Tag: Increase

Warship Of The Future: Super Stealth ‘Ghost’ Skates Above Water To Increase Speed In Stormy Seas (Pictures/Video)

A Glimpse At The Warship Of The Future: Super Stealth Ghost Vessel ‘Skates’ Above Water To Increase Speed In Stormy Seas – Daily Mail

This sinister looking craft might resemble Darth Vader’s imperial shuttle in Star Wars but it is actually a high-speed boat that uses its clever design to reduce the risk of seasickness.

The vessel, called Ghost, uses two 12ft (3.6 metre) winged struts that stand on twin hulls to lift the main craft clear out of the water.

This allows the Ghost to reach speeds of 33 knots (38 mph/61km/h) even when faced with waves of 8ft (2.4 metre) high.

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Ghost was developed by US-based Juliet Marine Systems, founded by entrepeneur Greg Sancoff.

‘Ghost is a reconfigurable high-speed small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) vessel that delivers significant advantages over alternative vessels in this size class,’ according to the company’s website.

It uses a supercavitation effect to reduce the ship’s drag coefficient by a factor of 900.

The 38-foot (11.5m) long main cabin rests on top of a pair of 12-foot (3.6m) tall struts which, when moving at speed, prop the cabin above the water like a hydrofoil.

The struts swivel at their base, allowing them to be raised and lowered depending on the water depth.

While parked, or traveling through shallow waters, they can be extended to the side.

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In deeper waters, at speeds of eight knots or higher, they can rotate downward to lift the hull into the air, eliminating the jarring impact of waves.

They’re sharpened along the leading edge as well to slice through submerged debris.

At the other end of each strut, a 62-foot (18.8m) long tube houses a 2,000HP gas turbine engine spinning two front-mounted propellers.

These tubes also eject a pocket of air from the front to generate a supercavitation effect that reduces the ship’s drag coefficient by a factor of 900.

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‘It’s a revolutionary program,’ said Greg Sancoff, founder and CEO of Juliet Marine Systems.

‘Nothing like this has ever been built by anybody, not even the Navy.’

The Ghost rides on 12-foot (3.6m) struts connected to engine assemblies Sancoff says take advantage of ‘supercavitation,’ traveling underwater inside a bubble of gas.

It is a new application of technology that the inventor insists will make Ghost fast.

It has so far hit about 38mph (61km/h) but its creator believes it could approach 60mph (97 km/h), while staying stable even in rough seas.

It was announced in December last year that the company will be working with Karmel Technologies, Inc. to bring the Ghost technology to Korea.

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One of these ships would set you back about $10 million (£6.9 million) according to the company website.

‘A squadron of ten stealth Ghosts, carrying torpedos, missiles or cannons, would wreak havoc on any enemy,’ it says.

Business Insider named the vessel one of the top 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century at the end of last year.
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Muslim Migrants Increase Crime In Germany By 65% (Daniel Greenfield)

Muslim Migrants Increase Crime In Germany By 65% – Daniel Greenfield

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the huge number of Muslim migrants flooding Europe and Germany represent an “opportunity”. Here’s what that opportunity looks like now.
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A mass brawl occurred between refugees from Afghanistan and Albania. Some 60 refugees went after one another in the camp in the Wilhelmsburg district on Tuesday evening. Some were armed with iron bars, also witnesses had testified that a refugee had a firearm, a police spokesman said.

In Lower Saxony in Braunschweig there was also an altercation between 300 to 400 refugees between Algerians and Syrians from a dispute over stolen goods.

In the brawl in Hamburg five refugees were injured, one got a wound in his arm and had to be hospitalized. Whether they were stabbed, was initially unclear. The police had deployed a large contingent on site to separate the warring Afghans and Albanians, said the spokesman. 30 police cars were in use.

After police managed to stop the fight, a tent was set on fire. Two people were poisoned by smoke. It was unclear whether there was a link between the arson and the fight. According to the police spokesman, the odor of drugs was detected.

According to statistics from the Federal Criminal Police vedomstva Germany the number of offenses committed by asylum seekers has increased dramatically. Given the large number of immigrants, it is not surprising. In 2013 it was registered 32 495 crimes, and in 2014 – already 53 890. A particularly sharp increase in thefts (from 9421 to 16066) attacks with bodily injury (from 5172 to 8994)

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Here’s what the opportunity looks like. It’s an opportunity for No Go Zones. For suicide bombings. For organized crime, constant riots and entire neighborhoods and then cities ruled by Muslim gangs that swiftly evolve into militias just like they do in the Middle East.

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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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Democrats Want To “Dramatically Increase” Number Of Syrian Refugees Being Brought To U.S.

Democrats Call For ‘Flood’ Of Muslims To U.S. – WorldNetDaily

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A group of 14 Democrat senators has written a letter to President Obama urging him to “dramatically increase” the number of Syrian refugees being resettled into American cities and towns.

They say the U.S. needs to take in at least 65,000 Syrians as permanent refugees over the next year-and-a-half.

“While the United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees, we must also dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees that we accept for resettlement,” says the four-page letter to Obama, copied to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

More than 3.5 million Syrians are registered with the United Nations as refugees, and the U.N. wants to assign about 350,000 of them to so-called “third-party countries.”

The 14 senators, led by Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., cite the research of the Refugee Council USA to make their case for 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. RCUSA is the main lobbying arm of the nine agencies that contract with the federal government to resettle refugees in cities and towns across America.

The more refugees brought into the country, the more government grants doled out to the nine resettlement agencies. Among them are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Church World Service, International Rescue Committee and the National Association of Evangelicals’ World Relief.

More than 90 percent of Syrian refugees will be Muslim

Of the 843 Syrians resettled in the U.S. since the start of the Syrian civil war, 92 percent have been Muslim and about 7 percent Christian. Syria’s overall population is 90 percent Muslim and close to 10 percent Christian.

“The vast majority of these refugees are women and children, including two million children,” the letter states, using language similar to what Democrats used to justify the entry of some 60,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last year. “An entire generation of Syrian children is at risk.

“More than ten thousand Syrian children have been killed, and half of Syrian refugee children are not attending school, more than one-hundred thousand are working to support their families, and thousands are unaccompanied or separated from their parents.

“[W]e urge your Administration to work to accept at least 50 percent of Syrian refugees whom UNCHR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] is seeking to resettle, consistent with our nation’s traditional practice under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.”

The letter also addresses the security concerns about accepting Syrians who may have ties to the various Islamic extremist factions fighting to overthrow and replace Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Among them are ISIS, Jabat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army.

“We fully support your Administration’s efforts to ensure that any potential security concerns are addressed by strengthening security checks for refugees with the latest technology and information,” the letter states.

“Refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers to the U.S., with extensive biometric, biographic, intelligence, and law enforcement checks involving numerous agencies,” the letter says, parroting the U.S. State Department talking points about the quality of the screening process for refugees.

The problem with that argument, however, is that it has been debunked by FBI counter-terrorism experts who have openly admitted it is virtually impossible to screen Syrian refugees, precisely because U.S. agents don’t have access to reliable biometric and law enforcement data. As WND previously reported, Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI counter-terrorism unit, admitted at a hearing before the House Homeland Security committee on Feb. 11 that reliable records are not available in a “failed state” like Syria.

The House Homeland Security Committee was schedule to hold another hearing this week on the national security risks associated with the Syrian refugees, but that hearing was postponed Thursday until further notice.

The letter being sent to Obama makes the upcoming House hearing even more pivotal as the battle over this issue heats up on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats pushing for more Syrians and Republicans pushing for less.

‘A serious mistake’

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, says resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. is a “serious mistake” and should be stopped until safeguards are in place.

“We have no way… to know who these people are, and so I think bringing them in is a serious mistake,” said McCaul during a press conference Thursday.

McCaul said the U.S. has “no intelligence footprint or capability” inside Syria to ensure refugees mean no harm.

“We don’t have databases on these individuals so we can’t properly vet them,” he added, “to know where they came from, to know what threat they pose, because we don’t have the data to cross-reference them with.”

McCaul, who has visited Syrian refugee camps overseas, said that while there are “a lot of mothers and kids, there are [also] a lot of males of the age that could conduct terrorist operations.”

“That concerns me,” he added.

‘Give me your tired…’

The U.S. takes in more refugees than any other country by far. In the current fiscal year it has committed to accept 70,000 and some years it has been as high as 200,000. Almost all of the refugees coming to the U.S. are selected by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

Also playing against the Democratic senators argument is the recent string of arrests of Somali refugees and children of Somali refugees. Just last month six Somali young men were arrested and charged with trying to leave the country to fight for ISIS. Two of them used their college student loan money to pay for plane tickets to Turkey.

Dozens of others have gone to fight with al-Shabab in Somalia and still others have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing money or other material support to overseas terrorist organizations.

Somalia, like Syria, is a failed state where the U.S. has no military presence and no access to reliable law enforcement data.

“This issue has obviously come up before. We’ve had a bunch of people who have come in as refugees and committed terrorist acts, or tried to commit terrorist acts,” said Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. “But I think the underlying question is, one, the ability to vet people from a war-torn country that had poor record keeping to begin with is virtually nonexistent now. There’s simply no way to know what people have done in the past from a country like Syria.

“All we know about Syria is that powerful and well-organized terrorist groups operate throughout the country,” he said.

Lessons learned or mistakes repeated?

Even if they could be adequately screened, experience proves that the children of Muslim immigrants are sometimes more in danger of being radicalized than their parents, Camarota said.

He points to numerous recent cases like that of Hoda Muthana, the 19-year-old daughter of Muslim parents who emigrated from Yemen more than 20 years ago and settled in Birmingham, Alabama. She left to fight for ISIS in November after being recruited over the Internet. Her parents have been “traumatized” by losing their oldest daughter, according to an article by AL.com.

The fact that some arrive as “children” is also no guarantee against radicalization. Some are radicalized in American mosques after they grow into teens and young adults.

That’s what happened to the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing. They came as asylum seekers as young boys with their parents from war-torn Chechnya.

“Unfortunately, a number of people who have come as refuges became radicalized after they arrived in the United States, including the Tsarnaev brothers. The younger brother, who just got convicted, was a young boy when he arrived with his family,” Camarota said.

“We’ve had a number from Somalia who have gone to fight for ISIS or al-Shabab who came to America at young ages,” he added. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a number of cases where people have been radicalized after they got here from Somalia.”

There is an alternative that low-immigration advocates such as Camarota say could be more effective in helping the plight of true refugees.

“We can help countries in the region resettle these folks, provide resources to countries like Jordan, and countries like Saudi Arabia, which is a rich country with lots of space,” he said. “And because they would be close to their home countries they could return once the war is over.”

Resettling refugees costs the American taxpayer $1.5 billion a year, and that does not include the cost of social welfare benefits. Unlike other immigrants, refugees immediately qualify for government benefits such as food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, or TANF, subsidized housing and Medicaid health care.

“Instead, that money could be used to help a lot more people resettle in the Middle East region, making it more likely that their life would be less disrupted and they would be more likely to return home,” Camarota said. “We could help more people and make it more likely rather than bring a tiny number here at huge costs and bring these risks to national security.”

Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said taking in more Syrian refugees poses risks that must be balanced against humanitarian concerns.

“Welcoming more Syrian refugees to the U.S. would be a generous move to make, so long as they can be vetted to exclude any who identify with a jihadist ideology or worse yet, are jihadis themselves,” she said. “It would also make sense to be sure we select for those who will most easily assimilate to America’s Judeo-Christian-based legal system and Western-style democratic society.”

While the lobbying organization National Council of Refugees USA, refers to itself as nonprofit and bipartisan, refugee watchdog Ann Corcoran doesn’t buy it.

She said conservatives shouldn’t be fooled by the “church sounding names.”

“Looking at this list they all appear to be from the hard left,” said Corcoran, who follows the refugee movement at her blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch.

The senators’ letter closes by saying: “[I]t is a moral, legal, and national security imperative for the United States to lead by example in addressing the world’s worst refugee crisis of our time by greatly increasing the number of Syrian refugees who are resettled in our country. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

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Over 500 Economists Sign Open Letter To Obama Opposing Increase In Minimum Wage

500+ Economists Sign Open Letter To Obama Opposing Minimum Wage Increase – Independent Journal Review

More than 500 economists, including three Nobel laureates and several members of past administrations, have signed an open letter to the White House and Congress urging them to reject a federal minimum wage increase.

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They warned that hiking the minimum wage would cause economic damage:

“One of the serious consequences of raising the minimum wage is that business owners saddled with a higher cost of labor will need to cut costs, or pass the increase to their consumers in order to make ends meet. Many of the businesses that pay their workers minimum wage operate on extremely tight profit margins, with any increase in the cost of labor threatening this delicate balance.”

For some reason, this has always been a hard concept for liberals to grasp. Whether it’s an increase in taxes, cost of materials or cost of labor, businesses will always – always — pass those increased costs along to the consumer; they always have, they always will. It’s called capitalism.

The economists cited the recent bipartisan Congressional Budget Office report which found that increasing the minimum wage would lead to job loss.

“The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) most recent report underscores the damage that a federal minimum wage increase would have. According to CBO, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would cost the economy 500,000 jobs by 2016.

Many of these jobs are held by entry-level workers with limited experience or vocational skills, the very employees meant to be helped.”

And therein lies the irony; while Obama trotting around the country espousing the virtue of raising the minimum wage may sound good to some, not only will many of those minimum wage employees be laid off; many more won’t be hired in the first place.

Obama and the Democrats fully understand this concept: it doesn’t really matter as long as they win the PR battle because Democrat voters have shown time and time again they don’t keep score; they never do. Liberalism has not proven to be about results. Emotion and intent are all that seem matter to the left.

How else can one explain the fact that 50 years and trillions of dollars after Lyndon Johnson launched the “War on Poverty,” urban Americans are no better off today, yet continue to overwhelmingly vote Democrat?

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Thanks Barack… Health Care Premiums To Increase Up To 125% In Wisconsin Due To Obamacare

Report: Health Care Premiums To Increase Up To 125% In Wisconsin Due To Obamacare – Weekly Standard

A local report from Green Bay, Wisconsin says that health care premiuns could increase up to 125 percent because of Obamacare:

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“Half a million Wisconsinites will soon have to open up their pocket books for health care coverage,” says a local anchor. “And new estimates show, it may be costly… The state’s office of the commissioner of insurance released estimates of how premium rates for individuals will be changing under the Affordable Care Act.”

The second anchor adds, “Yeah, for people who have no insurance or who may not have insurance those numbers show a wide range of increases- from 10-percent on the low end to as much as 125-percent. And with the requirement for individuals to have insurance set to start in less than a month, the law remains controversial.”

Adds the reporter, “According to the state’s office of the commissioner of insurance, there will be drastic premium increases as a result. The office compiled date from 8 cities for $2,000 deductible plans for three different age groups. The study did not include the numbers of actual estimated costs, only percentages. In Appleton a 21-year-old’s cost would increase 54- percent, a 40-year-old’s about 37-percent, and a 63- year-old’s about 32-percent.”

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Thanks Barack… Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Health Premiums By 88 Percent

Ohio Dept. Of Insurance: Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Health Premiums By 88 Percent – Forbes

Democrats continue to try to dismiss the evidence that Obamacare will dramatically increase the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own. But on Thursday, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced that, based on the rates submitted by insurers to date, the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, “representing an increase of 88 percent” relative to 2013. “We have warned of these increases,” said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in a statement. “Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014.”

The rates that Ohio reported are proposed rates; the Department of Insurance still has to formally approve them. “A total of 14 companies proposed rates for 214 plans to the Department. Projected costs from the companies for providing coverage for the required [by Obamacare] essential health benefits ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans.”

It’s called “rate shock,” but it’s not shocking to people who understand the economics of health insurance. In August 2011, Milliman, one of the nation’s leading actuarial firms, predicted that Obamacare would increase individual-market premiums in Ohio by 55 to 85 percent. This past March, the Society of Actuaries projected that the law would increase premiums in that market by 81 percent. Like good players on “The Price is Right,” they both came in just under the Dept. of Insurance’s figure.

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What are the drivers of the increase? According to Milliman, the two biggest drivers are (1) risk pool composition changes, such as forcing the young to subsidize the old, and the healthy to subsidize the sick; and (2) Obamacare’s required expansion of insurance benefits, particularly its mandated reductions in deductibles and co-pays.

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This is a significant concept to understand. Some people have the impression that the main reason that rates are going up under Obamacare is because of the law’s requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions. But that accounts for only a fraction – around a quarter – of the rate hike. The rest comes from all the other things that Obamacare does, such as forcing people to buy richer insurance benefits; to buy products with all sorts of add-ons they might not need; to pay Obamacare’s premium tax; and to pay a lot more, if they’re young, to subsidize older individuals.

There is an important difference between these analyses and the one I conducted for California last week. Ohio has reported average premiums across the individual market, for everyone; for California, I looked at the lowest-priced individual-market plans for 25- and 40-year-old men, both pre- and post-Obamacare. We’ll need to go through Ohio’s individual rate filings, especially after they’ve been approved by the state, to get a more detailed sense of what is going on.

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But the bottom line is this: President Obama and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised that premiums would go down for those who already have insurance. And yes, for those lower-income folks who benefit from the subsidies provided by other taxpayers, the costs they see may go down. But middle-class Ohioans will pay more in taxes to pay for those subsidies, and more in premiums. It will be interesting to see how those Ohioans feel about that.

UPDATE 1: Dave Dysinger, who runs a growing manufacturing business in Dayton, is worried about being subjected to the employer mandate as premiums in Ohio rise, according to the Dayton Daily News:

Dave Dysinger of the Dayton-based precision machine business, Dysinger Inc., said business is booming, putting pressure on the firm with just under 50 employees to expand its workforce.

But if the company crosses the 50-worker threshold, it would be forced to comply with the provisions of the health care law or pay a fine.

The cost of insurance could skyrocket if Dysinger brings on a fresh new crop of younger workers, but the law would limit how much of that cost he could pass onto his employees in the form of deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance.

“I am very concerned about what’s going to happen with the cost of health care,” Dysinger said. “But I’m going to save my whining until I actually see what’s going to happen.”

UPDATE 2: For those who are curious about the details of the Society of Actuaries’ estimate about pre-ACA insurance costs (which were cited by the Ohio Department of Insurance), the SOA calculated that “average costs in the non-group market” pre-ACA were $223 per month. The SOA estimates that post-ACA, non-group coverage will cost $403 per month, an increase of 81 percent.

According to SOA, that $223 figure reflects a risk pool in which 21.4 percent had a chronic condition. 1.7 percent of non-group individuals who were “high risk” were outside of that pool. If you incorporate them, the average cost goes up to $254; this leads to a premium increase of 59 percent by the SOA estimates. In other words, 22 percent of the absolute increase is due to guaranteed issue, and 59 percent is due to other factors.

There is one issue to nail down with the Ohio Dept. of Insurance’s figures. The Society of Actuaries data appears to describe medical costs; the Dept. of Insurance figures appear to describe rates. Rates include administrative costs, medical costs do not. If we assume an administrative cost ratio of 20 percent, the SOA baseline is closer to $279, which means that the rate shock is around 51 percent, not 88 percent.

INVESTORS’ NOTE: Publicly-traded insurers who participate in public and private health insurance exchanges include Aetna AET +1.64% (AET), UnitedHealth (UNH), Humana HUM +0.34% (HUM), WellPoint WLP -0.97% (WLP), and Cigna CI +1.52% (CI).

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IRS Rewrites ObamaCare To Increase Taxes

IRS Rewrites ObamaCare To Increase Taxes – CFIF

First the Supreme Court rewrote President Barack Obama’s signature health reform law to save it from the Constitution. Now the Internal Revenue Service claims its new rule can interpret the law in a way that violates its text and history.

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The latest outrage against common sense is an IRS rule finalized on May 23. The rule makes tax credits available to participants in federally run health insurance exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). But while Section 1311 of ObamaCare allows tax credits to certain people in state-run exchanges, Section 1321 – the section regulating federally run exchanges – does not.

Nevertheless, the new IRS rule specifies that tax credits will be available through exchanges “established under section 1311 or 1321” of ObamaCare.

By rewriting ObamaCare without statutory authorization, the IRS is engaging in an illegal power grab that will cost taxpayers billions.

As regulation experts Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon explained in testimony before Congress, one of the central arguments used to promote ObamaCare was that passing it would not add a penny to the federal deficit.

The ability to make that argument was based on shifting the cost of creating and running the health insurance exchanges onto states.

Here is where liberals in Congress got cute.

Instead of simply forcing states to create exchanges – which would have heightened opposition inside and outside Washington – they coupled the mandate with an enticement. Voluntary compliance would trigger “premium-assistance tax credits” available to people in state-run exchanges. The tax credits would act as a subsidy paid by the Treasury Department on behalf of an eligible participant purchasing health insurance from a private provider in the exchange.

When ObamaCare was working its way through Congress, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), a lead sponsor of the law, confirmed the tax credit enticement strategy. When questioned about the difference between the benefits to people in state versus federally run exchanges, he said, “And [for] states – an exchange is, essentially is tax credits.”

However, if states refuse to create an exchange, ObamaCare empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to do so.

But those pushing ObamaCare toward passage didn’t count on almost thirty states eventually refusing to create exchanges. With the federal government stepping in to create and run sixty percent of the nation’s newly mandated exchanges, gone is the accounting gimmick of cost-shifting the spending increase onto the states.

The hit to taxpayers will be bad enough, but the new IRS rule makes the spending problem even worse. By injecting tax credits into federally run exchanges, the IRS is requiring the Treasury Department to subsidize health insurance purchases in thirty jurisdictions that ObamaCare, by its terms, does not cover.

In analyzing the new IRS rule, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that if no states create exchanges, the cost of the new rule will total $1 trillion in new spending over the next ten years. With sixty percent of the states opting not to participate, federal taxpayers are looking at hundreds of billions of dollars added to the deficit.

And all this without one shred of authority from ObamaCare’s text or legislative history.

The quickest way to rein-in the IRS is for Congress to exercise its authority under the Congressional Review Act. It allows Congress to kill a bureaucratic rule from going into effect by passing a joint resolution of disapproval. SJR 48 by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) would do just that. Recently, the bill received the support of forty-six conservative and free market organizations (including CFIF) opposed to the IRS’s illegal power grab.

The Supreme Court failed to take the text and intent of ObamaCare seriously, and now the IRS is following its lead. Unless Congress reasserts control over the lawmaking function, it may soon find itself as the least important branch of government.

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