Then Rutherford in South Beloit, and La Salle.
This race is going to come down to Rutherford's relentless retail politics vs Rauners clever big buck ads.
Don't count Rutherford out.
The head of Minnesota's health insurance marketplace resigned Tuesday after facing criticism over the troubled rollout and a questionably timed vacation in Costa Rica.
April Todd-Malmlov submitted her resignation during an emergency closed session of the government board of MNsure, Minnesota's version of the insurance exchange that's tied to the federal health care overhaul. She had been under increasing pressure over insurance sign-up problems and failed to get a vote of confidence from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last week.
A top official from the Minnesota Department of Human Services will be the new leader at MNsure.
Assistant Commissioner for Health Care Scott Leitz will serve as the interim executive director for MNsure until the agency can find a permanent replacement for Todd-Malmlov.
MNsure's technological problems coincided with ongoing political fallout from Todd-Malmlov's decision to go on a two week international vacation at the end of November with her partner, James Golden -- the state Medicaid director, who has been working on the rollout of MNsure.
Probably smarter to have just stayed on the beach in the sun with that partner than face families now without Health Insurance in a bleak Minnesota winter.
"Insurers privately tell Bob Laszewski that they think more people will have lost insurance by January 1 than the number who have signed up for Obamacare by January1.
"'I was out making some client calls this week with a number of different carriers and they know exactly how many policies they canceled and how many who reupped. And they know how many people have come in through the exchange,' says Laszewski. 'And I didn't find one of them who thought they were going to be net ahead on January 1. They all think they're going to net behind on January 1. That's where it's trending so far.'
"So far, at least 4.8 million Americans have received insurance cancellations notices, but Laszewski predicts that the total Obamacare enrollment will be less than half that number on January 1.
"'My guess is that we'll have somewhere around a million and a half people signed up for Obamacare on January 1 in the states and in healthcare.gov,' he says. The big question then, he adds, is 'why have we gone through this whole dislocation of the American health insurance system if only a million and a half to two million buy health insurance?'"
Maybe we’ll make up some of the gap with Medicaid. But at the current pace of enrollment, it would be a big hurdle to make up all the losses. Which means that we may well start the year with fewer people insured than we had in January 2013. There’s reason to think that that may be what the administration is seeing in the latest enrollment numbers.
.....asking insurers to pay claims for consumers who haven't paid their premiums, to treat out-of-network doctors and hospitals as though they were in-network, and to pay for prescription drugs not actually covered by the plans they offer.
The move also puts HHS in the position of playing the role central manager of the American health-care system—telling private insurers to do various things that have nothing in particular to do with the law, as though they work for the government. It is an eerie prefiguration of where the administration would like to get with this system, but it's also surely something they didn't want to be doing so publicly at this stage.
Via Modern Healthcare,
About 365,000 people have bought insurance through an insurance exchange in the first two months that the marketplaces were operational. That number—far below projections—may increase, but Fitch is still "somewhat suspect" that the coverage expansion will mean greater profitability, LeBuhn said.
He added that the majority of plans expected to be sold will be "silver" or "bronze" plans—which means they'll have significant cost sharing, which could lead to increased bad debt for providers.
Moody's Investors Service last month also affirmed a negative outlook on the not-for-profit healthcare sector, for the sixth straight year.
Rating agencies tossing sand in the eyes of the Healthcare System Engineers behind the Affordable Care Act. Engineers who thought more coverage would bring more profitability. Instead the risk falls on the patient and the bad debt will fall on the Hospitals and Providers.
Gay marriage activist Stephen Bona says the messages he left on State Rep. Jeanne Ives' (photo right) voice mail this past March weren't really threats, and believes the charges against him should be dropped. The first voice mail Ives reported to Wheaton Police said:
Your Tea Party brethren Sarah Palin put up a map that included the names, locations, and faces of Democratic candidates and put them in the cross hairs of a gun...perhaps we should do the same for you. We know where you live. There's no longer a ban on assault weapons. Think about that before you speak next time, (expletive).
Bona doesn't say he's sorry. He doesn't express remorse. He just wants us to think he didn't mean what he said. Can't do the time Bona, don't do the crime. He ought to get the book tossed at him.
But amid the rush to enroll as many people as possible by the Dec. 23 deadline , there's a huge caveat that isn't getting much public attention: For coverage to take effect on Jan. 1, enrollees must pay their first month's premium on time. (The deadline varies somewhat by state and by insurer.)
That's slow going, according to consultants and some insurers, raising the prospect that actual enrollment will be far lower than the figures HHS is releasing.
Zeke's a piece of work
The California health exchange says it's been giving the names of tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage.
The consumers in question had gone online to research insurance options but didn't ask to be contacted, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
Officials with Covered California, the exchange set up in response to the federal health law, said they began providing names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses if available this week in a pilot program. They said they thought it would help people meet a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance in place by Jan. 1.
The state doesn't know exactly how many people are affected by the information sharing. Social Security numbers, income and other information were not provided to the agents, exchange officials said.
Rauner, by the way, was on Roe Conn's show yesterday and claimed he's been meeting with AFSCME members and teachers…
"Many of them are supporting our campaign."You gotta wonder what his definition of "many" is.
Listen to the interview…
H/T Illinois Review... Jeanne Ives gets a whoa out of Speaker Madigan when she points out Illinois's Pension "Reform" plan allows the legislature to take back employee 401k plans at will.
Obamacare's Value Based Purchasing penalizes Hospitals serving the poor and indigent much harder than others. So just as Obamacare is steering Americans into Medicaid programs, it's also putting more financial pressure on institutions serving the poor.
Here's New York World on the toll Obamacare's taking in New York City,
The pain will also be felt acutely in the city's public hospitals, all but one of which was penalized. Last year, according to the New York City Independent Budget Office, New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation's facilities anticipated $777 million in Medicare revenue for 2013. Collectively, their penalties could cost the city millions of dollars in federal funds.
Brooklyn's hospitals also fared poorly: 10 out of the 13 institutions there will see reduced Medicare payments.
We like to think that being "smart and competent" makes you less likely to make mistakes. But when you're out of your element, it may merely enable you to make more -- and larger -- mistakes.
--Megan McArdle in Obamacare Is No Starship Enterprise
Via RFF/RL... Socialism as the first stage towards Communism.
Eighty years ago, in 1932-33, Soviet authorities took all the grain from Ukrainian villagers and left them with nothing. More than 3 million people died in the resulting famine. The tragedy, known as Holodomor, became a defining moment in Ukrainian history. Some of the survivors in the village of Targan, south of Kyiv, where 360 of 900 households died of starvation, spoke to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service for this report, originally broadcast in 2011.
Sullivan and Cullerton described the differences between their Senate districts to the QU students. Sullivan has the largest geographic district in the state Senate with about 600,000 square miles in it. Cullerton's district is one of the smallest, with about eight square miles, including Wrigley Field.
Both men have about 220,000 residents in their districts.
Cullerton said Sullivan's district also is different because people in Western Illinois usually know their local lawmakers. He said Chicago area lawmakers often are not well recognized because constituents often look more to the Chicago mayor and City Council or to members of Congress.
Cullerton praised Western Illinois for its low unemployment rates and the way the Tri-State Development Summit has fostered cooperation and partnership on projects across state lines from Western Illinois, to Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa.
A prominent leader of a state-based think tank and a Republican gubernatorial candidate both will speak at the next meeting of the Bureau-La Salle Tea Party at the Elks Lodge, 800 E. Walnut St., Oglesby, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.
John Tillman, founder and CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute — one of the nation's most prominent political think tanks— and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner are scheduled to appear.
Organizer Art Havenhill said, as head of the Illinois Policy Institute, Tillman has transformed what many wrote off as a solidly Democrat state into a place ripe for free market reform.
- Jobs: Bruce will make improving Illinois' business climate his top priority. He will: Get rid of the Quinn-Madigan tax hikes and replace them with an overhaul of the tax code. Create Right-to-Work zones, allowing localities to decide whether workers must join a union. He wants to enact tort reform and limit lawsuit abuse. Reform the workers' compensation system to make Illinois competitive with neighboring states.
- Reform state government: Allow state workers to choose whether they want to join a government employees union. Control spending, because bigger government means more corruption. Cap the current pension system and move towards a defined contribution system.
- Improve education: Rauner believes students deserve the nation's best schools. To achieve that goal, he will reward the best performing teachers and hold poor performing teachers accountable.
- Term limits: Rauner believes too many state officeholders seem more interested in building a political career than serving voters. Bruce will fight for term limits to eliminate the entrenched power structure in Springfield.
Havenhill asked participants to come prepared with questions for both speakers to hear their ideas as to "how the sad situation of our state can be solved."
According to notifications received by DOI, approximately 185,340 people in Illinois have been advised by insurers so far in 2013 that their coverage has been cancelled or terminated. DOI's most recent data indicate that more than 476,000 Illinois residents were insured by private individual policies in 2012.
So Obamacare's pulled coverage out from under about 38% of Illinoisians who relied on private individual policies.
H/T Illinois Review ... Times change and so do the winds. Durbin's gonna regret this flip flop sooner rather than later.
Via The Blaze The Sys isn't even half finished.....
H/T Illinois Review
Below Via WaPo. It's a great insight into the mindset of this administration and the contempt they hold for ordinary Americans and our concerns.
On Friday, Duncan spoke in Richmond, Va., about the growing opposition to Common Core and their implementation in states around the country before a meeting of the Council of Chief State Schools Officers Organization. Education Department communications chief Massie Ritsch said in an e-mail that he does not believe that there is a full transcript of Duncan's remarks, but he referred to the following write-up from Politico's Libby Nelson, who was at the event:
Education Secretary Arne Duncan told an audience of state superintendents this afternoon that the Education Department and other Common Core supporters didn't fully anticipate the effect the standards would have once implemented.
"It's fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that's pretty scary," Duncan said. "You've bet your house and where you live and everything on, 'My child's going to be prepared.' That can be a punch in the gut."
Overcoming that will require communicating to parents that competition is now global, not local, he said.
How 'bout some facts to back up your arguments Prof Duncan?
Fewer than 27,000 people have signed up for insurance coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov website in the six weeks since its problem-plagued rollout. That works out to an average of roughly 750 enrollees in each of the 36 states that are utilizing the online marketplace built by the federal government.
Nationally, just over 106,000 individuals signed up for coverage through the exchanges. But roughly three quarters of those enrollees came through the state-run exchanges in 14 states and the District of Columbia, which typically have experienced fewer technological problems. California had the highest number of enrollments, with just over 35,000.
According To People Familiar With The Enrollment Figures, Only 50,000 People Enrolled In Health Insurance Plans Through The ObamaCare Website. "Initial reports suggest that fewer than 50,000 people successfully navigated the troubled federal health-care website to enroll in private health insurance plans as of last week, two people familiar with the matter said Monday." (Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky, "HealthCare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short Of Target," The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/13)
A Separate Report Found That Only "About 50,000 Have Signed Up For Medicaid And Private Plans" Through State Exchanges, Representing "Just 3 Percent Of The Total Number Expected To Buy ObamaCare Coverage In Those States." "The report came after consulting firm Avalere Health reported that about 50,000 people have signed up for Medicaid and private plans through 12 state-run exchanges. The number represents just 3 percent of the total number expected to buy ObamaCare coverage in those states. The findings shed light on how many enrollees the administration could announce when it releases its own data this week." (Jonathan Easley and Elise Viebeck, "Overnight Health: Lackluster Sign-Up Reports For Obamacare," The Hill, 11/11/13)
"The Early Tally Falls Far Short Of Internal Goals Set By President Barack Obama's Administration" Of 500,000 Enrollees In October Alone. "The early tally falls far short of internal goals set by President Barack Obama's administration in the months leading up to the opening of the HealthCare.gov site Oct. 1, and the low number has worried health insurers that are counting on higher turnout. … The administration had estimated that nearly 500,000 people would enroll in October, according to internal memos cited last week by Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.). An estimated seven million were expected to gain private coverage by the end of March, when the open-enrollment period is set to end." (Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky, "HealthCare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short Of Target," The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/13)
15 Million Americans Could Lose Their Plan. "But in a nation of more than 300 million, 5 percent is a big number — about 15 million people." ("ObamaCare Finally Gets Real For Americans: At Least 3.5 Million Health Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/4/13)
66,000 Tennesseans Were Recently Informed That They Will Have To Choose A New Health Care Plan Because Of New ObamaCare Mandates. "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, the largest underwriter of individual health plans in the state, plans to send about 66,000 letters to consumers over the next year informing them that they will have to choose another policy. Other insurers are doing the same thing. The changes are necessary because of the Affordable Care Act's minimum requirements. The federal health law dictates that plans must provide a certain level of coverage for 10 essential health benefits, ranging from the birth of a baby to rehabilitative services. It also ended yearly and lifetime monetary limits on coverage — which was a standard element of most health insurance policies." (Tom Wilemon, "BlueCross BlueShield Customers Must Pick New Plan," The Tennessean, 11/11/13)
ObamaCare Is Forcing 5,300 Delaware Residents From Their Health Care Plan. "About 5,300 Delaware residents will lose the health insurance policies they have now under Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware because of changes required by the Affordable Care Act, the company's spokesman said Friday afternoon." (Beth Miller, "Cancellation Notices Hit 5,300 Del. Insured," The News Journal, 11/9/13)
Richmond Times Dispatch Headline: "Health Policy Cancellations Hit Virginia." (Tammie Smith, "Health Policy Cancellations Hit Virginia," Richmond Times Dispatch, 11/9/13)
Nearly 36,000 North Dakotans Will Lose Their Health Care Plan Due To ObamaCare. "North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm says nearly 36,000 people in the state will have their policies canceled under President Barack Obama's health care law. Individual health insurance policies are being canceled for millions of people nationwide who buy individual insurance policies as federal health care reform requires plans to cover certain benefits. Policies are being discontinued because they don't meet the higher benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act." ("Nearly 36K Losing Health Care Coverage In ND," The Associated Press, 11/8/13)
According To Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, 92,739 People Will Be Kicked Off Of Their Insurance Due To ObamaCare. "His policy is among the 92,793 individual insurance plans that Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon reported would be discontinued because the coverage does not meet the coverage standards set by the federal Affordable Care Act." (Michelle Millhollon and Jordan Blum, "Business Owners Complain About Health Plan Changes," The Advocate, 11/7/13)
"Nearly 250,000 Coloradans Are Learning From Their Insurers This Fall That Their Existing Health Coverage Is Being Canceled, Many As A Result Of The Affordable Care Act." "Nearly 250,000 Coloradans are learning from their insurers this fall that their existing health coverage is being canceled, many as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the state insurance division said Wednesday. The Colorado Division of Insurance responded to reporters' queries to tally up the canceled policy notices, which are being issued to customers with 2013 health insurance in place. The division said some of the cancellations are because of the controversial Affordable Care Act provision that all 2014 policies meet minimum standards; other cancellations are simply insurance companies making business decisions, division officials added." (Michael Booth, "Nearly 250,000 Colorado Health Policies Canceled, Many From Obamacare," The Denver Post, 11/6/13)
22,000 New Hampshirites Have Been Notified That They Will Lose Their Current Health Plan Due To ObamaCare. "Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield NH informed about 22,000 of its 30,000 individual health insurance holders their current policies will be discontinued at the end of the year because they will not comply with Affordable Care Act requirements beginning Jan. 1. Speaking to the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee Tuesday, Paula Rogers, director of government relations for Anthem NH, said the letters were sent to all individual policy holders who were not grandfathered by having policies before the ACA passed in March 2010." (Gary Rayno, "Anthem: 22,000 were told their health insurance would be cancelled in NH," Union Leader, 11/6/13)
73,000 Marylanders Will Lose Their Health Care Plan Due To ObamaCare. "About 73,000 policy holders around the state will lose their insurance in coming months because nine insurance companies are dropping some health plans that were not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act, the Maryland Insurance Administration confirmed Monday. The act requires plans to carry minimum benefits. Only those policies created before March 23, 2010, when the health law passed can be grandfathered, according to the law." (Meredith Cohn, "73,000 Losing Coverage As Insurers Drop Plans," The Baltimore Sun, 11/4/13)
5,360 Alaskans Will Lose Their Existing Plans. "Coon said discontinuation notices have gone to about 5,360 other members, who have been told they will be matched to new plans that are closest to what they had before in an effort to keep anyone from losing coverage." (Becky Bohrer, "Premera Sends Alaskans Health Policy Cancellation Notices, Will Offer New Plans," Anchorage Daily News, 11/1/13)
According To The Associated Press, 330,000 Floridians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Florida 330,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
Nearly 280,000 Kentuckians Will Lose Their Health Care Plan Due To ObamaCare. "About 280,000 Kentuckians will have to give up their current insurance policies in the months ahead and enroll in alternatives that comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. Kentucky Department of Insurance spokeswoman Ronda Sloan said individual policies for about 130,000 people will be discontinued, as will small group policies for about 150,000 more." ("About 280,000 Kentuckians Losing Current Coverage," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
ObamaCare Mandates Will Cause 800,000 New Jerseyans To Lose Their Health Care Plan. "Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans opened the mail last week to find their health insurance plan would no longer exist in 2014 because it does not cover all the essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act. … The changes will impact more than 800,000 people in New Jersey who purchase insurance on the individual and small-employer markets, according to Ward Sanders, president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans." (Dan Goldberg, "ObamaCare Causes Insurance Companies To Scrap Some Plans, Create New Ones," The Star-Ledger, 10/6/13)
According To The Associated Press, Millions More In Other States Have Already Received Health Plan Cancellation Letters. "Millions of Americans who buy their own health insurance are being informed that their policies will no longer be offered starting in the new year because they do not meet the higher standards of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
Kirk Seeks Obamacare Website Refund for Taxpayers
The Obama administration has found a way to give unions relief from an Obamacare tax nearly three weeks after Republicans rejected a Democratic push to include the labor carve-out in the latest budget deal.
The Department of Health and Human Services quietly released a final rule last week that includes an intention to exempt some union insurance plans from a substantial new tax known as the reinsurance fee.
Continue reading here....
H/T Illinois Review... live right now but the link should point to the recording later.
America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry lobbying group, opposes any move to extend enrollment.
Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for the group, told CQ Healthbeat: "Going beyond this proposal by delaying the individual mandate and/or extending the open enrollment period past March 31 could have a destabilizing effect on insurance markets, resulting in higher premiums and coverage disruptions for individuals and families."
The American Academy of Actuaries sent a Nov. 5 letter to Capitol Hill with a similar message, urging lawmakers to "consider the potential adverse consequences of such an action."
The source was unsure about the Speaker's contact with State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates), who was also on the fence until Tuesday's vote, but a leading Democratic lawmaker said Madigan also secured Crespo's "yes" vote.
Wonder what price Illinois paid (or will pay should some of these reps lose their next elections: watch the jobs they take afterwords) for this new "right". Nobody does nothing for nothing in Illinois. Espeically if they're in Springfield.
A politically connected Bridgeport home developer who turned into an informant for the feds has apparently committed suicide after he was ostracized in his neighborhood, sources say.
Michael DiFoggio, 58, was found dead of a gunshot wound in his office at 3216 S. Shields Monday night, sources say.
Could Sneed elaborate on what sort of ostracizing would push a man to put a bullet in his head? I realize Sneed had "sources" to protect, but this assertion a bit too sparse for the circumstance.
Sue Klinkhamer, who worked for Democratic Congressman Bill Foster before he was kicked out of office for his support of the healthcare law, said that she was a defender of the President's healthcare law for years because she thought it would finally provide affordable healthcare to all Americans. That was until she herself had to enroll and found that the law was anything but affordable.
From the Sun Times: "I am a Democrat and I believe in health care for all," she said. "And I was excited that previously uninsured people could now get insurance on the open market. But this is not affordable to me."
It's not easy for a Progressive to speak out as clearly as Sue Klinkhammer has here. She deserves credit and thanks for doing so now.
In her campaign literature, Goel said she grew up in a middle-class family in northern India and came to the United States at the age of 21.
She has degrees in applied computer science and health care management and served as a process improvement specialist for Advocate Healthcare. Today, she works as a self-employed consultant specializing in process control improvement.
Goel arrived at the event with her backers, Sessions, the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Carol Stream Indian-American businessman Shalli Kumar, Herald said.
Both Sessions and Kumar are chairing a project to field 10 Indian-American Republican Congressional candidates.