Obamacare fed funding for Oregon dries up in 2 years

Jeff Kruse

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

I want to share some thoughts about Cover Oregon, or the insurance exchange. I know the exchanges have received a lot of media attention at the federal level and in my opinion we have still not been told the truth by this Administration. Just one example, I have known for a couple of years people would not be able to keep their current plans under the provisions of ACA, and anyone who knew anything about the bill knew it as well. I believe this was meant to fail as a way to drive us to the complete government takeover of the health care system. For those who think this would be a good idea, you really haven’t looked at all of the ramifications of such a move. But, for now, I will focus on our exchange.

We were one of five states granted federal dollars ($48 million) to develop the technology. The agreement was we would then share what we had developed with other states, which is a reasonable approach. The warning that immediately went up is the fact the State of Oregon has a miserable track record when it comes to IT development. In this case, even though much of the work was contracted out to a company called Oracle, we have held true to our record of failure. We have been assured all of the problems can be fixed, and maybe that is true over time, but here we are with a non-functioning web site and 400 new government employees to do manual processing. By the way, this brings the number of employees in Cover Oregon to nearly 500, which is really not the type of job growth we need.

The federal government also gave Oregon nearly 250 million dollars to operate the exchange for two years. Another pot of federal money in play is the subsidies for people buying insurance in the exchange. It is on a graduated scale, but everyone up to 400% of the federal poverty level (for a family of four that is an income of $90,000) can get federal dollars to help pay their premiums. This will, to a degree, offset the premium increases, but only short term. In two years the operational funds as well as the subsidies are scheduled to go away. This may or may not happen depending on what goes on in Washington DC. By law the President is required to present a budget every February, but for the entirety of the Obama administration there has never been a budget passed and the feds have been operating on continuing resolutions. I think this is intentional as it allows them to continue to spend in any manner they choose and continue to increase the national debt.

Back to Oregon, here is where we stand. The government will now determine, to an even greater extent, what type of insurance you can buy. For example, as a 62 year old person I can no longer purchase insurance for just hospital coverage (otherwise known as a catastrophic plan). Because no insurance carrier can offer plans outside the Exchange that are not offered inside that door is now shut. This is not what we were told we would be developing, but this is our reality; more and more government control of our lives.

But, even more concerning than what I have detailed above, are the budget ramifications of going ahead with this plan. In two years the costs of operation the Exchange fall to the state as well as any premium subsidies. Additionally the Medicaid expansion, which the federal government is paying 100% of for two years, starts falling back to the state general fund. At that point we will either need to implement major tax increases or make significant cuts to schools. Neither option is acceptable.

Clearly our healthcare system needs changes, but this is not taking us in the right direction. Unfortunately our Governor seems determined to be the first state to fully implement the federal act and is fully supported by the Democrat majority in the Legislature. We have been continually trying to offer alternative approaches, but they fall on deaf ears. The people of Oregon deserve better.

  • Jfiddle

    I hear your criticism… but what are your solutions??? Feel free to elaborate Mr Kruse… really!

    • Selah

      Jesus loves us, all, no matter what.

      And lo, to the the despots proffering postings here, take heed and get down on your needs and praise our Redeemer all to to Heaven – and snot for those predisposed who bet 666 daily on their cum to false promises line. Omen.

      • lulzpdx

        And what do you think your Redeemer would think about your posts? Are you an example of the Golden Rule? Do you turn the other cheek? Perhaps you should be down on your knees begging forgiveness for your obvious transgressions.

        Care what you post next… your Redeemer will be watching and considering your words.

        • Selah

          I’m bad, you’re ever bladder, piss ant.

          • lulzpdx

            You truly don’t understand the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, do you? Not surprising. I sometimes find Christians to be the most unchristian in their daily conduct.
            Do you think your belief that I’m worse justifies, in any way, your actions to your Lord? Do you think He says, “Oh, but Lulz is worse, so that’s OK.”?

          • Selah

            ‘Surly’ you aren’t jesting. And ‘know’ I’m not judging you pursuant to Matthew 7:1-3.
            However, seems your own self absorbances might take light of the fact of three surprises that await in heaven – who’s there, who’s not there and the fact your there. Omen.

          • lulzpdx

            You judge all the time my friend, and now we can add lying to the list of your sins. I’d spend less time posting your screeds that must, by any measure, be abhorrent in the eyes of God, and spend much more time praying for forgiveness. Otherwise, I won’t be surprised to find that you’re not there.

            It’s not too late, embrace the teachings of Jesus and let them guide your life.

          • thevillageidiot

            What do you mean by unchristian? are you of the Reverend Wallis social Gospel camp that the bible is the book for socialism? The rich should be more taxed and given to the poor? and does Jesus teach self reliance or socialism?

          • Selah

            Thank you for clearing the air and reminding lulzpdx his gate pass to heaven is not yet a certainty.

          • lulzpdx

            And yours? What do you think your gate pass looks like? Why don’t you take the teachings of Jesus to heart? Why do you insist on disappointing Him? It is well within your power to accord your behavior with his teachings yet you insist on throwing his words in His face. Every time you do that, you make Him a little bit more sad. Do you feel good doing that? Do you enjoy testing His patience? Corrupting His creation?

          • lulzpdx

            Unchristian in that they give lip service to treating people with dignity and respect. Treat others as they wish to be treated. They mouth the words, and then go back to being terrible people. Frequently, like our friend Selah, they wear their piety on their sleeve. Where, evidently, it does not inform their actions.

            Funny that you assumed a political message. Feeling a little uncomfortable and nervous? Jesus didn’t spend his time with the rich and powerful after all.

            Jesus does teach about self-reliance; he also teaches about greed and avarice. Eye of needle and a camel….

          • Selah

            Seen and experienced plenty of hell already, know…didn’t see lulzpdx there. Lo, he might be Jeremiah Wright – I’ll be (going) back along with what’s left of US still eying the jeopardized answer: “Arrogant or saved?”

          • give lulz a byee

            I must confess…Father forgive me for I have sinned. As for ‘p a’ – yes, pat him on the po-po, too.

          • lulzpdx

            Oh my.. asking the Lord to punish someone? Hmmm.. that’s not very Christian, and doesn’t come across as true contrition. Do you quake in fear when God looks into your heart? I can’t imagine that you don’t. Unless your talk is just that — talk.

          • glab

            Judge not lest ye be judged, that’s why the arrogant or saved if you can see in depth the meaning of that, pilgrim.

          • lulzpdx

            So how often do you judge on here? i don’t think the Lord loves hypocrisy anymore than He loves lying. Do you think God put you on Earth to test his resolve and patience? Your actions say that you do.

          • glab

            You be a judge, oh, you are.

            OK, is #44 guilty of being a lying hypocrite?

            Where I would like to go, IMO, seeing BHO removed from ovvice before he can further damage our sovereign Republic.

          • glab

            owwice, correctly respelled office…and foreclosed upon.

          • glab

            Were you not included? Feet up, pat him on his po-po is a re-ass-urance to the little squirt gun aiming at your farcical face, pappam lulzpdx!

          • ahoy thar

            pe’er haps lulzpdx an Alger Hiss aspirant?

          • lulzpdx

            God weeps every time he reads one of your posts. He wonders where he went wrong. Why can’t you take is message to heart? Why you invoke His name, yet poison his creation.

          • a t

            I don’t think of myself or lulzdpx as holier than Him.
            Yet believe you me: “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8

          • lulzpdx

            That does not atone for your transgressions. Of course you’re not holier than Him. Why would you even think that? Yet, you should not give up so easily on living your life as He would wish you to.

          • a t

            Embracing yourself for the three Heavenly surprises, lulzpdx?
            IMHO, your tone so confident as to be seen as wielding a byte of parrynoia.

  • Bob Clark

    The technical problems are minor compared to the long term funding and implications for the work ethic of the (Un) Affordable Care Act, or Obama Care. Even the Congressional Budget Office pointed out Obama Care adds substantially to a surging debt and unfunded liability problem for the U.S in the next two decades, after a short term stabilization of outstanding debt.

    The way forward is turn Obama Care on its head with some legislative changes; use the federal health exchanges to offer healthcare across state lines, drop the mandates to allow bigger choices, and enlist case workers and charities to manage with “tough love” those seeking Medicaid and other public subsidies. On the latter, a University of Chicago economist writing in the Wall Street Journal about a month ago finds that Obama Care is hurting the long term incentive to work as it raises the marginal tax and benefit loss rate for the average American worker choosing to work additionally from a pre-Obama Care rate of 40% to over 50% with Obama Care. In order to make the safety net work, we need to insist those able to work to earn their own keep. Also, we need to get tough on those taking drugs causing their health problems including getting Medicaid folks off of tobacco and junk food. I’ve help raise young teen agers and sometimes you really need to use the tough love approach, or else you are just enabling bad destructive behavior. Re-introduce the old, old ways of welfare where the goal is the nudge and cajole those able to make their way independently and responsibly through life.

    • DavidAppell

      Let’s fund Obamacare by eliminating the home interest interest deduction. That’s about $150 B/yr….

      (But I suspect Bob Clark has benefited enormously from this tax break, and is unlikely to admit it.)

      • Noble Durham

        Spoken by a craven, clapper-clawed flap-dragon, bewildered beast in the rut for a bawdy, dismal-dreaming flax-wench giglet.

  • DavidAppell

    As if Jeff Kruse has done anything at all towards solving the health insurance crisis in this country.

    Get real.

    • .

      Nut you, artificial.

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