Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tireless Rutherford

Whatever you think of him, Dan Rutherford's a tireless campaigner.  Here he is in Dixon (check the guy in the picture to Rutherford's left holding his head in his hand.  He represents a lot of Illinoisians struggling with the depths of our fiscal mess.)

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. 

Ryan Cooper: Time for Obama to Go Big on Pardons

Ryan Cooper wants Obama to start issuing more pardons. You get bet the White House has Tony Rezko's sitting there in a drawer ready for signiture sometime after the midterms.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat

KHN: Minnesota Exchange Chief Resigns Amid Criticism

More Health Exchange woes via Kaiser Health News,
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.

Megan McArdle: Is Obamacare Really an Improvement on the Status Quo?

Megan McArdle today from: Is Obamacare Really an Improvement on the Status Quo? We'll start the year with more Americans having lost their Health Insurance due to the Affordable Care Act than have gained it. And the Insurance Companies who are well aware of this disaster not keen to say so almost certainly in fear of retribution from the Feds. I can't recall anything in recent History where the Federal Government has inflicted so much damage on Americans. Really an amazing story here.
"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.

If you like your Senator, you can.....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jachsonvill Journal-Courier: Pension numbers yet another gimmick

Journal Courier on Illinois Policy Institutes analysis that "Pension Reform" merely pushes some costs out too 2016 when an accounting change kicks in and posts $6 to $8 billion of the "savings" back onto the taxpayors tab.
 
Another can kicked down the road in Illinois.
 

 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Truth-boom! Brit Hume crushes Obamacare with one question, devastating answer

Truth-boom! Brit Hume crushes Obamacare with one question, devastating answer

Yuval Levin: Pressing the Panic Button?

Yuval Levin writes the Admininstraion's
 
.....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.

 
Almost at though Obama's Nationalized the Carriers but without paying anything for them.  Just issuing the orders now on how they'll do business.

 

Wife of Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Says U.S. Government Abandoned Her Husband

Wife of Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Says U.S. Government Abandoned Her Husband

Modern Healthcare: Fitch lowers not-for-profit hospital outlook to negative

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.

IR: Gay activist who threatened State Rep. Ives wants charges dropped

Via IR,
 
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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hill staffers warned not to rely on info from ObamaCare exchange | TheHill

Hill staffers warned not to rely on info from ObamaCare exchange | TheHill

Bird's-Eye View Of 'Euromaidan' Protests In Kyiv

Couldn't have paid me enough to take this video.

Ukrainian protests

Via The Guardian,
 
Thousands of riot police carried out a co-ordinated crackdown on protest barricades in Kiev during the night. Columns of riot police closed in on Independence Square, hub of the protests that erupted after President Viktor Yanukovych pulled out of an association pact with the EU

Follow the link above for some good photos.
 

Charles Ornstein: Payment Due: The Obamacare Deadline No One Is Talking About

Only 5 to 10 percent of people getting through the enrollment process have paid their first premium.
But amid the rush to enroll as many people as possible by the Dec. 23 deadline [3], 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.

 This will be the next ACA crisis come the first of next year.

Ben Yount: Enemy of his enemy: Conservative candidate could help Illinois governor win back unions

Ben Yount wonders if the "likely" GOP for Guv candidate Rauner will help Quinn win back Unions
 
I thought Rauner went a bit overboard with some of his Union comments but if he keeps it focused on public Unions and Karen Lewis, who's managed to become of the face of public Unions in Illinois, Rauner just might pull it off against Quinn in the General.


 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prairie State Report: A Spate of Pro and Anti William Kelly News Making the Rounds

PSR finds Judy Baar Topinka (no relation of mine) kicking $20k to Bill Kelly. 

I'm not one to call foks RINO's, or lay out Conservative tests, or raise the decibel level over who's got the purest beliefs.  I've always like JBT; although I think she's long overstayed her time in Illinois Politics.  (The run against Blagojevich should have been it.)

Maybe if I would have spouted off some though, she would would have kicked me a few points too?

It's a strange state our Illinois.


 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

ObamaCare Architect Zeke Emanuel: If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More

Zeke's a piece of work



AP: Calif. Health Exchange Shares Data Without Consent

California handing out your name and address to Insurance Brokers,
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.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Who Really Betrayed Detroit? by Steven Malanga - City Journal

Who Really Betrayed Detroit? by Steven Malanga - City Journal

It wasn't George Bush.

Those Pro Rauner AFSCME members

Over at Capitol Fax Rich Miller finds it a bit far-fetched that Rauner would have union support,

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…
 Consider half of AFSCME's membership bailed in Wisconsin when given a chance.  It's not far-fethed to think there's a similar disenchament in Illinois and AFSCME members who might think a solvent Illinois the best gurantee of their economic security... now, and in the future.  Yeah, they could be talking to Rauner's campagin.

STATE REP. IVES ON PENSION BILL: "SOMETHING A ROGUE NATION, RUN BY DESPOTS, WOULD DO"

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.



Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Illinois Policy Institute's Jim Tillman on Illinois's meager pension reforms.

An email from IPI's Jim Tillman,

Today the Illinois General Assembly sent a pension bill to Gov. Pat Quinn. It is important to be clear about what this bill is and is not. Let's start with what this bill is not.
 
This bill is not the sweeping reform that Illinois has been waiting – fighting – for over the past few years. This bill does not fundamentally change the way pensions are calculated and paid out in Illinois. This bill does not set up a system that is fair to both taxpayers and government workers.
The passage of this bill was not the moment in which the very same politicians who drove this system into the ground finally stood up, did the right thing and fixed it.
Here is what the bill does: delays addressing the problem head on. It buys time.
 
The conversation about pension reform became serious in 2011. At that time, Illinois had an unfunded liability of approximately $80 billion.
 
Today, the official unfunded liability is $100 billion. The bill passed today would – at best – reduce the unfunded liability to $80 billion. It dials back the crisis just to 2011 levels.
 
The bill passed today purportedly cuts the state's pension payment by $1 billion next year. Know where that gets us? To the same level payment as the state had for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013.
 
It's universally accepted that this bill does not represent a "solution" to Illinois' pension crisis. Many politicians who voted for this bill have said as much, and have defended their vote by saying, "This is not a solution; it is a first step."
 
A "first step" necessarily means there is a second step. Now the real reform begins; now we start working toward the next step.
For examples of what that next step is, look around the country. There is something in common with states enacting pension reform and turning their fiscal houses back in order: Michigan, Alaska, Rhode Island. They're all moving away from pensions and to the defined contribution model.
 
If Illinois is going to turn around, it will have to do the same. In February 2013, we proposed a landmark bill that would pay government workers everything they've earned so far in the pension system, and start a 401(k) system for all benefits going forward. It would immediately cut the unfunded liability in half, by $46 billion, and would save the state more than $221 billion over the next 30 years. The benefits would be so generous that it also would not require the state to participate in Social Security.
 
The bill that passed today may get the governor's signature, but it does not mean the pension crisis is solved. We will continue working diligently to enact real pension reform to get Illinois back on the path to prosperity.

In liberty,

John Tillman



Monday, December 02, 2013

Dan Proft: ILGOP Legislative Leaders in the Super-Minority and Loving It (Apparently)



Dear Bill,
 
This article is also available at IllinoisOpportunity.org.

"The action is the juice." – Michael Cherrito, "Heat"
If you want to understand why Illinois Republicans are in the super-minority in the General Assembly despite the record amassed by Chicago Democrats in charge of state government, all you have to do is watch the behavior of the mislabeled House and Senate Republican legislative "leaders" on what has been purposely mislabeled, "pension reform."

Nearly two-decades of short-term fixes (perhaps, as someone once said, we need to "unfix an Illinois where the fix is in"…hmmm) to the state's pension systems—from Jim Edgar's ramp to nowhere to the Blagojevich/Quinn years of borrowing at payday loan prices—have done nothing but deepen Illinois' unfunded liabilities. Those short-term fixes have left Illinois ranked as the 3rd worst-managed state, according to 24/7 Wall Street's annual ranking, with the worst credit rating in the country.

Yet Republican legislative leaders remain unchastened. They are action junkies. According to their conduct, being the wheelman for Chicago Democrats' latest heist of Illinois taxpayers (and public sector pensioneers) is morally superior and politically preferable to not participating in the crime.

Rather than leveraging the crisis brought about by decades of cynical gamesmanship of state pension funds by House Speaker Mike Madigan, Republican legislative leaders are choosing to provide Illinois Taxpayer Enemy #1 and his dutiful caucus mates with the political cover they desire.

And for what?

A faint promise from the same people who engineered this crisis for back-end savings three decades from now that Republican legislative leaders admit cannot be guaranteed.

If past is prologue, who loses if the same liars continue lying?

Chicago business leader Ken Griffin, a man who built a multi-billion dollar empire by having a fairly good grasp of math, offered this prediction in a recent op-ed:

"Our state is going to be forced to break its promises to our government employees and retirees. They will receive less than they bargained for. Our state's taxpayers will see the 67 percent 'temporary' tax increase converted into a permanent tax increase. And soon we will hear that even further tax increases are needed to meet our obligations. This is the price we are all going to pay for sending the wrong leaders to Springfield for too many years."

I would like to see Senate Super-Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Super-Minority Leader Jim Durkin command majorities in their respective chambers. To borrow from an old Milton Friedman formulation, I am on their side. They are not.

They are on the wrong side of history today just as they were two-and-a-half years ago when Illinois Republican legislative leaders generated this blaring headline, "GOP rejects Wisconsin approach to unions." (Rockford Register Star, 4/4/11)

Sen. Radogno appeared on the WLS radio show I co-host in Chicago this morning defending her support for the Madigan pension deformation legislation wherein she said, "I didn't come (to Springfield) to play partisan games."

Clearly. And that post-partisan patter is precisely why Republicans are in the super-minority.

- Dan Proft

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Boehner statement on delay of online health care exchanges for small businesses

A presser from the Speaker,
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration's announcement that it will not launch an online health care exchange for small businesses, delaying the feature a full year.
 
"The president bit off more than he can chew with this health care law, and small businesses are now forced to bear the consequences. Business owners across this country are already having health care plans for their employees canceled by this law, and now they're told they won't have access to the system the president promised them to find them different coverage. Instead, they'll have to resort to a system you'd expect to see in the 1950s. It's another broken promise and more proof this administration's assurances have no credibility. This law has been an absolute disaster, leaving us to ask 'what's next?' If the president won't repeal it, he should at least delay the entire law before it wreaks any more havoc on American families and small businesses, as well as our economy."
- See more at: http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/small-business-latest-bear-burden-obamacare-failures#sthash.Pjg2KQX6.dpuf

Obamacare's war on Safety Net Hospitals

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.


Beware the Smart and Competent

This might describe the past decade's whole Informatics Revolution
 
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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

RFF/RL The Ukraine: Starving To Death


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.

Quincy Herald-Whig: State Senators Cullerton and Sullivan contrast their districts

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville compare districts at Quincy University,
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.
Cullerton's right.  Stuck between more colorful Aldermen and Federal Reps, Chicago's State Senators and Reps to get overlooked.  My guess they prefer it that way.

Political newcomer Truax sweeps early key endorsements against perennial candidate

 Seems like time for a fresh face to me too.
 
Via Traux2014 
 
DOWNERS GROVE — West Point graduate and Army veteran Doug Truax has won the first three key GOP endorsements for U.S. Senate after audiences heard from both him and perennial candidate Jim Oberweis.
Today, it was announced that the important DuPage County-based Addison Township Republican Organization endorsed Truax. Both candidates spoke to the organization recently.
Earlier:
  • The Federation of Illinois Young Republicans voted 70.9 percent in favor of Truax over Oberweis at the group's statewide convention Saturday in Bolingbrook. Both candidates spoke that day.
  • The large and pivotal Palatine Township Republican Organization voted 64 percent for Truax over Oberweis last week after hearing both candidates speak.
"What these votes mean is that Republicans are yearning for a new kind of conservative candidate who can build a wide enough coalition of young people, men and women, rural, suburban and urban voters to defeat Dick Durbin," Truax said.
Truax is a 43-year-old successful entrepreneur from Downers Grove. His business is in the health care arena and he's an expert on Obamacare. He recently produced four videos on the topic that can be found at DougTruax.com.


 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Times of Ottawa: Tea Party to host think tank leader and governor candidate Nov. 26

Last weekend it was Rauner and Walsh at a town hall on term limits.  Now it's Rauner and Tillman at a Tea Party forum.

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.
 
Interesting combinations setting up.  Rauner's priorities seem to be attracting Tea Party folks despite all the talk on those houses and connections to the Mayor of Chicago.

        Havenhill listed Rauner's top priorities if elected:
  • 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."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Illinois Dept of Insurance reports 185,340 people in Illinois have lost their Health Insurance due to Obamacare.

From the DOI's Press Release on Illinois's Obamacare cancellations and DOI's decision to allow non-compliant plans for one more year,
 

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.


Illinois Bluce Cross Blue Shield's Mary Ann Schultz wrote,
 
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois continues to work with our impacted members to offer continued coverage. We are reviewing the announcement from the Illinois Department of Insurance and will determine next steps as we keep our members informed of their options both on and off the exchange. Our goal remains to maintain access to quality, affordable health care for our members and we will continue to support solutions that assure there are no disruptions in health insurance for our existing members. We will reach out to consumers who may have new options as a result of the Illinois Department of Insurance's announcement.

We will be updating our website as new information is available.

 
I asked Mary Ann if BCBS Illinois can turn these cancelled plans around in time and she assured me: Yes we can.
 
 

 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Joe Walsh aand Bruce Rauner holding a "Term Limits" Town Hall

This ought to be interesting: Walsh and Rauner collaborating on term limits.
 
It's time for "Term Limits" in Illinois...42 years of Madigan and 34 years of Cullerton is enough! Please join Joe Walsh and Bruce Rauner, Chairman of the Term Limits committee on Saturday November 23rd from 12:00-2:00 Diplomat West Banquet Hall 681 W. North Ave in Elmhurst


 

The Blaze: Obamacare Official Admits Something So Incredible You’ll Wonder Why You’re Just Now Hearing About It

Via The Blaze The Sys isn't even half finished.....



KHN: Safety-Net Hospitals Lose More Under Medicare’s Quality-Based Payments, Analysis Finds


 
Affordable Care Act penalizies Hospitals caring for low-income patients harder than those serving more affluent patients.  Graphic vian KHN here
 
A strange reform that expands health insurance by pushing Americans into Medicaid while the Feds ding the providers caring for these folks harder than the rest.  Wait for the inner-city Hospital closures to come.

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

SecEd Arne Duncan tangles with Suburban Moms

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?    

 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Upton Bill passes with bipartisan support

Upton Bill passes with bipartisan support

Illinois Democrats voting Aye on HR 3350: Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013

Tammy Duckworth, Cheri Bustos, Bill Foster, and Bill Enyart all vote Aye on HR3350: Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.
 
If Bill Foster hadn't voted for the Affordable Care Act in the first place maybe we wouldn't be in this position of seeing millions of Americans having their Health Insurance pulled from them by the Feds.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Joe Walsh on Kirk: Carol Felsenthal's column

Felsenthal suggest there's something behind Walsh's suggestion it's time for Kirk to retire: What's behind Joe Walsh raising questions about Mark Kirk's recovery?
 
Kirk's exchange with CMS's Travenner was weird and sparked a lot of comment.   Walsh just said the obvious: that maybe it's time for Kirk to retire.
 
I think there's all there is too it.  It's an obvious thing to say, and Walsh just given to saying the obvious in a plain, blunt, sorta way.
 
Kirk ought to go on the show and prove otherwise.  Walsh will give him a fair shake on-air.  No sandbags...


 
 

Modern Healthcare: 27k sign up on Healthcare.gov

Via Modern Healthcare,
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.
 
With millions losing their Health Insurance, we're on course for a heck of a crack up come January.  No way the millions who have lost their insurance will be able to sign up in this mess.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

RNC on Obamacare: Enrollments Stall, Cancellations Soar


Nothing on Illinois's cancellations yet.

Enrollments Stall, Cancellations Soar

As ObamaCare Enrollment Lags, Health Plan Cancellation Letters Continue To Be Delivered


THE INITIAL OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT NUMBERS ARE LACKLUSTER

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)

OBAMACARE'S UNDERWHELMING ENROLLMENT NUMBERS COME AS MILLIONS OF AMERICANS ARE RECEIVING CANCELLATION NOTICES

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)

  • "At Least 3.5 Million Americans Have Been Issued Cancellations…" "At least 3.5 million Americans have been issued cancellations, but the exact number is unclear. Associated Press checks find that data is unavailable in a half the states." ("ObamaCare Finally Gets Real For Americans: At Least 3.5 Million Health Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/4/13)

The Health Plan Cancellation Notices Continue To Pile Up

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)

  • The Cancellations Could Affect "10 Percent To 12 Percent Of The Health Insurance Market In Virginia." "Gray said the individual health insurance market is about 10 percent to 12 percent of the health insurance market in 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)

  • The Number Losing Their Insurance Represent More Than Half Of Louisiana's Individual Insurance Market. "The figure could account for close to half of the 165,000 people in Louisiana who hold individual health insurance plans that they pay for without the help of an employer or the government." (Rebecca Catalanello, "80,000 Louisianians' Health Insurance Policies Will Be Canceled Under Affordable Care Act," The Times-Picayune, 11/4/13)

"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)

  • "The Breakdown In Policy Holders Includes: Carefirst Of Maryland Inc., 25,888; Carefirst Bluechoice, 17,235; Group Hospitalization And Medical Services Inc., 12,435; Aetna Life Insurance Co., 7,007; Coventry Health And Life Insurance Co., 5,615; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Of The Mid-Atlantic States Inc., 5,019; Mega Life And Health Insurance Co., 28; Celtic Insurance Co., 7; United American Insurance Co., 1." (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)

  • Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, Alaska's Largest Health Insurer, Is Cancelling More Than Half Of Its Individual Policies Due To ObamaCare. "The largest health insurer in Alaska has sent cancellation notices to more than half its individual members in the state because their existing policies do not meet requirements of the new federal health care law. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield spokeswoman Melanie Coon said Friday that of its more than 9,000 individual members in Alaska, fewer than 3,800 were on "grandfathered" plans. Those are plans that were in existence before March 23, 2010, and have changed very little." (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)

  • Florida Blue Is Cancelling 300,000 Policies Or "About 80 Percent Of Its Individual Policies." "Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state." (Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby, "Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes," Kaiser Health News, 10/23/13)

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)

  • 90,000 Alabamans Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Alabama 90,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 900,000 Californians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … California 900,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 21,300 Washington D.C. Residents Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Washington D.C. 21,300." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 400,000 Georgians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Georgia 400,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 105,000 Idahoans Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Idaho 105,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 108,000 Hoosiers Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Indiana 108,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 1,000 Iowans Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Iowa 1,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 225,000 Michiganders Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Michigan 225,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 140,000 Minnesotans Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Minnesota 140,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 600 Mississippians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Mississippi 600." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 26,000 New Mexicans Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … New Mexico 26,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 100,000 New Yorkers Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … New York 600." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 160,000 North Carolinians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … North Carolina 160,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 150,000 Oregonians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Mississippi 150,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 215,000 To 250,000 Pennsylvanians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Pennsylvania 215,000 to 250,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 290,000 Washingtonians Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Washington 290,000." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)
  • 3,200 Wyomingites Are Having Their Policies Cancelled Because Of ObamaCare. "State - Number of people with discontinued policies … Wyoming 3,200." ("State By State: 3.5 Million Insurance Policies Canceled," The Associated Press, 11/2/13)

Peter Suderman: Time to Start Considering Obamacare's Worst Case Scenarios

I have a feeling Suderman's worst case is the likely case,
 
This could still be turned around, perhaps even soon. But it's time to start considering the worst-case scenarios: that the exchanges continue to malfunction, that plan cancellations go into effect, that insurers see the political winds shifting and stop playing nice with the administration, and that significant numbers of people are left stranded without coverage as a result. Rather than reforming the individual market, which was flawed but did work for some people, Obamacare will have destroyed it and left only dysfunction and chaos in its wake.
 
 
 
 


 
 

Friday, November 08, 2013

Kirk Seeks Obamacare Website Refund for Taxpayers

A Press release form Sen Kirk,
 

Kirk Seeks Obamacare Website Refund for Taxpayers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today called on the agency which oversees healthcare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to release the contract for the failed Obamacare website and is demanding a refund for taxpayers.
"Americans deserve a clear explanation and a refund of their money," Sen. Kirk said. "It's time the Administration came clean on a deal that spends $400 million of taxpayer money, especially when that deal results in a disaster like this website."
In addition to Kirk, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) also signed the letter. A copy of the letter can be found here.
During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Tuesday regarding the failed Obamacare health insurance exchanges, Sen. Kirk demanded that the American people know the details of the $400 million contract awarded to CGI Federal, Quality Software Services Incorporated (QSSI) and others. CMS Administrator Tavenner agreed to release any and all information including the documents but is yet to do so. A video of Senator Kirk questioning Administrator Tavenner can be found here.

What's Paul Vallas bring to Quinn?

Capitol Fax's reporting Governor Quinn's chosen Paul Vallus as his running mate.
Downstate's lost to Quinn.  The African American vote's as solid for Quinn as it can get.  Vallas's independence will play well with Progressives and Surburbanites disgruntled with Quinn's mismanagement.  There's a benefit for not  having been around Illinois for a while.  He's an outsider now and that's what Quinn needs.
 
Quinn's made an excellant choice.  He'll be formidable.  Don't underestimate him. 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Blaze: Health and Human Services quietly giving unions Obamacare fix

For a Settled Law, ACA's awfully malleable to suit the favored.
 
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....

 

Illinois HR0680: a bill urging the release of the number of Illinoisans who have lost their Health Insurance

A Bill introduced in the Illinois House....    doesn't seem too much to ask!











13

RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
14 NINETY-EIGHTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that
15 we urge Congress, in light of ongoing technological issues and
16 the cancellation of coverage for many Americans, to delay the
17 Affordable Care Act's "individual mandate" requirement for
18 further examination; and be it further
19 RESOLVED, That the Illinois Department of Insurance is
20 urged to release any available information regarding the number
21 of people in Illinois whose current health insurance plan was
22 cancelled due to new Affordable Care Act requirements and the
















HR0680 - 4 - LRB098 14727 GRL 49614 r

1 number of people in Illinois who have obtained health insurance
2 coverage through the Illinois marketplace; and be it further
3 RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
4 delivered to Governor Pat Quinn, Director of the Illinois
5 Department of Insurance Andrew Boron, Director of the Illinois
6 Department of Healthcare and Family Services Julie Hamos, and
7
 
the members of the Illinois congressional delegation.

Rep. Senger & Rep. Bost: Illinoisans whose Health Insurance were Cancelled

H/T Illinois Review... live right now but the link should point to the recording later.



McHenry County Blog: Joe Walsh Calls for Mark Kirk to Step Down

Cal Skinner covers Walsh's call here.
 
Walsh's probably right. 

Hoododanode: NH hosptial sues for Obamacare access. Will others follow?

Great post from Hoocodanode on a NH Hospital excluded from Obamacare reimbursement and suing the Feds on it.
 
Expect more of this.  People don't realize ACA restricts supply as it attempts to expand Insurance coverage.  Lots of good that coverage does you if the supply of care is restricted and capped.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Affordable Care Act: Extend or not to Extend?

From KHN's Humana Exec Predicts Obamacare Open Enrollment Extension,

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."

An Extension tanks the actuaries's projections and opens up the potential of more and sicker enrollees.  My bet's Humana's Exec's wrong here on any extension.

Illinois Review: Speaker Mike Madigan credited with 13 gay marriage votes

Illinois Review linking an Illinois Observer article on the Reps Madigan had to cajole to vote for Same Sex Marriage.  
 
Illinois Observer wrote,
 
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.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Praire State Report: AFP’s Restore Illinois Summit: Quotes and Governor Candidate Pitches

 Warner Todd Huston covered AFP's Restore Illinois Summit with some nice quotes from the key speakers.  Wish I had been there... didn't even know about it!
 
PS Note Rauner came sans tie and wore a plaid shirt instead.  Must make him a man-of-the-people for sure.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Capitol Fax: “The intersection of government, politics and money”

A nice post on the instersection of the Establishment and Reformers in Illinois.  If there was ever a case for a Tea Party, it's here.


 

Chicago Cocktail Week

Cocktail Confidential: Chicago Bartenders Reveal Their Favorite Hidden Gems
 
Wish I had bought a building in some of these neigborhoods with the Hidden Gem Taverns years ago, when I used to haunt some similar joints in these then less trendy hoods.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Illinois Blue Cross Blue Shield mum on Enrollments and Cancellations

Public Affairs over at Blue Cross Blue Shield confirmed they'll not be releasing any numbers on policies cancelled in Illinois because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nor any numbers on people enrolling into ACA approved plans until Dec 15th.
 
We'll just have to rely on the grapevines till then.


 

Ostracized in Bridgeport

From Sneed today in the Sun Times on the death of  Michael DiFoggio,
 

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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

IR: Former Bill Foster staffer blasts ObamaCare as "not affordable to me"

Via Illinois Review,
 
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.

 

Joe Walsh endorses Manju Goel in Illinois 8th CD

Heard Joe last night make his first endoresement on WIND 560 and here's the endorsement over at Illinois Reivew.
 
Here's a little more on Goel over at FirstPost.World.

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.