Patterico's Pontifications


If You Like Your Health Insurance Plan, You Can Keep It

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:55 pm

I’m a few days late to this story, but better late than never:

Universal Orlando plans to stop offering medical insurance to part-time employees beginning next year, a move the resort says has been forced by the federal government’s health-care overhaul.

The giant theme-park resort, which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, began informing employees this month that it will offer health-insurance to part-timers “only until December 31, 2013.”

The reason: Universal currently offers part-time workers a limited insurance plan that has low premiums but also caps the payout of benefits. For instance, Universal’s plan costs about $18 a week for employee-only coverage but covers only a maximum of $5,000 a year toward hospital stays. There are similar caps for other services.

Those types of insurance plans — sometimes referred to as “mini-med” plans — will no longer be permitted under the federal Affordable Care Act. Beginning in 2014, the law will prohibit insurance plans that impose annual monetary limits on essential medical care such, as hospitalization, or on overall spending.

In October 2008, PolitiFact evaluated Barack Obama’s claim: “if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it” and found it . . . true.

Employees of Universal Orlando, you can take that to the bank.

White House Threatens Lanny Davis

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Lanny Davis, who served under President Bill Clinton as special counsel to the White House, told Washington, D.C.’s WMAL this morning that the Obama White House had threatened the Washington Times over his column, warning that the Times would suffer limited access to White House officials and might have its White House credentials revoked. Davis, a centrist Democrat, is sometimes critical of the Obama administration’s policies.

This comes on the heels of Gene Sperling telling Bob Woodward in a nice friendly fashion that he would “regret” taking on the Adminstration’s claims regarding sequestration.

Video at the link. I would embed it, but it starts automatically. (Breitbart editors, please. No auto-starting videos.)

UPDATE: More reporters who have been reminded in a friendly fashion that it is best not to buck the official line, detailed here.

Isn’t It Ironic?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

Ana Marie Cox decries the Washington Free Beacon for “Jackass Journalism”:

They belong to an emerging group of conservatives with technological and PR savvy who specialize in passing off mean-spirited pranks as a form of partisan journalism, and whose passionate plaints against a perceived liberal agenda are rooted in name-calling rather than philosophy.

Call them Limbaugh Mini-Mes, or Nixon’s New Media ‘Plumbers’, or maybe Breitbart’s Brat Pack (Breitbrats, Bratbarts?).

Cox also decries the “incivility” of those connected to Breitbart. (Incidentally, one of those people whom she claims works for is James O’Keefe. He does not.) The awful Breitbart people, Cox says, confuse satire and laughter with cruelty and misinformation.

Ana Marie Cox is the founder of Wonkette.

MIT SWATting Apparently Retaliation for Aaron Swartz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

When I heard about this apparent SWATting attempt at MIT, I wondered if it was retaliation for the university’s participation in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz:

On Saturday, February 23 at 7:28 am EST, the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Police Department met face-to-face with our nation’s growing nightmare. A call came in. A potential shooter loomed on the nearby MIT campus. Someone had a “really big gun” plus “armor” and was “getting out of control.”

An alert went through the department’s automated alert system immediately.

It appears my instinct was right:

This call lasted more than 18 minutes. One minute in, the dispatcher notified MIT Police and sent CPD units as well as State Police to the scene. Within two minutes, MIT police entered the potential shooter zone—Building 7—not too far away from the main quad, next door to many other campus buildings.

Five minutes in, the caller finally identified the alleged gunman by name. This pointed to a member of MIT’s own staff. And moments later, the caller revealed the gunman’s ultimate target: MIT President Rafael Reif. The caller elaborated. The alleged gunman was heading toward the administrative offices. It was all part of a larger plan: retaliation, according to MIT, against “the people involved in the suicide of Aaron Swartz.” Officers split up and traveled to the second location in order to ensure the safety of Reif. The building and surrounding area was placed on lock down at 7:43 am. The call hadn’t even finished.

SWATting shows no signs of abating.

With that thought in mind, please watch or tape Anderson Cooper’s show today on CNN. There is a planned segment on SWATting, and you will want to see it.

Republicans Are Losing the Spending Argument — Only with Big Media’s Thumb on the Scale

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Chris Cilizza and Aaron Blake at the Washington Post say Republicans are losing the spending argument:

While Obama’s numbers aren’t stellar on that same spending question — 52 percent disapproval — he is in considerably stronger shape than his Republican adversaries as Washington braces for the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts known as the sequester to take effect on Friday.

Where to start?

First, the idea that “$1.2 trillion in automatic cuts” is going to “take effect Friday” is bold spin, and that’s being very kind. That’s $1.2 trillion over ten years, and I bet you a year’s salary it will never ever happen. This year’s chunk is an $85 billion “cut” that is not really a cut but an increase in spending over last year — just $85 billion less than their request — a request that one assumes was inflated to begin with, since the Administration knew automatic cuts were coming. Yet the press uncritically reports it as a cut, and uncritically reports the parade of horribles that Obama says is totally unavoidable. Illegal immigrants are released, and we are promised that flight delays and uninspected meat are on the horizon.

How did they ever make do last year with less money than they are getting this year? Answer: the parade of horribles is manufactured and phony. Big Media won’t tell you that. I will.

Second, the public is being presented with a false dichotomy in the polls: do you “blame” Congressional Republicans or Obama? As if Senate Democrats don’t exist. Congressonal Republicans have passed alternatives. Senate Democrats won’t.

Third, “blame”? As if it’s assumed this is the Bad Thing that Obama claims it is.

Fourth, who is questioning the way Obama is responding to this? While seemingly essential services like air traffic controllers are going to be sent home, how many nonessential union cronies will fritter away the taxpayers’ money? How much more nonsense will we be continuing to fund? Who is asking?

In 2008, Obama and McCain discussed an across-the-board spending freeze, and Obama said you couldn’t do that, because it was using a hatchet where a scalpel was needed:

Sen. John McCain proposed a possible spending freeze on virtually every federal program except the Department of Defense, for veterans and entitlement programs in a presidential debate with rival Barack Obama Friday night. Obama countered that approach is too broad-based, saying it was the equivalent of “using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.”

Where is the scalpel today? It sure looks like a small increase in spending is being responded to with a hatchet. Not that Big Media is explaining this.

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