Patterico's Pontifications

11/19/2013

(Not So) Breaking News: Obama Told Lawyers to Argue the Opposite of What He Told the Public About ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 pm

Obama told everyone that if they liked their plan they could keep it — and then sent lawyers into the Supreme Court to argue that most plans would lose their grandfather status by 2013. From a Justice Department brief uncovered by Andrew McCarthy:

The [ACA’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. [Citing, among other sources, the Federal Register.] Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.

You already know the punch line, but I’ll say it anyway.

Next thing, you’re gonna tell me that Obama told the country this wasn’t a tax, and then sent lawyers into the Supreme Court to argue that it was a tax.

HEY-O!!!!

Wait . . . WHAT? Healthcare.gov Payment System Not Even Built Yet??

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:04 pm

This . . . can’t be right. Can it?

Another day, another big, bad black eye for HealthCare.gov.

A crucial system for making payments to insurers from people who enroll in that federal Obamacare marketplace has yet to be built, a senior government IT official admitted Tuesday.

The official, Henry Chao, visibly stunned Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) when he said under questioning before a House subcommittee that a significant fraction of HealthCare.gov—30 to 40 percent of it—has yet to be constructed.

“We still need to build the payments system to make the payments [to insurance companies] in January,” testified Chao, deputy chief information officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that operates HealthCare.gov.

Video:

Now I guess we know why the federal government released numbers based on people who selected a plan, without regard to whether they had paid for it. If this is really right, then . . . nobody who signed up through Healthcare.gov has paid. (In the sense that insurers have received the money, which as I understand it, is a requirement for enrollment to be considered complete.) Right? Not one single person.

Am I missing something here???

Woman Whose Story Was Touted By Obama As An Example of the Success of ObamaCare . . . Can’t Afford Health Insurance

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:57 pm

Whoops.

Jessica Sanford, the Federal Way woman who got a shout-out from President Obama last month with her fan letter for the Affordable Care Act, got a rather rude awakening last week. Turns out she doesn’t qualify for a tax credit after all.

At least that’s what the letter said that she got from the state. Now she says her dream of affordable health insurance has gone poof. She can’t afford it. She’ll have to go without. “I’m really terribly embarrassed,” she says. “It has completely turned around on me. I mean, completely.”

After Sanford signed up for ObamaCare in Washington State, she wrote a letter to Obama talking about how happy she was that she had gotten a huge subsidy. Here’s a clip on this story, featuring the Liar in Chief reading from her letter and talking about how great her story is:

Sanford’s letter, read proudly by Obama in the clip above, read:

I am a single mom, no child support, self-employed, and I haven’t had health insurance for 15 years because it is too expensive. My son has ADHD and requires regular doctor visits, and his meds alone cost $250 a month. I have had an ongoing tendinitis problem due to my line of work that I haven’t had treated. Now, finally, we get to have coverage because of the ACA for $169 a month. I was crying the other day when I signed up. So much stress lifted.

Obama beamed as he added:

Now, that is not untypical for a lot of folks like Jessica who have been struggling without health insurance. That is what the Affordable Care Act is all about.

Well, it turns out that Washington State screwed up her calculations. She is entitled, not to a $469 subsidy, but to zero. She still can’t afford health insurance. But at least she’s not worse off, right?

Wrong. She’ll be paying the penalty.

Turns out this happened to 8,000 people in Washington State — everyone who signed up for a subsidized plan in the first 23 days of the Web site’s existence was given wrong numbers. They’re all getting letters now.

This is in Washington State, remember — the place the L.A. Times said was a rousing success.

Well, at least her experience is . . . “not untypical.”

P.S. I was going to write about this this morning, to prove that I could write about political stories without reading them on Hot Air first. But that Brittany Murphy post got in the way. Lo and behold, while I was working, Allahpundit already got the story up.

Newman!

Were “Clueless” Actress Brittany Murphy and Her Husband Poisoned? The Bizarre Connections Between This Story and Governmental Retaliation Against A Homeland Security Whistleblower

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:56 am

A new report says that “Clueless” actress Brittany Murphy and her husband may have been poisoned. Why should you care? Because of the bizarre interface of this story with overbearing governmental conduct targeting a Homeland Security whistleblower.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 7.05.27 AM
Above: Brittany Murphy

From the New York Daily News:

New toxicology results paid for by the father of Brittany Murphy claim that the “Clueless” actress may have been poisoned before her death.

The independent analysis ordered by dad Angelo Bertolotti found high levels of toxic metals, including Barium, which is used in some rat poisons, in hair that reportedly belonged to Murphy, Bertolotti claimed Monday.

Here is a local Los Angeles news report. I am placing it on a separate page because it auto-starts. Fairly warned be thee, say I.

Now hold onto your hats, because this is about to get really weird. I looked into the story of the deaths of Brittany Murphy and her husband months ago, because of its interface with the government’s bizarre and overbearing treatment of a Homeland Security whistleblower: Julia Davis, the woman quoted in the video clip above.

Since becoming a whistleblower, Davis has been the subject of IRS inquiries as well as a series of overbearing investigations for petty offenses. I have spent hours reviewing court documents from a lawsuit filed by Davis, watching a documentary about Davis’s story, listening to interviews with Davis, and corresponding with her. It is a story with four dead bodies, of which Murphy and her husband are only two. Let me try to summarize it as succinctly as possible.

Julia Davis is a Ukranian-born woman who worked for Homeland Security. Years ago, she revealed how two dozen people from countries suspected of terrorism had crossed the border en masse one holiday weekend, and had not been subjected to proper procedures to identify them despite an internal warning that Al Qaeda had planned to use that weekend to send terrorists across the border. She wrote Washington D.C. about the failures and the incident made news. (Davis was also butting heads with DHS over a complaint of sexual harassment — a complaint that was found by an administrative law judge to be well founded.) Davis’s supportive boss was soon replaced by someone seemingly out to target her, and she became the subject of literally dozens of administrative (and ultimately criminal) investigations designed to discredit her.

The investigations ultimately resulted in the federal government raiding her desert home with a Blackhawk helicopter and about two dozen armed federal agents — all to investigate an unfounded claim that Davis and her husband had committed marriage fraud years earlier. (She and her husband were later found factually innocent of this charge.) Davis and her husband were surveilled extensively before the execution of the warrant, including with a single engine plane. I have seen video from the deposition of the ICE agent admitting this. But the Blackhawk helicopter raid takes the cake. Black helicopters are such a staple of anti-government conspiracy theory that you might be reaching for the tinfoil hats — except that the raid was filmed by Davis’s neighbor, and you can watch it on her documentary. The young man who filmed the raid soon died under circumstances that have never been explained. That’s one dead body.

During the raid, agents allegedly held Davis’s father outside in the desert heat and prevented him from accessing heart medication. He suffered a heart attack and died within months from related complications. That’s two dead bodies.

Where does Brittany Murphy fit into all this? Well, among the complaints pushed by the DHS boss who was hounding Davis was that Davis had been helping her husband make a movie, in violation of regulations. Davis’s boss cited Brittany Murphy as a source of these allegations. Murphy, through her attorney, denied any recollection of this.

Soon Murphy and her husband were acting in a manner that many believed was paranoid. They told friends they were being followed. This is an excerpt from a Hollywood Reporter article written after the deaths of Murphy and her husband Simon Monjack:

I first met Simon shortly after their marriage, when Brittany brought him to our house in Encino for Father’s Day 2007. Simon led the conversation, played piano and went outside to smoke a cigar, which Brittany hurried to light. Simon told us they had to take extreme security precautions because they were under surveillance by helicopters and their phone was bugged. He said he had hired a private eye who gave Simon names of family and friends who cheated, stole from them or sold information to the tabloids.

Here’s the thing, though: Murphy and Monjack were, in fact, under government investigation — for marriage fraud, the same charge that the feds had pursued with respect to Julia Davis and her husband. Davis sent a FOIA request to the government about this investigation, and was given a sheaf of documents including these, which I don’t believe have been published anywhere else:

DHS MARRIAGE FRAUD AGAINST BRITTANY MURPHY AND SIMON MONJACK-PAGE2

DHS MARRIAGE FRAUD AGAINST BRITTANY MURPHY AND SIMON MONJACK-PAGE1

Murphy died first, then Monjack — both of pneumonia and anemia.

That’s four dead bodies.

Murphy’s father was convinced that her death was not accidental, and has engaged in a crusade to show that she may have been poisoned. And now, it seems, he may have uncovered evidence of exactly that.

It’s very, very hard to believe that anyone would go to such lengths over something this trivial, but four dead bodies surrounding this whistleblower is a lot, and three of the deaths are unexplained. (The fourth, Davis’s father, is arguably directly the result of government callousness.) I can’t say that there is any foul play, of course. But it’s a hell of a story, isn’t it?

More background reading at the Daily Mail.


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