Report: Government may have erroneously paid out $100 billion in 2013

Money on trees

Apparently, the government thinks money grows on trees.

And people wonder why we think a smaller government is a better government- via the AP:

WASHINGTON — By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them — tax credits to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.

Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher.

The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.

“Nobody knows exactly how much taxpayer money is wasted through improper payments, but the federal government’s own astounding estimate is more than half a trillion dollars over the past five years,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “The fact is, improper payments are staggeringly high in programs designed to help those most in need — children, seniors and low-income families.”

Mica chairs the House Oversight subcommittee on government operations. The subcommittee is holding a hearing on improper payments Wednesday afternoon.

Each year, federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments they issue. They include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments that were made without proper documentation.

Some improper payments are the result of fraud, while others are unintentional, caused by clerical errors or mistakes in awarding benefits without proper verification.

Gotta love the smell of government incompetency first thing in the morning! /sarc o=>

‘Big Gulp ban’ struck down by NY State Court of Appeals

My body, my choice

Heh! Photo via Stan Brooks/1010 WINS, as seen on CBS NY’s website.

Bad news for proponents of the Nanny State – via the New York Times (hat tip):

The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead.

The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and handing a major victory to the American soft-drink industry, which bitterly opposed the plan.

In a 20-page opinion, Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals wrote that the city’s Board of Health “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority” in enacting the proposal, which was championed by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Two lower courts had already ruled against the city, saying it overreached in trying to prohibit the purchase of sugared drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, about the size of a medium coffee cup. Ruling 4 to 2, the Court of Appeals upheld the earlier rulings.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a frequent critic of Mr. Bloomberg but a supporter of the soda proposal, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the latest decision, saying it was “irrefutable” that sugary drinks has detrimental effects on health. The mayor said he would review other options for the city to combat obesity, but his team did not immediately specify what steps might be taken.

In the ruling, the judges said the City Council was the proper body to enact a policy of such sweep and complexity as the soda limits. The Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, opposes the proposal, and she said on Thursday that she was pleased with the court’s decision.

Two big rulings from two courts today reigning in the overreach of power at the federal and local levels. More, please!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Let’s videotape all gun sales in our city

Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

When the stench of fascism is in the air, you know Chicago mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel can’t be too far away:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced a proposal Wednesday that would require all gun sales in the city to be videotaped, as part of a plan to allow gun stores back in Chicago under very tight restrictions.

The measure, which would also ban gun stores near schools and parks, was introduced Wednesday at a city council meeting without discussion. It was then referred to the council’s Public Safety Committee.

A vote on the proposal has not been scheduled.

The move comes in response to a January federal court ruling that deemed Chicago’s longtime ban on gun stores unconstitutional. The court gave the city six months to approve store restrictions while lifting the ban, setting a deadline of July 14 for the new plan.

The Democratic mayor’s plan, which is likely to be controversial, would aim to significantly limit any gun dealer who wishes to operate in the city. Emanuel’s proposal would also require a 72-hour waiting period for purchasing handguns and a 24-hour waiting period for rifles and shotguns.

Dealers would then be able to sell only one handgun per month, per buyer. Store records would also be subject to quarterly audits.

And here’s your quote of the day – on the same topic:

On Tuesday, Emanuel told a downtown hotel ballroom full of police officers that the new rules are “a smart, tough and enforceable way to prevent illegal guns in the city of Chicago.”

“Now that we’re required to allow gun sales within the city limits, we do it in a way that does not undermine our public safety goals,” said Emanuel, speaking at the police department’s annual awards ceremony.

How long has he been mayor of the murder capital of America again? “Safety goals” under the leadership of of Mayor Emanuel will likely always fall short because, like a typical elected liberal Democrat, he believes the “solution” to gun violence – which is the major driving force behind the crime problem in Chicago –  is to keep innocent, law-abiding people who simply want to protect themselves disarmed while the thugs who mean to do them harm obtain guns in whatever way they can – legal or not.

Infuriating.  But, sadly, the cycle continues.

Pres. Obama applauds decision by CVS to stop selling tobacco products

CVS

Smart move?

The Associated Press – by way of ABC News – reports that CVS drugstores across the country will stop carrying tobacco products by October 1 because it wants to look like a more ‘health-friendly’ store (via):

CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, is kicking the habit of selling tobacco products as it continues to shift its focus toward being more of a health care provider.

The company said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1 in its 7,600 stores nationwide, in a move that will help grow its business that works with doctors, hospitals and others to improve customers’ health.

The move is the latest evidence of a big push in the drugstore industry that has been taking place over several years. Major drugstore chains have been adding in-store clinics and expanding their health care offerings. Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations, and their clinics now manage chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes and treat relatively minor problems like sinus infections.

Among other things, they’re preparing for increased health care demand. That’s in part due to an aging U.S. population that will need more care in future years. It’s also the result of the millions of people expected to gain health insurance under the health care overhaul.

As CVS has been working to team up with hospital groups and doctor practices to help deliver and monitor patient care, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen A. Brennan said the presence of tobacco in its stores has made for some awkward conversations.

“One of the first questions they ask us is, ‘Well, if you’re going to be part of the health care system, how can you continue to sell tobacco products?'” he said. “There’s really no good answer to that at all.”

[…]

“We’ve come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered,” said CVS CEO Larry Merlo, who noted that many of the chronic conditions their clinics treat are made worse by smoking.

I call BS on that. Think about any number of other products that CVS sells that is harmful to your health: ice cream, candy, beer, soda, sugar, processed foods, etc.  Will they stop selling them as well?

Of course, the President couldn’t help but weigh in, insinuating like the good narcissist that he is that CVS did it to help … his anti-tobacco initiatives:

The company’s tobacco plan drew praise from President Barack Obama, who said the decision will help his administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as lower health care costs.

Tobacco is responsible for about 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration, which gained the authority to regulate tobacco products in 2009.

First things first: Ultimately, this was a free-market decision and if CVS wants to move more into the direction of “health care provider”, that is certainly their right.  Secondly, I have never smoked a day in my life, have never even been tempted to, and have had family members die as a direct result of smoking and what it did to their lungs.  It was extraordinarily painful to see. I wish people wouldn’t smoke.  But I also believe in the concept of free will – both for drugstores like CVS and consumers.

That being said, as I hinted above, why stop with tobacco products? If we’re using the number of related deaths a year to determine whether or not a product should be pulled off the shelves, why not food that’s bad for you, that leads to obesity, heart problems, diabetes, etc?  Per the Surgeon General, an estimated 300,000 deaths a year are due to obesity.   And how about the health risks associated with alcohol?

There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States.1 This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death. In 2006, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking.3 The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.

Those are pretty devastating numbers. So why won’t CVS pull alcohol from their shelves as well?

Honestly, I”m just curious why tobacco alone was targeted, considering there are so many other harmful products CVS sells that could lead to poor health and/or even death for their customers.  I mean, if you’re really wanting to be on the cutting edge of bold health care decisions, why not go whole hog?

As I side note, I find it interesting the number of  liberals who have applauded CVS’ move to no longer sell tobacco products, which is just a bit  hypocritical considering their constant emphasis on “choice” and “personal decisions” and “access.”  Of course, the same liberals who have praised CVS over their eventual pulling of tobacco items off the shelves are the same types who scream from the rafters over the idea that a pharmacist would refuse to fill a birth control prescription on religious grounds.

Go figure …

County government crushes little girl’s cupcake business

**Posted by Phineas

Nanny says, no fun for you!

Nanny says, no fun for you!

And you thought the Nanny State’s “war on child entrepreneurs” was over, after the Great Lemonade Stand War of 2010-11. I’m sorry to say, my friends, that the enemy, enterprising children who want to earn a little money, has opened a new front, threatening us all with the horror of unregulated micro-businesses.

Thank God, however, that the Madison County, Illinois, Health Department is there to protect us from the danger of unlicensed cupcakes:

After-school jobs are tougher to keep, apparently, than they used to be.

On Sunday, a Belleville News-Democrat story featured 11-year-old Chloe Stirling of Troy, Ill., a sixth-grader at Triad Middle School who makes about $200 a month selling cupcakes.

According to a report I watched on Megyn Kelly’s show last night, her parents, seeing Chloe was both serious at her new hobby and good at it, made her an offer: if she saves the money she earns through selling cupcakes, they will match it when she’s 16 and help her buy a car. Great idea, right? Chloe learns some skills and responsibility, how to set and meet goals, and, who knows, maybe she goes on to open her own bakery and creates jobs for other people. “Women’s empowerment,” know what I’m saying?

Winning situation all-around, right?

Well, Nanny State is right there to put an end to this nonsense!

“[The county] called and said they were shutting us down,” Heather Stirling, Chloe’s mother, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Officials told Stirling Chloe could continue selling cupcakes on the condition that the family “buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have.”

“Obviously, we can’t do that,” Heather Stirling told reporters. “We’ve already given her a little refrigerator to keep her things in, and her grandparents bought her a stand mixer.”

The elder Stirling said that she was willing to get her daughter any necessary licenses or permits to operate a business, but could not meet the health department’s other demands.

“But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?” asked an astonished Stirling.

When asked why they were curb-stomping an 11-year old’s business, martinets for Madison county started channeling Judge Dredd:

Health department spokeswoman Amy Yeager said they had no choice but to ask Chloe to close Hey Cupcake.

The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health. The guidelines apply to everyone,’ she said.

Sharon Valentine, environmental health manager at St Clair County (1) Health Department, added: ‘If we let one person do it, how can we tell the person with 30 cats in their home that they can’t do it? A line has to be drawn.’

The local health department had been tipped off to Chloe’s baking business after she appeared on the front page of Belleville News Democrat at the weekend.

Somehow –and you can call me “naive”– but I think the “crazy cat lady” scenario is a bit different than a grade-schooler in her parents’ kitchen.

Now, lest I sound like a foaming at the mouth anarcho-capitalist, I’m not averse to regulating food businesses for public health. Restaurants, commercial bakeries, butcher shops and so forth, sure. There is a legit public health interest.

Still, let’s be reasonable here. This is the equivalent of making little Julie Murphy cry in the name of enforcing regulations really meant for adults and real businesses. Asking the parents to buy an inexpensive license, which they were willing to do, and maybe submit the kitchen to a health inspection should be enough.

But “buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen??” That smacks of a petty bureaucrat being bored and needing some enforcement actions to show for the annual review.

And maybe a little bit of cartelism, too. Reason has written several good articles about how occupational licenses are used to limit competition.

Such as from little girls who are saving for their first car.

License required

License required

Footnote:
(1) Not sure why the Mail reporter called St. Clair county, which is next door to Madison county. I guess from a UK point of view, all those American counties look alike.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) #Obamacare – “Victims of government” UPDATED: Gateway Pundit to lose his insurance

**Posted by Phineas

From Senator Ron Johnson* (R- WI), the story of Kathi Rose, a minister in Wisconsin who learned she was losing the health insurance she was satisfied with and that replacing it would cost her roughly $4,000 per year more. This is helping people? Making them “more secure?”

As Johnson points out in the video, this is not only a financial hardship for Kathi and her family, but also an invasion of their liberty and a threat to the health of her family. This is just one example of a story being played out again and again across the nation and illustrates once more why this anti-constitutional monstrosity has to be repealed.

*A freshman, elected in the “Tea Party” class of 2010. And one of the very good candidates we found that year. Turned out to be a good senator, too.

via Ben Howe

RELATED: Nearer to home for many of us is the story of Jim Hoft, aka “Gateway Pundit,” who suffered a near-fatal disease earlier, but was saved by the excellent care paid for by his insurance — care he still needs. Guess what? Jim is losing his insurance and may lose the doctors he trusts. To quote Jim, “Why is our government doing this to us?”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Naked socialism makes inroads in Seattle w/ election of #OWS Socialist

Tax the rich

Socialism is on the rise in America.
(Image via The Sundries Shack)

The Associated Press reports that an Occupy Wall Street protester who publicly identified herself as a Socialist while running to serve on the city council in Seattle has won the election (via Memeorandum):

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle voters have elected a socialist to city council for the first time in modern history.

Kshama Sawant’s lead continued to grow on Friday, prompting 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin to concede.

Even in this liberal city, Sawant’s win has surprised many here. Conlin was backed by the city’s political establishment. On election night, she trailed by four percentage points. She wasn’t a veteran politician, having only run in one previous campaign.

But in the days following election night, Sawant’s share of the votes outgrew Conlin’s.

“I don’t think socialism makes most people in Seattle afraid,” Conlin said Friday.

While city council races are technically non-partisan, Sawant made sure people knew she was running as a socialist — a label that would be politically poisonous in many parts of the country.

Sawant, a 41-year-old college economics professor, first drew attention as part of local Occupy Wall Street protests that included taking over a downtown park and a junior college campus in late 2011. She then ran for legislative office in 2012, challenging the powerful speaker of the state House, a Democrat. She was easily defeated.

This year, though, she pushed a platform that resonated with the city. She backed efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15; called for rent control in the city where rental prices keep climbing; and supports a tax on millionaires to help fund a public transit system and other services.

[…]

During her campaign, she condemned economic inequality, contending that some people aren’t benefiting from the city’s declining jobless rate, ongoing recovery from the recession, and downtown building boom.

In other words, she ran on a “what’s yours is ours” platform. Sound like anyone else you know? Hint: He talked during the 2008 presidential campaign season about how “spreading the wealth” was so important in order to get the American economy growing again.

I despise Occupy Wall Street and the concept of “socialism” and its many forms even more.  But one thing I’ll say I respect about Sawant is that she was at least honest about who and what she was. So many other socialists out there masquerade as rank and file “liberals” or “progressives” Democrats but in reality their agendas are much more far left that they are willing to admit to the public. They just don’t like to use the “Socialist” label because it is indeed toxic, as the article noted, in many areas of the country.  So they run on platforms that are largely socialistic in nature but call themselves and what they advocate something else in order to appeal to a larger mass of people.

Unhinged nutball “Democrat” Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) labeled this tactic perfectly in an interview with the left wing Salon magazine earlier this year. He called it “stealth socialism” and praised the fact that it was on the rise under the “leadership” of the Obama administration.  Democrat darling Howard Dean hobnobs with European Socialists when he thinks no one is looking.   Senator Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is a self-described “Democratic Socialist” who appears as an “independent” on the ballot in Vermont (also the home state of Dr. Dean), and even sometimes brags on his official Senate website about his “socialist successes.”  He caucuses in the US Senate with  – shock! – Democrats.

It’s time to make more Democrat politicos own up to both their true philosophy and intentions.  See a Socialist pretending to be a middle of the road Democrat? Call ‘em out on it. Often.  And explain what makes them socialists to people who otherwise wouldn’t understand. Because most elected Democrats sure as heck won’t admit it themselves – nor will their like-minded allies in the mainstream media who treat socialism masking itself as “liberalism” as equating to “compassion”, and who view “Democrats” who are really Socialists in sheep’s clothing as “the altruistic people who care about the little guy.”

A little sunlight in this area certainly couldn’t hurt, would it? Well, yes, it might hurt a few political careers … which wouldn’t be a bad thing. Not at all.

#Obamacare: Smug liberal explains why those who lose their plans must sacrifice

Spread the wealth

”… I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody” – BO, 10-12-08

I’ve seen a lot of “shut up and like it!” diatribes from liberals over this last few weeks, but this one takes the cake. Far leftist Paul Waldman at the reliably liberal American Prospect writes (bolded emphasis added by me):

Apparently, there was a meeting of the editors at The New York Times op-ed page in which someone said, “You know how every time someone does a story about one of these Obamacare ‘victims’ whose insurance companies are cancelling their plans, it turns out they could do really well on the exchange, but no one bothers to check? We should get one of them to write an op-ed, but not bother to ask what options they’ll have.” And then someone else responded, “Right, don’t bother with the fact-checking. But we need a new twist. What if we find someone who’ll complain that the problem with Obamacare is that other people care too much about poor people and the uninsured, while what they ought to be doing is spending more time liking her Facebook post about her possibly increased premiums?” The editors looked at each other and said, “That’s gold. Gold!”

And this was the result. Written by Lori Gottlieb, a Los Angeles psychotherapist and author, it relates how she got a cancellation letter from Anthem Blue Cross and was offered a plan for $5,400 more a year, then had a frustrating phone call with the company. Did she go to the California health exchange and find out what sorts of deals would be available to her? Apparently not. She took Anthem at their word—you can always trust insurance companies, after all!—then took to Facebook, where she “vented about the call and wrote that the president should be protecting the middle class, not making our lives substantially harder.”

And here’s where our story takes a shocking turn. Instead of expressing what she felt was the appropriate sympathy, those 1,037 people on Facebook she thought were her friends but turned out just to be “friends” had the nerve to point out that the Affordable Care Act will help millions of previously uninsured and uninsurable people get coverage. Gottlieb was disgusted with these people she termed the “smug insureds.” And none of them even “liked” her post!

[…]

How terribly smug, to think that the fate of millions of poor people who will now get insurance is as important as the suffering of this one person who might have to pay more for comprehensive coverage, and also happens to have access to The New York Times where she can air her grievances! If only it weren’t so “trendy to cheer for the underdog.”

Got that? It doesn’t matter that you liked your plan. It doesn’t matter that it was one you could afford. It doesn’t matter that you wanted to keep your same physician, same coverage.  Doesn’t matter that Obama lied. You are “one person” and your wants and needs are not as “important” as the “needs” of the many, even though many of “the many” haven’t signed up yet, even though many of the “many” are opting for MEDICAID instead of another coverage option.  YOU MUST SACRIFICE FOR THE GREATER GOOD.

Ann Althouse explains:

Gottlieb got seriously burned, but had she really never noticed this form of liberal disciplining before? It’s funny to act surprised that these people are suddenly “such humanitarians,” but she’s experiencing heightened awareness because $5,400 is so specific and real, and she, in her personal anger, made the mistake of thinking her “friends” (Facebook friends) were people of empathy toward individual others. But sober observation should have taught her that left-liberals expect individual self-sacrifice for the good of the group.

Oh, yes, liberals looove sacrifice as long as they aren’t the ones having to do it.  And they’re quite ok with theft, too, as long as it’s done by Uncle Sam.

Spread the wealth! It’s patriotic, didn’t ya know? :-w

(Via Memeorandum)

Fascist NYT editorial board: #ObamaMisspoke on #Obamacare – but your old plan sucked anyway

Failure to communicate

”What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” – Captain, Florida Road Prison 36, from the movie ‘Cool Hand Luke’

(Monday AM Update: The thread title has been changed to something even more fitting of what the NYT editorial board wrote. :)  –ST )

Unsurprisingly, the editorial page at the New York Times has lined up with other far left fascists when it comes to who makes decisions on the type of healthcare insurance plan you can have (via Memeorandum). In an editorial titled “Insurance Policies Not Worth Keeping”, the board lectures (bolded emphasis added by me):

Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.

Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. By law, insurers cannot continue to sell policies that don’t provide the minimum benefits and consumer protections required as of next year. So they’ve sent cancellation notices to hundreds of thousands of people who hold these substandard policies. (At issue here are not the 149 million people covered by employer plans, but the 10 million to 12 million people who buy policies directly on the individual market.)

But insurers are not allowed to abandon enrollees. They must offer consumers options that do comply with the law, and they are scrambling to retain as many of their customers as possible with new policies that are almost certain to be more comprehensive than their old ones.

Indeed, in all the furor, people forget how terrible many of the soon-to-be-abandoned policies were. Some had deductibles as high as $10,000 or $25,000 and required large co-pays after that, and some didn’t cover hospital care.

This overblown controversy has also obscured the crux of what health care reform is trying to do, which is to guarantee that everyone can buy insurance without being turned away or charged exorbitant rates for pre-existing conditions and that everyone can receive benefits that really protect them against financial or medical disaster, not illusory benefits that prove inadequate when a crisis strikes.

Got that, rubes?  It’s Republicans who have “stoked confusion” over a law that the President merely “misspoke” about when he told the American people they wouldn’t – couldn’t – be kicked off their existing plans once Obamacare fully took effect. To the slobbering lapdogs at the NYT editorial board who have rolled over for Obama from day one, this can be sweetly and conveniently spun as “misspeaking”, but to the millions of citizens of this country receiving letters in the mail that their coverage has been cancelled, alerting them that they’ll need to pony up a lot more cash (that they don’t have) in order to afford something comparable for them and/or for their families, some who are right in the middle of a healthcare issue who are now extremely concerned that they may not be able to keep their primary care physician – another “misspeak” by Obama –  this is called exactly what it is: A BALD-FACED LIE.

But worry not, dolts, this is for your own good- and for the good of ALL OF MANKIND:

Starting next year, all plans sold in this country will be required to provide 10 essential benefits, including some, like mental health and substance abuse treatment and maternity and newborn care, that are not now part of many policies. And premiums may well rise, in part because insurance companies must accept all applicants, not just the healthy.

Premiums are apt to come down for older patients and sicker patients with chronic illnesses. Premiums will likely go up for younger, healthier patients. Even so, analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation believe that most people will actually pay less next year, because those with modest incomes will qualify for federal subsidies and many poor, uninsured people will be eligible for Medicaid.

As I wrote Friday in response to TPM’s absurd piece essentially stating the same thing:

Got it? Even if that 3% number [of people ‘actually’ impacted]  is correct (and I’d bet $100 it’s not), those people don’t matter, are insignificant in the scheme of things. After all, sacrifices have to be made for the “common good”, right?  Just like those people who have lost jobs, or have seen their hours reduced, their full time status reduced to part time, and/or pay cut as a result of companies having to make cost adjustments due to the regulations under Obamacare.  They don’t count. As to the rest, well, there will be a  ”net benefit” to Obamacare, you see, because even though they are losing their current plan thanks to Democrats who voted against a GOP resolution in 2010 that would have prevented that from happening, they’ll have “better” options under a “new” plan … except the dum dums at TPM and other liberal outlets parroting this tripe don’t get that for many, comparable plans are too expensive for them and they will  NOT qualify for a subsidy.

… and nor would they qualify for Medicaid. But again, these people don’t matter, right?

Surprisingly enough, though the reliably left wing parrots at the NYT predictably take Obama’s side on this issue, the equally and usually reliable Obama supporters and proponents of Obamacare at the Charlotte Observer do not.  Observer associate editor Peter St. Onge wrote at the paper yesterday:

It’s becoming harder to believe [a lie] didn’t happen with this president and his health care law. We all know the quote by now. In 2009, as the Affordable Care Act was being written, Obama told the American Medical Association: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.” A year later, he reiterated: “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.”

But that wasn’t true. And he knew it. So did a handful of Republicans and journalists who said then that the president couldn’t possibly keep his promise. The Affordable Care Act did allow for some insurance plans to be grandfathered, but the law also required that medical coverage be more robust than the plans many people held. Cancellations were inevitable. Millions of them.

But Obama didn’t equivocate. He didn’t say, “Well, I’m not talking about all Americans…”

“Period,” he said.

Now the inevitable has arrived. Americans with individual insurance policies are getting cancellations in the mail. The media are widely reporting what too few did four years ago. Republicans are pouncing with Joe Wilson-like fury.

And now, the president and his supporters are trying to deflect the hard truth with soft logic:

“Those Americans had substandard plans…”

Doesn’t matter.

“Most will be able to get subsidies for their new, improved plans…”

Also doesn’t matter.

“The cancellations affect only a small number of people…”

Maybe so (or maybe not, according to some estimates). But that doesn’t absolve the deception.

[…]

Obama, not surprisingly, doubled down last week, blaming the media for “misleading” people by not reporting on the better deal many Americans are getting. Did you expect, “Sorry about that, but I had to fib”?

That’s the calculation the president faced four years ago when deciding what we should know. Should he jeopardize a worthy law – which it is, by the way – by acknowledging its shortcomings up front? Or should he risk a political hit after Obamacare is the law of the land?

But in choosing the latter, he forgot a more basic truth: It should have been our decision, not his.

Welcome to the club, Charlotte Observer.   This doesn’t absolve you from your years of covering for Dear Leader on Obamacare, your years of accusing Republicans and conservatives of “racism” and opposing the President for the sake of opposing him, but we’ll take your veiled mea culpa here – and remind you of it often.