Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Health Care, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: Notable Quotations, Robert Heinlein, The Nanny State
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2012, Election 2014, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: 'Till After the Election, Chicago Politics, Hiding the Truth
With all the revelations about ObamaCare, the terrifying escalation of costs for an individual health care policy and the accompanying drastically larger deductibles, Democrats are plainly worried about the 2014 midterms. So the Obama administration is back to its old tried and true tricks.
Health and Human Services plans to delay the start of the second year of Obamacare enrollment by one month to allow insurers more time to set rates after assessing their plan experiences during 2014, a department official said Thursday night.
The decision means that sign-ups for the 2015 plan year would begin on Nov. 15, 2014 and end on Jan. 15, 2015 instead of the Oct. 15-Dec. 7 window previously announced. The date change, first reported by Bloomberg, also lengthens the enrollment period by a week. Doing so would give companies more opportunity to account for individuals, particularly young adults, who come in late during the plan’s first year, which has gotten off to a rocky start. The goal is premiums that more accurately reflect costs for those insured.
The new calendar would move the start of the 2015 open enrollment season to shortly after the November midterm elections.
This is nonsense. Insurers calculate the changes from the previous year every year in setting new rates. They haven’t forgotten how to do it just because of Kathleen Sebelius. So far the federal government has been unable to convince healthy young consumers to buy comprehensive health insurance they don’t need, to pay for everyone else. This will force premium increases on everyone else to pay for the lack of the young. Letting people know how much the ObamaCare policies they are being forced to buy are going to cost them just before an election is, um, unfortunate timing. Which of the Chicago bunch was it who said “elections are too important to be left to chance?”
Employer-provided group health insurance is where costs will either skyrocket, or consumers will be kicked out of their group coverage altogether. There’s going to be a lot of outrage when it hits home for company employees.
I used to consider government departments as often inept as all bureaucracies are, but not as agencies involved in attempting to change election outcomes by manipulating data and calendars and changing regulations. Americans traditionally and rightly don’t place a lot of trust in their government. They really do work for us — and you have to keep an eye on your employees.
This president, however, has gone to extraordinary lengths to politicize government departments to achieve his political aims. What the long-term damage to the country will be, we will learn in coming years. That there will be long-term damage is assured.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Health Care, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: Changing Opinion, Insurance v. Health Care, Non-Governmental Health Care
Well, finally, the American people are sitting up and taking notice of the health care debacle. ObamaCare not only dominates the news cycle, but all the late night comics are trying to outdo each other in making fun of the website disaster and cancellations of everyone’s insurance. When you have lost Country Music and college football fans, you are in trouble.
So now what? A majority of voters say the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the business of healthcare according to a Gallup survey released on Monday.
The poll found that 56 percent say making sure people have health insurance shouldn’t be a government responsibility, against 42 percent who say that it should be. Those who say the government doesn’t have a responsibility to guarantee citizens have healthcare has reached the highest point ever among Democrats and Independents.
A record 30 percent of Democrats say the government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare, and 55 percent of independents now say the same. For Republicans, those against stand at 86 percent, down from 88 percent in 2012.
The post from Gallup was not clear about whether they distinguished clearly between government provided health care and government provided health care insurance. This is a distinction that has really confused most commentary.
ObamaCare is health insurance, but dips far into who you can see, what treatment you may have, what medicines you can take, and where you can go for care. They have chosen to offer a large array of (unnecessary) services—many that should not be paid for by insurance— but that add enormous cost to the insurance. The high cost must be offset by greater control of remuneration for doctors and suppliers, but control was what they were after in the first place.
What terrifies me is the possibility that they will try to “fix” ObamaCare. What we most need is to get government completely out of the health care business. They are no good at it.
Democrats expected to have to “fix” ObamaCare, and the improvement would be more control. Doctors would become government employees. the hated insurance companies would be ended and we would arrive at their long-desired single-payer, government-run care that other countries are trying to figure out how to escape.
Here’s an example of the turn of opinion, and the slow death spiral of ObamaCare from Saturday Night Live.
Filed under: Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy, Election 2014, Freedom, Health Care | Tags: Competition Improves Everything, Researching Health Care, Understanding Your Rights
If you are becoming alarmed by ObamaCare—and who isn’t—where do you go for more information? The Left claims that Republicans just criticize, and don’t have any ideas, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s start with “The Empowering Patients First Act” a bill introduced by Representative Tom Price, MD (R-GA). Dr. Price worked as an orthopedic surgeon for twenty years in private practice. Then he had a career teaching medicine at Emory University Medical School, served in the Georgia Legislature, and was elected to Congress in 2004. You can read or download the bill at his website.
- Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis*, by John C, Goodman. (ncpa)
- How Medicaid Fails the Poor, by Avik Roy (Manhattan Institute)
- The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Care, by Dr. David Gratzer (Manhattan Institute)
- The Cure for ObamaCare, by Sally Pipes (Pacific Research Institute)
- Replacing Obamacare, by Michael Tanner ( Cato)
The Think Tanks:
- The Heritage Foundation: www.heritage.org
- American Enterprise Institute: www.aei.org
- The Cato Institute: www.cato.org
- National Center for Policy Analysis: www.ncpa.org
- Pacific Research Institute: www.pacificresearch.org
- The Manhattan Institute: www.manhattaninstitute.org
- The Hoover Institution: www.hoover.org
- Kaiser Health News: www.kaiserhealth news.org
Did you know that there are something like 600 think tanks in this country? I thought 8 were plenty to list, and all are doing important studies on health care and how to reform it, in a patient-centered, free-market way. Many have email lists where you can sign up for regular information. And check your local public library.
ObamaCare may seem to be imploding, but Democrats will not give up on their prospective single-payer health care plan, and if you want to understand where that is going, go to any British newspaper online and enter NHS in the search function.
The federal government does few things well, and health care is not one of them. The American people want no part of it, and the more they learn the more they want out. Democrats have sold their effort with a pack of lies and misrepresentation. If we hope to defeat them, we must be well-informed.
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: Health Care, Liberalism, Democrat Corruption, Progressivism, Election 2014 | 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: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Health Care, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics | Tags: January 2012, Obama's Sales Pitch, The So-Called Health Care Summit
The lies of Obama’s Obamacare sales pitch were fraudulent from the beginning. Over the past three weeks we have seen it clearly demonstrated that Obama’s promises about ObamaCare didn’t hold water. Here are Obama and Eric Cantor, addressing the issue in January 2010, at the so-called health care summit that Obama staged for Republicans.
As usual, Mr. Obama draws analogies that are unrelated, and asserts that people will find the policies in the exchanges better. That is clearly completely false. Monthly payments are doubling and tripling, deductibles are far higher. People will lose their doctors, they may be sent to hospitals other than the most convenient. There will be far fewer choices, and far less portability.
John Nolte, over at Brietbart, has provided a transcript of the relevant part.
CANTOR: …Because I don’t think you can answer the question in the positive to say that people will be able to maintain their coverage, people will be able to see the doctors they want, in the kind of bill that you are proposing.
OBAMA: Since you asked me a question, let me respond. The 8 to 9 million people you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we are talking about — would be folks who the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, estimates would find the deal in the exchange better — would be a better deal. So, yes, they would change coverage because they got more choice and competition.
Remember that this is January of 2010. He’s still using the same sales pitch, which is designed to please, not to be truthful. If he had told the truth, the bill would never have passed. It’s just a cold-blooded lie, wrecking American health care for his personal political preferences.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Energy, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: Barack Obama, Richard Epstein, Uncommon Knowledge
I am a great admirer of Richard Epstein. I like his mind and the way he thinks and I am fascinated with anyone who can speak for 20 or 30 minutes in complete sentences without pause and without a stumble. There is a perfect coordination between brain and mouth.
I am a slow thinker— clear enough, but s-l-o-w, and the connection between thought process and actual speech leaves much to be desired. I have made speeches that were
much somewhat admired, but they were short and it was a struggle. This particular video from Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution is from March of 2009. It is nevertheless completely fascinating, but over 30 minutes long, if you can make the time.
Richard Epstein discusses his personal and professional associations with Barack Obama in the video starting at 20.36 and lasts around ten minutes if you are short on time. I have found his comments on Obama to be as good a guide as I can find, and have proven accurate as situations arise. It helps to explain the inexplicable.
There is a lot that is inexplicable. The man remains much of a mystery, and as we get deeper into the weeds of ObamaCare, it is more puzzling. He does not change his mind. Once he has accepted ‘received knowledge’ he is not open to changing his mind. Hence, in spite of the collapse of the IPCC, Obama will pursue his pledge to stop global warming in its tracks. The failure of the stimulus merely means that he needs more infusions of wealth into the economy to stimulate it. See what you think.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2014, Health Care, Law | Tags: A Lawless Administration, ObamaCare Exceptions, Union Law is Different
Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and wonder what the hell? Democrats indignantly claim that ObamaCare is “settled law.” Unchangeable, Supreme Court certification, law of the land — stop trying to defund, repeal, oppose, criticize — it’s over, done, settled. So why does Obama keep illegally changing the settled law? He’s the President of the United States — who is going to stop him?
He’s postponing, conveniently, the employer mandate until after the 2014 election when Republicans hope to gain control of the Senate and Democrats hope to win back the House. Why? Because when the employer mandate takes effect many people who have health care policies they like— can’t keep the policies they like, because something will have changed. And that might change their vote. Most employers are not stupid enough to include the over-generous grab-basket of unwanted benefits that consist of approved ObamaCare policies. And a change will force employees on the exchanges.
Obama decided it was inconvenient to have members of Congress and their staffs have to participate in ObamaCare in the same way that the great unwashed rest of us do. I guess he’ll keep illegally changing the “settled law” until he gets it right.
According to a report from kaiserhealthnews.org “weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes,” reads the report.
Buried in rules issued last week is the disclosure that the administration will propose exempting “certain self-insured, self-administered plans” from the law’s temporary reinsurance fee in 2015 and 2016.
That’s a description that applies to many Taft-Hartley union plans acting as their own insurance company and claims processor, said Edward Fensholt, a senior vice president at Lockton Cos., a large insurance broker.
Insurance companies and self-insured employers that hire outside claims administrators would still be liable for the fee, which starts at $63 per insurance plan member next year and is projected to raise $25 billion over three years.
This is pure Chicago politics brought to the nation’s capitol. We fund you, you do us favors if you want us to continue the funding. The fee “takes money from the pockets of each laborer covered by a health and welfare fund and gives it to for-profit insurance companies” said Terry O’Sullivan president of the Laborers International Union of North America in a letter to President Obama. Goodness, insurance companies expect to make a profit?
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Health Care, Law, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Obama Goes Campaigning, ObamaCare Problems Mount, What Will ObamaCare Cost?
This whole thing is remarkably strange. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that Obama was unaware of problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act — until it actually rolled out. Yet he has been out campaigning for the health care law saying “if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance,” and “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” both demonstrably false. And President Obama regularly said his health care law “wouldn’t addto the federal deficit.”
That didn’t work out either. It’s clear that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will add 62 trillion dimes (and probably far more) over the next 75 years. The health care law is projected to add $6.2 trillion to the U.S. Deficit according to the GAO— the official auditor for the U.S. Congress. And such programs always cost more than the estimates, sometimes many times more.
The only federal program known to actually come in costing less than estimates was the much maligned Medicare Drug Program passed in the Bush administration. It cost less specifically because it contained incentives for seniors to use generic medicines when they could. Democrats removed the incentive because they don’t understand incentives, and because they regard making people dependent on the government as a positive good.
It is all very confusing. On the one hand, we are told the president didn’t know anything about the problems with his healthcare plan until it opened and it didn’t work; on the other hand we are told that he has the tightest, most closely controlled administration where deviation from the party line is not allowed. It’s “the most transparent administration” in history, but Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demands are met with denial, refusal, cover-ups and um. lies. We cannot believe the evidence of our eyes, we are told.
Well, nevermind, it’s not important. As his eponymous piece of legislation collapses into catastrophe the president is doing what he likes most— campaigning and fundraising. He’s off to New York in search of 2014 campaign funds, leaving his deputies to deal with the — unpleasantness.
So far, health insurance cancellations have soared far above enrollment rates, if anything we hear about enrollment rates is even true. The cancellations are quite real: Florida Blue sent out 300,000 notices, Kaiser Permanente cancelled 160,000, Blue Shield of California cancelled 119,000 in September alone. 800,000 New Jersey residents’ plans will not exist in 2014. That’s only 3 states, but so it goes. As the president said:
Again, [the Affordable Care Act] is for people who aren’t happy with their current plan. If you like what you’re getting, keep it. Nobody is forcing you to shift,
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Health Care, History, The United States | Tags: Everything Is Politics, No Concern for The Country, The Importance of Winning
Obama has taken a no-negotiations stance on the debt ceiling debate, sending the true signal to the market that he is willing to default on debt if Republicans do not fund the government in accordance with his wishes,” according to John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress. Obama lost last time on the sequester, and he has been fuming ever since. He is deeply offended by any limitation on his ability to spend.
Any time you hear the media going on about how the Republicans shut down the government, reread that paragraph. Barack Obama wanted a shutdown. Republicans wouldn’t surrender to Obama’s desire to keep right on spending to excess, and Obama shut the government down and his every speech proclaimed that the Republicans were trying to destroy the Republic with their intransigence, a theme immediately echoed by a compliant media. Obama is undoubtedly the most purely partisan president we have ever had.
The Republican strategy of defunding ObamaCare was doomed from the start. Neither the senate nor the president would sign off on such a thing. Republicans are inclined to think economically. They look at ObamaCare as not just a train wreck, but as wreckage so damaging that it will harm millions of people and do real and serious damage to the economy and the country. Democrats see a shining goal, a system that will care for the poor, and that people will like so much that they can gradually tinker a little to turn it into single-payer insurance that is the permanent political domination of their dreams.
The catastrophe of its first days will soon be fixed, they are sure. Democrats do not think in terms of incentives and inevitable consequences. Ezekiel Emanuel, medical ethicist, brother of Rahm, and health care adviser to Obama had a column in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago claiming that all the talk about a “part-time economy” was nonsense. Statistics showed that a majority of part-time workers wanted part-time work. Certainly many part-time workers are young people attending school, but the numbers of restaurant chains, retailers like Home Depot and grocery chains who are moving their part-time workers to 27 or 28 hours belies his notions. The leading job growth has come from temporary agencies.
Republicans made offers to the Democrats that—were they actually concerned about the welfare of the people and improvement in the economy—they should have jumped at. They offered a delay in the individual mandate that matched the delay in the employer mandate that Obama had already illegally granted. Nobody knows how bad the ObamaCare website disaster will be, but knowledgeable IT experts reportedly believe it is problems with the basic code and design. It will take a long time and be very, very embarrassing.
Republicans also offered to repeal the medical device tax. This is an extremely destructive tax. It has already sent over 40,000 jobs overseas, cost many jobs here, and worst of all — stifle innovation. Medical devices include everything from stents to wheelchair and prostheses to hospital beds and giant diagnostic machinery. If you are trying to drive down the cost of medicine, you don’t put a tax on medical devices. Even many Democrats recognize the negatives involved.
Republicans wouldn’t get any benefits from either of these changes. They would have been of great benefit to the economy and to Obama, but Obama is intent, as always, on pure politics. He wants to make the Republicans look bad, and he wants to win. He may be willing to default to achieve that — if he can blame it on Republicans.