Tag Archives: barack obama

Senator Coats Issues Statement on Obamacare "Glitches"

27 Oct

Gazette Staff

 

Indiana Senator Coats issues a statement today pledging to fight for a delay of the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act.  In the statement, Coats said:

An email I received from Daniel in Elkhart, Indiana, summarizes the experience many Hoosiers are having with the recently launched Obamacare online health insurance marketplace:

“I have tried for two weeks to apply through the marketplace, only to electronically sign my application and be kicked back to my ‘profile page.’ This is the most bizarre system I have ever experienced. If a company put a business website together like this they would go out of business.”

Despite its $400 million cost to taxpayers, the president’s health care website has been plagued by nationwide accounts of technological complications since it launched on October 1. It also has been reported that the site provides inaccurate information about the federal tax credits available to those seeking health insurance. An experienced online database programmer told CBS News, “I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that.”

President Obama and Harry Reid slammed Obamacare through the Senate on Christmas Eve 2009 and strong-armed it through the House of Representatives a few months later. They have had almost four years to prepare for the rollout of their health care law and this is what it looks like – a disaster. A recent Associated Press poll revealed that only seven percent of Americans believe the rollout of Obamacare has gone either very well or extremely well.

Despite the website’s numerous glitches and many other implementation problems, the administration still insists on fining taxpayers if they don’t purchase health insurance. This week, the Obama administration  announced a six-week extension to sign up for a health care plan before facing a penalty. This brief extension is certainly no consolation for the millions of Americans that are seeing their premiums rise and their paychecks fall.

Now is the time to pass my bill to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year.

First, a delay of the Obamacare mandates would provide all Americans with the same relief that the administration already has given to businesses. The Obama administration announced this summer that it will delay penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage to workers, but not provide the same delay for all Americans. Don’t individuals deserve the same relief from Obamacare as businesses? My bill would codify that delay and extend the same delay to all individuals and families.

Second, delaying the Obamacare mandates until after the 2014 midterm elections would return the decision of Obamacare’s fate to the American voters. As of today, we do not have the votes in the Senate to repeal or defund Obamacare, but if we can delay the mandates, Americans will be able to decide whether they want to keep Obamacare or replace it with step-by-step, consumer-drive health care reforms.

My bill mirrors legislation introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) that passed the House of Representatives in July with the support of 22 Democrats. And several Senate Democrats have come out in support delaying parts or all of the president’s health care law.

As bipartisan acknowledgement of Obamacare’s problems increases, I will continue to fight for a vote in the Senate. This law’s failures are more than mere glitches.

SEIU/Organizing for American Host Organizing Training

20 Jul
Camp OFA – Chicago(Training)
Camp OFA trainings are designed to teach volunteers more about the issues Organizing for Action is working on and will give participants the training needed to take action in their communities. By participating in a Camp OFA, you’ll learn organizing skills and strategies, get information about the legislative landscape on the issues we’re working on and be ready to take next-step action to push forward the policies that the American people voted for in 2012.
Time:
Saturday, July 27, 2013 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Host:
Sam Rikkers
Location:
SEIU Headquarters (Chicago, IL)

2229 S. Halstead St.
Chicago, IL 60608
 

Tribune Takes a Swing at Indiana With No Basis in Fact

9 Jul

Operator at 12 Pipestill Unit, Whiting Refinery Moderization Pro

The Chicago Tribune wants to kill jobs in Indiana and does not need facts to do it.  In typical politician/journalist fashion, The Chicago Tribune has taken up a fight started by Barack Obama during his short tenure as a US Senator-that BP in Whiting is dumping mercury into Lake Michigan.   Obviously, if this is true it is cause for alarm for all of us.  The Lake Michigan ecosystem is vital to life as we know it in Northwest Indiana.  

Those are the things on which we agree.  Without citing any sources, The Tribune article claims that 

Since 2005, BP has reported that the Whiting refinery’s treatment plant discharged between one-tenth of a pound and 2 pounds of mercury into the lake annually, according to state and federal records.”

I began my research with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  The NRDC is a respected environmental organization that has pressured BP over releases of Air contaminants.  In fact, the NRDC was instrumental in a recent enforcement action that resulted in a fine of nearly $800M and promised upgrades by BP costing $400M or more (http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/bp-whiting.html).  The NRDC praises the tribune article as “investigative journalism” but says little else about it.  In fact, the NRDC fails to point out that the Tribune article is neither investigative nor journalism.  As NRDC points out:  “The news this time around is a mixed bag.  BP, to its credit (and our pleasant surprise), made good on its 2007 promise not to use the additional leeway in its 2007 permit for ammonia and solids discharge, and IDEM granted the company’s request to revert to the previous permit levels for those pollutants. . .The other sort-of good news is that BP contracted with Argonne National Laboratory and the Purdue-Calumet Water Institute in the intervening years to do some research on cutting-edge technologies to control the discharge of mercury to Lake Michigan.”

Despite several blog articles repeating the Tribune claim, I could find no reports indicating a 2 lb. discharge of mercury.  In fact, in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, BP reported a release of .125 lbs of mercury.  Keep in mind that any amount of mercury is not good.  Nonetheless, more mercury enters our waterstream from CFL lightbulbs which environmentalists love.

So Why Is The Chicago Tribune pushing this story?  I would suggest the answer is complex.  First, the Chicago Tribune received awards and accolades from environmental groups and politicians for the 2007 article regarding BP.  Mass boycotts of BP put pressure on the company to make changes to the expansion plans even before the consent decree.  The Chicago Tribune rode the wave of that popularity.  Second, the expansion at the Whiting BP refinery is intended to enable BP to refine tar sand crude at that site.  Tar sand crude like that which will come from the Keystone Pipeline.  You remember the Keystone, that pipeline that environmentalists insist will cause the earth to boil over?