Thursday Prep: Obamacare Flatline Edition

ObamaCare in Trouble? Exchange provision delayed, as lawmakers push to repeal another:

The Obama administration now says a special system of exchanges designed to make it easier for small businesses to provide insurance will be delayed an entire year—to 2015.

“Lots of small businesses struggle with providing insurance for their workers so this was supposed to facilitate it and make it easier for small business to do this,” said Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “It was a huge portion of the sale job. When they passed the law in 2010 there were many senators and members of Congress who were saying ‘I am doing this because it’s going to help small businesses.’”

The exchanges were designed to give workers a range of choices supported by dollars from their employers. But now they will have only one choice until 2015, which could mean they can’t shop for insurance that includes their current providers. Capretta said the administration is “way” behind schedule.

- Obama’s sequester is turning away cancer patients at clinics:

Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts.

Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.

Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.

“If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we’d be out of business in six months to a year,” said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York. “The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”

Will his game of political checkers be worth the lives affected?

- OBAMACONOMY: Record high poverty, child hunger:

Alarming statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month revealed that hunger and poverty rates in the country remain high, particularly among African-American children.


- If you assault a goth kid in the UK you could be charged with a hate crime. Stupid, and I say this as a former goth kid.

- Female Marines Fail Infantry Officer Course:

The only two women to participate in the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course (IOC) failed ongoing tests to determine which infantry positions should be available to women, according to the Marine Corps Times.

- Imagine that: Jeremy Irons is a libertarian. I knew I loved him in that southern gothic witch movie. He also loathes nanny states and Michael Bloomberg.

- A state religion in North Carolina? I believe Jefferson had some thoughts about state-mandated faith.

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