House hires new lawyer to handle Obamacare lawsuit

imagegenThe House of Representatives has hired a new lawyer to handle the lawsuit against Barack Obama’s use of executive action as related to Obamacare. The first lawyer bowed out due to political pressure:

William A. Burck has been retained as the lead outside attorney in a House Republican initiated lawsuit challenging as unconstitutional Obama’s 2013 decision to unilaterally delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

Burck previously served as outside counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a lawsuit brought against Attorney General Eric Holder.

A House Republican source familiar with the Obamacare lawsuit said that the attorney originally retained to represent the House, David Rivkin, backed out because his firm, BakerHostetler, was under political pressure from other clients to drop the case.

Burck also previously represented Maureen McDonnell in the corruption trial against her and her husband, former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell.

The news comes just two days after Speaker John Boehner — who brought forth the lawsuit — teamed with Nancy Pelosi to pass a continuing resolution that fully funds Obamacare. Hmm.

Minnesota’s biggest, cheapest Obamacare insurer leaves exchange

eDP289CtMNsure, Minnesota’s state Obamacare exchange, has lost its biggest — and cheapest — insurer. PreferredOne Health Insurance announced Tuesday that it’s leaving MNsure because the exchange is unsustainable:

PreferredOne Health Insurance told MNsure, the state-run exchange, Tuesday morning that it would not continue to offer its popular insurance plans on the marketplace in 2015. It’s “purely a business decision,” spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV. The company is losing money on administrative costs for plans offered on the bureaucratic and glitchy government exchange.

Part of the problem, according to PreferredOne, is that MNsure hasn’t even been able to verify its customers’ information. PreferredOne said that some of its customers have turned out not to even live in Minnesota.


“Our MNsure individual product membership is only a small percentage of the entire PreferredOne enrollment but is taking a significant amount of our resources to support administratively,” the company said in a statement. “We feel continuing on MNsure was not sustainable and believe this is an important step to best serve all PreferredOne members.”

Womp, womp.

PreferredOne insured a whopping 59% of Minnesota’s Obamacare enrollees. Now that they’ve left the building, premiums with the other insurers are likely to skyrocket. Minnesota plans to announce its 2015 Obamacare premium rates in October.

Senate Democrats barely succeed in saving Obama’s executive amnesty

Jeff_Sessions_official_portraitSen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) attempted to put an end to Obama’s planned executive amnesty on Thursday when he introduced an amendment that would oppose the orders:

“I am going to make a motion that would allow this Senate to block the President’s planned executive amnesty,” Sessions said Thursday afternoon. “This is a common Senate action. If you believe we are sovereign nation, with the right to control our own borders, then you must vote ‘yes.’ If you believe America is an oligarchy, run by a group of special interests meeting in the White House to rewrite our immigration laws, then vote ‘no.’”

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats were able to block the amendment — by the skin of their teeth:

Fifty senators voted for Sessions’ motion and fifty voted against, so the proposal failed.

Four embattled Democratic lawmakers — North Carolina senator Kay Hagan, Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu, New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Arkansas senator Mark Pryor — voted with Sessions after opposing the same motion earlier this year. Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) voted with Sessions both times.

“Begich saved the day for Ds,” Politico’s Manu Raju tweeted, referring to Senator Mark Begich (D., Alaska), a vulnerable Democrat who voted with Democratic leadership.

Clearly executive amnesty remains unpopular, which is precisely why Obama has delayed taking any action until after the midterms.

Rand Paul’s rule: ‘I say no money to people who hate us’

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.15.17 AMThursday the Senate passed a continuing resolution, which included an amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS, by a vote of 78-22, with 12 Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 1 independent voting “no.”

One of the Republicans who voted “no” was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Before the vote, he took to the Senate floor to argue his opinion:

Before the Thursday vote, Paul asked to separate the authorization to aid Syrian rebels from the CR, but Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) objected.

“The inescapable irony is that someday the arms we supply would be used against us, or Israel,” Paul said on the floor Thursday. “It is also ludicrous to believe that we know where all of the money, arms and ammunition will end up, or who will end up benefitting from these shipments.”

Watch the video of Sen. Paul’s full address below:

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Survey: 46% of doctors grade Obamacare a ‘D’ or ‘F’

PhysiciansFoundation_Bi400A survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation found that, of more than 20,000 doctors surveyed, a whopping 46% grade Obamacare a “D” or “F.” By contrast, just 25% of respondents gave the health law an “A” or a “B”:

The findings come from a survey that was emailed to “virtually every physician in the United States with an email address on record with the American Medical Association” this March through June as the law’s major provisions were taking effect, and received more than 20,000 responses from doctors.

In their comments that were included (but kept anonymous) in the report, a number of doctors complained about the vast amount of bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.

“Get government OUT of healthcare,” one doctor wrote.

Another wrote, “Repeal Obamacare.”

Another comment read, “I’m a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policy makers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works.”

One argued that “health reform would be better served by removing many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats rather than adding many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats.”

Several doctors said they were planning to leave the profession, though it wasn’t clear that it was necessarily due to the law.

“The system is broken and I am out of here as soon as I can. I am tired of being used, abused and lied to. Has anyone here woken up to the fact that we are always the last ones to be considered in the equation of change?” one asked.

How is Obamacare supposed to fix America’s health care law if doctors are some of its most vocal opponents?