LIBRE: Survey: Employer-Provided Health Care Getting More Expensive

Libre Initiative

73 Percent Shifting to High-Deductible Plans

(Washington, D.C.) – A survey of employers who offer health care to their workers finds that moderate increases in premiums are expected next year, with a large majority planning to shift to less expensive plans that offer less coverage in the years ahead. The survey of 1,700 employers was conducted by Mercer, and it indicates that employers expect a 3.9 percent increase in premiums for their workers in 2015. Many say that they will hold premium increases down by managing worker schedules to keep them below 30 hours worked each week. Furthermore, 73 percent say that within 3 years they will offer a “Consumer directed health plan” which features lower premiums for the employee, but also has high deductibles. One-fifth say this will be the only plan they offer. Mercer concludes that “health reform is clearly accelerating” the trend toward these high-deductible plans.

Daniel Garza , Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

“There have been a lot of promises made by supporters of the new health care law: lower premiums, lower deficits, better choices, and a guarantee that people could keep coverage that they liked. None of this has come to pass and now in 2015, Americans will face a heftier Obamacare penalty if they cannot afford health care.

After the disastrous rollout of the new law, supporters promised to fix it. But a year later, there are no fixes and the problems are growing worse. Now it’s becoming clear that more and more workers will be forced out of plans they may like and left with few options. All the while, their out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, either on premiums or deductibles. And all we have are more broken promises from the people entrusted with fixing it.”

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The LIBRE Initiative is a non-partisan, non-profit, national grassroots organization dedicated to informing the U.S. Hispanic community about the benefits of a constitutionally limited government, property rights, rule of law, sound money supply and free enterprise through a variety of community events, research and policy initiatives. Latinos have been disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn suffering from higher levels of unemployment and poverty. Our aim is to equip the Hispanic community with the tools they need to be prosperous. Connect with us on Facebook at The LIBRE Initiative and @LIBREInitiative on Twitter. Visit: www.thelibreinitiative.com

Obamacare’s Effect on the Middle Class: Insult to Injury

A brief rant to complain about the Democrat’s Obamacare.

My middle class family cannot afford health insurance. Simply put, the premiums are too high, the deductibles have exploded and the coverage and access to doctors has gone down.

Obamacare2When President Obama said health insurance would improve, he lied. His biggest advocate here in Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, lied.

Now my family has no coverage. We make too much money to qualify for the Medicaid expansion and we make too little money to pay the high monthly premiums – even with the subsidies!

Not only that, the new healthcare system requires individuals to give access to your bank account as a monthly debit – something I refuse to do.

I imagine there are millions of Americans who also signed up for the automatic monthly debits. When that monthly payment takes place, they better have the money in the bank or they’ll probably get hit with bank fees.

Next year when I do my taxes, I’m going to be penalized for not being able to afford health insurance. The IRS will penalize me for not signing up by reducing my tax refund (if I get one) – insult to injury!

America’s health insurance market has been made worse, far worse. Like public education, health care has been dumbed down. Middle class Americans are worse off now thanks to Democrats and President Obama.

If you’re like me, you know that elections have consequences. If you’re like me, you’ll focus your anger on the ballot box this November.

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Arizona Voters Can Thank Kyrsten Sinema for their Children’s Loss of Health Insurance Under Obamacare

Wendy Rogers

(PHOENIX, AZ) Wendy Rogers has released the following statement criticizing Kyrsten Sinema’s record on Obamacare.

“Kyrsten Sinema has been a longtime advocate of universal healthcare.  She readily admits having authored parts of Obamacare.  She routinely misled the people of Arizona by parroting the Obama administration’s talking points, to include the lie ‘if you like your doctor (or insurance plan), you can keep it.’[1]  In 2009 before the vote on Obamacare, as a cheerleader for the Obama administration, Sinema perpetuated this lie to countless audiences while barnstorming across Arizona.[2] Since then, however, thousands of Arizonans are suffering from the lie since they’ve now lost their insurance or their doctors from before the law was passed,” said Rogers.

“In a recent interview with The Arizona Republic, Robert Meyer, the CEO of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said that 20 children are coming to his facility every day only to find that Phoenix Children’s Hospital is NOT covered by their insurance because of Obamacare.  Previously, they may have had coverage which included Phoenix Children’s Hospital, but since Obamacare brought about the creation of ‘narrow network’ plans, now their choices are drastically reduced to only a select few facilities.  Parents are left with a stark choice – either take their loved one somewhere unfamiliar or try to argue with their insurance company to receive out-of-network coverage for their sick child, something which Meyer notes ‘causes tremendous anxiety for the parents and families that are going through major crisis.’”[3]

“Despite these terrible flaws, Kyrsten Sinema refuses to back down.  Regardless, she voted against the repeal of Obamacare saying ‘the fundamentals of [the program] are good,’[4]  . . . in the face of all the contrary evidence.  At the very least, Kyrsten Sinema should go on record to say she was wrong for supporting Obamacare and spreading the Obama administration’s lie to Arizonans.  Obamacare hurts families.  I’m a mother – – it pains me deeply to see bad government policy continue to hurt children.  Obamacare is wrong for our nation, and Kyrsten Sinema should be ashamed for supporting it.”

Democrats prepare for damage control over Obamacare premiums

Interesting article recently in Politico that details how Democrats are preparing their talking points on the premium shock about to hit the healthcare market – right before the mid-term elections.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Arizona’s 1st, 2nd and 9th congressional districts where Democrats are seated and being challenged by Republican challengers. (My prediction is Tobin, McSally and Rogers will win Tuesday.)

Here’s the article written by Edward-Isaac Dovere.

Obamacare’s next threat: A September surprise

Obamacare open enrollment closed March 31. The White House’s Obamacare war room did not.

Most state health insurance rates for 2015 are scheduled to be approved by early fall, and most are likely to rise, timing that couldn’t be worse for Democrats already on defense in the midterms.

The White House and its allies know they’ve been beaten in every previous round of Obamacare messaging, never more devastatingly than in 2010. And they know the results this November could hinge in large part on whether that happens again.

So they’re trying to avoid — or at least, get ahead of — any September surprise.

Aware that state insurance rate hikes could give Republicans a chance to resurrect Obamacare as a political liability just weeks before the midterms, the White House’s internal health care enrollment outreach apparatus immediately redirected into a rapid-response, blocking-and-tackling research and press operation geared toward preempting GOP attacks on the issue.

In what aides say is a sign of a changed approach within the White House — but also heightened concerns around the midterms — they’re even coordinating with Hill Democrats, funneling localized background analysis and talking points to each state’s delegation through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. They’ve also relied on California Rep. Henry Waxman’s staff at the Energy and Commerce Committee to produce rebuttal reports, often in advance, on GOP claims about insurance.

“One of the lessons we’ve learned in implementing health care is to stay on it,” said Tara McGuinness, the White House senior communications adviser who has been spearheading the effort for the West Wing, reflecting on previous run-ins. “We are not going to let anyone distort the debate.”

(continue reading)

Scott Smith Supports Obamacare Expansion

From the 60 Plus Association

Scott Smith supports the Obamacare expansion which will cost Arizonans hundreds of millions of dollars.

Say NO to Scott Smith

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Bob Worsley Voted For Obamacare Medicaid And Lied To Me

We’re seeing a lot of ads supporting Bob Worsley in his re-election bid to the Arizona State Senate. The last campaign finance report shows that Senator Worsley had over $180,000 of cash on hand (the job pays $24,000/year). Those ads will continue to run covering up his record supporting Obamacare and the MILLIONS of taxes and costs it will require to keep Obamacare Medicaid running here in Arizona.

Because no one can compete with the kind of money being spent on a simple legislative race, I felt compelled to make my own political ad and post it here on Sonoran Alliance. While Bob Worsley rakes in tens of thousands of dollars from bundlers in the healthcare industrial complex and the chamber of commerce, all I have is my handheld camera and a blog.

Here is my very own “selfercial” explaining why I am voting against Bob Worsley for Arizona State Senate.

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For more information, please visit www.ObamacareBobWorsley.com.

I wrote this ad and I paid for it.

 

Pro-Life Voter Warning on “Republican” Primary Candidates

Prior to an election I always like to vet candidates on a number of issues including life, liberty and other rights enshrined in our Constitution. The sanctity of life – protecting innocent human life – has always been the top issue for me because if a candidate or elected officials waffles on life, it reveals where they stand on all other rights.

Part of my vetting process looks at whether or not the candidate filled out certain surveys, their answers, public statements, their involvement on the issues and even who is pushing for their election. I also look at who is donating to their campaign and what people and organizations who are opposed to my values are saying about the candidates.

Because of my involvement in the Pro-Life movement for many years, naturally I look at who Planned Parenthood or other high profile pro-abortion organizations and individuals have said about certain candidates. By looking at the donations of “true believers” in a cause, one should get a sense of the value system of the recipient. It would be akin to looking at the donations of Wayne LaPierre. You wouldn’t expect him to donate to an anti-2nd Amendment candidate.

One particular organization and its people I’ve looked at is the Arizona WISH list. WISH stands for Women In the Senate and House. Their fundamental goal has always been to elect “pro-choice” Republican women as the GOP version of EMILY’s list (the Democrats pro-abortion women’s group).

On their national board of directors sat an Arizonan named Deborah Carstens. Although it doesn’t appear that AZ WISH is active or that she currently serves on the national board of directors, Carstens continues to remain active in elections through her donations primarily to candidates who have declared themselves to be “pro-choice” or refuse to state their position on the sanctity of life. These have typically been Republican candidates who define themselves as more moderate but tend to vote liberal on social issues.

Because I have my suspicions on a handful of candidates, I decided to check out a few resources to clarify their positions and to see if Carstens had donated to their campaigns.

Here’s what I found:

Scott Smith was the only gubernatorial candidate to receive a donation from Carstens in the amount of $500. Scott Smith also took the most liberal position on abortion of all the GOP candidates (survey)

Michele Reagan has received a total of $1,250 from Carstens as the only Republican candidate for Secretary of State. Reagan also avoided answering questions on the Center for Arizona Policy voter guide.

Carsten also donated $160 to Terry Goddard, the Democrat running for Secretary of State and $250 to Felecia Rotellini the Democrat candidate for Attorney General. Neither Democrat responded to the Center for Arizona Policy questionnaire – which is very typical of Democrat candidates.

When it comes to state legislative races, Carstens has donated to Republican incumbents and challengers.

In LD-11, Jo Grant received $150 from Carstens in her house race. On CAP’s survey, Grant to answer the question on abortion.

Diane Landis running for House in conservative district 13, also received a donation of $100 from Carstens. Surprisingly, Landis did answer the question on CAP’s survey.

No surprise, Heather Carter pocketed $500 from Carstens in her re-election bid in LD-15. Carter dodged filling out the CAP survey altogether.

Effie Carlson received $100 as a challenger in the LD-23 house race. Carlson did respond to the CAP survey but with qualifiers.

Finally, Kate Brophy-McGee in LD-28 took at $270 donation from Carstens in her house re-election race. Brophy-McGee also evaded the CAP survey.

Another quick check for pro-life endorsements revealed that none of these candidates were endorsed by the Arizona Right to Life PAC.

One interesting pattern among the incumbents who are running for re-election is that they also supported the Obamacare Medicaid expansion vote in 2013. And one may recall that an amendment was attempted on that bill that would have prohibited tax dollars from going to abortion providers. That amendment failed thanks to these incumbents – Carter, Coleman & Brophy-McGee (see vote).

For those of you who remain committed to electing candidates who will protect innocent human life, hopefully this has been informative and an exercise in how to cross-reference candidates and their supporters. Please use this information wisely as you vote in the Primary Election.

Bob Worsley Backed by Health Care Industrial Complex

The latest campaign mailer from Bob Worsley is a classic example  of  political quid pro quo. Those Republicans following the contest for the state senate in LD-25 probably received Worsley’s mailer in the last day touting the support of the healthcare industrial complex.

Let me explain.

Last year during the debate on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, a minority of Republican legislators abandoned principle and joined with every Democrat in the Arizona Legislature to pass the federal program. Despite weeks of warnings and citizen lobbying, this cadre of Republicans were promised “protection” and big dollars by the Governor and the healthcare industrial complex.

Well, the time to deliver is now.

Worsley’s piece shows him surrounded by medical professionals (which we don’t have a problem with). But what is very revealing is a quote by Peter S. Fine (see below).

Bob Worsley Mailer

Fine is the President and CEO of Banner Health. With the passage of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, access to the billions of dollars in taxpayer dollars was granted to Arizona hospitals. Part of that legislation also included giving the head of AHCCCS authority to establish a bed tax for Arizona hospitals. This is all part of the Medicaid funding scam that the State of Arizona works out with the federal government and Arizona hospitals. Here’s a video to explain how the scam works:

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Let’s just say that Arizona hospitals such as Banner have a lot to gain by the new Obamacare Medicaid expansion here in Arizona.

Is it any wonder then that the President and CEO of Banner Health Care would be lending his support to Bob Worsley?

That’s how corporate cronyism works here in Arizona.

New Website! Exposing the Obamacare Republicans!

Obamacare Republicans

The ObamacareRepublicans.com website is officially up!

Find out which Republicans voted for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and still support forcing Obamacare on all Arizonans.

And please donate to the effort to get the message out!

Did Heather Carter Vote to Raise our Taxes?

By Jose Borajero

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

Shortly, the Arizona Supreme Court will be ruling on whether the Medicaid tax imposed by the Democrats, aided and abetted by Representative Heather Carter and eight other Republicans in the House of Representatives is really a tax or something else, like a fee. The only question that will be resolved by the court is whether that move was legal or not. It will not determine whether it was good or bad. We all know that the mere fact something is legal does not automatically make it good, or desirable.

Whether we call it a tax, or something else, like a fee, an assessment, a contribution, an investment, or any of a myriad euphemistic terms that big government advocates use to disguise taxes, the fact remains that Heather Carter voted for bills that increase the amount of money that moves from the pockets of the taxpayers to the pockets of the government.

That fact is reflected in the results of the legislator evaluations done by three conservative leaning organizations.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP): This organization routinely keeps track of how legislators vote on issues having to do with economic matters, like taxation, spending, education, etc. (scorecard)

Goldwater Institute: These folks evaluate legislator performance across a wide variety of subjects, including tax & budget, education, constitutional government, and regulation.

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): This is a watchdog group for small businesses, which account for the vast majority of jobs in this country. They evaluate legislators on whether or not their votes enhance small businesses ability to operate in free and open market. (scorecard)

Currently in Arizona, we have 17 Republicans in the Senate and 36 Republicans in the House of Representatives, for a total of 43 Republican legislators. Let us see how Heather Carter was scored by all three organizations.

ORGANIZATION SCORE RANK
Americans for Prosperity – 48%  or 39th out of 43
Goldwater Institute – 61% or 35th out of 43
National Federation of Independent Businesses – 75% or 43rd out of 43

Conclusion: Heather Carter is a friend of Big Government and an enemy of the tax payer. People should keep that in mind when deciding whether to vote for her or for her challenger(s).