Obamacare Supporters Begin to Prepare for the Coming Train Wreck

WhiteHouse.govWhiteHouse.govObamacare’s backers and critics increasingly seem to agree that the president’s health law is in for a rocky start. Last week, The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote that he expects that, although the law won’t turn out to be a catastrophe, “the Affordable Care Act will have a much tougher first year than was initially anticipated.” This week, another prominent supporter of the law, The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, writes that Obamacare isn’t “going to work as well as many of us would like, and the initial adjustment may not be easy.”

Cohn goes on to argue that despite some startup troubles, the law is still worth it, and won’t turn out to be the “huge train wreck” that Sen. Max Baucus, one of the legislation’s authors, recently warned was on the horizon. But even Cohn admits that there are likely to be a fair number of troubles along the way.

Here, for example, are just a couple of the details that Cohn gives readers.

Building and running the exchanges is going to be very difficult: “A well-functioning exchange also requires seamless, near-instant communication between the federal government (which is in charge of the tax credits) and the states (which run Medicaid and, in at least some states, will be running the exchanges). That’s a substantial information technology challenge, particularly since the security needs to be ironclad. Even the states most committed to the new law, and with the best resources for doing so, have struggled with this. In conversations over the last year, I’ve heard the phrase ‘white knuckles’ more than once. You can imagine what it’s like in states where officials are ambivalent.”

The exchange technology probably won’t work smoothly at first: “Chances are good you're going to hear stories about people who went online to get insurance—and got sent, electronically, to the wrong place. You’re probably hear about people frustrated that the electronic forms are so complicated to fill out. You're going to hear about employers confused about what the law requires—and, in some cases, trying to game the new system.”

Large numbers of people will see higher premiums: “Come the fall, when people start shopping for coverage on the exchanges, some of them will see higher prices than they’ve seen before. Partly that's because people with lousy insurance will finally be getting decent insurance; the price will be higher but the coverage will be more comprehensive. The other source of sticker shock will the end of discrimination based on medical condition. That will mean lower premiums for people who suffer under this system—namely, the old and the sick. But it will also mean higher premiums for people who benefit under this system—the young and the healthy.”

The premium hikes may be high enough to undercut the law’s expected coverage expansion: “Insurers are just starting to submit their bids for next year. And some of the numbers you’re hearing sound scary. Last week, for example, CareFirst in Maryland requested rate increases that will average 25 percent. The danger of high rates isn’t simply that they would be difficult for many people to pay. It’s that they would keep healthy people—particularly, young healthy men—from buying insurance. These folks might opt instead to pay the penalty for carrying no coverage, thereby causing higher rates for everybody else.”

Obamacare won’t control high health care costs: “Obamacare is supposed to help even the presently insured—not simply by providing a safety net in case they lose their jobs, but also by reducing the cost of health care overall. This is the other common complaint you hear about Obamacare: That it didn’t ‘solve’ the problem of higher health care costs. This is absolutely true, particularly given the many concessions the architects of reform made to the health care industry.”

Despite all this, Cohn still seems to believe that the law will eventually prove both workable worthwhile. And so do others. Cohn references a Journal of the American Medical Association piece about what to expect from the law’s rollout. That piece looks back to the startup problems involved in both the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicare Part D, and suggests that after a transition period, the law will work out most of the early kinks. Yet the JAMA piece also cautions that “the ACA faces all of the same challenges as these other programs and some additional ones unique to its structure and circumstance,” noting that Obamacare is “one of the most complex government programs created in decades.” Similar to Cohn’s piece, it says that there will “undoubtedly be technical glitches in the eligibility and enrollment systems," that “some people will see their premiums increase,” and that other people may “perceive their deductibles and co-pays as unaffordable.”

Does this sound like something that has the potential to be a "huge train wreck"? I'll leave that to others to decide. But at the very least, it sounds as if the Obamacare implementation process is in for a derailment or two. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • John||

    Ezra Klein wrote that he expects that, although the law won’t turn out to be a catastrophe, “the Affordable Care Act will have a much tougher first year than was initially anticipated.”

    If you can read that with a straight face, you have more self control than I do. Here Dr. Understatement to the rescue!! This may be a little more than we thought it was going to be. Rally Ezra?

  • Pro Libertate||

    They need to huddle around the lies and make sure they're protected.

  • Hyperion||

    Does he have some pretty colored charts to convince all of us?

    I'm sure that would work for Tony. 90% of people wanted this, so it has to work!

  • ||

    Ezra Klein wrote that he expects that, although the law won’t turn out to be a catastrophe, “the Affordable Care Act will have a much tougher first year than was initially anticipated.”

    What a sack of shit. He spent 6 months to a year lying his ass off in his columns to get this bill passed poo pooing anyone who rightfully anticipated that it would be a boondoggle of epic proportions.

  • John||

    Sack of shit is putting it mildly. He made his entire career shilling for this bill. The fact that he had no experience or no knowledge of how health care actually works beyond going for a physical and being disappointed he wasn't old enough to need a prostate exam never seemed to matter. He was a "wonk". And everything he said was either totally wrong or an outright lie. It used to be that people were held accountable for being completely wrong about something really big. What quaint times they were.

  • ||

    It used to be that people were held accountable for being completely wrong about something really big. What quaint times they were.

    I. F. Stone was a full blown Stalin apologist who lied from the start about the purges and the GULAG and the mass starvation.

    And people to this day defend him.

    This is nothing new.

  • John||

    Oh yeah. Eric Alterman is one of his prized pupils. Stone is referred on the left. It would be like people on the Right revering Ezra Pound.

  • ||

    Well if they are referring him to the gulags that's not so bad.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    See Guevara, Che.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "It used to be that people were held accountable for being completely wrong about something really big. What quaint times they were."

    Which is why I believe that any shortfall in the program should be financed by a income tax increase and a wealth tax on all registered Democrats as of 12/31/12. Bit of a broad brush to hit pundits like Klein. But, financing this boondoggle is going to take an awfully big brush anyway.

  • scareduck||

    ^^^THIS^^^

  • scareduck||

    And, the hilarious thing about his rebuttal to the "double counting" charge did not actually contain any links to the CBO analysis with the claimed Medicare fee-for-service future cuts. He knew if he did someone with two brain cells to rub together -- maybe even a registered Democrat! -- might call his sorry ass on that prevarication.

  • scareduck||

  • John||

    That piece looks back to the startup problems involved in both the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicare Part D

    Those two programs are much better designed and much smaller than Obamacare. Looking to those as hopeful examples is pure wishful thinking.

  • ||

    Partly that's because people with lousy insurance will finally be getting decent insurance

    ie healthy people with affordable insurance will now have to pay a premium for shit they will never use.

  • John||

    Come on Corning. Single men who have gotten laid once since high school now have their birth control and abortions paid for. How cool is that?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I can't wait for all that maternity care I am certain to use!

  • John||

    My wife are friends with a nun. Her order is having to add maternity care to the insurance policy. They are still fighting over birth control.

    Obamacare, making sure groups of Nuns have access to proper maternity care.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Come on, dude, haven't you ever seen The Sound of Music? Let's hope Maria was using state-subsidized birth control. It's not like there weren't already fifty von Trapp kids.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I thought pregnant women fled to convents to have their illegitimate children away from the scornful eyes of a judgemental society...

    Oh wait, that was decades ago.

  • ||

    eh?

    To be honest that stuff is cheap. What they will mostly be paying for is the last month of 80+ year old people dying....who should have been saving for it.

    This is nothing more then a wealth grab from the relatively young and poor to the relatively old and dying...and it won't stop the relatively rich and actually old from dying.

    We may as well just tax everyone 20% more so we can build a giant pyramid and fill it with the dead so they can ascend to Ra's palace in the sky...at least then we would have a cool looking giant pyramid.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I will gladly donate to the giant pyramid project, provided I get a good burial spot.

  • John||

    No. That cost was already in the system. What you are paying for is people who didn't have insurance before now, getting it, and then using the shit out of it on things like birth control, and other shit they would have either forgone or paid for themselves absent their new found insurance.

  • ||

  • Pro Libertate||

    So what you're telling me is that I'm right to refer to it as ObamaCarousel, because they're going to have to kill people at 30 to make it even approach working.

  • John||

    So what? That was the case before Obamacare. Those costs are already in the system. Nothing about Obamacare is going to cause those people to get more care. If anything it is probably going to reduce that care by letting bureaucrats leave the old and the sick to die.

    So the increase in costs is not going to keep old people alive. If they were, then old people would be getting more care under Obamacare than they are now. But there is no evidence they are. So you can't blame the increased costs on that. The existing costs sure but not the increase.

  • ||

    I agree the costs are already there but the question is who pays for them.

    Thus the shift in wealth I mentioned.

    Before people payed as they went into medicare as they worked and lived and had money taxed in their pay checks. ie The relatively rich payed.

    Obamacare, and planned cuts to medicare has switched this. Now the young healthy and relatively poor must pay now not as they live their lives with payments increasing as they get older and start making more money.

    Note: this is not an endorsement of medicare...only pointing out Obamacare has made it worse.

  • John||

    The young and healthy were already paying for those. Most of those costs are eaten by the providers. Medicare doesn't cover the full costs and most people either have no assets or effectively hide their assets in a medicare trust.

    So all of those costs were being passed onto the young and healthy in the form of higher prices for services which in turn cause higher insurance premiums. The reason why an operation costs so much more than the cost of that single operation to the provider is because you are not just paying for that operation. You are helping to pay for any number of other procedures that the provider has had to do for free or at a loss because medicare and or the patient won't pay the full cost.

  • ||

    They payed less under medicare then they will under Obamacare.

    Medicare tax is payed as a portion of a person's income...people have s strong tendency to make more money as you get older.

    So the 50 and 60 year olds payed the bulk of it...

    now with obamacare the 25 to 40 year olds will be paying a larger portion of it.

  • Fluffy||

    I have to agree with John.

    Wait until the mental health providers, the autism "treatment" providers, and the substance abuse providers are able to scale up to loot the new, mandated "equal coverage" insurers are obligated to provide under Obamacare.

    That's when the system will finally collapse.

    The billing potential for these things is essentially unlimited. With cancer treatment, eventually the fuckers either get better or die. This other shit is FOREVER, and there's no upper bound on the treatment you can throw at it.

  • John||

    Yeah fluffy. You have a better eye for this than I do. Every quack in the world is going to be getting his treatment "mandated" as coverage. And things like mental health treatment can already be stretched to cover rehab and sex changes and all sorts of shit that other people have no business paying for.

  • Fluffy||

    Right.

    Currently, there aren't enough of these types of providers to be able to bill enough services to achieve the parity Obamacare calls for.

    Think of that - the spending we will see in the near future is limited by the fact that the infrastructure to steal more doesn't exist yet.

    How long do you think that will last?

  • Hyperion||

    I, for one, am happy to see all of those young Obama voters paying for my healthcare.

    I'll drink to that, every morning starting at 6am! WTF, should I feel guilty, those young Obama voters wanted to pay for my health care, I can't deny them that pleasure!

    I haven't been to a doctor in 20 years, but now, whoa boy, it's party time!

  • thom||

    Now that they're paying for your healthcare, all those young Obama voters might have a little something to say about that 6AM drink.

  • Hyperion||

    That's too bad, I can't help myself, I'm a victim, and my great, great, great grandmother was 1/128th Cherokee Indian.

    If the white devils hadn't given her firewater, this never would have happened.

    So, fuck off, snappers!

  • ||

    But corning, there's a 0.1% chance that they might need that insurance.

    Why shouldn't they pay an extra $200 per month to avoid the 1 in 1000 risk of having to spend $2,000 ?

  • ||

    No the 0.1% chance is covered with catastrophic care insurance (ie the lousy insurance mentioned above)...and it was really really fucking cheap. Like 2 cases of crap beer a month cheap....which we know every 20 to 40 year old can afford.

    But with Obamacare they threw everything including the kitchen sink into the requirements of coverage.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I think you missed the implicit math in her statement:

    Why shouldn't they pay an extra $200 per month to avoid the 1 in 1000 risk of having to spend $2,000 ?
  • ||

    1 in 1000 risk of having to spend $2,000

    Yeah i guess i did.

  • NoVAHockey||

    It's bush league, but sometimes trolling Greg Sargent's blog on this issue is loads of fun.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Listen, you can try to convince me how hard it is to make all the infrastructure for the exchanges, but I still don't understand how it's difficult to just add a little alt-text.

  • NoVAHockey||

    alt-text was the only thing not to be considered an essential benefit.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Now it's personal!

  • NoVAHockey||

    i know they said if you like you're alt-text you can keep it. but that was a lie from the start.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm as mad as I've ever been.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's entirely possible, in a bill of that size and so randomly cobbled together, that alt-text was banned altogether.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Not mad enough to use an exclamation point? The way you punctuated, you just seem perturbed.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If you get pissed enough, you pass exclamation mark and enter the period of unspeakable rage.

  • NoVAHockey||

    the exclamation mark was deemed passed.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Those bastards

  • Marshall Gill||

    How is that different from a normal, period?

  • Hyperion||

    Cohn goes on to argue that despite some startup troubles, the law is still worth it

    Of course, because a statist believes that anything the government does to involve itself into any aspect of peoples lives, no matter how horrible it is, is worth it, just for the pure act of growing the state.

    A well-functioning exchange also requires seamless, near-instant communication between the federal government (which is in charge of the tax credits) and the states

    Bwaahahhaaahaa! Someone made a funny!

    Obamacare won’t control high health care costs

    Well, no one could have ever predicted that.

  • John||

    Seamless near instant communication. And they said that with a straight face. They might as well have said it needs "the blood of five virgins" or "a good supply of unicorn farts" because those are about as likely to occur.

  • Lord Humungus||

    exactly - my daily grind is dealing with automotive suppliers/customers who wants reams of information pushed back and forth everyday. Seamless and instantaneous are not the words I would use to describe this process And these are systems that have been in place for years and years with billions of dollars of improvement.

    It sounds as if this system was "designed" by someone with no experience in how networks and data work.

  • John||

    Most of what I do involves various LEO organizations sharing information. People think that collecting and storing information is the same as communicating. No, a monkey can collect and store. Communication involves prioritizing and classifying information such that the right information gets to the right people at the right time. And that is a bit different than just buying a bunch of servers and creating a bunch of databases.

  • PapayaSF||

    It wasn't "designed" so much as "imagined."

  • gaijin||

    Seamless near instant communication.

    Like wall street...

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Seamless near instant communication

    Ok, now that I've picked myself up off the floor...

    In my short time working for a gov office, they couldn't get seamless instant communication right for simple things... like document storage and application approval.

    To check on someone's approval status, you had to go into 2 different, unconnected systems and cross reference that info with a database that was horrifically maintained. And we only had about 100,000 people to keep track of and only did one thing.

    Yeah, I bet there's gonna be no problems at all keeping hundreds of millions of patient records straight.

  • Fluffy||

    In Massachusetts, which is farther along than anybody, they have been attempting for years to set up an All-Payers database to figure out how many people are covered by the different public and private insurance schemes in the state.

    They are very proud of themselves because they've managed to winnow the total record set down to 12 million.

    For a state with 6 million people in it.

    So their big milestone for the year is that they overshot the population by 100%.

  • UnCivilServant||

    As a professional Government IT guy, that sounds about par for the course. One thing you need to remember - a lot of non-technical people and appointees (even less savvy than non-technical people) have their grubby little paws in these projects, meaning sanity is the last thing you'll have once something escapes the endless project cycle the more useless appointees set up to try to look important without doing anything.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obamacare won’t control high health care costs

    That's not what Barry said

  • Hyperion||

    Barry speak with forked tongue.

  • Tim||

    Obamacare can't be that complicated:

    1. It was patterned after Romneycare.
    2. Ignorant Chechen terrorists were able to figure out Romneycare and every other welfare program in Massachusetts in like, 5 minutes. Building the bombs, THAT they needed instructions for.

  • gaijin||

    Chances are good you're going to hear stories about people who went online to get insurance—and got sent, electronically, to the wrong place.

    Well it beats the horror of logging on to get some p0rn and getting sent, electronically, to an insurance site.

  • John||

    I am told there are sickos out there who really get off on Flo the Geico chick.

  • Tim||

    Just say "Sugarfree"

  • A Serious Man||

    Flo is for Progressive, the cavemen are for GEICO.

  • From the Tundra||

    Sure, but John just made a brand manager cry.

  • T||

    Which is a good thing.

  • PRX||

    Flo had a small recurring part in ABC's Cavemen.

  • gaijin||

    Flo the Geico chick.

    Flo hawks 'Progressive' insurance, naturally.

  • Tonio||

    But John's intentions were pure, and that's all that matters.

  • John||

    Maybe I am one of those weirdos and I like Flo so much I never noticed just what the hell she was hawking.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Her?

  • From the Tundra||

    Dude, the big hands and Adam's apple...?

  • gaijin||

    yeah, but that wet smock commercial...I mean she has the curves of a...summer sausage.

    Flo-ing Rain

  • gaijin||

    crap. link: Flo-ing Rain

  • ||

    Women have testosterone....and the more they have the hornier they get.

    Flo is a tiger in the sack....just you know ignore that extra large clitoris.

  • ||

    Speaking of which did anyone catch that monologue Jamie Lanester gave to Brienne in the bath?

    When I read it In the books I did not recall it being so dramatic.

  • Sevo||

    So if Obozo figured the gov't should be on the hook for shoe repair, and he invited a lot of cobblers for a photo op, wouldn't people see that as a bit self-serving on the part of the shoe fixers?
    Why do MDs get a pass? They're no more competent to decide who pays for their trade than are cobblers.

  • Lord Humungus||

    because some people - like my aged parents - think that doctors are the closest to thing next to god. Eegads.

  • Tonio||

    Well, you said it all with "aged parents" LH. Older generations bought into the docs' cartel's myth of the medical infallibility; younger folks not so much.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Too many younger folks still believe that shit. My wife is a prime example. She simply can not understand that her "problems" are not caused by a pill deficiency.

  • Acosmist||

    Cobblers? Really?

    Been reading Plato lately?

  • tarran||

    Every few weeks Mass Health (Medicaid) sends me a letter about my and my kids' health care coverage. The funny thing is we don't qualify. They send me letters dropping me because I am making too much money, then warning me that I haven't gone to my PCP for a physical, offer me free vaccines for my children, drop me again, etc. I called them once and after a really annoying stint on hold was told condescendingly that they were basing their info on Mass Dept of Revenue data, with the unspoken suspicion that I must be pulling a fast one since the DOR would never make a mistake.

    Oh, and one time, they sent me a letter angrily confronting me for not notifying them that my ex was working at a job that she had been fired from two years earlier, followed a month later by a letter admitting that they'd made a mistake and re-enrolling us.

    Given the endemic corruption in the Commonwealth Govt, it wouldn't surprise me if someone is getting rich off of billing the state for health care services that I never consumed.

  • tarran||

    Eventually, I gave up communicating with them. I just throw the letters into a folder.

  • DaveAnthony||

    If you take out your personal info, they could make a pretty fascinating read for the rest of us.

  • tarran||

    Actually it would be pretty boring. There are about 6 form letters they cycle through.

  • Jerryskids||

    Eggs, omelettes.

    Hope you like sausage, onion and marshmallow omelettes. Oh, and there's no eggs in the omelettes. And it costs $85. And nobody really gives a shit if you like it or not.

  • CE||

    I had to laugh when the Obama-backing liberals at work complained about their flex spending accounts being cut in half this year.

  • Hyperion||

    That was only supposed to happen to the rednecks and baggers! It's not fair!

  • John||

    Just like taxes were only supposed to go up on corporations!!

    I have to admit, Obama hasn't brought out my better more generous side. I probably enjoy Obama voters' tears over things like this a bit too much. My favorite is liberal DOD employees crying over sequester and furloughs.

  • DaveAnthony||

    It's kind of funny -- Corporations aren't people, and yet we are supposed to tax them like they are. Corporate income taxes are really stupid -- why would you tax the money that corporations typically use to invest in their business?

    If it gets paid out to shareholders, then by all means, tax that. But to tax the bottom line of a corporate entity? Doesn't really make sense.

  • John||

    We tax corporate income, but then allow "non profits" to pay millions to their staffs with no worries about corporate taxes. Yeah, it is completely stupid and pointless. Tax dividends and personal income. Either the money will be put back in the business and thus isn't really income or will be paid out as dividends and taxed there.

  • gaijin||

    yeah but then they have no hope getting to tax it twice.

  • PapayaSF||

    And, of course, with no corporate income tax, no American business would bother with overseas tax havens, and businesses from all over the world would be flocking here. Can't have that!

  • John||

    And don't forget, we won't tax you on your oversees profits as long as you don't bring them back to the US. Bring them back to the US and we will rape you.

    So the government is ensuring that American economy never see the benefits of American investments oversees.

    It is beyond stupid and just evil.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Partly that's because people with lousy insurance will finally be getting decent insurance; the price will be higher but the coverage will be more comprehensive.

    And what if I wanted to use insurance as insurance and not as essentially pre-paid medical?

  • ||

    Then you have a bank account ripe for raiding.

  • John||

    Partly that's because people with lousy insurance will finally be getting decent insurance; the price will be higher but the coverage will be more comprehensive.

    Because higher prices and better coverage is clearly right for everyone no matter what they think. God I hate these people.

  • ||

    Yes John, everyone should have coverage that pays for their cold medicine. There's no way anyone could possibly predict when they will get a cold, and you wouldn't want them to be at the mercy of those evil pharmacists who will charge them an arm an a leg for their TheraFlu, would you?

    You can't expect consumers to actually shop around when they have a cold, can you?

  • John||

    Or assume some risk of out of pocket expenses and you know plan a bit. We could never do that.

  • In Time Of War||

    "This is the other common complaint you hear about Obamacare: That it didn’t ‘solve’ the problem of higher health care costs. This is absolutely true, particularly given the many concessions the architects of reform made to the health care industry.”

    Waittaminute spinach-chin...the high cost of health care was the reason behind "reforming" health care. Now he's saying to "reform" health care the "reformers" had to make so many concessions that it's not going to reduce costs.

    Exactly what did these idiots think they accomplished?

  • John||

    Nothing. Here is what happened. The Obama people were morons and had no idea what they were doing. But once they bet the farm on health reform they couldn't back down without facing a revolt of disappointed progs. So pushed on even thought they had no idea what they were doing and it became more obvious every day that the bill they were drafting was going to be a complete disaster. They shoved the thing through on a procedural loophole figuring they could "fix it later" and anything was better than not passing anything. Their supporters had to have a health care pony or else. And Obama gave them one and got re-elected for it. Now they are finding out the pony is lame, blind, deaf and likes to bite people. But hey, they got a pony.

  • Sevo||

    "Building and running the exchanges is going to be very difficult:
    The exchange technology probably won’t work smoothly at first:
    Large numbers of people will see higher premiums:
    The premium hikes may be high enough to undercut the law’s expected coverage expansion:
    Obamacare won’t control high health care costs:"

    So, it'll be more bureaucratic, will cover fewer people and cost more than what we already have. And then Cohn left out:
    Many people will be forced from their jobs or into part-time work as companies avoid the costly requirements of keeping them on:

    So now tell me the good news.

  • Gadianton||

    With this much shit, there's got to be a pony here somewhere... doesn't there?

  • UnCivilServant||

    No, but there are a bajillion bats clinging to the ceiling.

    Look on the bright side, guano makes for good fertilizer. Sell it to farmers.

  • ||

    Partly that's because people with lousy insurance will finally be getting decent insurance; the price will be higher but the coverage will be more comprehensive.

    Fuck this idiot. Some people buy cheaper high-deductible plans, because they make financial sense. Comprehensive coverage is a rip-off. You should never insure against anything you can pay for out of pocket. Insuring against annual doctors visits and birth control only makes sinse if someone else is paying your premiums.

    This fucking retard wants to force everyone to buy a "comprehensive" plan not because the coverage is "better" but BECAUSE they don't need it, and he knows they don't need it. It's another way of back-door subsidizing the older and sicker. Make the healthy younger people buy plans that are financially stupid for them to buy.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Make the healthy younger people buy plans that are financially stupid for them to buy.

    Not surprisingly, the student loan industry works the same way, it only differs in that people have a choice whether to go to school or not.

  • Loki||

    people have a choice whether to go to school or not.

    How much longer do you think that's gonna last?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    About as long as Obama's time in office.

  • Homple||

    As twittermeister Iowahawk observed, "Obamacare®- an idea so good, it has to be mandatory™!"

  • A Serious Man||

    Having confronted some liberals/progressives with these facts, they keep insisting that it was never about lowering health care costs but rather about justice: ending the injustice of pre-existing conditions and ensuring that everyone contributes their fair share towards health care.

    Of course they all want to see single-payer so they don't give a fuck if this thing collapses as long as people are stupid enough to believe that more government centralization is the answer.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Having confronted some liberals/progressives with these facts, they keep insisting that it was never about lowering health care costs but rather about justice: ending the injustice of pre-existing conditions and ensuring that everyone contributes their fair share towards health care.

    Did you ask them why they lied about it the first time?

  • A Serious Man||

    I guess it isn't lying if they were always for single-payer and think the very notion of private insurance is evil.

    It is pretty hilarious for them to keep using the phrase 'market failure' to describe our current health care system.

  • John||

    ensuring that everyone contributes their fair share towards health care.

    Which was whom exactly? Who exactly was not contributing their fair share? Oh I know, lower middle class people who didn't buy insurance and ended up defaulting on their medical bills.

    I don't seem to remember a lot of talk about how we were going to make the working poor pay their fair share and contribute to the system when this was passed. Do you?

  • A Serious Man||

    That's because to a progressive the poor aren't really people, they're wards that are only useful for extracting votes.

    By 'everyone' they mean young, healthy people they can cost shift onto and the evil exploitative corporations and employers.

  • John||

    It won't just be the young and healthy. It will be everyone who pays for their insurance. Everyone's insurance rates are going to go up over this.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    ensuring that everyone contributes their fair share towards health care.
    Which was whom exactly?

    People like me, John. I was unfairly paying less because I am unfairly male and young and healthy, meaning that I am unfairly less likely to use much health care. The unfair insurance companies used this as an unfair excuse to charge me unfairly less than the womenz.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I am unfairly male and young and healthy, meaning that I am unfairly less likely to use much health care.

    What ever you do, do not add up any numbers!! I am 47. In my entire life I have spent less than $5k in medical which includes a $3k out of pocket hernia repair operation.

    If you calculate the amount that ObamaCarousel is going to cost, you might go postal.

  • Matrix||

    Of course they all want to see single-payer so they don't give a fuck if this thing collapses as long as people are stupid enough to believe that more government centralization is the answer.

    This is the plan. This has always been their plan. Any of them that say different are flat out lying to you.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • gaijin||

    lies lies lies yeah (they're gonna get you)
    lies lies lies yeah (they won't forget you)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If the Republicans aren't idiots, their ads in 2014 and 2016 will be mostly clips of previous Obama speeches that everyone knows aren't true now.

    They probably won't play those ads.

  • Loki||

    Those ads will be RACIST. Not to mention full of NEGATIVE RHETORIC.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Are you saying Obama's speeches are negative rhetoric? You racist!

  • Marshall Gill||

    Are you saying Obama's speeches are negative rhetoric?

    I depends upon the context.

    And RACCCIIISSSTT!

  • ||

    “the Affordable Care Act will have a much tougher first year than was initially anticipated.” - Ezra Klein “going to work as well as many of us would like, and the initial adjustment may not be easy.” - Jon Cohn

    Please, it'll be like anything else Obama has done. Take the economy for example:

    Will Obama fix the economy right away? Pssh, you bet your ass!...ok well it may take a year for his policies to take hold...well all his key laws have passed, so lets give it some time... you can't really grade him until his first term is done... it was just sooo much worse than anyone could have known!... opposition/EU troubles/hurricanes/earthquake/(If other, please state) just got in the way.

  • John||

    I know your bread has mold and weevils in it. We really had hoped for better. But the Party is under a lot of stress right now with all of the saboteurs and wreckers.

  • PapayaSF||

    So we aren't headed for another Recovery Summer?

  • gaijin||

    Seriously, though, if I have private insurance coverage (the self employed kind) now, do I expect that my costs go up, my coverage to be better or 'other'? I haven't done much research on the details of Ocare (i.e., implementation details), but maybe some Masshole can share experience?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    This is the other common complaint you hear about Obamacare: That it didn’t ‘solve’ the problem of higher health care costs. This is absolutely true, particularly given the many concessions the architects of reform made to the health care industry.”

    Despite all this, Cohn still seems to believe that the law will eventually prove both workable worthwhile.

    :blood pressure rising:

    That was supposed to be the WHOLE FUCKING POINT of this stupid-ass, pandering law--that it would lower the real cost of healthcare for everyone, not just a chosen few.

    You know, the same claims these same type of managerialist fucks made about Medicare and Medicaid when those laws were passed.

    If it doesn't lower the real cost of healthcare, then the law is pointless. But we knew that already.

  • Hyperion||

    That was supposed to be the WHOLE FUCKING POINT of this stupid-ass, pandering law--that it would lower the real cost of healthcare for everyone, not just a chosen few.

    No. That was what the sheeple were supposed to believe was the entire point of the law.

    From the beginning, the crafters of this bill had one purpose in mind. The same purpose as all legislation that is written or passed today. That dual purpose is to expand the power of the state over it's citizens, and to redistribute money to the favored cronies of the politicians currently in power.

    There really is nothing more to ponder.

  • califernian||

    ^This. A hundred times this and it could be said for 99% of all the legislation ever passed.

  • StatsGuru||

    We had an insurance meeting at work today. The company I work for is going for a plan very similar to Whole Foods, and I'm very happy about that. I'll be able to save thousands of dollars a year in a health savings account to cover any big future expenditures.

    What I hated, however, is the forced visits to the doctor. We were told that if we didn't take advantage of the free physical every year, we would be charged a penalty. In addition, there will be a questionnaire to fill out. The result of this will be a "diet", as our broker described it. If you don't quite smoking, or don't reduce your cholesterol, there will be penalties. In other words, the law is designed to force people into a what the government believes is a good lifestyle.

    Time to throw the bastards out.

  • Hyperion||

    That is quite Orwellian.

    Expect much worse than that from Obamacare.

    Total control over every minute aspect of peoples lives, that is the goal of our political elite class.

  • John||

    And it is pretty much a certainty that some of those things that "top men" think you should be doing are going to actually turn out to be bad for you.

    Noncoercive paternalism is no better than coercive paternalism. Shame on anyone who defends paternalism of any kind.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yep, you're gonna get the low-fat, whole grains bullshit. And god forbid, you do a ton of weight training and whack out your BMI.

    Unbelievable.

  • PapayaSF||

    I thought I read some while back that the whole "annual physical" thing was a waste of time and money for most people.

  • The Last American Hero||

    I am anticipating a lot of "but the costs would have been so much higher without Obamacare." It goes well with the created or saved jobs and other impossible to refute counterfactuals they peddle. Heads they win, tales you lose.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    See: Tony re stimulus.

  • Matrix||

    exactly. It would be the same as the stimulus. "The reason things are bad now is because they didn't spend enough. But if they had not spent anything, it would have been far worse!"

    You cannot win with them... ever.

  • Loki||

    Despite all this, Cohn still seems to believe that the law will eventually prove both workable [sic] worthwhile.

    You don't expect someone who's spent their entire life believing in Unicorns and Fairy dust to suddenly stop believing, do you?

  • John||

    "Is is still worthwhile even though..." is pretty much the story of their lives isn't it?

    Communism was still a worth while endeavor that cared about the lives of the average person even thought it murder millions and imprisoned and enslaved millions more.

    Welfare is a worth while endeavor even though in trapped generations in hopeless dependency and costs hundreds of billions of dollars that could have used for other things.

    And so on and so on.

  • Loki||

    But their intentions were noble and pure...

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The other source of sticker shock will the end of discrimination based on medical condition. That will mean lower premiums for people who suffer under this system—namely, the old and the sick. But it will also mean higher premiums for people who benefit under this system—the young and the healthy.”

    This dipshit is apparently too stupid to understand the definition of words:

    It isn't "discrimination" to be charged a price that reflects the actuarial risk that the individual insuree represents to the insurance pool that he or she wishes to be included in.

    Nor is it a 'benefit" for someone to NOT be forced to pick up a big chunk of someone else's actuarial risk.

    It's like saying McDonald's is "discriminating" against someone who ordered 5 hamburgers by charging him more than someone who only ordered one burger.

  • Michael||

    The danger of high rates isn’t simply that they would be difficult for many people to pay. It’s that they would keep healthy people—particularly, young healthy men—from buying insurance. These folks might opt instead to pay the penalty for carrying no coverage, thereby causing higher rates for everybody else.

    Wait, so are you telling me that the very same people that currently have little incentive to purchase health insurance but are needed to do so in order to stabilize the risk pool that is expected to grow exponentially under Obamacare are now going to be given even further disincentive to purchase health insurance? Nobody could have possibly seen that coming.

  • shortviking||

    "that Obamacare isn’t “going to work as well as many of us would like"

    I read that as "nanny of us" for a moment.

  • WomSom||

    Smack it dude, smack it good man.

    www.GoGetAnon.tk

  • scareduck||

    Ezra Klein is a serial liar. Every time I see that man's name associated with Obamacare, and every time I remember what a towering fraud he was in the days leading up to its' "passage".

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement