Chad’s Morning Brief: Castro Blasts Cruz, Another Obamacare Change Announced at the Last Minute, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of December 20, 2013. 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.
Castro vs. Cruz
Congressman Joaquin Castro blasted U.S. Senator Ted Cruz yesterday according to the Dallas Morning News. According to Castro, Texans won't stand for Ted Cruz trying to repeal Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act is picking up steam, and repealing it now would cause a huge backlash from voters, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, said today.
“We’re hoping that Republicans will come to their senses and realize how valuable the Affordable Care act is to the American people,” he told reporters on a White House conference call that also included Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, Rep. Matthew Cartwright, D-Pa. and a senior Obama adviser, David Simas.
“This is no longer an abstraction,” Simas said. “At the end of the day, this is a pocketbook issue for millions of Americans across the country.”
The White House today released estimates of the law’s benefits for Texans.
According to their numbers, more than 5 million Texans with private insurance have gained access to cost-free preventative care such as immunizations, birth control or mammograms. And the nearly 5 million uninsured in the state have expanded choices in terms of healthcare plans through Medicaid or the ACA marketplace.
Castro said the ACA is gathering momentum in Texas. Though only 3,000 people in the state signed up in the program’s first month, he said, last month saw more than 14,000 Texans join. “We believe the third month will be even higher,” he said.
The state is dealing with a “very difficult, and in some ways unique, situation,” Castro said, due to its high number of uninsured and rapid demographic changes. “We’re in a dire state here in Texas.”
He placed some blame at the feet of Republicans, calling their attitude callous and decrying actions like Gov. Rick Perry’s refusal to expand Medicaid.
He also blasted Sen. Ted Cruz for his efforts to defund or repeal the ACA, and said Republicans could cause another fiscal standoff like the one that lead to October’s government shutdown and near-default on the nation’s debts.
“Senator Cruz, who caused the government shutdown, still talks nearly every day via social media about repealing the Affordable Care Act,” he said. So they could threaten the debt ceiling again. We don’t put that past them. ”
Republicans pushing for repeal say the law is too costly and will cause millions to lose their health care, their jobs, or both.
“The only reason the White House held this call today is because enrollment numbers for Obamacare have been disastrously low,” said Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton. “Texans, like millions of Americans all over the country, know this terrible law is costing them jobs, the plans they liked, and forcing them to pay more for their insurance through higher premiums and deductibles.”
Castro said repealing the law is unpopular with voters, and that further attempts to topple it would have consequences for Republicans.
“The American people, and Texans, will not stand for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. If they try to repeal it, there will be a real backlash among Texans,” he said.
Hey, you can't blame Castro too much here. He is just throwing some meat out to the Democrats. Though it is odd to hear a Democrat run towards Obamacare instead of away as many are doing.
Obama Changes Obamacare... Again!
The White House announced an 11th-hour change to Obamacare. I know you are surprised. According to FOX News, the announcement has angered insurance companies.
The Obama administration, in an 11th-hour change just before the holiday break,announced a major exemption in ObamaCare that will let people who lost coverage and are struggling to get a new plan sign up for bare-bones policies.
The move Thursday to allow potentially hundreds of thousands of people to sign up for "catastrophic" coverage plans was blasted by the insurance industry as a shift that would cause "tremendous instability.”
The administration downplayed the sudden change, saying they expected it to impact fewer than 500,000 people.
Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said, "This is a common sense clarification of the law. For the limited number of consumers whose plans have been cancelled and are seeking coverage, this is one more option."
An administration official confirmed to Fox News that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to Capitol Hill saying the administration was expanding the definition of catastrophic plans to deal with people who have not been able to get a new plan.
An insurance industry official, speaking not for attribution, told Fox that while the administration was playing down the significance of the move, it could turn out to be a troublesome last minute change and the industry fears far more than the 500,000 people will apply.
Another industry official, Robert Zirkelbach AHIP Spokesman Vice President, Strategic Communications, said, “This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers."
Other Top Stories:
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