Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Almost 80 million with employer health care plans could have coverage canceled, experts predict

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted.

Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.

Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, “at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well.” There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, “the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act.”

Last week, an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, showed the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predicted up to 100 million small and large business policies could be canceled next year.

According to projections the administration itself issued back in July 2010, it was clear officials knew the impact of ObamaCare three years ago.

In fact, according to the Federal Register, its mid-range estimate was that by the end of 2014, 76 percent of small group plans would be cancelled, along with 55 percent of large employer plans.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Oregon healthcare exchange website never worked, has no subscribers

Oregon, a state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, is enduring one of the rockiest rollouts of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, with an inoperative online exchange that has yet to enroll a single subscriber, requiring thousands to apply on paper instead.

Unlike most other states, Oregon set an ambitious course to make its insurance exchange, dubbed Cover Oregon, an “all-in-one” website for every individual seeking health coverage, including those who are eligible for Medicaid.

But instead of serving as a national model, Oregon’s experience has emerged as a cautionary tale, inviting comparisons to technical glitches that have plagued other state-run portals and the federal government’s website for those states lacking exchanges of their own.

Oregon’s online exchange has remained inaccessible to the public, requiring the state to sign up applicants the old-fashioned way, using paper forms. This has made comparison shopping more difficult for consumers and severely slowed the enrollment process.

“Oregonians have questions,” said state Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, in a written statement on Tuesday. “What went wrong with the rollout? How are they going to fix it? When are they going to get it right? Is the website contractor doing everything it can? Our people need to know.”

Courtney urged state lawmakers to “ask the hard questions” of officials overseeing the state’s healthcare exchange, and the Oregon Health Authority, at a pair of legislative hearings on the program scheduled for Wednesday.

With its online insurance marketplace out of commission and unavailable to the public indefinitely, the state has resorted to urging would-be subscribers to fill out applications that are between nine and 19 pages long by hand, said Michael Cox, a spokesman for Cover Oregon.

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TSA Spent $878 Million on Screening Program That Probably Doesn’t Work

The Transportation Security Administration has spent almost $900 million dollars since 2007 on a program to scan crowds for signs that someone is a terrorist. The Government Accountability Office reviewed the program. Their finding: Congress ought to shut it down, because there’s no evidence that the tactic works.

The Washington Post reports:

Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.), the top-ranking Democrat on the Committee on Homeland Security, said the GAO report confirmed that the program “is fundamentally flawed, cannot be proven effective, and should no longer be funded with taxpayer dollars.” The TSA defended the program Wednesday.

“Behavior detection is vital to TSA’s layered approach to deter, detect, and disrupt individuals who pose a threat to aviation,” the TSA said in statement responding to the report. “Looking for suspicious behavior is a common sense approach used by law enforcement and security personnel across the country and the world.”

The Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program employs 2,800 TSA personnel.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NUMBERS FABRICATED JUST BEFORE LAST YEAR’S ELECTION?

Just before last year’s election some odd numbers floated out of the USBLS. Strikingly, just weeks before the election, unemployment slid from 8.1% to 7.8%. Many economists and CEOs said, “No way. It’s just not true.” Those who attacked the numbers were immediately labeled racist, conspiracy theorists who just wanted the president to lose reelection.

Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO, was particularly outspoken about the numbers. Welch took to Twitter, “Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers.” The Obama administration immediately attacked back by calling Welch’s claims, “Ridiculous.”

According to a report by the NY Post, a Census employee was told to fabricate information by his superiors. The report added that the issue continues to this day.

The report also says that the situation escalated right before President Obama’s reelection. By fabricating the numbers, the Obama Administration manipulated a brand new unemployment rate.

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Healthcare.gov ‘may already have been compromised,’ security expert says

Not only is healthcare.gov at risk, it may already have been compromised, a security expert testified before the Senate.

“Hackers are definitely after it,” said David Kennedy, CEO of information security firm TrustedSEC before a House Science, Space, and Technology committee hearing on security concerns surrounding the problematic Healthcare.gov website.

“And if I had to guess, based on what I can see … I would say the website is either hacked already or will be soon.”

Kennedy told FoxNews.com he based this on an analysis revealing a large number of SQL injection attacks against the healthcare.gov website, which are indicative of “a large amount” of hacking attempts.

“Based on the exposures that I identified, and many that I haven’t published due to the criticality of exposures – if a hacker wanted access to the site or sensitive information – they could get it,” he told FoxNews.com.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the nation’s new healthcare website, did not immediately respond to a request to for more information.

One key problem facing Healthcare.gov is that security wasn’t built into the site from the very beginning, he said — an opinion shared by both Kennedy and Fred Chang, the distinguished chair in cyber security at Southern Methodist University.

“There’s not a lot of security built into the site, at least that’s what we can see from a 10,000 foot view,” Kennedy told the committee. And although the site doesn’t house medical records, it integrates deeply with other sites, includes ecommerce information, and houses a vast array of data that presents a very salient target.

[Read More…]