now and a government program offers a replacement with more subsidies, then you’re going to have an incentive to move to that,” Haislmaier explains. “No doubt it helps people by helping them buy something that they already had. … But it isn’t a net increase.”
Meanwhile, some who were forced out of their existing coverage but not eligible for subsidies found themselves having to re-enroll at much higher rates than before, said Laszewski.
“It was not uncommon to see [insurers] increase their [rates] by 35 percent to bring policies into compliance with Obamacare,” Laszewski said. “So, they have the same relatively healthy people with perhaps more benefits but for 35 percent more premium. That may be good news for the insurance companies but not for the individuals who are forced to pay more than a third more.”
Reduction in Uninsured
By all credible accounts, Obamacare has resulted in a reduction in the number of people who are uninsured.
The story of Lou Vincent of Akron, Ohio, is held out by the Obama administration as an example of the positive impact. He suffers from Type 2 diabetes and went uninsured for 10 years until Obamacare. Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, he and his wife are covered for $379 a month.
Research from RAND Corp.shows 9.3 million more people had insurance in March 2014 than did in September 2013, and a recent Gallup poll puts the uninsured rate at its lowest level since 2008. The percentage of adults who don’t have insurance has dropped from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent in the last year.
But it’s unclear how much of the drop can be credited to Obamacare and how much to other factors, such as changes to Medicaid enrollment. RAND’s study and another from the Urban Institute Health Policy Center both found fewer than half of the newly-insured gained coverage through the Obamacare exchanges.
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.