Add it to the list of Obamacare problems. “A primary aim of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to expand insurance coverage, especially among households with lower incomes. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that about one-third of the additional insurance coverage expected to occur because of the law will come from expansion of the existing, unreformed Medicaid program. The rest of the coverage expansion will come from enrolling millions of people into subsidized insurance offerings on the ACA exchanges — offerings that have strong similarities to Medicaid insurance. Unfortunately, ample evidence demonstrates that this kind of insurance model leaves the poor and lower-income households with inadequate access to health care. The networks of physicians and hospitals willing to serve large numbers of Medicaid patients have been very constrained for many years, meaning access problems will only worsen when more people enroll and begin using the same overburdened networks of clinics and physician practices.”
This doesn’t necessarily add up to a ground campaign, but it might come to that. “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu emerged from a marathon security cabinet meeting Thursday at the end of Operation Protective Edge’s third day saying the campaign would continue and expand. Netanyahu issued a statement saying that the operation was progressing as planned, and that ‘more stages were expected.’ . . . [In order to end the military action] Israel has certain parameters, one of which being to ensure that Hamas would be unable to rearm after the campaign — a campaign aimed at severely depleting both Hamas’ rocket stockpile and its ability to manufacture missiles.”
Those defense cuts add up. “The Obama administration’s nominee to lead the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) on Thursday expressed concerns about the physical and mental health of the troops he could soon command. Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the 67,000 special operators force could be ‘fraying’ after being ‘operationally active for a long time.’”
You can add the West Point address to the collection of meaningless speeches. “The West Point initiative fits perfectly with what a well-established pattern of misdirection by the White House. Call it the Syria two-step. The president or a member of his administration issues a statement of support for the [Free Syria Army] that is long on pious intention but short on practical details. After gaining credit from the media for taking action, the president then quietly backs away from his own initiative, taking care never to admit that he is doing so.”
Republicans shouldn’t add to the constitutional confusion. “Mr. Obama has reversed the polarity of the presidency by exercising unilateral constitutional powers over domestic, rather than foreign, affairs. . . . Republicans can and should maintain faith with the dual nature of the presidency. They can oppose Mr. Obama’s refusal to enforce the law by cutting off funding for his programs, blocking his appointments, and conducting vigorous oversight over his growing failures from the Veterans Administration’s scandal to the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups. Meanwhile, Republicans can respect the office’s superior abilities over national security by restoring U.S. military strength and supporting steadfast policies on Russia, China, and the Middle East.”
Obama adds to the image of confusion and listlessness. “The first rule in a crisis for any executive is put on your windbreaker and your boots and get out on the ground. President George W. Bush didn’t do it soon enough after Hurricane Katrina and, politically, could never make up for it, no matter how many times he visited New Orleans subsequently. Obama’s bizarre resistance to visiting the border on his fundraising swing out West fueled talk of the influx as Obama’s ‘Katrina moment.’” Read the whole thing.
Add John Kerry to the mix and you have all the makings of another capitulation. “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Vienna this weekend to assess Iran’s willingness to take the measures necessary if six world powers and Tehran are to reach a deal that would end sanctions in return for curbs on the Iranian nuclear program, the State Department said on Thursday.”