“Some 15 months after Americans learned about the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, we still have no clue how such an abuse was allowed to happen. And every day, the story only gets murkier…”
Read the full editorial here: http://nypost.com/2014/08/27/irs-back-up-baloney/
By John Fritze and Meredith Cohn
A federal inspector general looking into Maryland’s troubled health insurance exchange has issued subpoenas in connection with the probe, Rep. Andy Harris said today.
Harris, who first called for the investigation in February, said subpoenas had been issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General in July, according to information received by his office.
Harris did not say who received the subpoenas, but in a statement he characterized the development as a widening of the inspector general’s review of the exchange. The federal government spent tens of millions of dollars on the system, which crashed on its first day last fall and suffered technical problems for months…
Read the full article here: http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81185921/
Taxes? Who wants to think about taxes around Labor Day?
But if you count on your tax refund and you’re one of the millions getting tax credits to help pay health insurance premiums under President Barack Obama’s law, it’s not too early.
Here’s why: If your income for 2014 is going to be higher than you estimated when you applied for health insurance, then complex connections between the health law and taxes can reduce or even eliminate your tax refund next year…
Read the full article: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/tax-refunds-may-get-hit-due-health-law-credits-0
… Obamacare is working only in the unlikely event that its goal is to deliver the Senate to Republicans this fall. Disapproval of Obamacare hit an all-time high last month, in part because premiums keep rising. PriceWaterhouseCoopers finds that the average insurance premium in the Obamacare exchanges will rise by 8 percent this year…
Read the full editorial here: http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/democrat-fortunes-go-down-as-obamacare-drives-premiums-up-examiner-editorial/article/2552384
By: Stephen Ohlemacher
An “Obamacare” tax on medical devices is falling short of its revenue target because thousands of companies aren’t paying it, according to a government audit released Tuesday.
The audit by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration says the IRS needs to do a better job policing the tax. The tax agency, however, doesn’t have adequate tools to identify which companies owe it, the audit said.
The report could add fuel to efforts to repeal the tax, which is opposed by Republicans and many Democrats…
Read the full article here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MEDICAL_DEVICE_TAX?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
By: Jack Gillum
After promising not to withhold government information over “speculative or abstract fears,” the Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government’s health care website because doing so could “potentially” allow hackers to break in.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a request by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act for documents about the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federally funded HealthCare.gov. The AP requested the records late last year amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law…
Read the full article here: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/us-reveal-records-health-website-security-25032144
By: Ferdous Al Faruque
Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed the administration’s ObamaCare rollout, calling President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance plans under the law a “lie.”
“The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said…
Read the entire article here: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/214127-barney-frank-obama-lied-about-health-plans#ixzz39fFhj5WD
By: Sam Baker
If you like your Obamacare plan, you can keep it—but you might end up paying a whole lot more.
People who decide to stick with the coverage they’ve already gotten through Obamacare, rather than switching plans, are at risk for some of the biggest premium spikes anywhere in the system. And some people won’t even know their costs went up until they get a bill from the IRS…
Read the full article here: http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/if-you-like-your-obamacare-plan-it-ll-cost-you-20140805
President Barack Obama continues to describe the growing evidence that the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups as a phony scandal, this week urging congressional Republicans to “stop hatin’ ” and get to work on his agenda.
His mocking of the GOP came while a House investigation led by Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, was releasing the latest batch of emails from retired IRS official Lois Lerner, who was in charge of nonprofit applications during the time of the controversy.
Lerner, who has refused to testify before Congress, calls conservatives “—holes” and “crazies” in the emails, and frets about the damage they’re doing to the country.
It is increasingly apparent that Lerner was an ardent partisan who used her position to punish opponents of the president, and thus stifle free speech.
That’s not a phony scandal. It’s a serious affront to civil liberties. And it merits the attention of an independent prosecutor…
Read the full editorial here: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140802/OPINION01/308020006#ixzz39Rka9S3T
Territorial Governor Padilla Continues Assault on U.S. Constitution, Investor Rights and U.S. Taxpayers
Des Moines, IA—The American Future Fund (AFF), a national 501(c)4 organization, continues its advertising campaign warning on the unlawful actions of Governor Alejandro Padilla of Puerto Rico – a U.S. Territory – that puts at risk the U.S. Constitution and edges the Commonwealth ever closer tohemispheric rogue nation, Argentina.
Nick Ryan, Founder of the American Future Fund, said: “As Argentine President Cristina Kirchner prepares to plunge her country further into the financial abyss, Governor Padilla believes this is the model for Puerto Rico, which will leave U.S. taxpayers footing the bill.”
Recently, Governor Padilla signed a law that eviscerates the rights of investors and violates the U.S. Constitution. When the independent ratings agency gave the Commonwealth poor financial marks for it, Padilla moved to deploy the instruments of his government to investigate them. To make matters worse,this new law could leave the lights on the island literally being turned off because of Padilla’s actions against the local electric utility. What’s more, all of this comes as his government ripped up a legally-binding agreement with a local bank his own administration signed. Since the bank has sought legal redress, Padilla’s administration has orchestrated a campaign of intimidation against the bank, and its employees.
“Governor Padilla’s continues to claim that Puerto Rico is financially solvent, respects creditor rights, is a safe place to invest, and is an upstanding U.S. Territory. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Governor’s blatant disregard for the rule of law threatens to isolate Puerto Rico from bond markets and cost U.S. taxpayers even more. Nancy Soderberg, a former Clinton Administration official, put it best: Governor Padilla must “uphold property rights, the rule of law, contractual rights and the rights of investors and creditors,” concluded Ryan.
In recent weeks, Governor Padilla and his government have undertaken a full-blown attack on the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution and investor rights. The first example, Doral Financial Corporation, a US-based bank and mortgage lender that Puerto Rico lawfully entered into a contractual agreement in 2012 acknowledging the Commonwealth owes Doral over $230 million. The agreement was ratified by both parties yet again in 2013. But Governor Padilla and his government are now refusing to honor this contract. Moreover, Doral’s regulator – the Office of the Financial Institutions Commissioner – and key political leaders including the Department of Justice are threatening the bank and its employees. These actions, coming after Doral’s decision to file litigation to enforce its agreement with the government, are disturbing, and an abuse of power by Governor Padilla and his government. The second example involves a new law, the Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, which was rammed through the legislature by Governor Padilla. This law would allow the Puerto Rican government to repudiate the debts of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). This would stiff investors, some of which include small investors and pensioners on and off the island. This law violates the U.S. Constitution, and has led the island’s bond ratings to be downgraded to junk status.