Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Health Care, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: "Doc Shock", Administration Incompetence, It is Known as ObamaCare
The White House knew all along that the “you can keep your policy if you like it” was pure hogwash. But perhaps the worst slip-up was the president’s admission that— gee, he didn’t know. He wasn’t informed that the website would not be working the way it was supposed to. Is this simply the usual “don’t blame me” evasion, or to what extent was he simply uninformed — and uninformed is not an acceptable excuse.
Reporters have been caught with their journalism degrees tucked safely away in some drawer, and they are beginning to realize that they didn’t ‘read the bill to find out what is in it’ either. Nancy Pelosi said no one ever told her that they liked their health care policy. Funny, it has never come up in my conversations with friends either.
Some few reporters are beginning to realize that they have been had, along with the rest of us. Some are free-lancers and are learning about ObamaCare first hand. So there are new revelations daily. We have learned that Obama seldom attends his intelligence briefings. We have learned that the White House staff is also inept. Their job is to keep the president informed about everything. The Chief of Staff is supposed to keep things faultlessly organized. Any president needs a team of competent people to can keep him and his projects humming along faultlessly. Not only are there serious questions about that signature initiative, but there are serious questions about the competence of the White House.
The White House is spinning like mad, attempting to find better vocabulary, to sell the unsaleable. ObamaCare will no longer be called “Obamacare” but referred to only as the Affordable Care Act. Dennis Miller tweeted that’ he would call it the Affordable Care Act when Obama changed his name to Barack Affordable.’ Most people will call it Affordable when it becomes affordable.
Democrats point to examples of people who have gotten cheaper premiums through the ACA. But lower premiums are the result of restricting provider networks. Pundits are calling it “Doc Shock.” We are already hearing stories of patients who are surviving their cancer because of specific treatment from specific doctors — and under ObamaCare are losing those doctors. Here in the Northwest:
In one closely watched case, Seattle Children’s Hospital has filed suit against Washington’s insurance commissioner after a number of insurers kept it out of their provider networks. “It is unprecedented in our market to have major insurance plans exclude Seattle Children’s,” said Sandy Melzer, senior vice president.
A number of the nation’s top hospitals — including the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and children’s hospitals in Seattle, Houston and St. Louis — are cut out of most plans sold on the exchange.
Those who are defined as “poor” are being funneled into Medicaid, but most doctors will not accept Medicaid patients. Newly minted doctors avoid general practice, and train for a specialty. The problem is that Democrats view doctors as part of “the rich,” and Obama’s all-encompassing share the wealth ideology believes that :
Fat cats” and “corporate jet owners” have preyed on the body politic. Profit-driven doctors have unnecessarily lopped off limbs and yanked out tonsils. In a more philosophical vein, Obama advised that an individual should recognize a point beyond which he need not make any more money. The subtext is always that in this zero-sum world, personal success comes not through the individual’s efforts, but at the expense of someone else.
The multimillionaires in Congress and in the administration are, of course, different. They are doing “public service” and helping to transform America. They get raises. Patients on Medicaid will have trouble finding a doctor, will have long waits to see one, and will soon be assigned to nurse practitioners rather than physicians. Ignorance of basic economics keeps them from understanding that increased regulation means hiring more people to keep up with the paperwork requirements.
The Affordable Care Act was not intended just to extend health insurance to the uninsured or to decrease premium costs. Indeed, so far Obamacare has had the opposite effect of raising costs and increasing the numbers of the uninsured. Aside from growing government, increasing federal jobs, and limiting free choice, Obamacare federalized healthcare to ensure Americans fairness, defined as the economic equality of result as technocrats decide who had wrongly acquired too much healthcare, who unfairly had access to too little, and so on.
Victor Davis Hanson, as usual, is spot on in his essay about “The Politicization of Everything.“ Do read the whole thing.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Liberalism, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: A Pattern of Lies, The Chicago Way, Winning is Everything!
The Obama administration has faked the census numbers that are used to compile unemployment statistics, in the period before the 2012 election.
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
Granted, these numbers are careful estimates, but the figures are used by economists, financial institutions, hedge funds, state/private pension funds, and other governments base policy, predictions, expectations and invest real dollars based on those numbers. It is, as Joe Biden would say, a big #*!# deal! A knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond one employee, and escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012, and continues today.
Headline: 23 Million Unemployed is Not a Recovering Economy!, 10/7/2012
The labor participation rate is down to 1981 levels. Of the 114,000 new jobs last month, only 104,000 were in the private economy. The number that had a lot of people suspicious was the giant 873,000 leap in employment as measured by “the household survey.” That’s the biggest one-month increase in nearly 30 years, which does deserve an explanation. …
A lot of knowledgeable people were wondering if the Obama administration was, um, cooking the books. Robert Gibbs, former press secretary, appeared on the Sunday shows to say he was ‘shocked, shocked, that anyone would think that the administration manipulated the numbers. And yes, it is shocking that anyone would think that, but that is the kind of suspicion that this president’s lawlessness and executive orders and presidential proclamations have led us to.
Other things going on in October 2012: “The White House has moved to prevent defense and other government contractors from issuing mass layoff notices in anticipation of sequestration, notices which they must, according to law, send to workers deemed reasonably be likely to lose their jobs sixty days before they will be let go. The White House wants defense contractors to keep the layoffs secret and the contracting agencies would cover any potential litigation costs or employee compensation costs that could follow. The spending cuts would take effect January 2, 2013—$109 billion.”
And there was this one: Obama Economy Fashion Statement 10/7/2012, which I rather liked. There was also Benghazi, Obama performed horribly in a debate, and the Democrats interviewed the man who picked up the garbage from the Romney’s La Jolla house, and the CBO reported another $1 trillion+ deficit for 2012. Military Times reported a concerted effort to keep military votes from being counted or even received. “Mr Obama claims we are adding jobs every month, but for every person added to the labor force, ten drop out. That is not progress.
It would seem that promises of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” are not an isolated aberration, but a longstanding pattern of lies. What is important for Liberals is winning, and you do what is necessary to make that happen. For the man who was elected to the Senate on the basis of miraculously having “sealed” divorce records opened for public perusal, it’s just what we should have expected.
October 12, 2012: Jack Welch, famed former CEO of General Electric provoked outrage when he suggested that the White House had manipulated September job numbers for political gains. Chris Matthews was simply beside himself. But Jack Welch was right!
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Election 2014, Freedom, Health Care, Liberalism, Progressivism | Tags: It's Not a Health Policy, Redistribution of Wealth, Stick it to the Healthy Young
ObamaCare is meant not as a health policy, but as a mechanism for redistribution of wealth, created in the guise of medical insurance. By insisting that people pay for what they do not need, it is in effect a mandated policy imposed on the young and healthy, who are asked to pay big bucks for things they don’t need, to cover the costs of older people on the exchanges whose medical needs they will be paying for.
That is the big secret behind the cancellation letters people are receiving, and why people who get policies through their employers will find the firms they work for dropping their policies and forcing them into the exchanges as well. It was meant to do exactly that, because otherwise the whole program would collapse.
Ronald Radosh quotes a Facebook post from University of Chicago political scientist Charles Lipson who explains its meaning:
Why do I keep emphasizing the fundamental problems with Obamacare? Not just because I think it is a full-scale public policy shambles, the worst domestic policy mistake since high-rise public housing. Not just because I think the President either didn’t understand his own signature achievement or else he deliberately deceived the public when he said you could keep your policy and your doctor. Not just because the same problems that affect individual insurance policies will swamp group plans next year. Not just because I think the President’s statement yesterday was lawless when he said he would simply ignore the ACA’s specific provisions. (What happened to his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the laws?) All these are indicia of a deeper problem: Washington has become an overreaching Nanny State, run by smug elites who know better than ordinary people what we should do, think, buy, invade, or snoop on. This Nanny State is precisely the GOAL of this administration, sometimes nudging but more often simply ordering. It goes well beyond providing an essential safety net, which I favor. It starts to mandate more and more behavior, strip away the liberties of a free people, transfer wealth for the sake of distributional equity, and muddle headlong into complex markets with no understanding of the unintended consequences. That is EXACTLY what you are seeing with Obamacare. It raises the most fundamental questions about the country’s future–ultimately a choice between a European-style social democracy and an American-style central government of limited and specified powers.
This is Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America” that was his goal. And how do you like it now?
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Election 2014, Health Care, Liberalism, Progressivism | Tags: 106185 Signed Up?, Phony Numbers Again, Re-defining the Truth
The Health and Human Services Department reported this week that 106,185 have signed up on the ObamaCare exchanges so far — well below the HHS goal of locking in a half-million new beneficiaries in October. At that rate the exchanges wouldn’t hit the half-million goal even by the end of the enrollment period in March 2014.
There is a deadline, and theoretically that will drive more people to sign up. Of the supposed 100,000 or so enrollees, a mere 26,794 people managed to sign up through the healthcare.gov website and join the exchanges the feds are running in 36 states. Thirty-three percent of those used paper applications, not the website.
But this is the Obama administration, and the numbers are inflated with junk accounting. The agency is reporting people who “selected a plan.”That means that they may have picked a plan, but they may not have paid for it as required, and the company may or may not recognize them as a new customer if they have not paid. So those numbers may be hooey too.
But never fear. HHS is dealing with that in the Obama way, by creating a more pleasant euphemism: those who selected a plan but have not actually enrolled by paying for it are referred to as “pre-effectuated enrollment,” so there you go. If the numbers don’t work we just — re-define them. Trust? They’re redefining that as well.
ADDENDUM: Back in 2009, when Obama was beginning to sell the necessity for the Affordable Care Act, he repeatedly claimed that the “underlying moral basis” for reform was to help the uninsured. “We are not a nation that accepts nearly 46 million uninsured.”
But it seems that the uninsured don’t accept ObamaCare. 56% of the uninsured, according to a Reuters poll, oppose ObamaCare. They are more opposed to the law than the public at large. We seem to have another numbers problem.
According to the Census Bureau, more than 27% of those between 19 and 34 are uninsured, compared to 16% of those 45 to 64. Roughly a quarter of the uninsured have household incomes of more than $50,000, and not eligible for subsidy. 6 million who claim to lack coverage are actually enrolled in Medicaid, and another 4 million are eligible for Medicaid but haven’t enrolled, and 9.5 million aren’t even citizens. And if they are in the low cost group they will just be funneled into Medicaid, where there are not enough doctors even before any addition.
The White House has admitted that the 46 million figure was an exaggeration, saying that at one point it was more like 30 million. So that too was a lie.
Eleven million are having their policies cancelled, and over 40 million when they start with the employer-provided insurance. The reported increases in monthly cost and in deductibles are astonishing, and for many, unaffordable. The clever folk in Congress did not understand that all the extras they larded on to policies to make them seem more desirable all came with a price tag, and a hefty price tag at that. They may be creating more uninsured that existed in the first place.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: John Hinderraker, The Liberal Project, The ObamaCare Shipwreck
The bunch of lawyers at Powerline were exceptionally interesting today. John Hinderaker writes on “What the Obamacare Shipwreck Tells Us About Liberalism: Part One” as a first contribution in a continuing story:
Obamacare is a vast Rube Goldberg machine that, it turns out, doesn’t work at all–an airplane that has crashed on takeoff. And the fiasco that we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg. The thing will unravel further and cause even more damage and disruption if a stake isn’t driven through its heart soon. What does this episode reveal about the nature of liberalism?
One obvious lesson is that liberalism fails to appreciate the complexity of the world. The hubris required by the Democrats’ attempt to reorder not just a large sector of the economy, but an important part of the lives of millions of strangers, is breathtaking. Recognizing, at least dimly, the difficulty of the task, the Democrats responded by trying to draft a law whose complexity would match that of the reality that it tried to control. That made the situation worse, not better: the more convoluted the statute became, the more unworkable it was. Friedrich Hayek, call your office!
Do read the whole thing. The nature of the ongoing debate about the fiasco goes right to the heart of the Liberal project. We have generations of proof that it simply does not work, yet we have apparently explained it in terms that are not understood by those to whom Liberals have promised improbable gifts that will somehow make all the bad things that crop up in real life vanish. But life remains real, and it is up to us to cope as best we can. They always forget to mention that in order to get the ‘gifts’ we have to give them our freedom in exchange.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Health Care, Liberalism, Capitalism, Statism | Tags: The Newspaper of Record?, Journalism Today, An Economist Speaks
Professor of Economics Donald J. Boudreaux of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University wrote a letter to the New York Times, which he posted at Cafe Hayek:
Your headline today reads “Under Health Care Act, Millions Eligible for Free Policies.”
More accurate wording would be “Under Health Care Act, Millions Eligible to Free Ride at Other People’s Expense.” That the people actually paying for all this “free” health insurance are faceless does not make them unreal – only invisible. And being invisible, the people footing the bill are ignored by Pres. Obama and other politicians preening publicly over their faux-generosity in spending other people’s money to bribe voters with promises of “free” health insurance.
The ethics of this situation are abominable, and the economics are no better. Hippopotamuses will fly before reams of rococo regulations, taxes, and sanctions will prevent recipients of “free” policies from over-consuming and inefficiently using health-care resources - and, hence, from driving health-care costs to astronomical heights or health-care availability to dangerous lows.
Donald J. Boudreaux
I loved his phrasing, particularly the “politicians preening publicly over their faux-generosity in spending other people’s money to bribe voters with promises of “free” health insurance.” Delicious.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Global Warming, Junk Science, Liberalism, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Pacific Coast Action Plan, Uselessly "Fighting Climat Change", West Coast States
Just as the world is recognizing that “climate change” is something the climate does quite regularly, and the billion dollars a day the world has spent on “fighting climate change” has all gone for naught, the lefty governments of the left coast have joined together to take action on Climate and Energy.
“British Columbia, California, Oregon & Washington Join
Forces to Combat Climate Change.”
The leaders of British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy yesterday, committing their governments, and a region that represents the world’s fifth largest economy, to a comprehensive and far-reaching strategic alignment to combat climate change and promote clean energy.
Through the Action Plan, the leaders agreed that all four jurisdictions will account for the costs of carbon pollution and that , where appropriate and feasible, link programs to create consistency and predictability across the region of 53 million people. The leaders also committed to adopting and maintaining low-carbon fuel standards in each jurisdiction.
That’s what you get when politicians don’t keep up with the news. Global warming alarmism is over. The IPCC computer programs were wrong. There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” We are a carbon life form, we exhale CO², Carbon dioxide is a natural plant fertilizer and is greening the planet, helping the world to feed increasing numbers of people.
Adding ethanol to gasoline makes the exhaust dirtier and does not contain as much energy as plain old gasoline. Oddly enough, the only really “clean” energy is nuclear energy, and I didn’t hear any of this bunch advocating more nuclear plants. They’re still bent on a carbon pricing program and “harmonizing their 2050 greenhouse gas emission targets. Sigh.
“California isn’t waiting for the rest of the world before it takes action on climate change,” said Governor Moonbeam. “Today, California, Oregon. Washington and British Columbia are all joining together to reduce green house gases.”
They’re pledging to cooperate with governments and sub-national governments around the world to press for a global agreement on climate change in 2015. Al Gore will be so pleased.
The West Coast is home to many biofuel plants, a large number of very large radical environmental groups, and a lot of wind farms and solar arrays. Lots of blather about clean energy, joining together, our obligation to future generations and the usual sustainable words. As I said in the post below, the world has “invested $1 billion a day to fight global warming — in a world where there has been no warming in this century — none at all for 16 years even while CO² increased benignly, happily greening the planet. And all that money accomplished nothing, nothing at all.
Governors don’t make time to actually get informed on matters environmental. It was an enormous fraudulent fad, and everybody recycled and packaged their goods in recycled packaging. Businesses jumped on the bandwagon in a big way, donating to environmental causes, and planting trees. Governors’ offices across the country were signed up by the Center for Climate Strategies, who approached with an impressive dog-and-pony show, an “offered governors a terrific bargain: You ration energy use and otherwise coerce the public into major lifestyle modifications and we’ll help you inflate your reputation with media attention and praise as a pragmatist.” This was in 2008, when everyone was attempting to burnish their green credentials.
Already too late — warming peaked in 1998.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: Free Money, Government Waste, Oblivious Democrats
Nancy Pelosi said “the cupboard is bare” — there’s no more that can be cut from the budget. Harry Reid, the disagreeable Majority Leader in the Senate wants to get rid of the sequester and restore the cuts that have already been made. There’s going to be no “Grand Bargain.”President Obama says he doesn’t want to hear about spending cuts.
“Don’t tell me we can afford to shut down the government, which costs our government billions of dollars, but we can’t afford to invest in our kids,” Obama said at a school in Brooklyn. “This obsession with cutting for the sake of cutting hasn’t helped our economy grow, it’s held us back,” Obama said.
“Cutting for the sake of cutting?” You will notice that the Democrats never speak of excess spending. They talk of investments, usually in “our kids.” Government waste? Never mentioned. I knew I had written about government waste several times, so I entered government waste in our own search bar, and I have apparently written about it at least 25 times, to go by the headlines. From one of the most recent:
•Federal watchdogs have ideas for saving $67 billion a year, according to a report by a House committee. That’s without counting the sequester.
•So who are these “watchdogs”? They are the government’s Inspectors General who police the departments of the government for waste, fraud and abuse. They are the government’s auditors. They suggest ways to make government operation more efficient and to plug money leaks.
•Each year, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform surveys the Inspector Generals and reports how many of the recommended steps have not been taken and how much taxpayer money has been wasted as a result.
•The 2013 Inspector General’s report was released last week, and said that 16,900 of the IG’s recommendations are yet to be implemented. Using the most conservative estimates, they put the lost savings at $67 billion a year. That’s almost 80% of the sequester cuts that are supposedly causing layoffs, furloughs and general misery throughout the government. Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse as opposed to putting all those government employees on furlough? Such a choice.
•The inspectors general do a fine job of enumerating the waste — but getting it ended is something else again.
•There are 82 programs across 10 separate agencies endeavoring to improve teacher quality — something almost every local school district is trying to do as well. Are teachers improving?
•There are 47 job-training programs —45 of which overlap. The federal government runs 80 programs for the “transportation disadvantaged.” No bus service?
•There’s an airport in Oklahoma that is kept open simply to collect federal funds. ($450,000) The airport receives one flight a month.
•The robot squirrel project to see how they interact with rattlesnakes ($325.000) has received considerable publicity.
•The government pays as much as $2 million annually in monthly service fees to maintain about 28,000 grant accounts that are empty and have expired. Because they have not officially been closed they still are charged service fees. Free money.
A post from 2011 had a list of 8 programs of blatant waste from Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who noted that his findings would “make us all look like jackasses,” and contain enough actionable information to “keep Congress busy for a year.” That list is here. None of these wasteful programs has been eliminated. We’ve frequently had some brave soul in Congress who, perhaps having majored in math, or economics, or worked in the private sector, regularly comes up with ways to eliminate waste and government sprawl, but seldom does anyone think it important enough to actually get a bill passed eliminating them.
In February, I wrote about “Obama’s Big Government Vision for American Decline” in which I took Obama’s own words to demonstrate the problem. Plenty of material here to write your Congressman about. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi demonstrate the problem. Neither have ever done anything else but politics and government in long careers. Pelosi talks about how wonderful ObamaCare is going to be for the people. Harry Reid is stymied by the disastrous cuts of the sequester. They just want more money to spend. Politics is about winning, and winning is about buying votes, and politics is life.
And the people? They vote for whoever “cares about people like me.”
Filed under: Conservatism, Domestic Policy, Freedom, Law, Liberalism, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: A Constitutional Amendment, Congress Should Not Be Immune, Everybody No Exceptions
Rand Paul is pushing for a new Constitutional amendment stating:
Congress shall make no law applicable
to a citizen of the United States
that is not equally applicable to Congress.
The amendment also contains two provisions that apply that same principle to the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch of the federal government, according to a press release put out by the office of the Kentucky senator on Monday.
I suspect the voters would go for this — big time. Getting it through Congress might be something else entirely. Congressmen Salmon and DeSantis proposed a similar idea in the House of Representatives last August. One would assume that the Founders would be horrified to discover the extent to which our elected officials have exempted themselves from provisions they are happy to stick us with. Might make them think twice about some of the laws they devise.