Posts Tagged ‘California’

Obamacare: theory vs reality

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Theory:

Obama: “Your employer is estimated to see his premiums fall by as much as 3,000%, which means they could give you a raise.”

Reality:
Your raise will have to wait:
Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes up to 20%

Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 billion to hold down premiums.

In filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is seeking an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 customers, effective in March, with a maximum increase of 20%.

Some consumer advocates and healthcare economists say Blue Shield shouldn’t be raising rates that high when it has stockpiled so much cash. The company’s surplus is nearly three times as much as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. requires its member insurers to hold to cover future claims.

The increase in reserves is due to an increase in uncertainty,

The company also expects higher costs from an influx of new customers under the federal healthcare law in 2014.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime change in the healthcare market that will bring a lot of volatility, and we need higher reserves for that,” Wagner said.

Even with these proposed rate increases, Blue Shield said, it expects to lose money in the individual insurance market in 2013.

The insurer said its medical costs for this segment of the business grew 10.6% and what it actually pays is rising 12.5% after adjusting for its portion after customer deductibles.

And Blue Shield is not alone,

The state’s largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, cited a similar jump in medical costs in seeking rate hikes as high as 25% for some individual policyholders, effective in February.

Also in California, Kaiser Permanente is seeking to raise rates an average of 9% for 220,000 individual policyholders next month.

Nowhere near that 3,000% “premium fall” Obama had us expect.

Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.


Compare and contrast the governors

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Kimberley Strassel writes about the great divide:
Wisconsin 1, Illinois 0
With Springfield raising taxes amidst its fiscal disaster, the new Republican governor of the Badger State is telling Illinoisans, “Escape to Wisconsin.”
(h/t Betsy)

On one side are wide swathes of the country that this past midterm elected reformers intent on slashing spending and reviving growth. On the other are the holdout pockets—Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut—drifting further into the abyss of tax and spend. The chasm has huge implications, not just for local and regional politics but for Washington.

For instance (quoting from the article),

  • Wisconsin is working to enact the total elimination of corporate income taxes for two years for firms that migrate
  • In Ohio, John Kasich’s Republican legislature has already introduced legislation to kill the state death tax
  • Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s first order of business will be to end the 22% surcharge on his state’s job-killing business tax
  • Nevada’s Brian Sandoval has vowed to kill the tax hikes passed by Democrats in 2009
  • In Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, you name it, new Republican governors have made top priorities of cutting or eliminating state corporate income taxes

This is good. However, all these governors must bear in mind that the problem is spending, not just deficits, a point lost on this WaPo headline,
Tax pledge hinders Obama’s plans to overhaul tax code, reduce deficit. No mention in the article of how Obama and the Democrat Congress have increased the deficit into stratospheric numbers.

Meanwhile, on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal,
New Hit to Strapped States
Borrowing Costs Up as Bond Flops; Refinancing Crunch Nears
.

As Strassel points out,

No state has taxed and spent itself to prosperity.


No country has, either.

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Top-10 reasons why businesses are leaving California

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

You can not have an environment hostile to businesses and expect anything other than this:
“California: the Venezuela of North America”

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Greta eats Gloria’s lunch

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

First, Hugh Hewitt; now Greta Van Sustern:

Greta points out,

Let me tell you what you’ve done: One, you’re getting your client deported by putting a big neon sign, “hey, I’m here illegally, signed documents falsely, and I’ve done that under penalty of perjury, saying that this is my Social Security number.” This is the first thing.

Gloria Allred, Nicky Diaz Santillan’s own attorney, is endangering her client by bringing out a public confession to committing immigration and Social Security fraud, all in the name of smearing Meg Whitman.

Ironically, Whitman’s opponent, Jerry Brown, is California’s Attorney General. I don’t know what the jurisdiction is on an immigration case, particularly when Diaz has admitted to using a fake California driver’s license, but the people doing this to advance the Brown campaign in the Mexicans electorate’s eyes have to be fully aware that Diaz is being endangered by her own attorney.

The timing coincides with the Univision debate scheduled for today:

Spanish-language and local TV have aired video of Ms. Diaz Santillan tearfully recalling her time with Ms. Whitman as a “nightmare.”

The issue could remain active through the weekend. On Saturday, an anchor from the Spanish-language Univision network will moderate a debate between the gubernatorial candidates in Fresno.

Latinos represent the fastest-growing voter bloc in California and are increasingly prone to register as independents. They accounted for 21% of the state’s electorate in 2008, up from 12% in 1996. The NALEO Educational Fund, a nonpartisan group that tracks the Latino electorate, projects that nearly two million Latinos will vote in the November 2010 election, a 15% jump from the 2006 midterm election.

Meg Whitman paid Diaz $23/hr for her work, and fired her last year, after finding out about Diaz’s status.

Diaz is being paraded about in the Spanish-language media, shamelessly being used by Allred, all the while claiming working for $23/hr was a nightmare. Tell that to the 15 million Americans who are out of work right now.

What is going to happen to Diaz after election day? Does anyone care?

And, one more thing, is Allred working this case pro-bono, or who is paying for her exorbitant fees? Allred was in Mark Levin’s show and claimed that was confidential information; obviously, endangering a client isn’t.

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You’d think the Christie hecklers would have learned by now VIDEO

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Gov. Christie confronts heckler at California GOP candidate’s political rally

“What are you hiding?” shouted Ed Buck, in jeans and a light shirt in the front row of the 400-person event. “You’re looking like Arnold in a dress,” he said in a reference to outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Before Whitman could respond, Christie stepped down from the stage and got in Buck’s face.

“Hey, listen. You know what. You want to yell, yell at me,” Christie said, shutting down Buck as Christie’s bodyguards calmly but quickly approached the two men. “It’s people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you who are dividing this country. We’re here to bring this country together.”

I like it.

Roissy likes it so much he’s named Christie Alpha Male of the Month.

(video via Hot Air)

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Rep Loretta Sanchez’s race-baiting VIDEO

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Loretta Sanchez, (D-California) went on Univision to say this,

… and the Vietnamese, and the Republicans are – with an intensity – to take away this seat, this seat that we have done so much for our community, and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant, and very anti-Hispanic.”

Loretta’s race-baiting ignores the fact that Tran is an immigrant:

Vans family first came to America in 1975, evacuated by the U.S. Army a week before the fall of Saigon.

But never confuse a race-baiting Democrat with facts; Dems need to separate and divide our country into factions because that’s how they maintain themselves in power.

You can contribute to Tran’s campaign here.

(h/t The Hot Joints)

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$600 million for one school?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

LA unveils $578M school, costliest in the nation

The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of “Taj Mahal” schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.

At RFK, the features include fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex’s namesake, a manicured public park, a state-of-the-art swimming pool and preservation of pieces of the original hotel.

And just how is that conducive to students’ learning?

Did anyone bother ask?

Matt Welch: Well, at Least They Destroyed Thousands of Affordable Houses While Building All Those Expensive Schools!

the story here is even worse than the fact that “construction costs at LA Unified are the second-highest in the nation,” even while the system continues to produce craptacular education results. All of these things are terrible, perhaps even criminal, but here’s something as infuriating as it is almost totally undercovered in the media: Yeah, this neighborhood no longer existsThe LAUSD, during this the biggest public works project west of The Big Dig, has bulldozed literally thousands of homes and businesses that stood in its way. They have been razing entire neighborhoods in order to educate them, even as enrollment numbers in the public school system have been falling through the floor.

For those willing to wade into some dodgy html code, I have written about this extensively in the past.

Forget it, Matt, it’s “for the children.”

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Mark Steyn on responsibility

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Mark Steyn on When Responsibility Doesn’t Pay

Think of Greece as California: Every year an irresponsible and corrupt bureaucracy awards itself higher pay and better benefits paid for by an ever-shrinking wealth-generating class. And think of Germany as one of the less profligate, still-just-about-functioning corners of America such as my own state of New Hampshire: Responsibility doesn’t pay. You’ll wind up bailing out anyway. The problem is there are never enough of “the rich” to fund the entitlement state, because in the end it disincentivizes everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the basic survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate. In Greece, they’ve run out Greeks, so they’ll stick it to the Germans, like French farmers do. In Germany, the Germans have only been able to afford to subsidize French farming because they stick their defense tab to the Americans. And in America, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are saying we need to paddle faster to catch up with the Greeks and Germans. What could go wrong?

Demon Sheep!

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Was listening to Jazz and Cindy’s podcast this morning and they mentioned The freaky deaky Carly Fiorina “sheep” attack ad. You got to watch this,

Wild, indeed!

Fortunately Chuck DeVore has pledged to keep his campaign a demon-sheep-free zone, at the Society for the Eradication of Demon Sheep From Our Political Discourse site.

Who said Republicans aren’t fun?

UPDATE
Carly certainly liked the miserable ad,

“It’s certainly gotten a lot of people’s attention,” said Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund. “That’s the purpose, being shocking, edgy, to produce something that people are talking about and something relatively inexpensive to produce.”

The Politico article also says “the Fiorina campaign is pleased that the ad is generating buzz.” They probably think ANY buzz is good buzz.

Nuts.

And…
A surprisingly understated Ace, “Seems a little… much.”

The Demon Sheep Doesn’t Wear Prada

Candidate pledges his campaign will be a ‘demon-sheep free zone” Whoot!

Too many sheep is never enough!
North Carolina conservative creates spoof Demon Sheep Twitter account. Amasses close to a thousand followers in a day

Illegal immigration in California: Where the costs are

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Describing the costs of illegal immigration in California as “a catastrophic hit . . . on every level of government,” California Supervisor Mike Antonovich talks about the impact of having illegal immigrants as approximately 7% of the state’s population:

The largest costs to California’s budget from its illegal residents are in three areas:

* Education: The state has no official count of how many students are in the country illegally because school districts do not ask. But the state legislative analyst estimated, based on data from the Pew Hispanic Center, that the state’s 6.3 million public school students include about 300,000 illegal residents. At an annual cost of about $7,626 each, the total comes to nearly $2.3 billion.

* Prisons: In fiscal year 2009-10, California expects to spend about $834 million to incarcerate 19,000 illegal immigrants in the state’s prisons. In Los Angeles County, illegal immigrants add between $370 million and $550 million annually to criminal justice costs, including prosecution, defense, probation and jails, according to Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

* Healthcare: The expected state tab for healthcare in fiscal 2009-10 is $703 million for as many as 780,000 illegal immigrants. Of that, $486 million goes to emergency services. But low-income illegal residents are also eligible for some nonemergency health services, including prenatal and postpartum care, abortions, breast and cervical cancer treatment and certain types of long-term care, such as stays in nursing homes. Most of the nonemergency care for illegal immigrants was authorized by the Legislature in the 1980s.

In addition, the article states that 48,000 children in families headed by illegal immigrants receive a monthly average of $472.