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Going Down With The Ship

- September 20, 2013

ObamaCare Is More Unpopular Than Ever And 2014 Democrats Are The Ones Paying The Price

The Newest USA Today/Pew Found That ObamaCare Is More Unpopular Than Ever, With 53% Disapproving Of The Law. "53% disapprove of the health care law, the highest level since it was signed; 42% approve. By an even wider margin, intensity favors the opposition; 41% of those surveyed strongly disapprove while just 26% strongly approve." (Susan Page, "USA Today/Pew poll: Health Care Law Faces Difficult Future," USA Today, 9/16/13)

  • For The First Time In Two Decades, Americans Trust Republicans Over Democrats On Healthcare Issues. "And Democrats have lost their traditional advantage on the issue. For the first time in polling that stretches back more than two decades, Americans narrowly prefer Republicans in dealing with health care policy, 40%-39%." (Susan Page, "USA Today/Pew poll: Health Care Law Faces Difficult Future," USA Today, 9/16/13)

VULNERABLE DEMOCRATS CONTINUE TO EMBRACE OBAMACARE, DESPITE ITS DAMAGE TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) Calls ObamaCare "An Amazing Success Story," While Arkansans Struggle With Fewer Jobs And Reduced Hours

Pryor Voted To Pass ObamaCare. (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396, Adopted 60-39: R 0-39; D 60-0, 12/24/09, Pryor Voted Yea)

  • In A June TV Interview, Pryor Doubled Down On His Support For Obamacare, Saying: "I Think It Was The Right Vote, I Think It Was Good For Arkansas." "HOST: 'Do you still stand by your vote for federal health care? What do you tell, what is your message to voters as to why that was the right vote?' PRYOR: 'I do. I think it was the right vote, I think it was good for Arkansas.'" (Interview With Senator Mark Pryor, KARK-TV, 6/2/13)

Pryor Praised ObamaCare As "An Amazing Success Story" In August. KHOG's CRAIG CANNON: "Political experts say the new healthcare law could be a hot topic. Pryor was one of 60 Democrats who voted for it back in 2009. He defends that vote today." SENATOR MARK PRYOR: "I would say if you want a good opinion about ObamaCare, go right here to Mercy Hospital and ask them how they feel about it. It's been an amazing success story so far." ("Rep. Tom Cotton Running For Senate," KHOG, 8/6/13)

OBAMACARE IS HURTING ARKANSAS EMPLOYERS AND WORKERS

ObamaCare Will Cost Tyson Foods, A Major Arkansas Employer, $10 Million Next Year. "And while polls show the race tight, some surveys also say that when voters learn Pryor was an Obamacare supporter, they are less inclined to vote for him. This was the same dynamic that doomed Lincoln in 2010, and as the law is being implemented, businesses in Arkansas are now complaining about the rising health care costs, including $10 million of additional costs Arkansas-based food giant Tyson will have to incur next year because of the new law. (Manu Raju, "Lone Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor Hangs On," Politico, 8/19/13)

Little Rock-Based Baptist Health System Announced That It Will Lay Off 170 Arkansas Workers Due To ObamaCare. "Little Rock-based Baptist Health System says it will lay off 170 workers across its statewide health care network and one industry leader says more hospitals could follow suit… In a statement provided to members of the media, Mark Lowman, Vice President, Strategic Development at Baptist Health said: 'To ensure Baptist Health's continued success and our long term ability to sustain our Mission, we are undertaking a number of initiatives that will position our organization to address the challenges of health reform and severe federal budget cuts.'" (Roby Brock, "Baptist Health System Laying Off 170 As Hospitals Cope With Medicare Cuts," Talk Business Arkansas, 7/16/13)

College Professors In Arkansas Will Have Their Hours Cut Because Of ObamaCare. ANCHOR: "Beginning this fall, Pulaski Tech will limit the amount of courses professors are able to teach. KARK 4's Joceyln Tovar says this change in turn will limit the benefits available to them." … TOVAR: ""Human resource officials for the college say that changes in benefits because of the ObamaCare law require part time employees who are working 30 hours to be considered full time, and therefore require benefits, benefits the school says are just too much strain on their shoestring budget." (KARK 4, 4/4/13)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) Claims "There's A Lot Of Good" In ObamaCare, While Alaskans Prepare To Face Higher Health Costs

Begich Voted For ObamaCare. (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396, Adopted 60-39: R 0-39; D 60-0, 12/24/09, Begich Voted Yea)

Begich Continues To Proudly Defend His Vote For ObamaCare. "Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina will face voters in 2014 for the first time since voting for the Affordable Care Act - also known as 'Obamacare' - three years ago. They aren't apologizing for their vote, and several are pursuing an aggressive strategy: Embrace the law, help voters use it and fix what doesn't work. 'I don't run from my votes,' Begich told The Associated Press. 'Politicians who sit around and say, 'That's controversial so I better run from it,' just ask for trouble. Voters may not always agree with you, but they respect people who think about these issues and talk about them.'" ("Senate Democrats Running In 2014 In GOP-Leaning States Firm Up Support Of Health Care Law," The Associated Press , 6/15/13)

  • Begich: "There's A Lot Of Good That People Will Realize As This All Comes Online." ("Senate Democrats Running In 2014 In GOP-Leaning States Firm Up Support Of Health Care Law," The Associated Press , 6/15/13)
ALASKA FAMILIES ARE SET TO SEE THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS SKYROCKET AS A RESULT OF OBAMACARE

Blue Cross Has Predicted That An Alaska Family Of Four That Does Not Qualify For Federal Insurance Subsidies Could See Their Out-Of-Pocket Health Care Costs Increase By As Much As 158 Percent. "Jeff Davis, who heads Premera's Alaska unit, said a younger Alaskan couple aged 30 to 34 with two small children and who are moderate-income and earning $115,000 a year or less will qualify for the planned new federal subsidies. They could see up to a 42 percent decrease in out-of-pocket health care expenses, according to Premera's estimates. However, if the couple exceeds the $115,000 income limit by even a small margin, the subsidy goes away and they could see an increase as high as 158 percent in out-of-pocket costs." (Tim Bradner, "Alaska Health Insurance Rates To Go Up In 2014 As ACA Kicks In," Anchorage Daily News, 1/15/13)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) Insists ObamaCare Has "A Lot Of Positives," But North Carolina's Students And Job Creators Probably Don't Agree

Hagan Voted To Pass ObamaCare. (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396, Adopted 60-39: R 0-39; D 60-0, 12/24/09, Hagan Voted Yea)

In An August Interview, Hagan Defended ObamaCare, Saying There Are "A Lot Of Positives" For Small Businesses In The Law. SEN. HAGAN: "First I want to ask the question, how large is your small business? If it's fifty employees or less, the new Affordable Care Act doesn't apply to you at all. So that's off the equation. But what does benefit a small business is once the new healthcare exchanges come on line, and come on the market, coming in October of this year, small business will be able to purchase health insurance just like large businesses do. They'll be given options. And some small businesses will actually be eligible for tax credits and for funding to help them purchase that health insurance. So I think there's a lot of positives here that I want to encourage small businesses to reach out to my office and we can certainly help with information." (Kay Hagan, WCCB Interview, 8/27/13)

NORTH CAROLINA BUSINESSES, WORKERS AND STUDENTS ARE FEELING THE EFFECTS OF OBAMACARE

North Carolina's Largest Insurer Is Warning Customers "Of Steep Rate Increases" Due To ObamaCare. "In a signpost pointing to health insurance changes under the nation's new health care law, North Carolina's largest insurer has warned of steep rate increases for customers who have typically paid below-average premiums." (John Murawski, "Blue Cross: Rates Will Rise Under New Federal Health Care Law," Charlotte Observer, 5/6/13)

  • Blue Cross' Rates "Are Expected To Set An Industry Standard." "Blue Cross policies and costs are expected to set an industry standard, influencing how insurers adjust to the law and what that law will mean for those who have had insurance and those who have not been able to afford coverage previously and will now be buying it for the first time." (John Murawski, "Blue Cross: Rates Will Rise Under New Federal Health Care Law," Charlotte Observer, 5/6/13)

Insurance Costs For Small Business Employees Are Set To Rise 18 Percent Due To ObamaCare And The Law Could Impact Small Businesses With "Increases As High As 284 Percent." "However, Blue Cross did disclose that insurance costs for employees who work for businesses with 1 to 50 employees will rise about 18 percent in 2014 because of increased coverage and benefits, as well as eight new taxes and fees in the Affordable Care Act. But the effects on small businesses are so wide-ranging that they will result in reductions as deep as 41 percent and increases as high as 284 percent." (John Murawski, "Blue Cross: Rates Will Rise Under New Federal Health Care Law," Charlotte Observer, 5/6/13)

Tom Ross, President Of The University Of North Carolina System: As A Result Of New Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act, "We Are Facing Large Increases In Premiums For Our Students." In April, Tom Ross, the president of the University of North Carolina system, sent a letter to the university's board of governors announcing that students should brace for a hike in the cost of university-provided insurance plans. 'Based on more than three semesters of actual claims experience, as well as the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act, we are facing large increases in premiums for our students,' Ross wrote in the letter." (Peter Hamby, "In North Carolina, Student Insurance Costs Rise Under ObamaCare," CNN, 9/5/12)

Guilford College Students Will See Their Health Insurance Plan Cost Go From $668 A Semester To $1,179. "Rising premiums are not limited to public universities. Students at Guilford College, a private liberal arts college in Greensboro, were informed in July that the cost of their school-provided health insurance plan was set to rise from $668 per semester in 2011 to $1,179 per semester this fall." (Peter Hamby, "In North Carolina, Student Insurance Costs Rise Under ObamaCare," CNN, 9/5/12)

  • According To A Letter From The School, "Our Student Health Insurance Policy Premium Has Been Substantially Increased Due To Changes Required By Federal Regulations Issued On March 16, 2012 Under The Affordable Care Act." "'Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act,' reads the letter, which was distributed Greg Bursavich, the school's Vice President for Finance." (Peter Hamby, "In North Carolina, Student Insurance Costs Rise Under ObamaCare," CNN, 9/5/12)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Maintains She Is "Proud" Of Her Vote For ObamaCare, Even As It Forces Louisianans To Lay Off Workers

Landrieu Voted For ObamaCare. (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396, Adopted 60-39: R 0-39; D 60-0, 12/24/09, Begich Voted Yea)

  • Landrieu: "I Am Voting For This Bill Because It Achieves The Goals I Laid Out At The Beginning Of This Debate: It Drives Down Costs And Expands Affordable Health Care Choices For Millions Of Families And Small Businesses In Louisiana And Around The Nation." (Senator Mary Landrieu, "Landrieu Outlines Support For Senate Health Care Bill," Press Release, 12/22/09)

In March, Landrieu Said She Was "Proud" Of Her Vote For ObamaCare, And "Glad" She Voted For It. "And the last thing she's worried about is having Republicans attack her for supporting Obamacare. 'I am proud of my support for the Affordable Care Act, whether my opponents want to call it ACA or Obamacare, I voted for it. I'm glad I voted for it,' Landrieu said." (Ginger Gibson, "Mary Landrieu's 2014 Playbook Is Her Own," Politico, 3/29/13)

"U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Said She Supported The Law, Also Known As Obamacare. 'If I Had To Vote For The Bill Again, I Would Vote For It Tomorrow,' She Said." (John Guidroz, "Landrieu, Fleming Discuss Affordable Care Act," American Press, 8/17/13)

  • Landrieu: "It's Embarrassing To Me To Go To Places Like France And Spain . . . And Their Workers All Manage To Have Health Insurance That Can't Be Taken Away." (John Guidroz, "Landrieu, Fleming Discuss Affordable Care Act," American Press, 8/17/13)
LOUISIANA BUSINESS HAVE ALREADY LAID OFF WORKERS DUE TO OBAMACARE

Restaurant Owner Frank Dedman: "I Had To Let A Couple Of My Full-Timers Go." "Frank Dedman, the owner of Frank's Restaurant, told News 2 he made cuts to his staff to be in compliance with the new rules and regulations. 'We've had people here for quite a few years, majority of them were part-timers," said Dedman. "I had to let a couple of my full-timers go.'" (Brittany Weiss, "Restaurant Cuts Staff, Blames Health Reform," WBRZ, 6/15/13)

  • Dedman: "What Incentive Is There For My Children To Open Another Restaurant? "As a small business owner, Dedman says the changes could make it difficult for businesses to grow. 'What incentive is there for my children to open another restaurant?' he said." (Brittany Weiss, "Restaurant Cuts Staff, Blames Health Reform," WBRZ, 6/15/13)

A Lafayette, Louisiana Business Was Forced To Lay off 41 Employees Due To Changes Under ObamaCare "Effective today, 41 employees at the Schumacher Group in Lafayette, have lost their jobs. According to a company letter, the Patient Financial Management Services division is being cut because of changes to health care law from ObamaCare. A Schumacher Group spokesperson says the department can't handle an increase in patient needs." (KATC, 5/1/13)

EVEN DEMOCRATS WHO DIDN'T VOTE FOR OBAMACARE WILL FEEL THE PAINS OF THE LAW

Senate Candidate Natalie Tennant (D-WV) Pushed For ObamaCare In 2009 - Now Her Constituents Are Facing Fewer Economic Opportunities As A Result

At A 2009 Labor Rally, Tennant Stressed The Importance Of Passing ObamaCare. "Nine months into Obama's presidency, the United Mine Workers of America staged its 71st annual Labor Day rally at Racine in Boone County. … More than 2,000 people attended this year, dozens of whom rode buses down from the state's northern coalfields, according to one account. Judging from news accounts, speakers ranging from UMW President Cecil Roberts to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant stressed the importance of passing Obama's health care reform legislation." (Editorial, "A Big Difference In Public Messages," Charleston Daily Mail, 9/9/09)

WEST VIRGINIA SMALL BUSINESSES ARE SOUNDING THE ALARM OVER OBAMACARE, AND THE STATE'S EXCHANGE WILL OFFER JUST ONE CHOICE

Small Business Owners In West Virginia Who Want To Expand And Hire More Full Time Employees Cannot Due To ObamaCare's Taxes. "Mick Bates, owner of Bodyworks in Beckley, emphasized the higher insurance costs simply cannot be passed on to customers. Bates is in the process of opening shop in a new location and said he wants to add more employees. 'I want to provide jobs and I want to provide jobs with benefits and insurance,' he told fellow business people. 'But I can't afford to do it. So, I'm hiring part-time people, when I'd like them to be full-time, and that's the reality. It's (HIT) unsustainable. There has to be another way.'" (Mannix Porterfield, "State's Small Businesses, Threatened By HIT From Obamacare, Taking Action," Register-Herald, 6/27/13)

Some Small Business Owners Report Considering Sharing Employees To Avoid ObamaCare's Insurance Mandates. "Richard Jarrell, owner of Chick-fil-A in Beckley, said friends have been called by other restaurateurs, wanting to know if they could share employees so they would split their time so work hours would be fewer than 30, keeping them under the benefits threshold. 'A lot of people are trying to manipulate the system so they can stay under the full-time equivalent,' he said." (Mannix Porterfield, "State's Small Businesses, Threatened By HIT From Obamacare, Taking Action," Register-Herald, 6/27/13)

The West Virginia Chamber Of Commerce Says ObamaCare Is The Reason Most New Jobs Are Only Part Time. "Nationally, the jobless rate has been pegged at 7.6 percent, but if you count the people working when President Obama came to power, the rate actually is 8.6 percent, Roberts said. Nor does the official figure distinguish between full- and part-time jobs, he pointed out. 'Almost all of the jobs we've been creating are part-time," Roberts said. "We attribute that to the fear that businesses have about trying to comply with Obamacare, and because there's a penalty for getting your business over 50 employees, and a penalty for having your employees work more than 30 hours a week.'" (Mannix Porterfield, "Business Summit Attracting More Than 600, So Far," Register-Herald, 8/4/13)

Carelink/Coventry Health Care Announced On September 10 That It Would Withdraw From West Virginia's ObamaCare Exchange. "Carelink/Coventry Health Care has pulled out of the state's individual insurance marketplace, leaving Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia as the only current option for West Virginia residents who buy subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act." (Lori Kersey, "Coventry/Carelink Won't Join Health Insurance Marketplace," Charleston Gazette, 9/10/13)

  • Carelink/Coventry Health Care's Withdrawal Leaves Just One Insurance Option For West Virginians Enrolled In The State's ObamaCare Exchange. "Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield confirmed Wednesday it will remain in the state's individual insurance marketplace. The news came one day after Carelink/Coventry Health Care, the only other option, pulled out of the state's marketplace. That leaves Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield the only option for West Virginians to buy subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act." (Candace Nelson, "Highmark Now State's Only Marketplace Option," Charleston Daily Mail, 9/11/13)

Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) Claims ObamaCare "Will Add Jobs"- But She May Want To Check With Kentucky's Small Business Owners First

Grimes "Defended President Obama's Health Care Overhaul," Saying ObamaCare "Will Add Jobs And Federal Dollars To Kentucky." "While explaining several problems she has with the Affordable Care Act, Alison Lundergan Grimes defended President Obama's health care overhaul on Tuesday, saying it will add jobs and federal dollars to Kentucky and that Congress should not 'throw the baby out with the bathwater.'" (Joe Arnold, "Grimes Defends Obamacare As Job Creator In Kentucky," WHAS11 TV, Posted 8/20/13)

"The ACA Will Bring Billions Of Federal Dollars And Create 17,000 Jobs In Kentucky, Grimes Said." (Joe Arnold, "Grimes Defends Obamacare As Job Creator In Kentucky," WHAS11 TV, Posted 8/20/13)

KENTUCKY EMPLOYERS AND RESIDENTS ARE CONCERNED OBAMACARE WILL COST JOBS

Lexington Restaurant Owner Is Concerned That ObamaCare Will Lead To A Loss In Jobs At Restaurants. "Lexington restaurant owner Joe Bologna said he is concerned that under ObamaCare fewer people will have money to eat out, resulting in loss of jobs at restaurants." (Jack Brammer, "Barr, Guthrie, Yarmuth Get An Earful About Health Care Law At Lexington Hearing," Lexington Herald Leader, 8/27/13)

  • Balogna Said He Had To Cut Staff To Get Below ObamaCare's 50 Employee Threshold. "He said he already has reduced his staff from 54 to 47 and is closed on Mondays. He said that his hard-working grandparents raised 11 children without insurance." (Jack Brammer, "Barr, Guthrie, Yarmuth Get An Earful About Health Care Law At Lexington Hearing," Lexington Herald Leader, 8/27/13)

Residents Complain That ObamaCare's Individual Mandate Is Unfair. "Jean Hughes: "If You're Going To Give The Boss Extra Time To Get His Stuff Together, Give Us Time." ( WPSD-KY, 7/11/13)


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