CA Obamacare implementation registers Dem voters

CA Obamacare implementation registers Dem voters

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Part 1 is here.

covered california 2As I explained in Part 1 of this series, one of the biggest features of Covered California, the state’s new health benefit exchange, is how it was set up. Established to implement the federal Affordable Care Act, usually called Obamacare, the state program covers health care.

But it also uses activist organizations connected to the Democratic Party to register people to vote. The funding also will boost the budgets of these organizations.

In addition, the newly created Obamacare health exchange “Assisters” will be trained to sign people up for social services, including welfare, food stamps and housing assistance, according to Community Health Councils, Inc.

In 2012, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 35, by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima. It required that voter registration be part of the health insurance exchange.

SB35 creates “voter registration agencies” largely through state social services agencies. The law requires anyone applying online for service or assistance, or submitting a recertification, renewal or change of address form, to be provided an online “voter preference form.”

Effective January 1, the California Department of Social Services issued a new All County Information Notice to county welfare directors and state and local National Voter Registration Act agencies regarding compliance with SB35.

CalFresh, California Work Opportunity and the Responsibility to Kids (formerly CALWORKs) programs are now required to provide welfare and food stamp recipients a voter registration card, “regardless of whether they indicate they want to register of not,” according to the Department of Social Services. “Under federal law, the NVRA requires states to provide voter registration opportunities at all offices that provide public assistance and all offices that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to person(s) with disabilities. All applicants and continuing clients must be given a voter registration card (VRC) and an NVRA Voter Preference Form, regardless of whether they indicate they want to register or not.”

The agencies are required to “Provide and collect a voter registration card, and
 provide and collect a NVRA Voter Preference Form.”

Covered CA originally exempted from open record keeping

A state law passed in 2010 granted Covered California broad exemptions from the California Public Records Act. This would have limited the public’s right to access information about the contracts issued by Covered California, and the rates of payment to companies and individuals.

Five Republican U.S. senators sent a letter in June to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding a federal investigation into California’s exchange policies on concealing information. “We see no reason why a state that has been awarded nearly $910 million in federal taxpayer dollars should not disclose how that money is being spent once a contract is finalized,” the senators wrote.

After the letter, the state Legislature made an about face and passed new legislation, SB332. State Sens. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, and Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, co-authored SB332, to ensure that Covered California is subject to the Public Records Act. “This bill requires that non-health plan contracts entered into with the exchange — such as those for consulting, marketing, and other professional services — as well as the payments for those contracts be accessible to the public immediately, just as they would be with any other state agency,” explained think tank California Healthline in a recent op ed.

It was signed into law on Sept. 11 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Immediate issues with Obamacare implementation

According to Craig Gottwals, health insurance expert and attorney, there will be several immediate issues with Obamacare implementation in California:

  1. There will be technical and computer glitches everywhere in the new system.
  2. There will be rationing. With millions of newly insured in the market, companies like Blue Cross said they plan to be using roughly only half of their network for the health exchange. This is bound to cause  shortages, which will also impact those not insured on the health care exchange.
  3. Subsidies will be abused. Even the super rich in California will be able to get health care subsidies because the subsidies are solely based on income, and not net worth. Assets don’t matter. Someone with a $100 million stock portfolio might earn just $60,000 in salary and so be eligible for the subsidies.
  4. Because there are four different subsidies within the $20,000 to $90,000 income range, lower-income employees will tell employers to hold off on raises if it throws them into a different subsidy bracket with lower payouts.


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  1. The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
    The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 26 September, 2013, 09:29

    Why do we have to gove the poor health insurance? I just don’t get it. This is inconvenient. What would Jesus do?



    He’d of helped the poor at all costs. But that’s just an old fairy tale we ought to ignore all of that. Right?

    Reply this comment
  2. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 26 September, 2013, 11:14

    we have entered bizarro-world.

    In the past, government officials would receive kudos if they were able to reduce the number of people on welfare rolls. These days it’s just the opposite.

    Congratulations, Kommisar! We now have 50 million on food stamps! Our goal is 60 million!

    Reply this comment
  3. ImAlwaysRight
    ImAlwaysRight 26 September, 2013, 11:23

    @”The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit”. You said it why do we “have to”? See I do not recall the Bible saying that someone should forcefully take what you have earned and give it to others. If I recall this is called stealing and is against one of the 10 Commandments. “Giving” to the poor is a wonderful thing and based on history something liberals don’t do very much of unless you count them forcing others to do it for them.

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 26 September, 2013, 19:51

    California Republicans are not very savy……pity…..registering citizens is so so beneath them…..these people have soiled hands, smell of hard work sweat, look different, speak broken communications… offensive.

    Reply this comment
  5. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 27 September, 2013, 10:46

    It will probably register Republican voters as well, since there are always misguided people who turn to that party in opposition to their own self interest.

    It will be the same sort of people who walk about with signs saying “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” and wear goofy costumes.

    Reply this comment
    • The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
      The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 27 September, 2013, 14:22

      I LOVE the goofy costumes! Seriously!

      Reply this comment
    • Strat
      Strat 28 September, 2013, 12:29

      I guess by ‘self-interest’ you mean continuing to receive your food stamps, welfare, Obamaphone, insurance subsidies and other guv’ment cheese that other hard-working people are paying for. So yes, it would be in your ‘self-interest’ to register and vote Democrat and keep the gravy-train comin’ your way. The liberal game is breathtakingly transparent.

      Reply this comment
  6. The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
    The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 27 September, 2013, 14:22

    Im always right…you fit in well out here— please stay!

    and our Lord said…”it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to eneter the Kingdom of heaven…”…Mark 2-25…

    Reply this comment
  7. PJ
    PJ 27 September, 2013, 15:20

    Speaking of Democrat-allied organizations, I wonder what Calpers is up to. They say that if and when they get hit with a Cadillac tax on employee health care, they will pay it and then raise premiums accordingly.

    Why would they do this, other than to instead hit taxpayers for the tax increase, or spread the pain over all the employees/retirees and not the ones who get the Cadillac fine?

    Something is fishy here.

    Reply this comment
  8. stolson
    stolson 27 September, 2013, 16:28

    Most people getting notices that their plan has been cancelled and have to go on the exchange see higher premium costs, higher deductibles, and co pays, and less paid for lab tests etc–the list goes on. The lower end does do well, the middle gets creamed. It is a big dollar increase. Will see how this plays out nation wide. Insurance execs at Blue Cross are happy.

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 27 September, 2013, 17:24

    Nothing good is free. Doomers your day is here. You gotta pay for the social/collective good. What good is a sick hamburger flipper hacking and spewing tb germs on our burgers?

    Reply this comment
  10. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 27 September, 2013, 20:02

    Stolsen— “most people”?

    LMAO the weak continue to make up facts!

    Reply this comment
  11. stolson
    stolson 28 September, 2013, 10:05

    It is a fact. Read up and skip the sarcasm. This is all intended too. Single payer is the goal.

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 30 September, 2013, 06:59

    LOL stolson— please continue to argue with no citation to authority— perfect for this rant blog!!!

    Reply this comment
  13. jd
    jd 29 October, 2014, 12:44

    california DHHS is sending recertification letters out that tell people they are REQUIRED to register to vote as a condition of receiving benefits. I find no law that authorizes this. Social workers cannot answer my question about their authority to require this: They only say that registering to vote is required to continue to receive benefits.

    What is going on, really?

    Reply this comment

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