American Elephants

Obama is Rewriting ObamaCare Again! Won’t Work! by The Elephant's Child

Surely you expected this. Everyone has been talking about when larger businesses have to face up to the employer mandate in ObamaCare. Will they meet the mandate, with policies that are acceptable to the ACA? Will thousands of people be dropped by their policies? Will thousands of people be cut back to 28 hours so the companies don’t have to supply health insurance. Will they join everyone else in being furious that they can no longer see their doctor, but must search for a new one?

— If the employer mandate were to take effect immediately, you would  have a lot of angry people right before the mid-term elections. Can’t have that. Charles Krauthammer said that” delaying the employer mandate simply to ease political pain before an election is the kind of stuff they do in banana republics.”

— CNS News points out that President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department today issued a new regulation that for the second time directly violates the plain and unambiguous text of the Affordable Care Act by allowing some businesses to avoid the law’s Dec, 31, 2013 deadline to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.

— There are an avalanche of regulations still to come under ObamaCare. 28 new paperwork rules will cost $1.4 billion a year to comply with. It would take 22,800 employees working full time to complete the new paperwork. These regulations will cost $1.4 billion annually just in completion of the paperwork.

— Many assumptions in heath-care myths we live by turn out to be completely untrue. Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It is already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you hear given the extravagant claims about antioxidants. The Annals of Internal Medicine: “Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful.” Moreover, “other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Such revisionism is a constant in medicine. There was a time when every kid had their tonsils removed— grossly unnecessary surgery.

— It has been assumed that insuring the uninsured would save huge amounts of money because they wouldn’t keep using the emergency room. When the uninsured were put on Medicaid, they increased their ER use by 40 percent.

—Electronic records will save zillions, they thought.  ACA threatens penalties for those who don’t convert by the end of 2014. The earliest effects are to create a whole new category of previously unnecessary health workers, called scribes, who follow doctors around and fill in the records so the doctors don’t have to do it themselves.

— Most of Obama’s rewrites, delays, exemptions and administrative retrofits are far too numerous to count and most of them are quite dubious legally. When a law passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the president, then it is officially THE LAW. If it is desired to change it, it has to go back to Congress and get amendments passed and signed.

— One big thing is that ObamaCare requires insurance policies to cover not just the expense of catastrophic illness, which is the normal use of insurance; but it forces policies to cover all sorts of routine medical expenses that most people will not need. If you are a 63 year-old woman, you will be paying for childbirth and well child visits, as well as Sandra Fluke’s contraceptives. Wanting to give people nice benefits is all very well, but it does not lend itself to less expensive medicine.

— Obama’s architects made the enormously flawed assumption that health insurance makes people healthier, tending to drive health care costs down over time.  Very flawed assumption. The architects did not anticipate the behavior of people who do not share their approach to the world. There are lots of us out there.


Viewers Were Possibly Misinformed by TV News? Who Knew? by The Elephant's Child

Liberals are predictable, and the New York Times is predictable.  Case in point:

News organizations can educate voters about public policy and economic conditions, but they can also misinform voters.  As if to prove the point, a study released Friday found that “substantial levels of misinformation” seeped out to the electorate of the United States at the time of the midterm elections this year.

There are several organizations/websites that attempt to clarify for their readers just who they can believe.  And they are just as partisan as the rest of us.  Regular viewers of MSNBC, which tilts to the left in prime time, were 34 percentage points more likely than nonviewers to believe that “it was proven that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was spending money raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates.”

That, by the way was true — if a little twisted.  Americans who are working overseas still get to vote and contribute, and they may contribute to their head office’s PAC. Completely normal, legal, usual and not improper in any way.  But that’s MSNBC.

The study comes from the University of Maryland’s Center on Policy Attitudes and Center for International and Security Studies, which have some odd assumptions.

“Almost daily” viewers of Fox News, the authors said, were 31 points more likely to mistakenly believe that “most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit”, were 30 points more likely to believe that “most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring;” and 31 points more likely to believe that “it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States.”

Gosh, I don’t even watch television and I can name 50 economists who say the health care law will worsen the deficit, including the head of the Congressional Budget Office.  Anyone who has mastered basic math  should recognize that you cannot add 16 million people to health care including those with pre-existing conditions, who can buy insurance right before they have an operation, add hundreds of offices and regulations and make it cost less.

Are these people unaware that the IPCC claim of “hundreds of scientists” has always been hooey?  And that their assessments are written by fewer than 20 people who are not all scientists?

People who attempt to set themselves up as arbiters of the truth need to check their assumptions at the door, and offer objective proof that those assumptions are correct. In other words, be skeptical.  If your common sense tells you that something is hooey, you’re probably right, but check it out.

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