Saturday, December 7, 2013

Iran refuses to recognize Israel at the UN
From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer 


More glorious moderation from Obama's new friends in Tehran. "Iran Refuses to Recognize Israel at U.N.," by Adam Kredo for the Washington Free Beacon, December 6:
Iran publicly refused to recognize “the Israeli regime” during a full meeting on Thursday of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 
The move appeared to stun not a single onlooker at the United Nations, but prompted a sharp response from Israel’s ambassador to the U.N.
During the opening moments of the 68th UNGA’s 60th plenary meeting, Iran’s representative took the floor to reiterate her country’s distaste for the Jewish state.
The UNGA meeting was held to mark a procedural—and typically uneventful—vote in which nations meet to approve the credentials of various U.N. member states.
While Iran, like every other nation, voted in favor of the measure, its representative sought to explain that its support should not be interpreted as recognition of Israel.
“We would like to reiterate my government’s position that our support for this document should be in no way be considered as the recognition of the Israeli regime,” Iran’s representative said. “I wish my statement in this regard to be recorded and registered in the final recording of this meeting.”
Iran was the only member state to offer an on-the-record statement regarding the vote.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor said that the shot at Israel is a sign of the regime’s rogue nature.
“The ink is barely dry on the interim nuclear agreement signed in Geneva and Iran has already shown its true colors,” Prosor said in a statement provided to the Washington Free Beacon. “This is a regime that crosses red lines, produces yellow cake, and beats its citizens black and blue.”...
Initial Reaction

Some of the skew in last month's job report related to the government shutdown was taken back today, as expected. The labor force stats and participation rate were exceptions, and details reveal much weakness.
  • Last month employment fell by 735,000 due to the shutdown, this month it rose by 818,000.
  • Averaging the two months, household survey employment only rose by 83,000 (a mere 43,500 per month)
  • Last month, the change in those not in the labor force was +932,000. This month, the change was -268,000.
  • Last month the labor force declined by 720,000. This month it only rose by 455,000.
  • Averaging the two months, the labor force fell by 265,000. This explains the drop in the unemployment rate despite anemic employment growth on average.
  • Last month the participation rate fell 0.4 percentage points to a new low, this month, only 0.2 percentage points were taken back.

Ignoring the decline and the rise in employment over the past two months, the huge discrepancy between the household survey and the establishment survey persists.

In essence, this was a bad report, with people dropping out of the labor force like mad.


This was the fifth straight month of revisions to the establishment survey but the revisions were relatively minor.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +163,000 to +175,000, and the change for October was revised from +204,000 to +200,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 8,000 higher than previously reported.

Explaining the Unemployment Rate

  • Unemployment fell by 0.3 percentage points
  • Employment rose by 818,000
  • Those in the labor force rose by 455,000
  • The civilian population rose by 186,000.
  • The Participation Rate (The labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population) rose 0.2 to 63.0%.

Employment rose more than the labor force, so the unemployment rate fell as further explained in my "initial reaction" above.

October BLS Jobs Statistics at a Glance

  • Payrolls +203,000 - Establishment Survey
  • US Employment +818,000 - Household Survey
  • US Unemployment -365,000 - Household Survey
  • Involuntary Part-Time Work -331,000 - Household Survey
  • Voluntary Part-Time Work +90,000 - Household Survey
  • Baseline Unemployment Rate -0.3 to 7.0% - Household Survey
  • U-6 unemployment -0.5 to 13.2% - Household Survey
  • Civilian Labor Force +455,000 - Household Survey
  • Not in Labor Force -268,000 - Household Survey
  • Participation Rate +0.2 at 63.0 - Household Survey

Additional Notes About the Unemployment Rate

  • The unemployment rate varies in accordance with the Household Survey, not the reported headline jobs number, and not in accordance with the weekly claims data.
  • In the last year, those "not" in the labor force rose by 2,418,000
  • Over the course of the last year, the number of people employed rose by a mere 1,109,000 (an average of 92,417 a month)
  • In the last year the number of unemployed fell from 12,042,000 to 10,907,000 (a drop of 1,185,000)
  • Percentage of long-term unemployment (27 weeks or more) is 37.3%, an increase of of 1.2 percentage points from last month.
  • The mean duration of unemployment is 37.2 weeks, an increase of 1.1 weeks.
  • Once someone loses a job it is still very difficult to find another.
  • 7,619,000 workers who are working part-time but want full-time work. A year ago there were 8,029,000. This is a volatile series.

November 2013 Jobs Report

Please consider the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) November 2013 Employment Report.

The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.

Click on Any Chart in this Report to See a Sharper Image

Unemployment Rate - Seasonally Adjusted

Employment History Since January 2009

click on chart for sharper image

"Uh-oh." That's the sound being uttered in doctors' offices and hospitals across the country as medical providers realize they're getting stuck with another bottomless Obamacare bill. While the White House desperately tries to pivot from the havoc wrought by the "Affordable Care Act," its hidden regulatory bombs keep exploding.

I heard about the latest problem this week from an eye doctor friend who received a letter from a Colorado-based insurer informing her that she's essentially on the hook for Obamacare's payment grace period for debtors. The optometrist is bracing for a flood of similar letters from other insurers.

Like countless other independent providers, she's extremely concerned about the potential liability, uncertainty and fraud the rule imposes on her business.

Here's the raw deal: The Affordable Care Act created a 90-day grace period before insurers can drop patients who fall behind on premiums. So, delinquents who obtain tax-subsidized health insurance through an Obamacare health insurance exchange have three months to settle up their bills prior to their policy being canceled. As written, the law puts insurers on the hook for the grace period.

But the bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decided to issue a rule in March making insurers responsible only for paying claims during the first 30 days of the debtors' grace period. Who's on the hook for the other two months? Well, customers are entrusted to foot the bills for additional services. But if they blow off the payments, it's up to physicians and hospitals to collect.

In real-world practice, this means providers will be eating untold costs. Several large hospital associations raised red flags over the issue this summer. In August, the Missouri Hospital Association noted that the regulatory shift "unduly burdens physicians, hospitals and other health care providers" by making them directly collect payments from patients, which "puts them at an unfair and significant risk for providing uncompensated care to patients."

Emillie J DiChristina of Practicefirst Medical Management Solutions spelled out the financial risks for clients on the company's blog: "This leaves providers in a potentially bad place as they have a high potential for accruing bad debt on services provided between 31 and 90 days of the allowed grace period." Can you spell f-r-a-u-d? People could "go on and off" insurance plans, Tampa Bay health care lawyer Bruce Lamb told me, and game the system by bailing on payments and exploiting Obamacare protections against denial of coverage.

Or as MHA officials put it: "We also are very concerned that some disreputable individuals will learn they can manipulate the system and win a full year's insurance coverage on only nine months of premiums. Knowing they are entitled to three months of grace period coverage, dishonest persons could stop paying premiums on the ninth month, enjoy free coverage during the 90-day grace period, have their coverage terminated, and then re-enter the exchange market where the Affordable Care Act's guaranteed issue mandate would prohibit another plan from denying them coverage."

Think such nefarious behavior won't occur? Then you haven't been paying attention to the data manipulators and con artists in the Obamacare navigator program. As I reported earlier this year, the seedy nonprofit Seedco secured multimillion-dollar navigator contracts in Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and New York to recruit Obamacare recipients into the government-run exchanges -- despite settling a civil fraud lawsuit for faking at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22.2 million federally funded contract with New York City a year ago.

Additionally, investigative journalist James O'Keefe and his Project Veritas team have caught Obamacare navigators on tape advising health insurance exchange customers to under-report their income and lie about their health status in order to cheat the system.

CMS has made no effort to repeal its cost-shifting rule or to do anything to address the concerns of providers who will be left holding the bag. As one hospital rep told me: "It's potentially catastrophic." Private practices are already being hit hard with slashed reimbursements, the electronic medical records mandate, ICD-10 medical diagnostic code changes, and increasing federal intrusions on how they provide care. In yet another entry on the laundry list of Obamacare's unintended consequences, this regulation will hurt patients by dissuading doctors from participating in exchange plans.

In short: less choice, higher prices, increased potential for fraud, more bureaucratic headaches and more disincentives to enter or stay in the medical profession. When the government grants "grace," everyone must watch their wallets. It's always easy to afford compassion when someone else is paying for it.
NEVER forget Pearl Harbor...
always remember and honor those lost...

Report: 70 Percent Of California Doctors Won’t Participate In Obamacare

by   / Personal Liberty Digest

The California Medical Association (CMA), the State’s largest physician’s organization, estimates that 70 percent of doctors won’t participate in Covered California, the State’s Obamacare health insurance exchange.

That prediction comes after the CMA reviewed Obamacare coverage forecasts provided by independent insurance brokers, even though Covered California is touting an expected 85 percent doctor participation rate.

CMA’s vice president of medical and regulatory policy, Lisa Folberg, told the Washington Examiner that Covered California comes by its 85 percent participation figure through some optimistic statistical legerdemain.

“Some physicians have been put in the network and they were included basically without their permission,” she said.

That’s because Covered California is using a pre-deployment document released in May that came out before doctors had a chance to respond to a memo of understanding with Obamacare insurers.

The doctors’ reticence then was understandable – they hadn’t seen a rate schedule, so they had no idea what kind of compensation they were being asked to accept.

“Only in September did insurance companies disclose that their rates would be pegged to California’s Medicaid plan, called Medi-Cal,” reports the Examiner’s Richard Pollock. “That’s driven many doctors to just say no.”

Alameda County Health Care Services Agency director Alex Briscoe said he’s not shocked that doctors aren’t lining up to take a pay cut under Obamacare.

From the report:
“Enrollment doesn’t mean access, because there aren’t enough doctors to take the low rates of Medicaid,” [Briscoe] said. “There aren’t enough primary care physicians, period.”
Briscoe hopes his eight community health centers can handle the 200,000 uninsured individuals he said reside in his county, but he warned that “there is a doctor shortage. It is going to get worse as more people enter the market.”
Briscoe professed not to be surprised by the refusal of doctors to participate in Covered California. “It rings true. I’ve been kind of wondering in my head, ‘How are they offering such low premiums?’”
In addition to low doctor participation, Obamacare is compounding the access problem by incentivizing another way for doctors to opt out: retirement.

“I just turned 55, and a lot of us are kind of going, ‘Maybe there’s something else we can do in the last 10 years,’ because this is just getting too onerous to keep on going,” San Diego ENT specialist Theodore M. Mazer told the Examiner.