Tag Archives: Arizona

Aetna ditching 70% of its ObamaCare business

Obamacare: Going as planned.

tried to warn you

Via NY Post: Insurance giant Aetna won’t be offering coverage under ObamaCare next year in 11 of the 15 states it now serves — an announcement that instantly became an issue in the presidential race.

Aetna’s decision led Donald Trump to charge that President Obama’s health care reform was “imploding.” “Aetna’s decision to leave the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces is the latest blow to this broken law that is slowly imploding under its regulatory red tape,” said Trump campaign deputy national policy director Dan Kowalski.

Millions of Americans have lost their health coverage under this disastrous policy, eliminating their ability to choose their doctors. Thousands of businesses have been forced to cut employment or shutter their doors in response to Obama’s signature achievement,” he added.

The company had previously warned that it expected to lose more than $300 million this year on the 900,000 patients it covers under the Affordable Care Act. Aetna said it is pulling out of ObamaCare markets in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

Aetna does not currently offer the policies in New York. It does offer other medical insurance to individuals and small businesses as well as large employers in the state, officials said. It will continue to offer policies in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.

ObamaCare is credited with expanding coverage to millions of previously uninsured or under-insured people.

O laughs

But insurers have complained they have lost money on the policies. United Health Group and Humana are other insurers exiting ObamaCare plans.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, in a statement, said there were not enough younger, healthier customers signing up to make ObamaCare policies sustainable. “The vast majority of payers have experienced continued financial stress within their individual public exchange business. Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool,” Bertolini said.

More than a dozen nonprofit insurance co-ops have shut down in the past couple years. The pullouts could spell trouble because competition is supposed to help control price increases.

Some states like Alaska and Oklahoma will be left with only one insurer selling ObamaCare plans to individuals in 2017. More densely populated states like New York say their ObamaCare markets remain strong.

But rates for customers are skyrocketing to maintain stability.

Obamacare Screw U

Citing increased medical costs, New York recently authorized insurers offering individual ObamaCare plans to increase premiums by an average 16.6 percent — the highest rate hike in the program’s four-year existence. New York’s small businesses will get hit with an average 8.3 percent rate hike.


Democrat who opposed welfare fraud measure indicted – for food stamp fraud

cecilia velasquez

From Fox News: An Arizona Democratic lawmaker who once voted against welfare fraud protections in her state has been indicted on felony charges of defrauding the food stamp program.

According to the indictment unsealed earlier this week, state Rep. Cecilia Velasquez was charged with three felony counts: unlawful use of food stamps, fraudulent schemes and practices, and theft.

The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) began investigating Velasquez in 2014. According to the Arizona DES, Velasquez fraudulently used $1,726 worth of food stamps between 2013 and 2015.

This past February, Velasquez had voted against a bill aimed at giving the same state agency stronger anti-fraud tools – a program that could have quickly detected her alleged fraudulent activity.

Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern, who sponsored the House bill, called the indictment “sad.”

“It is appalling that an elected official representing the people of Arizona would steal from the poor, while consistently saying she is trying to help the poor,” Kern told Fox News.

Josh Archambault, senior fellow with the Foundation for Government Accountability, pointed to the failed legislation as the kind of measures the country needs to tackle fraud. “There is so much low-hanging fruit to catch in this country when it comes to welfare fraud, and sadly, every day that goes by without reform allows for abuse and steals resources from the truly needy,” Archambault told Fox News.

Velasquez’s indictment was announced this week after an investigation by several state agencies.

According to Arizona Inspector General Juan J. Arcellana, the investigation began with a tip in November 2014. “The indictment of State Representative Velasquez is the culmination of an extensive multi-year investigation,” Arcellana said in a statement. “The forthcoming judicial proceedings will ensure due process for the involved parties.”

Velasquez’s office has not responded to Fox News’ request for comment. The initial hearing is set for July 5 in Maricopa County Superior Court.


Mark Kelly’s ‘AR-15 Stunt Provokes Giffords Photo Leak.


BTW, Nice grouping.

Can You Say Hypocrisy?

———————————-  ~ Steve~  ————————————–

Posted on 16 March, 2013 by Amy


Mark Kelly’s campaign against “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 rifle has sparked a local backlash. On March 13, a Tucson, Arizona radio host published a photograph of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords holding an AR-15 rifle at a gun range.
Giffords has since confirmed that the photograph is authentic.
James T. Harris, blogging at the website of “101.4 FM The Truth,” wrote:
What is wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing, and prior to the aggressive progressive opportunistic fear mongering in the wake of Sandy Hook, this picture would have raised no eyebrows and garnered little public attention.

However, in response to the exploitative political scheming of Mark Kelly, persons connected to Congresswoman Giffords released this photo in response to what they perceived to be her husband’s hypocrisy.
Subsequently, Breitbart News confirmed the authenticity of the image through law enforcement sources in Arizona, and obtained a copy of the photograph from a source who requested anonymity.
The latter source was present when the photograph was taken, and said that Giffords had requested it for campaign purposes during October 2010.

According to the source, the image sent to Breitbart News was cropped to protect the identity of the person on the right-hand side of the original photograph (to Giffords’s left).
The source, who is a member of the law enforcement community, told Breitbart News:
“We were told she wanted to toughen her image. She asked to come out and she wanted to shoot a rifle. She had one of our guys out there to show her how to shoot an AR-15.”
In January 2011, Giffords suffered near-fatal wounds in a mass shooting while meeting with constituents in Tucson. The perpetrator used a 9mm Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol.

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly have since formed an organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, to press for policy changes such as limiting the sale of “assault weapons, ” including the AR-15.

Breitbart News reported last week that Kelly attempted to purchase an AR-15 from a gun store in Tucson earlier this month.
Likewise, the AR-15 that Giffords is shown holding in the image is a standard, semi-automatic civilian weapon, according to the source who saw it being taken.
The source saw a campaign official take the photograph, which was later provided to law enforcement personnel as a courtesy, according to the source.

The source says the existence of the photograph has been known in the local law enforcement community for a while: “I’m not the only one who knows about this photo.”

Multiple law enforcement sources in Arizona told Breitbart News that Mark Kelly’s campaign against “assault weapons” has generated resentment within the law enforcement community–and a desire that the photograph be made public.  The source who witnessed the photograph put it this way:  “Giffords and Kelly came across with a different demeanor in 2010. To me, it seems like they’ve done a complete 180 because of what happened. And with the latest controversy–with Mark Kelly doing what he did with the AR-15 stunt–this photo needs to be put out.”

While Kelly declined to comment, Americans for Responsible Solutions spokesperson Jen Bluestein told Breitbart News: “Looks like the photo is cropped.”  Bluestein noted that there are “many images of Gabrielle Giffords with guns,” though she said she had not seen the image of the AR-15 before.
At 1:14 p.m. PDT, Giffords posted two images on her Facebook page with the following statement:

“Here are two photos of me that a conservative blog has dug up. I remember both of these days fondly. The first is at the Tucson Police Department firing range. They invited me to test rifles and tasers that they bought with federal funds, which I helped secure. The second was in Afghanistan while I was visiting with our troops serving abroad. My work as Southern Arizona’s Congresswoman frequently put me in close contact with some of the world’s most powerful and deadly weapons – supporting police departments, advocating for the Border Patrol, standing up for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and supporting my constituents’ and my own Second Amendment rights.

I grew up with guns, and I like owning them. So does my husband Mark. It’s an interest we’ve shared ever since we met. It’s part of my heritage as an Arizonan and it’s my right as an American. Being able to shoot a gun is something I haven’t been able to do since I was shot – because my right arm is paralyzed, and I’m less mobile than I was.

“As I member of the House Armed Services Committee, I proudly spent a lot of time with our military, border patrol and state and local law enforcement. I guess the intention of those who have publicized these photos is to somehow call into question my belief that military style assault weapons should be more strongly regulated with background checks and other safeguards. I have never wavered in my support for those who serve our country. I fought to make sure they have the weapons and safety gear needed to carry out their mission, and proper health and mental care when their service ends.”

I don’t have to choose between owning, using, and enjoying guns, on one hand, and preventing gun violence, on the other. Both sides need to come together to support commonsense solutions to gun violence, like keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people like the young man who shot me. That’s why I’m fighting this fight. That’s why I’m working to bring people together to support gun rights and reduce gun violence. I hope you join me.

Just a hunch, but I bet she supports Feinstein’s
Proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons”.


Mexico wants a registry of all gunowners in U.S. border states

Mexican CongressA Congress even worse than ours: Mexico’s

Everyone is getting on the post-Sandy Hook gun-control wagon.

Now Mexico’s government has the gall to ask the Obama regime to hand over a list of all gun owners living in the U.S. southern border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas. The latter three states do not even require their residents to register their guns.

CBS5 of Arizona reports that Mexico’s national legislature, Congress, voted to ask the U.S. Senate to create a registry of all commercialized firearms in all the border states. The Mexicans say that’ll make it easier for them to trace the guns used in violent attacks in those states.

As Brandon of the blog Monderno wryly and rightly observes: “What do you want to bet that the Democrats in the Senate think this is a lovely idea? Because clearly the Mexican violence problem has everything to do with law abiding U.S. citizens, and nothing to do with Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, or the eleventy billion drug cartels.”



Arizona gun store refuses to sell to Obama voters

A gun store in Arizona is putting into practice the injunction to shun all Obama supporters.

Madeleine Morgenstern reports for The Blaze, Nov. 17, 2012, that the Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, Ariz. posted a sign on its door and took out a newspaper ad declaring that if you voted for Obama last week, you’re not allowed in.

“If you voted for Obama, please turn around and leave! You have proven that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm!” the sign states.

Arizona Gun Store Owner Cope Reynolds Tells Obama Voters Turn Around and Leave

Owner Cope Reynolds conceded that he can’t really tell who voted for Obama unless they “own up to it” — but if they do, they’re out. In an email to the Phoenix New Times, Reynolds said, “If they don’t say anything, we’ll never know. However, if they own up to it, we will not serve them.”

He said in an explanation on AmmoLand that he did it to “demonstrate once again that the bottom line for our business is principle, not money. Yes, it has been damaging at times but our values are intact.”

Reynolds told Fox News that “If you are dumb enough to vote for Obama again – after four years of this — I don’t think you are responsible enough to own a firearm. I don’t care who it makes mad.”

He said he’s gotten support for his new policy from around the country — including one person who ordered hundreds of dollars worth of ammunition — but that there have also been lots of “vile, rude and hateful comments.”

“I hate it because my 17-year-old son answers the phone and they light into him,” Reynolds said. “They call us stupid rednecks and racist.”

Reynolds told Fox that no matter what happens, the sign is staying up: “If we lose the whole business it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is — my values.”

Arizona Gun Store Owner Cope Reynolds Tells Obama Voters Turn Around and Leave
Way to go, Mr. Reynolds!

FOTM readers who live in Arizona can show their support by buying from Reynolds’ gun store. Those of us who don’t live near Pinetop, Ariz., can show our support by giving him a call at (928) 367-2547.

See also my post of Nov. 16, 2012: “Shun these businesses that donate to POS and Dems”!


Arizona to ban abortions after 20 weeks

Gov. Brewer signs Arizona bill with 20-week abortion ban

Fox News: Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday signed legislation making Arizona the latest  state that generally bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Republican-sponsored legislation also institutes new disclosure mandates  that include requiring the state have a website with images of fetuses at  various stages of development for women to view.

The 20-week abortion ban does not apply in medical emergencies, and it would  affect a tiny percentage of abortions performed in Arizona.

Critics argued that the 20-week deadline would likely prevent timely  diagnosis of anomalies in the fetus.  Supporters disputed that. They also said risks to women’s health increase  after 20 weeks, and they said a fetus can feel pain after that point in  development.

Brewer signed the bill two days after House approval completed final  legislative action.  She said in a statement that the bill “strengthens Arizona’s laws protecting  the health and safety of women, and recognizes the precious life of the preborn  baby.”

Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a  statement the bill means some women at risk of pregnancy complications “will be  forced to decide whether to proceed with their pregnancies in the dark, before  they have all the information they need to arrive at their choices.”

Arizona now allows abortions up to when a fetus can survive outside of the  womb. That’s generally considered to be around 23 to 24 weeks.

The bill signed by Brewer would require the state health department maintain  an extensive website that provides information about alternatives to abortion,  medical risks and descriptions and images of fetuses at various stages of  development.

The proposal increases the current requirement that an ultrasound be  performed before an abortion from one hour to 24 hours before. It also requires  abortion clinics to post signs providing notice that it’s illegal for anyone to  coerce a woman to have an abortion.

At 20 weeks a woman doesn’t have all the information she needs to arrive at a “choice”?  Let’s see….here’s what a baby looks like at 20 weeks.

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He’s also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby’s legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the “crown to rump” measurement. After 20 weeks, he’s measured from head to toe.)

The baby’s body is now coated with a greasy white substance, the vernox caseosa, that protects his skin during its long submersion in the amniotic fluid.

Sarah Silverman better not move to Arizona…


Is Sheriff Joe Getting Too Close To The Truth About Obama?

Government plans to sue Arizona sheriff for targeting Latinos

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio talks to the media about the Department of Justice's investigative findings accusing the Maricopa Sheriff's Office of racial profiling and a pattern of discrimination at the Sheriff's office in Phoenix, Arizona December 15, 2011. REUTERS/Laura Segall

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio talks to the media about the Department of Justice’s investigative findings accusing the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office of racial profiling and a pattern of discrimination at the Sheriff’s office in Phoenix, Arizona December 15, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Laura Segall


By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON | Tue Apr 3, 2012 6:20pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday said it was preparing to sue Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department for violating civil rights laws by improperly targeting Latinos in a bid to crack down on illegal immigrants.

The sheriff’s high-profile crackdown on illegal immigrants has helped thrust the issue onto the national political stage with some states passing tough new laws aimed at pushing out those in the country illegally.

The administration’s Justice Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have been in settlement talks for months over allegations that officers regularly made unlawful stops and arrests of Latinos, used excessive force against them and failed to adequately protect the Hispanic community.

Those negotiations have broken down because of a fight over the Justice Department’s demand that an independent monitor be appointed by a federal court to oversee compliance with the settlement, which has now reached 128 pages in draft form, according to the Obama administration.

“We believe that you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith,” Roy Austin, deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in a letter to the lawyer for Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

Austin said in the letter that Arpaio’s team demanded that a meeting slated for Wednesday include for the first time negotiations over the monitor and previously had demanded that the Justice Department provide more details about its findings.

“MCSO’s refusal to engage in good faith negotiations requires us to prepare for civil (court) action,” Austin said. He added that the Justice Department has recently discovered more information about the “failure to reasonably investigate sex crimes” by Arpaio’s office.

The Justice Department in a December report outlined numerous alleged civil rights violations, including that Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped than non-Latinos by Arpaio’s force.

The sheriff has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and lashed out at the Obama administration for targeting his department and failing to deal with the problem of illegal immigration with some 11.5 million believed to be in the United States.

In a strongly worded statement on Tuesday, Arpaio said the appointment of a monitor would force him to abdicate responsibility for his police force, including decisions about policies, operations, jail programs and enforcement.

“To the Obama administration, who is attempting to strong arm me into submission only for its political gain, I say: This will not happen, not on my watch!” Arpaio said in the statement.

Arpaio’s force has been under investigation by federal authorities since 2008 during the Bush administration. Obama’s Justice Department spent months fighting for access to documents and to some of his deputies. Arpaio was interviewed twice during the probe.

(Additional reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

Can you say ‘Wag the Dog’?

Tom in NC