Short Cuts: NY exchange funding shot down, 50K lives saved, more GOP hypocrisy w/a touch of rudeness

The state Legislature has killed a $69 million tax on health-insurance policies proposed by Gov. Cuomo to pay for the administrative costs of continuing New York’s ObamaCare exchange, The Post has learned.

Cuomo’s office initially said the levy — which would have cost about $25 per policy — was needed to make up for federal funds no longer available to cover operating expenses of the New York Health Exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

But lawmakers balked, arguing the new tax was counterintuitive to the goal of making health insurance more affordable.

As for how the NY exchange will be funded, apparently it may just be a matter of shifting $69 million in existing funds over from somewhere else:

The industry’s spokeswoman said revenues from existing state taxes on health insurance — totalling more than $5 billion and amounting to 5 percent of premiums — could easily cover the $68.9 million cost to operate the New York Health Exchange.

The Pinocchio Test

The president’s statement could have been a bit more precisely worded to reflect some of the uncertainty in the estimate: “likely a major reason why we’ve seen an estimated 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths in hospitals.”

But that’s a relatively minor quibble. The numbers might seem large, but the research seems solid, according to experts we consulted, and it is based on a review of an extensive database. The results likely reflect work that predated the ACA but at the same time the ACA has spurred even greater cooperation among hospitals. Since the president is using a figure more than a year old, it is likely understated–unless, of course, the interim number for 2013 turns out to be overstated. We will keep a watch on that.

But in the meantime, the president’s claim appears worthy of the elusive Geppetto Checkmark.

Several Republican governors likely to run for president have secured hundreds millions of dollars under Obamacare while working to dismantle the healthcare law, according to a Reuters review of federal spending records.

Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, all staunch opponents of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, have collectively applied for and won at least $352 million through grant programs set up by the law, federal records show.

The action is at odds with the public stance of all four potential candidates, who have blasted the law as an unprecedented expansion of government and called for its repeal.

And as if this level of jaw-dropping hypocrisy wasn't enough, this guy even managed to throw in "insulting his own constituents" on top of it:

On Tuesday night, a Tennessee Senate committee voted to deny some 280,000 state residents access to health care, rejecting a plan to expand Medicaid that would have cost the state nothing.

Following the vote, advocates for expansion ran into state Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R), awealth manager at Morgan Stanley who sits on the committee. One activist, Damien Crisp, asked Gardenhire if he would be willing to give up his own state-subsidized health insurance.

Gardenhire, in a video of the incident taken by another activist, turned around and said something along the lines of "Not giving it up, asshole" or, perhaps, "Why don't you give it up, asshole?" ("Asshole" is the clearest part of his rejoinder.)