by Tom Fitton –
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday. Government corruption, unfortunately, never takes a holiday and so we have much to report you as we prepare for the new year.
President Obama made a number of promises when he was pitching his Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, to the American people. Among the most oft repeated was the claim that Obamacare would not be responsible for people losing health insurance coverage. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the president promised.
Of course, at the time, we knew this was just another lie. (In fact, so did the Obama administration so did the Obama administration.) And now we have further evidence to prove it.
Last week, we released state records revealing high numbers of policy cancellations as a direct result of requirements Obamacare.
Statements in the records, which include filings by health insurance companies with state regulators, directly contradict claims by the Obama administration and its allies that Obamacare was not responsible for Americans losing health insurance coverage. We obtained the records as part of a nationwide Judicial Watch investigation to assess the damage wrought by Obamacare to the insurance marketplace.
We asked each state’s insurance division for the following information:
The number of group and non-group comprehensive (major medical) health insurance policies for which the [STATE INSURANCE DIVISION] has received notice or report of the carrier canceling or non-renewing, or intending to cancel or non-renew, such policies, and for which the coverage termination date is after June 3, 2013, along with the number of individuals covered by such policies as of the policy termination dates.
And here’s what we found: According to those states that have responded to date, hundreds of thousands of formerly insured individuals have had their insurance policies cancelled or non-renewed due to Obamacare mandates.
In fact, according to the records obtained by JW, many insurance carriers specifically cite new Obamacare requirements as a central factor in their decision, and even inform their policyholders as such.
Let me share with you a few excerpts from the records, which you can read in full on our website, regarding the State of Oregon, where at least 145,000 individuals will lose health insurance coverage:
New York Life Insurance Company informed Oregon’s Insurance Division that it was discontinuing a group health insurance plan offered to an association and provided a sample letter to policyholders, notifying them of the cancellation, with the following language:
“The decision to exit the medical care marketplace was not an easy one but the evolving market conditions in the health insurance industry under Health Care Reform laws and regulations which are named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (‘PPACA’) prevent us from continuing to offer competitive medical insurance for association plans such as yours. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the actions described in this letter.”
Another health insurance provider, Moda Health Plan, informed the state that it was exiting the individual health insurance market there, and provided a sample letter to policyholders that contained this language:
“We’re happy you chose Moda Health, and we want you to stick with us as health care laws change. As part of the Affordable Care Act implementation in Oregon, all of our individual and family health plans will be discontinued. That means you’ll have to enroll in a new plan. But don’t worry! We have some great choices.”
Providence Health Plan notified the Oregon Insurance Division that it was discontinuing its portability health insurance plans, and provided a sample letter to policyholders containing this wording:
“The first thing you need to know is that, due to changes related to the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, all portability plans, including your existing plan, will be discontinued after Dec. 31, 2013 and, therefore, you will need to choose new health plan coverage.”
In addition to the records from Oregon, Judicial Watch has received the following cancellation information from six other states to date:
Connecticut: At least 26,451 polices will be cancelled in 2013 and 23,504 in 2014. That will leave 41,169 individuals in 2013 and 38,601 in 2014 with cancelled health care coverage.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania insurance department officials reported that 250,000 Pennsylvanians are losing their coverage.
Arkansas: With five out of nine companies providing the number of polices, individuals covered, or both; the totals are 62 policies cancelled affecting at least 537 individuals. Chesapeake Life Insurance, Independence American Insurance Company, Madison National Life Insurance Company, New York Life, and Standard Security Life Insurance Company all state that their decision was prompted by Obamacare.
Georgia: While not all companies specified the number of individuals affected, records reveal that Obamacare mandates will result in 727 polices being cancelled, with at least 1,006 individuals losing their coverage.
Delaware: Emails between the Delaware Department of Insurance and companies detailing the number of polices and individuals covered reveal that, while not all companies specified individual coverage, the total number of polices listed is 4,599, with at least 9,743 individuals losing health care coverage.
North Dakota: According to North Dakota insurance department officials, 36,875 individuals are losing coverage in that state.
As I say, this is an investigation in progress, and as additional information from other states becomes available, we will provide it on an ongoing basis.
Now, I think it is worthwhile to review how dramatically this data contradicts the false narrative pushed by the Obama administration, the Obama campaign, Obama surrogates and the president himself right from the very beginning.
As early as August 11, 2009, Obama assured a New Hampshire town hall meeting, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” According to Breitbart.com, Obama repeated the statement at least 23 times in the ensuing years.
White House adviser Valerie Jarrett tweeted on October 28, 2013, “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans.” And responding to questions on a November 17, 2013, edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the interviewer, “The law does not demand that all of these cancellations go out.”
But independent reports estimate that more than 4.8 million Americans have received health insurance cancellations to date because of the Obamacare mandates. However, now the evidence is too overwhelming for the Obama administration to continue its soft-shoe around.
Hence the Obama administrations extra-constitutional decision to rewrite Obamacare again just before Christmas. (Is there anything this president won’t do to keep the teetering deck of cards that is Obamacare from collapsing entirely?)
From ABC News:
Facing continued fallout over the cancellation of millions of health plans under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration is loosening the terms of the individual mandate for some consumers while providing them new options to maintain coverage.
Americans whose individual insurance policies were canceled – at least 4 million people – are now eligible for a “hardship exemption” from the requirement to have insurance, which starts in 2014….
Of course this decision comes with repercussions. More from ABC News:
Health insurers criticized the development, which they said could mean fewer enrollees than they projected when rates were set for 2014.
“This latest rule change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” said Karen Ignani, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, in a statement.
And so we begin 2014 as we ended 2013, with more “confusion and disruption” for millions of Americans who may not have health insurance.
The entire Obamacare scheme relies on lies. And the snapshots JW provided clearly show that Obamacare is causing a national health insurance crisis that demands immediate action – and dare I say action that is permitted by the United States Constitution and the rule of law.
JW-Breitbart Poll: 77% of Americans Concerned about Government Corruption; Majority See it Getting Worse
As you know, the press puts out a lot of polls. But here’s the problem. Given the leftist leanings of the media, too many of these polls mislead rather than enlighten. Take the issue of corruption and the rule of law. Do you honestly believe that the press is going to report polling data that calls into question President Obama’s ethics and honesty?
The answer is “not on your life,” which is why every year at this time we take the pulse of the American people on key issues by commissioning our own scientific poll.
And just last week, JW issued the results of a conducted in partnership with Breitbart.com about the American people’s attitudes on a variety of subjects, including government corruption in Washington, voter fraud, immigration policy, and Obamacare. (The poll was conducted by The Polling Company/Woman Trend December 13 – 16, 2013.)
Here are the headlines: The Judicial Watch-Breitbart poll shows that 77% of the American people are concerned about the issue of government corruption in Washington, with 52% believing it has gotten worse over the past five years.
On the issue of immigration, a plurality of Americans believes that current immigration law should be enforced, and a majority opposes sanctuary policies prohibiting law enforcement officers from joining in the effort.
When questioned about health care, Americans by a two-to-one margin said that they have more confidence in their states, rather than the federal government handling their health care issues.
Now, let’s dive into these numbers a bit:
GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION: The vast majority of Americans (77%) are “very” (52%) or “somewhat” (25%) concerned about the issue of government corruption in Washington. Only 20% express little or no concern. Concerns about government corruption are reflected among tri-partisan majorities of Democrats (68% high level of concern), Independents (75%) and Republicans (88%).
GOVERNMENT’S ABILITY TO SELF-POLICE CORRUPTION: A 52% majority of Americans think the government is actually doing a worse job at policing corruption in Washington DC in the past five years, while just 18% think the government is doing better. An equal number of Democrats say corruption has worsened (33%) as say it has improved (33%) during their party’s control of the White House.
VOTER FRAUD: Three-quarters (75%) of adults recognize voter fraud as a problem in the United States, including 36% who believe it is a “major” problem and 39% who think it is a minor problem. The percentage of adults who consider it a problem remains at above 70% among males and females; whites, blacks, and Hispanics; and all age brackets from 18 to over 65. Only 15% think voter fraud is not a problem.
GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY: When campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama promised to have the most transparent government in history. Yet, a 41%-plurality of Americans now believe the federal government is actually “less transparent” since Obama became president. Four-out-of-five adults (80%) do not recognize any improvement during President Obama’s tenure, compared with just 16% who say it is “more transparent.”
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: A plurality of Americans (49%) believe that the U.S. should enforce immigration laws currently on the books and expect illegal immigrants to return to their homes rather than changing the law to provide legal status for illegal immigrants already here. The majority of those aged 45 to 54 (52%) favor enforcing current laws, as do those making $35,000 to $50,000 a year (51%). A full 71% of Republicans support enforcing immigration laws, with 21% in favor of changing them.
On the issue of “sanctuary cities,” 51% of Americans either “strongly oppose” (31%) or “somewhat oppose” (20%) policies that prohibit law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration laws. Even among those demographics that were more likely than average to favor sanctuary policies, the plurality still want federal immigration laws enforced. For example, although 41% of Hispanics favor sanctuary policies – 7% higher than the average respondent – 46% still oppose those policies.
HEALTHCARE CONFIDENCE: Adults are more than twice as likely to be confident in their state government’s ability to handle healthcare issues (44%) than the federal government’s (18%) – although a separate 27% of respondents volunteered “neither of the above.” Trust in the state government is highest among those under the age of 45 (48%) and lowest among blacks (24%).
Specifically addressing the issue of Obamacare, the Judicial Watch-Breitbart poll found that: Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with their own current healthcare, including 39% who are “strongly satisfied;” 44% of Americans recognize that their healthcare costs have increased rather than decreased (4%) since Obamacare became law; and a 54% majority disagreed (as opposed to 12% who agreed) that they will pay less if they join the government’s health insurance program.
Now, I realize that this is A LOT of data to take in. But this much is obvious – the Judicial Watch-Breitbart poll shows that the American people are thoroughly disenchanted with a government they see as corrupt and secretive. (I encourage you to review the underlying data of the poll, as there are all sorts of fascinating details that I don’t have the space to convey to you here.)
The support for the rule of law on immigration runs against the establishment narrative pretending there is overwhelming support for mass amnesty. On a host of issues – ranging from corruption to transparency, to election integrity, to Obamacare – President Obama is completely out of touch with the American people.
But it’s not just President Obama. This poll is troubling news for politicians of both stripes ignoring the American people, who tell anyone who will listen that they are sick and tired of crooked politicians. And on that subject, stay tuned next week for the release of JW’s eagerly anticipated “Washington’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2013.”
Now, as part of major end of year effort, many of you received a message from me yesterday asking for your support. Simply put, our government under this president is off the rails and out of control and this corruption must be confronted vigorously and immediately.
You will recall, President Obama promised to “fundamentally transform” America during his first presidential campaign. At the time, most Americans did not fully appreciate what he meant. We do now. The president is replacing the vision of our Founding Fathers of a country based on liberty, respect for God and the rule of law in favor of his vision of a leftist utopia – and he’s doing it with no regard for the U.S. Constitution that he promised to uphold or the principles that have made this the greatest nation on earth. And President Obama is just one man in a sea of corrupt officials and politicians here in Washington, DC.
Folks, not to put too fine a point on it, but JW is the only game in town when it comes to confronting public corruption and taking firm, concrete actions to expose and stop it. We face long odds. And we face an astronomical financial disadvantage.
Now, if you’ve been reading my Weekly Updates on a regular basis, you know that we have the talent and the drive to meet this challenge. But we could use your support. Please consider making a year-end tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts. I promise we will use these funds to do what we always do – fight every day to hold our government officials honest and accountable.
My best wishes to you and your family as we celebrate the coming new year.
Tom Fitton – President