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There are some rumors that the administration wants to distance itself from the slang “Obamacare,” a term the president embraced in the 2012 campaign but now finds hurtful to his polls and his colleagues in the Congress. But what would be alternatives? We know the official name, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” has now become Orwellian and simply cannot be used. Millions of patients are not being protected, but losing their coverage — with more to come. So far those receiving notices of steep premium hikes outnumber those who are handed the promised “$2,500” year in savings. At least, I have not heard of too many Americans who received notices apprising them of “affordable” expanded coverage at a $208 savings per month in their premiums. If for the foreseeable future Obamacare is not protecting patients or making policies more affordable, and we are not supposed to call it “Obamacare” until it fulfills its promises, what is left? A formal rebrand like “The Fundamental Transformation of Health Care Act” is too long. I think we might hear floated something more informal like, “The Emanuel Brothers Bill,” or “Hope and Change Care,” or the “Pelosi-Reid Change of Policy Act.”
Last Wednesday brought news of jubilation to California’s Golden Dome – the LAO has officially given word that California will see fiscally happy days through FY 2020. While the LAO is a very valuable entity in Sacramento, all too often it doesn’t fully take into consideration some of the Golden State’s most challenging fiscal issues, which enables our elected officials to continue to ignore those challenges. According to the LAO, for FY 2014, it is now projecting a $2.2 billion surplus rising steadily to $3.2 billion in FY 2015, $5.6 billion in FY 2016, $8.3 billion in FY 2017, $9.6 billion for FY 2018 and FY 2019 and $9.8 billion in FY 2020. The LAO doesn’t think the Proposition 30’s tax increase expiration will affect the budget’s bottom line. And if you look deeply, you’ll notice that the LAO’s total surplus projection for the duration of Proposition 30’s tax increases exceed the Department of Finance’s Proposition 30 revenue [...]
With all the waves of bad news about the Obamacare website and the canceled policies, it would be easy to conclude that nothing in this law will ever work — that it’s just too big and complicated and messy. But that’s not the complete picture of the Affordable Care Act rollout. There are a few bright spots — just enough to suggest...