Saturday, August 16, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude - "Please Delete this Email"

A couple of quick Obamacare Schadenfreudes before we board the eastbound plane.

GOP unearths “please delete e-mail” directive from Obama health official post-launch
Remember Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services? She headed the prominent division of Health and Human Services that decided to be general contractor for the building of despite having none of the skills to do that successfully, apparently.

So, since the launch, members of Congress have been requesting e-mails pertinent to the very expensive and disastrous launch of Obamacare’s federal exchange website. In requesting e-mails, one might excuse the GOP of being a bit wary of the Obama administration’s ability and willingness to hold on to such things in the wake of a big controversy. Indeed, HHS has already admitted that some of those e-mails are missing. So much sloppy record keeping! An e-mail from Tavenner revealed today suggests they’re right to be wary, and not just because of a record of sloppiness within the administration.
. . .
In a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the Republicans point to an Oct. 5 email from Tavenner to staff about how to handle calls from people applying for ObamaCare.
In the first line of the email, Tavenner writes “please delete this email but see if we can work on call script.”
Republicans in their letter ask why Tavenner wanted the email deleted, and whether she has asked for other emails to be deleted.
“This contradicts … [the claim] that your practice was to instruct subordinates to retain copies of e-mails,” said the lawmakers, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).
Clearly, there was something in that email that Tavenner didn't want to see the light of day. Most transparent administration evah.

Federal Employees Union Says Obamacare Could 'Hurt' Members
The National Treasury Employees Union is an independent union representing, according to its own figures, "some 150,000" federal workers from many different agencies. The union claims to fight for the "dignity and respect" of its members, and it maintains a "legislative action center" to keep tabs on what Congress is up to.

With a Republican-controlled House of Representatives that was elected on a message of reining in federal spending, the NTEU's been on alert for any and all legislation that proposes reducing pay and benefits for federal workers. In fact, on the union's website, there's a handy list of 13 active pieces of legislation (all sponsored by Republicans) that the NTEU says it wants to stop. "Warning!" reads the top of the fact sheet. "Which of these bills could hurt you? ALL OF THEM."

Among the bills is H.R. 1780, sponsored by Michigan Republican Dave Camp. The NTEU says the bill could hurt workers because it would "require most federal employees to leave the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program...and instead join health plans established under the Affordable Care Act."
And of course, they are correct. Obamacare was not designed to help the well employed middle class like most federal employees. It was designed to squeeze them for the juice to subsidize healthcare for the unemployed poor that form the democratic base. Why should the feds be exempt from that?

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