Morning Action: Any Plan That Doesn’t Stop Obamacare Isn’t Good Enough

RYAN STRATEGY.  A plan put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) N/A% to end the budget stalemate falls short of reaching conservative goals; in particular, it fails to stop Obamacare:

[O]n Wednesday, when Ryan (R-Wis.) stepped forward to try to bring Republican factions together behind a strategy to end the government’s latest budget stalemate, some of the same conservatives who once trusted him went cold.

The complaint: His plan, which centered on trimming back spending on government entitlement programs, failed to mention the demise of Obamacare as a top Republican objective. Conservatives accused him of abandoning their cause and caving in to Democrats.

The conservative Heritage Action, which helped launch the strategy taken by tea party favorite Cruz (R-Texas), said any action short of a fight over the Affordable Care Act would be “detrimental.”

“Fundamentally, we are not supportive of anything that’s going to take the focus away from the current fight over Obamacare,” said Heritage’s Dan Holler. “That’s where we think the fight needs to be — that’s where the fight is.”

GLITCHES. The Heritage Foundation produced a humorous video demonstrating Obamacare glitches and the negative impact the law will have on quality of care:

BIG BUSINESS LOSING SWAY.  Business groups and executives are beginning to conclude that their sway is decreasing in Washington, as conservatives and conservative groups increasingly drive policy discussions:

Their frustration has grown so intense in recent days that several trade association officials warned in interviews on Wednesday that they were considering helping wage primary campaigns against Republican lawmakers who had worked to engineer the political standoff in Washington.

Such an effort would thrust Washington’s traditionally cautious and pragmatic business lobby into open warfare with the Tea Party faction, which has grown in influence since the 2010 election and won a series of skirmishes with the Republican establishment in the last two years.

“We are looking at ways to counter the rise of an ideological brand of conservatism that, for lack of a better word, is more anti-establishment than it has been in the past,” said David French, the top lobbyist at the National Retail Federation. “We have come to the conclusion that sitting on the sidelines is not good enough.”

POLL.  Three-fourths of Americans who have tried to sign up for Obamacare on the exchanges reported problems:

Three-fourths of those who tried to sign up reported problems, though, and that’s reflected in the underwhelming reviews.

Overall, just 7 percent of Americans say the rollout of the health exchanges has gone well. Far more deem it a flop.

MATURE VULNERABLES.  Many middle-aged Americans are suffering from the impact of Obamacare as they watch their insurance premiums skyrocket:

Since the Oct. 1 roll-out, however, I’m hearing from a different group – healthy middle-aged, middle-class adults whose individual policies lapse at year’s end. They qualify for comparable coverage through an Affordable Care Act exchange. There’s just one catch: Their premiums are going up a lot. For some, they might double.

Obamacare’s first big headache in California isn’t the “Young Invincibles,” it’s the “Mature Vulnerables.”

Some tell me they didn’t expect to see $2,500 in premium savings promised for a typical family by candidate Obama. They knew that providing care for those with pre-existing conditions would drive up costs. Ditto the extra benefits.

But they didn’t know that they’d carry the burden because they earn more than 400 percent of the poverty rate – $45,960 for a single adult, $94,200 for a family of four – and hence do not qualify for federal subsidies.

An Alamo father who earns $95,000 told me the platinum plan he likes for his family of four costs $2,500 per month. But if he makes $94,000 a year, subsidies will reduce his premiums to $1,500. “That last lousy $1,000 of income will cost me $11,532!”


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