Tag: Costs

Federal Assclowns Fine Energy Company For Lowering Costs And Improving The Environment

What Happened When One Company Lowered Its Costs and Improved The Environment? Government Fines. – Daily Signal

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Here’s how the federal government rewards an energy company for upgrading its power plants to lower costs for families and businesses and improving the environment: slap them with a nearly a million dollar fine, force them to close power plant units and lay off employees and make them millions of dollars in environmental mitigation projects.

If that sounds backwards to you, well it is.

In a lawsuit that lasted 15 years, Duke Energy and the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) reached a settlement where Duke “will pay a civil penalty of $975,000, shut down a coal-fired power plant and invest $4.4 million on environmental mitigation projects.”

The EPA and Department of Justice brought the suit against Duke Energy in 2000 arguing that the company failed to comply with the Clean Air Act when the company modified 13 coal-fired units in North Carolina.

At issue is the New Source Review (NSR), one of the 1977 Clean Air Act amendments. Power plants must meet certain air quality standards, and companies must follow Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) rules to demonstrate that the construction and operation of new projects and major modifications will not increase emissions above a specified threshold.

Therefore, if a company wants to make plant modifications that improves the power plant’s efficiency, it will trigger New Source Review and the EPA will regulate the plant to meet the most recent emissions standards.

However, what constitutes a significant modification is subjective under the rules. The amendment excludes routine maintenance, repair, and replacement, but what falls under the definition of significant modification remains murky, despite multiple administrative attempts to clarify the meaning. The lack of clarification also forces companies into years, if not decades, of litigation over NSR violations. Such is the most recent case with Duke Energy.

Companies could be allocating resources to invest in new equipment and provide jobs that benefit energy consumers, but instead have to waste resources fighting ridiculously long and unnecessary lawsuits. Even though companies argue in court they complied with the law, the result will be a settlement where the federal government hands down millions of dollars in fines, and forces the closure of power plants, killing jobs in the process.

New Source Review is a cost to both the economy and the environment. Plant upgrades can improve efficiency and reduce operational costs, thereby lowering electricity costs for families and businesses, increasing reliability, and providing environmental benefits.

Nevertheless, because those upgrades trigger a New Source Review, the policy discourages new investment and keeps power plants operating less efficiently than they otherwise would.

Although increasing the efficiency of a plant will likely cause it to run longer and consequently cause the plant’s emissions to rise, NSR does not account for the emission reduction that would occur if a less efficient plant reduced its hours of operation to compensate for increases in operation of a more efficient plant.

That is why Congress should repeal New Source Review.

New Source Review is a bureaucratic mess that prevents plants from operating at optimal efficiency. Power plants are already clean because companies equip them with sophisticated, state-of-the-art pollution prevention technology to ensure safe operations no matter how long the power plant runs.

Repealing NSR would not be a free pass for companies to pollute but instead allow them to improve plant efficiency, reduce emissions and also increase power generation to meet U.S. energy needs.

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New Obama Regulations Will Close Hundreds Of Coal Plants, Block New Ones, Increase Electricity Costs 80%

EPA Regs Will Close Hundreds Of Coal Plants, Block New Ones, Increase Costs 80% – Independent Sentinel

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Obama is to fossil fuels what locusts are to crops.

The administration is coming up with Draconian regulations on coal plants Monday and they are worse than originally planned.

A government official promised on Tuesday that regulations will cost taxpayers as much as 80% more for electricity but the New York Times said the “administration argues that the rules will save the average American family $85 annually in electricity costs and bring additional health benefits.” You read that correctly.

This is the government engineered unFree Market at work. Read on.

We were promised a savings of $2500 a year in our health insurance premiums but they are skyrocketing. This energy debacle appears to be going down the same road. All of this is to control us. Coal is not bad enough to warrant this overreaction but the president wants his ideology in place.

On Tuesday, Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80%, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”

In other words, prices are anticipated to go up, then come down as the technology develops but they will never be inexpensive as they were.

The problem is mainly that the CCS technology they are forcing on the coal plants is not ready for prime time and the people will have to shoulder the costs of the premature regulations and the immature technology. The lowered future costs are reliant on their betting on the technology they admit is not ready for use.

Friedman said coal plants would not install the CCS technology without the mandate and the government will subsidize them. That’s another cost to taxpayers so the government can force the technology through quickly.

If the technology is not ready for use, how can it be mandated and how do we know it will work?

Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity accused the Obama administration of trying to drive up energy costs and put Americans out of work.

“Today’s hearing shed further light on how grossly underdeveloped CCS remains and revealed the staggering cost increases American consumers and manufacturers will face if future power plants are forced to operate under EPA’s inane regulations,” Sheehan said. “DOE and EPA are wasting valuable taxpayer dollars by pursuing policies that will do nothing to build economic confidence and create jobs but everything to drive up energy costs and put hardworking Americans out of work.”

The government and their environmental group partners refused to listen to requests for more realistic cost ranges.

The New York Times reported that on Monday, EPA head Gina McCarthy will announce the toughest Obama regulations to date, regulations which will possibly shut down hundreds of coal-fired plants and freeze construction of new coal plants. This is part of the administration’s fundamental transformation of the energy sector which he has basically seized via the EPA.

He is fighting global warming which he sees as an existential threat though many believe his nationalization of every U.S. sector is more of an existential threat.

The NY Times reports, “the most aggressive of the regulations requires the nation’s existing power plants to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, an increase from the 30 percent target proposed in the draft regulation.”

They added, “That new rule also demands that power plants use more renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power. While the proposed rule would have allowed states to lower emissions by transitioning from plants fired by coal to plants fired by natural gas, which produces about half the carbon pollution of coal, the final rule is intended to push electric utilities to invest more quickly in renewable sources, raising to 28 percent from 22 percent the share of generating capacity that would come from such sources.”

The administration could not get a cap and trade bill passed so the president took out his pen and phone and is putting through a cap and trade bill that will probably negatively impact the lives of the middle class Americans he purports to help. If the president wins in court, it will force every state to implement his cap and trade.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell comes from a coal state and has told governors to refuse to follow the mandates.

The NY Times added that “experts”, who were left unnamed in the article, say that emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. They are referring to the global warming that is in its 21st year of not warming.

Taxpayers can take small solace in the fact that this is for Mr. Obama’s legacy and he’s ramping up in time for his term’s end.

The administration says this will save the average taxpayer $85 a year but they might be using Common Core math because that’s not what Mr. Friedman said on Tuesday.

Leftist think tanks like ThinkProgress predict lower energy bills but that is not what Barack Obama promised in January 2008.

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Leftist Incompetence Update: Unfinished Prison Costs Detroit $1.2 Million Per Month

Liberals Built This: Unfinished Prison Costs Detroit $1.2 Million Per Month – Weasel Zippers

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This is liberal control.

Via Fox News:

A prison in downtown Detroit that was deemed too expensive to complete is now a construction site frozen in time that still costs cash-strapped local taxpayers more than $1 million a month.

It was supposed to be a state-of-art lockup in the heart of the Motor City, but four years after breaking ground, with construction costs totaling $150 million and no end in sight, the city pulled the plug on the project four years ago.

Now, the Wayne County Jail sits empty among the ruins of a bankrupt city, costing taxpayers upwards of $1.2 million in debt service and monthly upkeep costs for electricity, security, sump pumps – and even off-site storage for pre-fabricated jail cells that will never be used.

Keep reading

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Buried In The Numbers: Obamacare’s Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding (Sally Pipes)

Buried In The Numbers: Obamacare’s Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding – Sally Pipes

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Late last month, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the provisions within Obamacare expanding access to insurance coverage would cost 20% less than the agency estimated in 2010, when the law passed.

The White House was ecstatic. “The estimates released today by CBO once again confirm the progress we’ve made,” said deputy press secretary Eric Schultz.

Taxpayers, however, should worry. A closer look at the CBO’s numbers shows that Obamacare is growing much more expensive – and disruptive.

The CBO now expects Obamacare to cover far fewer uninsured than it previously thought. In a March 2011 report, the nonpartisan agency predicted that Obamacare would extend coverage to 34 million uninsured by 2021. It has since downgraded that number to 27 million – and concluded that Obamacare will leave 31 million Americans without insurance.

So the law’s overall price tag has declined only because it’s covering fewer people.

Left unsaid is the fact that Obamacare is set to spend more per person. If the law is not repealed, Obamacare will shell out $7,740 in subsidies for every person who gains coverage in 2021. That’s a 7% increase over the agency’s per-person estimate in 2011.

The CBO now projects that the law will cost nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years. Obamacare’s subsidies alone will cost $1.1 trillion. In 2010, the agency put the cost of the entire law at $940 billion over its first decade.

Obamacare hasn’t just failed to expand coverage as projected – it’s caused more people to lose their insurance than its architects intended. The CBO now estimates that 10 million people will lose their employer-provided health benefits by 2021. That’s a tenfold increase over the agency’s 2011 projections.

Indeed, the CBO originally predicted that Obamacare would boost employer-based health coverage by several million from 2011 to 2015.

This latest round of CBO projections could look downright rosy if health costs rise in the future.

That seems likely. National health spending shot up 5.6% last year. The agency predicts that it will climb 6% a year for the foreseeable future. That’s a 50% uptick from the average annual health inflation rate over the past six years.

Meanwhile, by offering subsidies for the purchase of insurance on state or federal exchanges, Obamacare will increase demand for it. That will fuel further price inflation.

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admitted as much in a January 2014 interview, saying, “The law isn’t designed to save money. It’s designed to improve health, and that’s going to cost money.” The president, of course, promised otherwise.

The law’s costs could rise even faster if companies dodge the employer mandate, which require firms with at least 100 full-time employees to offer health plans or pay a fine starting this year. Those with at least 50 full-timers must do the same beginning in 2016.

Employers might cut back on their workers’ hours so that they’re considered part-time — or stop hiring workers. Some firms may dump their health plans altogether, thanks to Obamacare’s many other cost-inflating mandates and regulations. The fine may be cheaper than the cost of coverage.

That may be good for their bottom line. But workers would suddenly have to pay for their own coverage on the exchanges. Taxpayers would have to pick up a share of the tab for those that qualify for subsidies.

These possibilities are becoming reality. A recent survey of small companies in southwestern Michigan found that one-quarter planned to drop their health plans this year because of Obamacare. Another quarter expect to do so next year.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, another of Obamacare’s architects, believes these mass exoduses will continue. He predicts that Obamacare will bring about “the end of employer-sponsored insurance.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. Our healthcare system can deliver better quality care at lower cost – but only if the federal government repeals the Affordable Care Act and replaces it with a healthcare law based on market-friendly reforms.

Consider the market for senior care – dominated, of course, by Medicare. Lawmakers should replace the current, open-ended, fee-for-service system with means-tested vouchers available to beneficiaries at age 67, just as Social Security is. Under such a system, seniors would be able to pick from a variety of privately administered health plans. Competition can do the job of reducing costs and improving quality.

It’s already done so in the Medicare Part D drug benefit, which allows seniors to choose from among prescription drug plans offered by competing insurance companies. According to the CBO, Part D’s cost between 2004 and 2013 was 45% lower than the agency predicted at the outset.

Lawmakers should adopt a similar approach to reforming Medicaid, the joint state-federal health plan for the poor. A fixed block grant for each state – and private options for Medicaid enrollees – would empower states to experiment with their programs to determine how to deliver the best care at the lowest cost.

There’s evidence that this approach can save money and improve care. In 2011, Oregon convinced the Obama administration to give it a block grant of sorts. The results have been impressive. Emergency-room visits declined 17%. From 2011 to 2014, costs fell 19%.

If Oregon’s approach were adopted nationwide, Medicaid spending could decline by more than $900 billion over the next decade, according to CMS.

Obamacare is failing to reduce our nation’s health costs and to expand access to insurance as promised. Congress’s own budget watchdog now admits as much.

Congressional Republicans have finally begun to do something about that reality, with their vote to repeal Obamacare last week and their reinvigorated drive to formulate a replacement. They must complete the job.

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Thanks Barack… Obamacare Subsidies Will Push Costs Up By More Than 50 Percent

O-Care Subsidies Will Push Costs Up By More Than 50% – Sweetness & Light

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections

By Noam N. Levey | June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON – The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates…

You don’t say.

That assistance helped lower premiums for consumers who bought health coverage on the federal marketplaces by 76% on average, according to the new report from the Department of Health and Human Services…

While the generous subsidies helped consumers, they also risk inflating the new health law’s price tag in its first year.

The report suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the federal government… If these state [exchange] consumers received roughly comparable government assistance for their insurance premiums, the total cost of subsidies could top $16.5 billion this year.

That would be far higher than projections this spring from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the 2014 subsidies would cost the federal government $10 billion…

Imagine them being so badly mistaken in their projections. How does it happen, time and again?

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in April that the annual cost of subsidies will rise to $23 billion next year and $95 billion in 2024, although the budget office continued to project that all the law’s costs will be offset by additional revenue it raises and by cuts in other federal healthcare spending.

Right. Just like the way Medicare costs have been offset over the years.

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CA Obamacare Costs $1.2B More Than Expected; Governor Moonbeam Thinks That’s Swell

California Obamacare Costs $1.2 Billion More Than Expected – Breitbart

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Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown warned on Tuesday that his state’s Obamacare program will cost California taxpayers $1.2 billion more than the state originally budgeted for.

“I’m proud we did it,” said Brown. “But we also have to take into account this thing is growing.”

Brown said the state’s Obamacare exchange, known officially as Covered California, and the state’s Medi-Cal expansion represent “a huge social commitment on the part of the taxpayers of California.”

As the Los Angeles Times reports, “Although the federal government picks up the tab for any patients who became eligible for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, the state is still responsible for half the price for people who were previously eligible but hadn’t yet signed up.”

Last week, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that California faces $340 billion in debts, or more than $8,500 for each of the 38 million people who live in the state.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Leftist Nightmare Update: Costs Of ObamaCare Bungles Start To Add Up, With Maryland First At About $30.5M

Costs Of ObamaCare Bungles Start To Add Up, With Maryland First At About $30.5M – Fox News

Maryland could end up spending as much as $30.5 million as a result of a glitch in its ObamaCare website, as the Obama administration steps in to help states with problematic exchanges.

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Because of Maryland’s defective exchange, the state cannot determine whether customers remain eligible for Medicaid, according to a report by state budget analysts released Thursday.

As a result, the state has agreed with the federal government to a six-month delay in determining eligibility, meaning that payments will continue to be made to customers who are not eligible until the system is fixed. The delay will cost the state $17.8 million in fiscal 2014 and $12.7 million in fiscal 2015, the analysts estimated.

On Friday, the Obama administration said it would suspend some Affordable Care Act rules to help the 14 states with their own ObamaCare sites, particularly Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Oregon, which have had the most problems.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plan, completed a day earlier, states the federal government will help pay for “qualified” health-insurance plans for customers in those states who because of “exceptional circumstances” had to buy plans outside of ObamaCare exchanges, as reported first by The Washington Post.

The administration made the change before the end-of-March deadline for Americans to enroll in ObamaCare this year.

In Maryland, the exchange cannot convert income data from the existing Medicaid enrollment system into a calculation needed to review whether enrollees are qualified “because of a variety of system architectural flaws,” according to budge analysts.

The exchange has been plagued by computer problems that have made it difficult for people to enroll in private health care plans since its debut Oct. 1.

State officials have decided to stick with the exchange through the open enrollment period that ends March 31 but is evaluating alternatives with an eye toward the next enrollment period that begins in November.

Among the possibilities is adopting technology developed by another state, joining a consortium of other states, partnering with the federal exchange or making major fixes to the existing system.

Thirty-six states use the federal HealthCare.gov site, which crashed and had other major problems in the first two months of enrollment.

The Maryland report said the state may need to develop an interim solution while a long-term solution is being developed. However, that process would likely take at least nine to 12 months, pushing up against the next open-enrollment period.

The report also states the development of the exchange was “a high risk undertaking” from the outset, in large part because of contractors woes, tight deadlines, constantly evolving requirement and its need to interface with work-in-progress federal databases.

The administration changes this week are not the first to ObamaCare, to be sure.

In November, Obama helped Americans about to lose policies because they didn’t meet new minimum requirements by allow the substandard plans to be sold through the end of this year.

And administration officials has twice this year given medium- and large-sized employers more time to offer health insurance to most full-time workers.

However, the change this week is significant because it marks the first time the federal government has agreed to help pay for policies bought outside the new exchanges.

The coverage in the outside policies would have to be comparable to those offered on the exchange. And customers would have to start paying premiums, then get the subsidies after the state exchanges could determine their income eligibility.

Maryland Health Benefit Exchange official told The Post earlier this week that roughly 7,000 applications are stuck in state’s system, but all of them might not need insurance and that officials were still looking over the administration’s offer.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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45-State Study: Obamacare Offers Less Choice, Higher Prices, Breaking Another Promise – Washington Examiner

A new and comprehensive comparison of health insurance options offered by Obamacare versus private websites finds that President Obama’s program offers less choice and higher prices than promised by the White House and leading Democrats.

Adding to the list of broken health care promises, the study from the National Center for Public Policy Research found that there were more and cheaper options available on websites outside the health insurance exchange in 2013 than on healthcare.gov and state Obamacare exchanges.

The report, “Obamacare Exchanges: Less Choice, Higher Prices,” looked at options available for a 27-year-old single person and a 57-year-old couple in metropolitan areas across 45 states.

The report found that a 27-year-old male had about 10 more policies to choose from on eHealthinsurance.com and finder.healthcare versus the exchange. The older couple had about nine more policy choices.

Ditto for the cost findings, with the 27-year-old male having access to 32 policies that cost less than the cheapest Obamacare offering, and the 57-year-old couple access to 29 cheaper policies.

“In general, consumers had substantially more policies to choose from on private websites such as eHealthinsurance.com and Finder.healthcare.gov than they presently have on the exchanges,” said the study.

“Obamacare supporters, including the president himself and Nancy Pelosi, claimed the exchanges would yield more choice and lower prices,” said the study’s author, David Hogberg. “This study shows those claims do not stand up.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, describes itself f as a “non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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House Subcommittee Chairman: Obama Administration Policy Would Eliminate Half Of All Existing Medicare Part D Plans – Daily Caller

The Obama administration’s new proposed rule for Medicare Part D would eliminate half of all Medicare Part D plans and raise prescription drug premiums for millions of seniors by up to 20 percent, according to a U.S. House subcommittee chairman.

“Today, the average senior has 35 different [Medicare Part D] plans to choose from this year. This rule would reduce that choice to two plans. 50% of the plans offered today will be gone, and the health care that seniors like may go with it,” House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee chairman Rep. Joe Pitts said in a statement at a Feb. 26 hearing attended by a top administration health official.

“Limiting seniors’ choices like this will inevitably lead to higher costs. By some estimates, the restriction on the number of plans that can be offered could cause premiums to rise by 10%-20%. Costs to the federal government may increase by $1.2-1.6 billion according to a study by Milliman,” Pitts said. “… I urge Secretary Sebelius and Administrator Tavenner to rescind this rule.”

The study Pitts cited also showed that the new rule would increase out-of-pocket drug costs for 6.9 million seniors who do not qualify for low-income subsidies, and would raise federal taxpayer costs for six million seniors who do qualify.

President Bush signed Medicare Part D into law in 2003 to subsidize prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

The Daily Caller reported that the administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently introduced a new proposed rule on the Federal Register called “Medicare Program: Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs.”

The new rule “would revise the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and prescription drug benefit program (Part D) regulations to implement statutory requirements; strengthen beneficiary protections; exclude plans that perform poorly; improve program efficiencies; and clarify program requirements,” according to the Federal Register.

The rule states that it also aims “to implement certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

The new rule’s stated desire to “strengthen our ability to identify strong applicants for Part C and Part D program participation and remove consistently poor performers” would give the Obama administration new authority to limit health insurance and prescription drug providers under the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs.

The rule would also violate the Medicare Part D’s law’s “non-interference provision that prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from interfering with the negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and sponsors of prescription drug plans,” according to testimony by American Action Forum president Douglas Holtz-Eakin, violating “congressional intent.”

Rep. Pitts expressed confusion and anger at CMS’ new rule.

“CMS itself says that 96% of the Part D claims it reviewed showed seniors saved money at preferred pharmacies, and nearly 25,500 seniors in my district have chosen Part D plans with a preferred pharmacy network. Yet CMS would take that away from them,” Pitts said.

“The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit is a government success story. Last year, nearly 39 million beneficiaries were enrolled in a Part D prescription drug plan,” Pitts said.

“Competition and choice have kept premiums stable. In fact, in 2006, the first year the program was in effect, the base beneficiary premium was $32.20 a month. In 2014, the base beneficiary premium is $32.42 – a 22-cent increase over 9 years – and still roughly half of what was originally predicted,” Pitts added. “More than 90% of seniors are satisfied with their Part D drug coverage because of this. African-American and Hispanic seniors report even higher levels of satisfaction, at 95% and 94%, respectively.”

“The program has worked so well because it forces prescription drug plans and providers to compete for Medicare beneficiaries – putting seniors, not Washington, in the driver’s seat. Part D should be the model for future reforms to the Medicare program,” Pitts said.

House Energy and Commerce committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton joined with Pitts at the hearing in criticizing the new rule.

“The proposed rule, issued on January 6, 2014, appears to be a direct assault on the competitive structure of the program. It inhibits the ability of plans to obtain discounts for beneficiaries, limits the range of market segments in which they may compete, and usurps the responsibility of states to license those able to prescribe. This 700-page proposal makes numerous changes,” Upton said.

CMS principal deputy administrator Jonathan Blum testified that limiting Part D sponsors to providing only two plans per region will “promote needed clarity of plan choices for beneficiaries.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Obamacare Website Update: The Stunning Incompetence Continues (Video)

CBS: Healthcare.gov “Dramatically Underestimates Costs” In New Estimate Feature – Hot Air

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Well, the good news is that HHS has actually tried to fix a few things on the Healthcare.gov website. The bad news is that the fixes make the confusion and incompetence even worse. After hearing a hailstorm of criticism over the necessity to completely enroll before seeing premium prices, HHS added a premium estimator on the front page of the website. However, unless you are exactly 27 or 50 years old, the estimates you get will wildly undershoot what you’ll be forced to pay.

CBS reports that industry analysts can’t believe what they are seeing:

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As President Obama promises to fix HealthCare.gov, his administration is touting what it calls “improvements” in design, specifically a feature that allows you to “See Plans Now.” White House press secretary Jay Carney has said, “Americans across the country can type in their zip code and shop and browse.”

Industry analysts, such as Jonathan Wu, point to how the website lumps people only into two broad categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.”

Wu said it’s “incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.”

Prices for everyone in the 49-or-under group are based on what a 27-year-old would pay. In the 50-or-older group, prices are based on what a 50-year-old would pay.

CBS News ran the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ineligible for subsidies. According to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina’s website costs $360, more than a 50 percent increase. The difference: BlueCross BlueShield requests your birthday before providing more accurate estimates.

The numbers for older Americans are even more striking. A 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634.

What part of “trust us to fix what we couldn’t deliver correctly in the first place” do industry analysts not understand?

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Unreal… Sebelius Says We Needed ‘FIVE YEARS’ Of Website Construction And ‘Two Years’ Of Testing – Gateway Pundit

Who needs five years to build a website? The Obama administration, that’s who!

What a disaster.

HHS Secretary Sebelius told supporters on Saturday that the administration needed five years to construct the website and two years to test it out.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

After two weeks of review, the HHS secretary concluded, “We didn’t have enough testing, specifically for high volumes, for a very complicated project.”

The online insurance marketplace needed five years of construction and a year of testing, she said: “We had two years and almost no testing.”

In her role as HHS secretary, Mrs. Sebelius is traveling around the U.S. to persuade people to sign up for coverage.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Three-Wheeled Commuter Car Gets 84 Miles To The Gallon, Costs $6,800 (Video)

The Three-Wheeled Commuter Car With A Price Tag Of $6,800 That Manufacturers Hope Will Change The Way You Get To Work – Daily Mail

A car company looking to gain an edge in the burgeoning ultra-high mileage commuter market hopes to do so by cutting corners.

Or, wheels rather.

Introducing Elio Motors, a startup vehicle manufacturer based in Michigan that hopes to get Americans plying the streets minus one wheel in skinny little cars that feature two in the front and just one in the back.

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And to do so, founder Paul Elio demanded his vehicle live up to four basic principles, reports MLive.

First, the three wheeled car had to get at least 84 miles to the gallon on the highway.

Second, it could cost no more than $6,800. It had to also receive a 5-star safety rating in spite of its size.

Finally, Elio’s car had to be American made.

So far, the three-wheeled car has met those marks.

Weighing in at 850 pounds, the Elio’s svelteness allows it to glide without the need for an SUV-sized fuel tank.

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And with five airbags, there’s little room in the skinny car to hit anything hard once they’ve deployed.

Unfortunately, the car has lived up to its founder’s specifications only in the form of a few prototypes.
The Elio has yet to undergo federal crash test rating. That along with some other red tape means the prototypes – which have so far emerged painted shades of silver, black, white, blue, orange (called creasicle), red and bright green – aren’t street legal.

But Elio’s representatives have been happy to take industry insiders out for a spin.

And Elio’s vice president of marketing Chip Stempeck will soon be touring Michigan cities in an Elio.

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According to Stempeck, interested buyers can put down deposits in varying increments, sort of like a Kickstarter campaign. The larger the deposit, the sooner the buyer will get his or her Elio once production begins.

Elio says that will be sometime next summer, when the company will start assembling its three-wheel cars in an old General Motors plant Louisiana.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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