Tag Archives: Obamacare

Current Event Cat of the Day: Between Two Ferns

Current EVent Cat - Between Two Ferns

President Barack Obama appeared on Zach Galifianakis’s mock talk show Between Two Ferns to promote the Affordable Healthcare Act website, but at least one political pundit doesn’t believe comedy should be used to promote Obamacare: Bill O’Reilly.

The heavily scripted Funny or Die video included interview questions about Obama’s legacy:

Galifianakis: “What does it feel like to be the last black president?”

Obama: “What’s it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?”

And a discussion about North Ikea:

Galifianakis: “So how does it work? Do you send Ambassador Rodman to North Korea on your behalf? I read somewhere that you’d be sending Hulk Hogan to Syria. Or is that a job more for Tanya Harding?”

Obama: “He’s not our ambassador.”

The Between Two Ferns video quickly went viral, but it wasn’t well received by everyone. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly blasted the mock interview, arguing that Abe Lincoln would NEVER do a Funny or Die video.

“The Affordable Care Act is dubious, to say the least, and using a comedic website to enroll people is a little bit desperate, don’t you think?” O’Reilly said. “I mean, I’m all for PR, and if [White House Spokesman Jay] Carney wanted to go on Funny or Die, fine. But the president of the United States? All I can tell you is, Abe Lincoln would not have done it.”

Well, that’s true considering the technology wasn’t quite up to speed in the 1860s, but Lincoln was actually a known prankster with a great sense of humour – so he totally would have done a Between Two Ferns style interview.

Although O’Reilly deemed the interview “demeaning” and “a farce”, he can’t argue about its effectiveness. A government health care spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon that 19,000 viewers of the Galifianakis video had already clicked through to visit Healthcare.gov.

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The Budget is Passed and Now Republicans Can Concentrate on Killing Obamacare

Budget Deal

Just in time for a nice, long holiday break, Congress put aside their differences, came to a budget compromise, and avoided another government shutdown.

The House passed a two-year bipartisan budget plan on Thursday night, their final task before the Christmas holidays. The Senate is still needs to pass the deal this week, but it looks like it will be smooth sailing. The new budget will reduce automatic spending cuts by $63 billion in the next two years and reduce the deficit by $23 billion. But most importantly, the bipartisan budget deal avoids another potential government shutdown – for two whole years!

The passing of the “meeting in the middle” budget seems to signal a shift for House Republicans away from the staunchly uncompromising attitudes that have given us multiple standoffs, threats of default and lingering government shutdowns.

But what sparked this sudden change in attitude? Was it the spirit of the season that prompted this compromise? Or was it something else? (It was something else)

On Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan defended the budget deal to avert further shutdown, saying that it would allow the Republican Party to “focus” on destroying President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

“I think we have to replace this law,” he insisted. “I believe we can have a system in this country where everybody has access to affordable health care, including people with preexisting conditions, without it costing a government takeover with more freedom.”

“We like the fact, for the economy, no shutdowns,” he said. “We also don’t want to have shutdown drama so we can focus on replacing Obamacare, so we can focus on showing better ideas than what this is coming.”

So first they caused a shutdown in an attempt to kill Obamacare, and now they’re avoiding a shutdown in an attempt to kill Obamacare. Makes sense. After all, according to Bob Rucho, a Republican senator from North Carolina, Obamacare is worse than Hilter and Stalin and bin Laden COMBINED.

“Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis, Soviets & terrorists combined,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Bob Rucho has been working tirelessly to kill Obamacare. He was the primary sponsor of a bill this year to prohibit North Carolina from setting up a health insurance exchange or participating in the Medicaid expansion, which has kept 377,000 North Carolinians from Medicaid coverage. And now with the new budget deal, Rucho will have plenty more time to work out his plan to kill Obamacare – unless the death panels get to him first.

Via: CBS News

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Fox Host: Obamacare is Worse than the Iraq War and Katrina

Martha MacCallum Katrina Obamacare

Fox News host Martha MacCallum made the insightful comment that Obamacare is more devastating than both Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War because it directly touches the lives of more people.

In a segment on America’s Newsroom, Martha MacCallum pointed out that unlike a hurricane which nearly obliterated an entire city and a war which took the lives of thousands of American soldiers and injured hundreds of thousands more, a glitchy health care website affects EVERYBODY.

“What I keep coming back to in all of this is unlike other issues — Katrina or the Iraq war — that we’ve seen in [President George W. Bush’s] second term, this is something that touches so many people’s lives across the country,” MacCallum said. “And you don’t know whether the president is going to be able to successfully dodge it.”

And while MacCallum’s guest, Fox News contributor Brit Hume, seems to agree, I’m not sure that the Iraq war and Obamacare are entirely comparable. No one died as a result of Obamacare (minus all those elderly people who were shot execution style by the death panels), whereas the war may have had its fair share of causalities.

But that’s not part of Fox’s logic: thousands of Americans needlessly dying in a war? No problem. Preventing people from needlessly dying by offering them affordable healthcare? Un-American!

Via: Raw Story

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Current Event Cat: Obama – Fix Obamacare!

Current Event Cat - Fix Obamacare

After Bill Clinton chided President Obama for making false promises to Americans about being able to keep their current healthcare plans, Obama has announced he is going to “fix” Obamacare and allow Americans to keep cancelled plans for one more year.

Earlier this week, Bill Clinton declared that Obama should keep his promise – even if it means changing the law.

“I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got,” Clinton said in the interview on Tuesday.

Apparently Obama was persuaded (either by Clinton or the millions of other angry Americans) because today the president spoke about his plans to fix the many issues with the Affordable Care Act. Obama first acknowledged the “rough” website rollout, which government officials and other contractors don’t believe will be fully functional by the Nov. 30 deadline.

We fumbled the roll out on this health care law,” he said. “There is no doubt that people are frustrated.”

But, while admitting that the website’s technical “glitches” have prevented a large number of Americans from signing up, Obama said that the 100,000 who did enroll online in the first month “shows that Americans want health care.” The total number of enrollees is pretty far below the 500,000 that were predicted to sign up and only represent 1.5 percent of the estimated number of Americans who need to sign up by the March 31 deadline – but at least they’ve made it past the 100,000 mark!

President Obama went on to address the growing number of complaints from people who were told they could not keep their current insurance plan because it does not meet the Affordable Care Act’s strict new requirements for policies – despite Obama’s reassuring Obamacare motto “if you like your health care, you can keep it!” To make up for that “glitch,” Obama is allowing insurance companies to extend individually purchased plans that would otherwise end in 2014.

“This fix won’t solve every problem for every person” but it will help many, the President said at the White House. “We are going to do everything we can to help Americans who’ve received these cancellation notices.”

But the main problem with the fix is that the onus is on the insurance company. The Obama administration isn’t requiring insurers to extend existing plans, they are just giving them the option to offer an additional year of coverage. And if there’s one thing I know about insurance companies, it’s that they’re huge dicks who will totally cancel your plan.

Via: BBC News

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3-D Guns Are Now A Thing… And Other News

3-D Gun

A Texas company says it has made the first metal gun using a 3-D printer, paving the way for rednecks everywhere to start creating their own firearms. Well this makes me feel very safe.

The Austin company, Solid Concepts, created almost all the parts of the 3-D gun via direct metal laser sintering – whatever that means. While some are concered over the emerging ability to build your own gun, I say c’mon, it’s Texas! You don’t need a 3-D printer – just buy a gun on the internet or take one from a gun show parking lot or find one in your cereal box. Mental patients and felons don’t have time to sit around and assemble a 3-D gun, let alone pay $20k for a 3-D printer – they’ve got places to go and people to kill! CNN

Polio in Syria 2Thanks a lot Syria! After polio made a surprise comeback in Syria after a 14-year absence, health experts are now worried that the disease could reemerge in Europe as refugees come flooding in. Martin Eichner, a professor at the University of Tuebingen, co-authored a letter to the medial journal The Lancet, warning that the vaccine used in the U.S. and Europe offers only partial protection against infection so the disease could enter Europe via unsuspecting refugees and cause an outbreak. The polio virus, which is spread through feces, has no cure – but heightened screening of sewage systems near refugee settlements could help reduce the outbreak. Or sealing off Europe’s borders. Either one. Bloomberg

Kerry and NetanyahuJohn Kerry is taking his sweet time putting together a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The Secretary of State arrived in Geneva on Friday to talk with Iranian representatives but stressed that no agreement has been reached on Iran’s nuke program and emphasized that the parties still have significant ground to cover. Under the current deal being floated, Iran would freeze expansion of its nuclear program in exchange for loosened economic sanctions. While the West is mulling it over, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already made up his mind: Iran is evil! Netanyahu said he “utterly rejected” the deal with its arch nemesis Iran and if it went through, it would be a “grievous historic error.”  So to sum up, he’s not a fan. BBC News

I'm SorryPresident Obama is sorry. He’s sorry the health care website is full of glitches, he’s sorry he falsely promised Americans that they could keep their health insurance plans, and he’s sorry about the backlash he’s getting because of it. “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News. Well you can stuff your sorries in a sack mister because despite repeated assurances that anyone who likes their health insurance plan could keep them under Obamacare, the administration has apparently known since the summer of 2010 that this was not the case and millions of Americans could lose their insurance under the law. “Obviously we didn’t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law,” Obama said in the interview Thursday. “And, you know, that’s something I regret.” No kidding. NBC News

Canada-Toronto MayorRob Ford needs a vacation and perhaps a little bit of counselling – according to his brother, Councilman Doug Ford, in what must be the understatement of the century. After admitting to smoking crack in a drunken stupor and watching a video of himself utter death threats in a drunken stupor, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is finally ready to potentially start considering the fact that he may have a bit of a drinking problem. Facing increasing pressure to resign, Ford is now considering entering rehab – and by rehab I mean a short vacation from drugs and booze. “If Rob goes away on a vacation, for a week or two weeks, Rob loses 50, 60 pounds, stays on the straight narrows, because he’s a good man … it’ll be tough to beat Rob Ford,” his brother said on Talk Radio 640. Losing 50-60lbs in a week or two without the help of crack? Good luck! The Globe and Mail

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New Trend: Killing Math Teachers… And Other News

Math Teacher Murder

Math teachers beware! One day after a 12-year-old boy from Nevada shot his math teacher, another 14-year-old boy from Massachusetts was charged in the murder of Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer.

Conclusion? Kids hate math. Philip Chism, the 14-year-old math hater, brought a box cutter to school which he then used to kill his 24-year-old teacher in a school bathroom before rolling her body outside in a recycling bin and leaving her in the woods. Chism denies the he murdered her, but the surveillance video says he totally did it. USA Today

Andy Lopez was shot dead by a Santa Rosa police officerWith all the prepubescent boys running around killing math teachers, police are bound to get one wrong – and they did. A 13-year-old boy was shot dead in California after sheriff’s deputies mistook the pellet gun he was carrying for an assault rifle. Andy Lopez of Santa Rosa was reportedly asked multiple times to drop the weapon but instead he moved the gun toward the deputies, who in turn fired off several rounds from their handguns. After they realized it was a young boy and the gun, which looked remarkably similar to an AK-47 assault rifle, was actually a pellet gun, they became significantly less trigger-happy. The unnamed deputies have been placed on administrative leave and Andy Lopez has been placed in a morgue. BBC News

mirrors in NorwayNorway has a new solution to winter darkness: giant mirrors! Three GIANT mirrors have been installed on a Norwegian mountainside in order to bring sunlight for the tiny town of Rjukan for the first time EVER during winter. The small town does not receive direct sunlight between September and March because the surrounding mountains block the sun’s rays. Sounds like a great location to start a town, Vikings. Anyways, that’s all in the past because the $825,000 mirrors will reflect the sun’s rays down into Rjukan’s main square, giving it sunlight throughout the day. In unrelated news, Rjukan is about to experience an alarming increase in bird deaths. Business Insider

niqab-woman-001Yemen seems like a fabulous place to live – unless you have a fear of being burned to death. A 35-year-old Yemeni father has been arrested after he burned his 15-year-old daughter to death for keeping in touch with her fiancé. Sounds like a reasonable reaction to catching your daughter talking on the phone to a boy. After all, in traditional tribal customs in some parts of Yemen, contact between men and women is forbidden until after marriage. As a result, many Yemenis try to marry off their daughters quite young before they can dishonor the fam. Eight, however, might be a little too young. Yemeni authorities are investigating the death of the eight-year-old girl in northern Yemen, who died from internal bleeding on her wedding night a month ago. I think I might know what caused the bleeding…. Reuters

obamacare-this-is-going-to-hurtObamacare: 0. Republicans: 1. After a government shutdown and a few dozen glitches on Healthcare.gov, the Obama administration has decided to extend the deadline requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance by six weeks. Before, individuals were expected to be insured by March 31 to avoid paying a penalty – which meant they would have to apply by February 15 so their application would get processed in time. Administration officials hope the delay will allow more time to fix the problems plaguing the sign-up website and Republicans hope the delay will last forever. Washington Post

Bistum Limburg weist neue Vorwuerfe gegen Tebartz-van Elst zurueckIf your nickname is the “Bling Bishop,” you probably need to spend some time in confession. The Vatican has indefinitely suspended German Catholic cleric, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, for leading a life of luxury. Dubbed the “Bling Bishop,” Elst reportedly spent $42 million renovating his residence, which didn’t sit too well with the modest style of frugal Pope Francis. It also didn’t sit well with ordinary Germans, who protested outside the bishop’s residence yelling stuff about how their taxes were squandered on Elst’s lavish lifestyle. AFP

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F*ck Obamacare, It’s Time To Get Brosurance!


Fearing the glitches on healthcare.gov may deter young Americans from signing up for Obamacare, Colorado has come up with a genius marketing ploy: brosurance.

Colorado’s sign up numbers on the new health care exchanges haven’t exactly been the greatest (only 226 people enrolled the first week – ouch), so the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education have launched a series of web ads in an attempt to boost enrollment. The ads, targeted toward youth, show bros having a good time – while also needing brosurance.

One ad reads: “Brosurance. Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered.”

Keg Brosurance

Another brosurance ad features two guys playing golf.

“Yo Mom, do I got insurance? My girlfriend broke my heart, so me and the bros went golfing,” the text reads. “Then my buddy broke my head. Good thing Mom made sure I got insurance.”

Golf Brosurance

Suddenly I want to defund Obamacare…

While keg stands and heartbreak are two ways of targeting young residents bros in Colorado, but what about Latino families, another demographic that tends to lack health insurance? Colorado’s got that covered too – with Mamacare!

The Latino targeted ad reads: “Mamacare. As a mom I want what’s best for her. When my baby is sick my first question is what’s my doctor’s number, not can I afford a doctor. I can afford that peace of mind thanks to my health insurance.”


As for those Coloradans (?) who don’t fall under Brosurance or Mamacare, well they just have to settle for plain old Obamacare. No wonder the enrollment numbers were so low.

For more information, visit www.doyougotinsurance.com, or just do what I did and scream at your computer screen, “IT SHOULD BE DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE!!! What kind of redneck frat boy Latino family come up with this url?!?!”

Via: CNN

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Obama Addresses Obamacare Glitches in Rose Garden Speech

Rose Garden Speech

President Obama held a Rose Garden press conference today to acknowledge the widespread technical issues that have been plaguing the Obamacare sign-up website. There’s nothing like a Rose Garden speech to smooth over technical difficulties!

The health care website has been experiencing a few/more than a few glitches since it launched on October 1 and now that the government shutdown has stopped dominating the news, attention has turned back to the website’s functionality problems.

Obama admitted that healthcare.gov “hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work” but that despite its problems, the site was still delivering affordable coverage.

Part of the problem has been the number of Americans eager to check it out. Since it’s launch, HealthCare.gov has had about 19 million unique visits and an estimated 476,000 have attempted to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“The number of people who’ve visited the site has been overwhelming, which has aggravated some of these underlying problems,” Obama said.

“There’s no sugar coating – the website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process, and I think it’s fair to say that nobody’s more frustrated by that than I am.

“And there’s no excuse for the problems,” he added, “and these problems are getting fixed.”

And how are they getting fixed? With computer geeks! The Department of Health and Human Services is seeking the “best and brightest” tech experts from both the public and private sector to work on HealthCare.gov.

But until that happens (which experts say may not be until December…), Obama brought along a few pals/”randomly” selected individuals to the Rose Garden conference who have successfully enrolled in the health care exchanges and LOVED it!

One model Obamacare example says she had “a number of frustrating attempts” to use the site but kept trying and now will save $150 a month and doesn’t have to worry about being rejected because of a pre-existing condition.

Republicans are still not convinced.

“ObamaCare is collapsing under its own weight, and a Rose Garden speech isn’t going to fix it,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Neither is shutting down the government, but it was worth a try – right?

Via: BBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Debt Ceiling Deadline

Current EVent Cat - Debt Deadline

It’s T-12 hours until the world implodes and it’s all in the capable hands of the Senate now. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are “apparently” close to finalizing a deal to reopen the government and avoid debt default ahead of the midnight Thursday deadline.

The U.S. Senate leaders are “optimistic” about scrounging together a bipartisan deal after negotiations failed to produce anything concrete on Tuesday night. But today is a new day and they will reconvene at noon to try again. There’s no pressure anyways – except from the calendar deadline, financial markets and public opinion polls.

Once the Senate a deal in place, the House will still need to vote on it and send it off for Obamapproval. While it’s not 100% finalized yet, their plan reportedly would extend the federal borrowing limit until February 7 and fund the government to mid-January, and would include relatively minor changes to Obama’s signature healthcare law, affectionately/angrily known as Obamacare.

The House itself, led by Speaker John Boehner, was unable to produce a bill of its own that would pass. But John Boehner still has one important task: he must muster up enough votes in the Republican-led House to pass the Senate bill before he midnight deadline. A daunting task given recent Tea Party antics…

Meanwhile, the Fitch credit rating agency is just itching to push the downgrade button on the U.S.’s AAA rating. And once that happens, the U.S government will… sue them for fraud? Implode? Cause the markets to crash? All three?

Via: CNN

Update: The Senate has reached a cross-party deal! Next stop: the House. Last Stop: Obama’s desk.


Current Event Cat of the Day: Rival Budget Plans

Current Event Cat - Rival Budgets

Because no one likes to work together, the two chambers of US Congress have been working separating to put together two rival budget plans to extend the debt limit and reopen the federal government.

The Democratic-dominated Senate spent all of Canadian Thanksgiving cursing Canada for giving them Ted Cruz and running a negotiation marathon. They are reportedly close to a deal but word on the street / common sense has it that the Republicans won’t be thrilled. The Senate measure would reopen the government through Jan. 15, thereby taking some of the pressure off the debt-ceiling crisis and its Oct 17 deadline. The Senate deal may also make a few concessions on the issue of Obamacare. The Senate proposal would invoke a two-year delay on a per-employee tax paid by companies and labour unions on workers’ healthcare plans.

“There are productive negotiations going on with the Republican leader,” Speaker Harry Reid said as he opened the Senate Tuesday. “I’m confident we’ll be able to reach a comprehensive agreement this week in time to avert a catastrophic default.”

However, Obama and the congressional Democrats have made it pretty clear that they are unwilling to negotiate changes to Obamacare… so we’ll see what happens there.

On the other side of the spectrum, House GOP leaders have crafted their own rival budget plan, which raises also the debt ceiling until January and (big surprise) modifies Obamacare. The counter plan involves suspending a new tax on medical devices used to pay for healthcare subsidies for two years.

But again, while the Republican’s rival budget plan is a far cry from the original assault on “Obamacare” that Tea Party enthusiasts demanded, Obama may not be willing to make any concessions on Obamacare.

Breaking Update: Obama just said no. The White House rejected the House’s proposal, labelling it an attempt to appease a small group of conservatives. Obama thought the Senate plan was ok though.

Luckily, Republicans have a backup plan to their rival budget plan: impeach Obama! At a Monday night Tea Party rally, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called for the president to be impeached. Dewhurst, who lost a Senate race to Ted Cruz, strongly believes Obama “should be held accountable for Washington’s failure to secure the border and the gross overreach of the federal government under Obamacare.” There’s only one small problem with this plan: disagreeing with a president’s policies or actions does not mean that they warrant impeachment. 

Via: BBC News & Current Event Cats