House Republicans Fear Government Shutdown Foiled Chance To Expose Obamacare's Flaws

ReasonReasonHouse Republicans are worried that the government shutdown cost them the opportunity to highlight flaws associated with the rollout of Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges.

From The Hill:

House Republicans, now seeking a way out of the current fiscal impasse, fear that the government shutdown robbed them of a chance to highlight the problems in ObamaCare's rollout.

Oct. 1 should have been a layup for Republican opponents of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, who watched as new insurance exchanges were beset by a slew of technical snafus.

But in a harsh bit of irony for the GOP, that was also the first day of a government shutdown driven largely by their own efforts to defund ObamaCare – a standstill that has dominated headlines all month.

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  • crazyfingers||

    If not for the shutdown, the Obama lapdog media would have been all over the exchange failures!

    Yeah right...

  • Sevo||

    Exactly.
    Why, I'm sure Madoff would have investigated and found that BUUUUUUUUUUUSH screwed up the exchanges from his smart phone.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    At least the GOP could try to make the lapdog media's job a little bit harder.

    That whole WW2 veterans memorial thing? Today ABC news had, front and center, a guy railing against the GOP for closing down the memorial and putting up fences wired together.

    Of course that makes no sense and is a total lie if you understand the chain of events.... but it was an easy one. We need to make the lying harder to get away with.

  • sarcasmic||

    Dude, it doesn't matter. These are people who don't think. They feel. Because it's all emotion with them, the truth doesn't matter. No amount of facts or logic will change what they feel. They feel it to be true, so by golly it must be true. That's how they have gotten away with their lies, are currently getting away with their lies, and will continue to get away with their lies. Because they feel it to be true.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well that's certainly true of the blue base, which I know well as I'm surrounded by them at all times.

    But low-info independents are the ones we need to win over.

  • sarcasmic||

    Can't win low-info with facts and logic because they're low-info for a reason. They don't care. So they'll follow the people with the most passion - the hard left. They don't begin to care until they get screwed, and by then it's too late. Like conservatives who support the Drug War until someone close to them gets caught up in it. By the time they see the error of their ways it's too late. Human nature sucks like that.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Even if your pessimistic view is right, which remains to be seen, trying to win over indies won't hurt any more than either giving up or engaging in self-destructive acts like this shutdown mess.

  • Randian filtered me, I WIN!||

    "trying to win over indies won't hurt any more"

    Stupid assertion.

    The indies have voted for stuff. That's why we're here.

    And didn't you run off with you tail between your legs, only to fucking slink back, defeated and a liar?

    You did, you sure did.

  • sarcasmic||

    And didn't you run off with you tail between your legs, only to fucking slink back, defeated and a liar?

    He tends to stink the place up on the weekends now.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The indies actually voted for Romney by a wide margin. BO won because of Republicans staying home and Punky Bluesters turning out.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Conservatives are the ones who feel and not think. Waving the flag, Creationism, and other rightwing ideas all FEEL right.

    You are stealing Steven Colbert's bit. He does fake conservative well.

  • Randian filtered me, I WIN!||

    Better than you do fake libertairan/classical liberal.

    "NUH UH!!!! NUUUUUH UUUUUUHHHH!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

    Your entire posting history.

  • ||

    Keep telling yourself that demfag.

  • Sevo||

    "Of course that makes no sense and is a total lie if you understand the chain of events.... but it was an easy one. We need to make the lying harder to get away with."

    What do you want them to do, take the mic out of the guy's hand?
    You can point out that the NPS rangers work for Obama, but if the mic's somewhere else, no body hears you.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I assume they were following the Michael Moore school of interviewing.

  • prolefeed||

    Not sure how you reach out to voters -- or journalists -- who don't understand, or pretend to not understand, that the Executive Branch is the one that executes policy.

  • Plopper||

    For once i agree with you Tulpa. This shutdown has made it all too easy for the masters of spinjitsu to spin the shit however they'd like.

  • Lyle||

    This!

    And the shutdown is showing off the capriciousness of the Federal government.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This. People-especially libertarians-need to let go of the whole 'winning with cleverness' fetish. It's not gonna work.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It was a fairly stupid tactic. It was never clear how they intended to exit this shutdown stuff with a win.

    They also fucked themselves on the debt ceiling fight by doing this.

  • sarcasmic||

    What medal did you win at the Special Olympics?

  • RightNut||

    Hey that is very unfair to special olympians.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    It might have been a tactically stupid move for Republicans, but I don't care about them or outcomes for them. Did it damage the small government types like Lee, Cruz, Amash, and Paul? Possibly with moderates (whatever that means), but not with their base.

    The shutdown, the OC roll out, the overreach of fed employees closing down parks unnecessarily or harassing citizens leaves an overall impression of GOVERNMENT GONE WILD. Polls show disgust for all branches - That's a very good thing.

    All these situations reinforce the impression (and truth) that government is incompetent and corrupt. Again, that's a very good thing.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Did it damage the small government types like Lee, Cruz, Amash, and Paul? Possibly with moderates (whatever that means), but not with their base.

    Cruz is an elitist, cravenly ambitious grandstanding prick, and so long as he's the 'face' of not the Republican but small-government brand, the lefty Statists will be getting a free lunch of sorts.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    My opinion is that Cruz has already ruined himself for national, not state, politics. That's good for Rand Paul. It don't think Cruz is the face of the small government types - he's one face, not the entire animal. Lefties can use him to smear the whole only as long Paul and others let him. Currently, they're letting it happen.

  • ||

    Oh, so you finally fucking figured that out, Tulpa?

    Two weeks about you were bitching at Reason for being a bunch of cosmotarians for not lining up behind the GOP's strategy, and attacking anyone on there boards who didn't think it was a good idea.

  • Killazontherun||

    I could only hold your position on this if I gave shit about the future of the GOP. I'm a libertarian, so there is no reason for me to oppose Cruz's grand stand. If Boxer decided to hold the floor for forty eight hours to read Das Kapitol out loud, she would have my full support because that is time she and the rest of them are not spending on legislation (again, from a libertarian standpoint, not usually a good thing). So, are we clear?

  • Killazontherun||

    Also, on the whole cosmotarian thing, it's not bad advice to tell the writers they should stick to libertarian milieus. One thing you never here at a cocaine fueled orgy is 'Ted Cruz, what a dumbass, right?'

  • ||

    So what did the GOP gain from all of this?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Cruz and Lee are scoring points with the idiot faction in the Tea Party. That's about all I can see, and those points probably won't last long.

    The big loser is probably going to be McConnell since it's basically up to him to bend over for the Dems, which won't go over well in the primary. In a sense that's a good thing for the GOP, unless they nominate someone extreme and lose the seat entirely.

  • John||

    I thought the idiot faction of the Tea Party wanted more medicare and a Christian theocracy. So how exactly is Cruz scoring points by standing up to stop Obamacare?

    Your mixing up your talking points Tulpa. You are a Republican Troll, that means the talking point is that the Tea Party is a bunch of evil SOCONs. It is the liberal trolls who claim the Tea Party is a bunch of fanatical nihilists.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony calls someone a Republican Troll? I'm glad I didn't have a glass in my hand when reading that or my monitor and keyboard would be in need of cleaning!

  • John||

    I don't troll. Trolling is arguing shit you don't actually believe to fuck with people or taking inconsistent positions to cover for one side. I do none of that. And I am brutal on the Republicans and the Republican establishment.

    You don't like some of my views, too bad. Come up with an argument against it. If you can't do that, go fuck yourself. You wish I was a red tony. If I was, you would be able to argue against me rather than just calling me names.

  • sarcasmic||

    The fact that others have joined in on calling you Red Tony when you play the part of a Republican Troll should show you something. Or not.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The fact that others have joined in on calling you Red Tony when you play the part of a Republican Troll should show you something.

    It only shows that there are multiple commenters who toss insults about because they can't argue their way out of a paper bag.

    If you went to Kos and made libertarian comments, dozens of people would accuse you of being a troll too.

  • sarcasmic||

    The Red Tony moniker only comes out when Republicans are reflexively defended because of TEAM. It is meant for the recipient to take a step back and reflect, not that it ever works.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And how do you determine John's motivation is just to defend the team? He's not even really defending Republicans here; he's actually attacking one half of the party.

  • Robert||

    Took me a while to realize you meant "Red" in "Red Tony" as in "Republican" rather than "Communist". That color code switch fucks with my head, same as the Amber Alert did with the other color alerts—and now Silver Alert to increase the mindfucking.

    As my friend Charlie yelled about the Aptiva, Captiva, Achieva, and Arriva: "Nadine, they're confusing me again!"

  • sarcasmic||

    That color code switch fucks with my head

    Ditto. The Dems should definitely be red. But that would be too honest.

  • Lyle||

    Keep on keeping on John.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Er, John, I actually consider myself a member of the TP. There are multiple idiot factions, some overlapping. Arguing according to the same set of principles all the time is going to look like "mixing up the talking points" if you assume I'm just dishing talking points to begin with.

    Cruz is scoring points by appearing to stand up to BO-Care. Unlike Johnny Mac and Lizzie Graham, I'm assuming his bad actions were due to negligence rather than malice. I think he believes in what he's saying and really wanted to stop BO-Care, but he failed to think things through. I don't think it was a cynical ploy to score points.

  • Lyle||

    You should probably not call people in your own group idiots. That's a stupid tactic, if there ever was one.

    Cruz is building up a power base. That's probably a good thing. He is the smartest talking politician out there, and he's not a progressive.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So you're saying I should be a hack and never criticize "my team"?

  • Lyle||

    Do you need to call people stupid to criticize them? I don't think so.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They're forcing the Dems to own Ocare and justifying their own existence. Possibly gaining leverage for future negotiations.

  • Dweebston||

    Republicans will hold the line only so long as the exchanges look like a colossal failure, which is possible only until the wrinkles are ironed out. The exchanges aren't Obamacare's fatal flaw, just an asinine duplication of effort with outlandish promises and unrealistic expectations. They're designed to cover for the ACA's manifold encumbrances on health insurance and delivery, and that tragic failure is rather farther off than simply bringing the idiot exchanges online. Once the latter occurs I foresee Democrats celebrating a tepid victory and Republicans backing off the notion of repeal.

  • anon||

    I think it was all a tactic to marginalize the libertarian/tea party wings of the GOP.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Give them some rope and see what they do with it."

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Whose tactic? Ted Cruz? He's the one who started the whole debacle.

  • anon||

    Which could've ended the second he stepped off the senate floor.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's not as if Obamacare's problems are going away. The GOP will have plenty to talk about, for months and years.

  • ||

    Pretty much this. The shit is really going to hit the fan next year when the penal-tax takes effect and people need to choose between insurance they don't want and a fine, all while costs continue to rise.

  • sarcasmic||

    Problems with Obamacare will be blamed on what's left of the free market. That's how it's always been.

    Or to quote the Sheldon Richmond piece from 8AM:

    [N]o matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom remains.
  • Francisco d Anconia||

    That is a great quote.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Exactly. Obamacare isn't going to suddenly get better. However, the media will just avoid it, pretend Obamacare is great and the majority of people paying more under the system are just anomalies, if they can even sign up.

  • Lyle||

    This!

    Stand tough House Republicans. Obamacare ain't going anywhere. It's law just they like they say it is.

  • Sevo||

    "It's not as if Obamacare's problems are going away. The GOP will have plenty to talk about, for months and years."

    That isn't in doubt; the question is whether anyone hears.
    'Free Shit' is hard to campaign against.

  • entropy||

    Well, you'd have to be dumb as a Republican to campaign against the free shit.

    Campaign against the unaffordable broken shit.

  • John||

    I personally know three different families who are seeing their medical insurance policies totally change and get much worse because their existing plans qualify as "Cadillac plans" and thus subject to a huge tax and are being dropped by their employers and replaced by much worse and much more expensive plans. These new plans cost more, have higher deductibles and higher co-pays. One couple I know has decided against having a second child because they could not afford the expected hospital bill for a birth under their new plan.

    The flaws of Obamacare are clear to millions of people who seeing their health insurance policies being unilaterally rewritten or dropped by their employers. No amount of media spin and lying is going to obscure that reality.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh come on! It's the greedy insurance corporations! It's the greedy corporate hospitals! It's the greedy corporate employed doctors! Greed! Corporate! Corporate! Greed!

    Single payer now!

  • John||

    That is not how they see it. And they are pretty middle of the road or liberal people. None of the people I know are what I would call conservatives or libertarians.

    They know what is causing this. People are not totally stupid. And the problem with the theory that Obamacare is going to help the Dems because of people's desire for free shit is that Obamacare doesn't give anyone free shit. No one is getting free insurance. Even poor people are having to pay for it. And they expected it to be free. And the ones who can't afford it are paying the penalty. Meanwhile, those with insurance are seeing their policies get worse and more expensive.

    Obamacare doesn't deliver a single bit of free shit to anyone. The Dems appeal to two types of people. Middle class people who love the idea of spending other people's money to feel compassionate and poor people who want free shit. The first group is currently in shock that they personally are stuck paying for this thing. And the second group is pissed because the coverage is not free like they feel they are entitled too.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thing is, blame will still be placed on the evil insurance companies. When unemployment rises as a result of minimum wage, is the government ever blamed? When the cost of shoes remains artificially high because of tariffs to protect domestic shoe factories, is the government ever blamed? When rent control results in buildings being reduced to slums because the landlord can't charge enough rent to maintain the property, is the government ever blamed?

    Sorry John, but the blame will go squarely where it always goes, and it won't be the government.

  • John||

    That is not how it always goes. If that were the case we would have had communism a long time ago. And things like price controls that were considered absolutely prudent policies by all right thinking people back in the 1970s ended. If your logic were true, we would still have price controls. We would still have the meat of the New Deal. And the meat of the New Deal was not Social Security. It was all kind of insane central planning and control of the economy. But we don't.

    I know the party line on here is that every person in America who is not a politically motivated Libertarian is completely retarded. And that makes people on here feel good about themselves and gives them a great sense of victim-hood, but it is not true. Most people don't pay attention to politics and thus don't see beyond the lies the media tells them. That is right up until they personally start to suffer from these policies.

    If things worked the way you guys think they do, no leftwing party anywhere on earth would ever be voted out of power, no matter how incompetent. And that is not the case. Places like Canada and Australia and even Sweden that are much more left wing and socialistic than the US have kicked hard left parties to the curb once their policies fucked so many people that they couldn't hide it anymore.

  • Robert||

    The above is very important to point out, thanks.

    For a really extreme example, remember the catastrophic health care add-on to Medicare that was enacted in the late 1980s? Because it didn't shift costs to anyone else, as soon as the people who were to be taxed found out, it was repealed—even before it went into effect! The only way these things stay in effect is because of cost shifting that doesn't come to the notice of those to whom the costs are shifted. In a poll ~20 yrs. ago, people in the UK underestimated the cost of the NHS by an order of magnitude on avg. If they realized how much they were paying for such crappy service, it'd be gone in a day.

  • Randian filtered me, I WIN!||

    "I know the party line on here is that every person in America who is not a politically motivated Libertarian is completely retarded."

    I don't know that anyone here thinks that, and if they do, you need to pointhem out specifically instead of tossing about useless genaralities.

    That isn't anything like the party line, I've seen the opposite asserted many times by many posters.

    You're just using a cheap rhetorical trick to make it seem like you have something.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're just using a cheap rhetorical trick to make it seem like you have something.

    He's being Red Tony again.

  • John||

    No. It is hyperbole but only a mild one. There are plenty of posters on here who claim that the popular reaction to getting totally screwed by Obamacare is going to be to blame the insurance companies rather than the act and the people who passed it. If you think that is going to happen, you clearly think the country is too stupid to understand why their insurance policies are being canceled or rewritten under much worse terms. That they would think this was just happening because their insurance companies are evil rather than because of the act is to say they are really stupid to the point of being really retarded.

    People on here constantly claim that. They constantly claim that even thought it is blatantly obvious to everyone on here that this act is a total disaster causing all kinds of harm, the American public will be too stupid to figure that out and will instead blame the insurance companies and demand full on single payer as a result. I think that is complete bullshit. It is just the people on here at the same time feeling sorry for themselves and also feeling superior to the rest of the country.

  • sarcasmic||

    John, John, John. Most people believe the narrative because they don't know different. The narrative, the story from the Democrats and the major media, will not blame Obamacare. Are people stupid because they believe what they are told? No, John, that's ignorance.
    We'll see. I hope I'm wrong and you're right. But I doubt it.

  • John||

    Most people believe the narrative because they don't know different.

    And that is just saying they are really stupid. If they are that way, they are basically children. If I thought that, I really would be a liberal. How can you not support a paternalistic government if you honestly believe people are that stupid and are basically children who will believe any narrative fed to them no matter how ridiculous and contrary to reality?

  • sarcasmic||

    And that is just saying they are really stupid.

    No John. Your straw man says they are stupid. I am saying they are ignorant. You can argue with me or with your straw man.

    Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, while stupidity is an inability to understand it. If they don't know then they're ignorant. If they know but don't understand, then they're Tony stupid. Sadly most people are ignorant. It's not their fault. They're interested in different things.

  • John||

    So you are telling me Sarcasmic that these people are going to see their insurance rates double and their policies be rewritten and they will have no idea that Obamacare is to blame? They will think that it is just the insurance companies being greedy?

    Do you think that? If so, that is more than ignorance. Anyone who thought that would have to literally have a child like level of intelligence. Again, if I actually thought people were that stupid, I would be a liberal.

  • sarcasmic||

    So you are telling me Sarcasmic that these people are going to see their insurance rates double and their policies be rewritten and they will have no idea that Obamacare is to blame? They will think that it is just the insurance companies being greedy?

    I'm telling you that the major media will not blame Obamacare, and that a majority will believe what they are told. I could be wrong. I hope I am. But that's what I believe. Most people just want to get on with their lives. They don't give a crap about politics or economics or news the way we do. They're not political junkies. They turn on the evening news and believe what they're told. That's not stupidity. That's just people being people.

  • John||

    I'm telling you that the major media will not blame Obamacare, and that a majority will believe what they are told.

    And I am telling you, if you believe that, you are assuming that the majority of people in this country are so stupid that they will believe anything the media tells them no matter how self evidently untrue it is.

    If you really think people are that stupid, you might want to reconsider your views regarding government. If people are really that stupid, then perhaps they need a paternalistic government.

    I don't believe people are that stupid.

  • sarcasmic||

    You keep using stupid when gullible or ignorant would be more accurate.

    Are you Distinction Challenged like Tony?

    What you fail to understand is that most people don't care about politics. Because they don't care, they don't know. That is to say they are ignorant. Not stupid, but ignorant. If they were knowledgeable then they might think differently, but they are not. Whatever. Seems you're intent on defeating a straw man who thinks everyone is stupid.

  • John||

    Since when is being gullible and ignorant any different than begin stupid?

    Sarcasimic, you keep saying that the American people meet all of the criteria of being stupid and are doing incredibly stupid things, but then when called on it claim you don't believe they are stupid.

    Whatever. If anyone is sounding like Tony on here, it is you. You are trying to claim that the American public is ignorant, naive, and gullible, but are not really stupid. That is just you not wanting to be honest about what you think but apparently thinking everyone reading this is as dumb as you think the American public is. Stop insulting everyone's intelligence by making such self evidently ridiculous claims.

  • sarcasmic||

    Since when is being gullible and ignorant any different than begin stupid?

    I guess you are Distinction-Challenged like Tony. I'll try to spell it out for you with small words.

    Gullible people believe things at face value.
    Ignorant people just don't know.

    Gullible people who are not stupid can be cured with information.
    Ignorant people who are not stupid can be cured with information.

    Stupid people cannot be cured.

    I don't think most people are stupid. I think many people are rationally gullible and ignorant. But not stupid. They simply lack information and believe the lies that they are told because they don't know different. What Limbaugh refers to as "low-information voters."

    I don't know how to make it any clearer.

  • John||

    They are called distinctions without difference you half wit. If you are so gullible that you believe things that are obviously not true, you are stupid. And even if you are not the result is the same.

    If you really think people are like that, you should become a liberal. You clearly think people are like children. And I honestly can't see how someone with such a dismissive and insulting view of people could actually believe in anyone's freedom but their own.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you are so gullible that you believe things that are obviously not true, you are stupid.

    Obvious to whom? Obvious to someone with some base knowledge. Obvious to someone who is not completely ignorant.

    A majority believe that Climate Change is real. Are they stupid? Or maybe they put faith into computer models (software) that software professionals like myself can see are bunk. Maybe they believe what they are told because they don't know better. Maybe they haven't sought out other points of view.

    I'm about ready to tell you to fuck off and mean it. Seriously.

    Tell you what. Next time you try to lecture on something you know a lot about, something that you learned in law school, I'll kindly inform you that you are a fucking asshole who thinks that everyone who has not gone to law school is stupid.

    Fuck off, asshole. I'm glad you don't have kids.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    "I don't believe people are that stupid."

    “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

    (Michael Crichton)

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    John, IIRC there were polls fairly recently that showed a large portion of the populace has no idea that the ACA is even the law. I think a lot of people will believe what they're told to believe, just like they do for lots of other things they don't understand. It's a byproduct of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

  • sarcasmic||

    John, IIRC there were polls fairly recently that showed a large portion of the populace has no idea that the ACA is even the law.

    Didn't someone recently do a man-on-the-street poll and found that most people didn't know that the ACA and Obamacare are the same thing?

  • John||

    Cascadian,

    So you think you are smarter and more informed that most of the country. And apparently most of the country is so uninformed and gullible that they can't even understand things like their insurance policy that affect their lives in fundamental ways.

    That is just horse shit. That is just Libertarians sitting around smelling their own farts telling each other how they are just so much smarter than the rest of the country. America can't figure out the truth, even though they are getting fucked. But you are are smart enough to know different.

    It couldn't be that you believe that because you want to believe it and it feeds your ego. Nah, couldn't be that. It is that yes you really are so much smarter and more aware than they are. Everyone is subject to the Gell Mann Amnesia effect except you, because you are special.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony is rolling out the ad-hominems. Time to go.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    We live in a country where Barack Obama was elected president twice with majorities, to say nothing of the runners-up. You're damn right I think I'm better than most of the country in a lot of intellectual areas. I'm not going to apologize for it. You probably think the same thing about yourself, so drop the humble concern-troll act. We don't have to believe that gives us the right to make choices for others - and I don't think we do. But how can you sit there and tell me everyone has their heads on straight?

  • sarcasmic||

    I know the party line on here is that every person in America who is not a politically motivated Libertarian is completely retarded.

    Nice straw man, Red Tony. No, the general "party line" if that's what you want to call it, is that most people are ignorant of basic economics, and because of this governments get away with some really harmful shit.

    Sorry. I tried to find some fatties for you on the Daily Mail, but they were all built for speed instead of comfort. =-(

  • John||

    Nice straw man

    Really? That is a straw man? So you didn't really mean it when you said

    Thing is, blame will still be placed on the evil insurance companies.

    You don't mean that? You were kidding?

    or this

    Oh come on! It's the greedy insurance corporations! It's the greedy corporate hospitals! It's the greedy corporate employed doctors! Greed! Corporate! Corporate! Greed!

    What are you saying there other than that the American people will believe utterly stupid explanations for their health insurance getting so much worse? You are saying most of America is too stupid to see that the ACA caused this and will thus demand more of the same. That sure sounds to me like you are calling them retarded. I don't see how anyone but someone who is retarded could believe such idiotic things. But that is what you claim they will think.

    You tell me. Are you saying America is stupid or are you saying that blaming the insurance companies is the smart thing to do? It can't be both.

  • sarcasmic||

    Haven't you figured out that when posts of mine contain lots of exclamation points that I'm being a sarcastic asshole? Get a grip.

  • John||

    If you were being sarcastic, then fair enough. But the views you express are believed by a lot of people on here.

  • sarcasmic||

    In the future John, if you see lots of exclamation points, then I'm likely having a sargasm.

  • Lyle||

    I agree with Robert, excellent last point.

  • PapayaSF||

    I largely agree with John on this. While Obama and his media sycophants will do what they can to trumpet Obamacare successes, there's only so much they can do to ignore reality. Even the mainstream media isn't deluded enough to go into full Baghdad Bob mode on this. Far too many people will continue to lose their current plans, their doctors, and even their work hours and jobs. They will see that the new plans will cost more, and probably be worse.

    As devoted Democrat partisans they want to cheer for their Team, but it'll be clear to them that Obamacare is a widespread disaster, and a big story. Heck, already USA Today has ripped the administration a new one on this issue. Eventually, sometime in the next year, the NY Times, NPR, and the other usual suspects will have to admit it's not just temporary "glitches" but a systemic failure.

  • SusanM||

    Or not. Chances are it'll run just good enough to not be a total disaster - in the short run, anyway. That way, the failures to come will be disassociated from The Big O and Co.

  • PapayaSF||

    SusanM, even the technical "glitches" may never be solved, because they involve linking with at least 55 existing government systems. But beyond that is the sticker shock: most people are seeing higher premiums, in some cases much higher. So it's hard to see how it will be seen as "good enough."

  • Zeb||

    I think you are right, John, and I share the frustration over people always assuming that people who disagree are idiots or acting in bad faith. Things are a lot more complicated than that. I think that sarcasmic, etc. are right to a certain extent. Things will tend to move toward more state control. But it doesn't on;y move that way and people can surprise you sometimes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    John is wrong not to look down on non-libertarians but he's very right that bad policies can and do die. The ratchet does NOT just go one way as much as the resident sadsacks here love to say so. The draft, price controls, exec order 33 etc. We can kill this.

  • sarcasmic||

    The draft, price controls, exec order 33 etc. We can kill this.

    I hope I am wrong. Thing is, I accurately gauge the outcomes of elections by taking the inverse of my ballot. So I'm skeptical.

  • Robert||

    You're right, people expected free shit, and can you blame them? "The gov't has all this money they take from me, it's about time they gave me something I could use!"

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "People are not totally stupid"

    I'm not personally attacking you, but you make so many posts about how, oh boy, Obama, the Dems, whoever are really gonna hear about this, that I have to say something.

    Obama, and by extension the left, will never be blamed for anything in the media. The low information, lefty and free shit sheep will always blame the Republicans, Tea Party, KKKorporations, whoever, for anything negative that happens.

    When are you going to wake up to this?

  • John||

    If you have that low of an opinion of people, then you need to join the Left Randian. If you think people are that stupid, then it is hard to see how you could think they are worthy of having any freedom and are not in need of supervision by superior people such as yourself.

    I hope your libertarian farts smell as good as you think they do.

  • Zeb||

    John, I really don't think that to believe what sarcasmic and others are saying you necessarily must believe that most people are stupid. I think he has a point in saying that most people are just interested in other things and just want to live their lives. It is certainly true that a lot of people don't know about economics or pay very much attention to politics.
    Like you, I am a bit more optimistic. I think a lot of people will notice what a shitty deal Obamacare is. And I hope that that can move things in the right direction. But a lot of people don't know how things work. And a lot of people don't pay that much attention to their health insurance plans (especially young people without kids).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    When an obviously-bad policy is implemented, I mean a policy with immediately-noticeable bad effects, then yes, the people tend to turn against it, but there is generally a huge lag between the public turning against a policy and the policy being repealed. Eventually it may be repealed, or not, but it causes damage in the meantime.

    Consider busing and price controls in the 1970s, banning medical marijuana, the various educational fads, etc. etc. (I would add open borders today). These things became unpopular but survived quite a while due to inertia and the passionate minority who supported them.

    So don't expect Obamacare to go away right away.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Maybe I'm so cynical because I live in Jersey and am surrounded by lefties.
    I haven't heard one complaint about Obamacare, the NSA, the IRS, Benghazi - you name it.

    But I still constantly hear about how great Obamacare is. That's probably because I don't know anyone who has to sign up for it since most of the people I know are on the dole or have gov't jobs.

    You probably know a different group of people who are getting screwed. But those are the types of people who aren't part of the grievance mongers/free shit brigade, so:
    1) no one in the media cares about them
    and
    2) most of them will just go quietly along with it, because that's what most people who have jobs and responsibilities do.

    I hope you're right that this time it will be different, but I'm still waiting for that first time in my life time. I don't see anything changing the direction we're in as long as the free looters outnumber the producers.

  • ||

    Dude, at least a quarter of the country is functionally retarded.

    And those retards deserve every single freedom a normal person does.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No amount of media spin and lying is going to obscure that reality.

    Yep.

    People that spend their lives in the media bubble think that bubble is the entire universe. But it's not by a long shot.

    Obamacare is fucking over millions of people that haven't been paying attention to politics or the media. The media spin is not only going to fail but it will discredit the spinners.

  • PapayaSF||

    Exactly. It's one thing to slant things for your Team in subtle ways, or ignore small stories. It's quite another to try to deny the obvious reality of a huge story.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Especially when there's a significant national movement (The TP) rallying against it.

  • Robert||

    I know people have been dealt from a shitty deck and can't avoid this sort of arrangement, but...there's no way insurance should be covering the expected hosp. bills for a birth.

  • John||

    there's no way insurance should be covering the expected hosp. bills for a birth.

    I think their insurance company should cover whatever their employer and their insurance company and them are willing to pay for and negotiate for it to cover.

    How fucking dare you tell people what can and cannot be in their policies. It is none of your business. It is a private transaction.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Yeah, obviously. The point is that "insurance" is normally to hedge against the unexpected. There's no car insurance policy in the world that covers your oil changes (there are maintenance plans, but they don't call them insurance). He's probably making the point that our screwed up view of insurance in the medical field is part of the problem.

  • John||

    No, insurance is whatever you want it to cover. There is no "normal" insurance. And there is nothing to say child birth is always planned or can't be covered.

    And yes, you can buy insurance that covers maintenance and repairs. You can buy insurance that covers anything, provided the costs can be put into terms of actuarial risks.

    It constantly amazes me the screwy ideas people on here have about the nature of insurance.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    You can call it whatever you want, but that doesn't make it so. What we call "health insurance" today is truthfully a combination of health care futures and insurance against catastrophic care costs.

    If your plan covers a checkup every year that you intend to use, you are not insured against the costs of a checkup. You are simply pre-paying them. In fact, you are incentivized to use whatever your plan covers because you are paying for it in advance. Anything you don't use that is covered can be called waste.

    I don't buy fire insurance with the expectation that my house will burn down, I buy it with the expectation that it might - and that the damage I would suffer combined with the small probability that it will happen (plus the worry it relieves me of, which is subjective) justifies the cost of the policy. The only insurance aspect of these futures arrangements is against future price changes - you're betting the price will rise - but when premiums change as often as they do in the health insurance world that aspect hardly plays into it.

  • John||

    So in other words you don't like such set ups. Good for you. Other people disagree. Do yourself and them a favor and stop assuming you know what fits their needs better than they do or that their decisions are somehow wrong, irrational, or not really buying insurance, because they are not to your tastes.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Oh, do we live in a world where that choice is available? I clearly need to stop taking my crazy pills.

  • John||

    Oh, do we live in a world where that choice is available?

    Yes, we do live in a world where you can leave other people alone and not think you know what is best for them. It is hard to do that and feel smug. But you can do it.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    You aren't normally like this, John. I was clearly talking about the ability of the people to freely choose their preference in how to pay for health care. I don't understand this passion you suddenly have for the status quo.

  • entropy||

    You are right John, except that the Government is responsible for creating these conditions.

    I think the issue here is they are complaining because they believe (and I agree) that most people wouldn't choose that if they had a fair choice.

    I've been asking my employer for years to tell me how much it costs for my health insurance and he can't tell me. It's a group policy thing, he doesn't have itemized costs.

    Can I go online like I do with car insurance and get 5 prices in 15 minutes and see if I'm getting any kind of a good deal on the group policy? No, because I have no idea how much it costs.

    Throw in the screwy payment structure and the hospitals can't tell you how much it will cost either. They think they need full coverage because they see the hospital charge $200 for a band-aid, and don't see that it's because the insurance companies and the government are gypping them $.50 on the dollar.

    Where are the commercials for paramedic midwives at $299.99 a baby? You won't see them because the whole structure is set up to hide costs and move them around like a hot potato.

  • PapayaSF||

    Very much this. And this is a huge opportunity for the Republicans if they were bright enough to take it. Focus on lowering costs, not insurance.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I've been asking my employer for years to tell me how much it costs for my health insurance and he can't tell me. It's a group policy thing, he doesn't have itemized costs.

    Really? He can't even do a simple guestimation? Seems like he should be able to take the total cost of what he's paying for the group insurance policy, divide by the number of employees and give you a ballpark figure.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He can't pay you the difference if you decide that you don't want the coverage. So it's probably easier for him to just dodge the issue.

  • ||

    The thing is, there's no way of knowing what kind of rate reduction the insurance company is providing the group policy.

  • ||

    How fucking dare you tell people what can and cannot be in their policies. It is none of your business. It is a private transaction.

    Chill out

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    How fucking dare you tell people what can and cannot be in their policies. It is none of your business. It is a private transaction.

    Right--because look how much cheaper a normal hospital birth is today thanks to insurance!!

    Oh wait, it isn't--and that's the whole fucking point. When insurance starts covering everything and everyone under the sun, the pool of "free money" results in increased real cost. That's not conjecture, that's an empirical fucking fact that you can't logically rebut.

    It's no longer "insurance," it's just a third-party payer system. It's as true for healthcare as it is for college tuition.

  • John||

    Yeah because insurance companies have no interest in cutting their own costs and print their own money.

    The existence of insurance does not drive up costs you half wit. To think that is to assume insurance companies are looser with their money than you are with yours. In other words, to assume that they are irrational.

    The libertarian hatred of insurance is just fucking bizarre.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah because insurance companies have no interest in cutting their own costs and print their own money.

    Where is your evidence that increased insurance coverage has resulted in a reduction in healthcare costs?

    The existence of insurance does not drive up costs you half wit.

    That's not what I argued, you mendacious fucko. The whole damn point is that increased insurance coverage for every single damn healthcare service is what's driven up the real cost of healthcare. It's called basic supply and demand.

    The federal government spends over $1 trillion on medical coverage. Healthcare costs have gone up at four times the rate of inflation for the last 30 years. Yet somehow I'm supposed to believe that increasing insurance coverage didn't contribute to this.

    50-80% reductions in cost in a cash-based system isn't a fantasy, it's a fucking fact.

  • Calidissident||

    That's because to you, insurance = the status quo and can never be anything different. The love you have for virtually every aspect of the healthcare system pre-Obamacare is what is bizarre. Obamacare has definitely made things worse, but there were definitely a lot of flaws in the previous system

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The libertarian hatred of insurance is just fucking bizarre.

    You know why I hate insurance?

    Because I've been self employed and a business owner for 20+ years. Paid over 150,000 in premiums for myself and family along the way and then my income got slaughtered by Obama's depression to the point that I had to give up health insurance. So I'm out 150K and have been without coverage for several years now.

  • ||

    That's fucking stupid John. Health Insurance in America doesn't act as "insurance" so much as a "third party payer".

    If we actually got it back to an insurance model, that would probably do a lot to reduce costs.

  • Banjos||

    A year is a long, long time in politics. All this outrage will be long gone and replaced with the outrage of finding out what's in the bill. What Cruz et al. did was force Dems to not only own this clusterfuck, but passionately defend it. How anyone can see this as a bad thing is short sighted.

  • XM||

    By Christmas, the shutdown will be distant memory. Syria was all the rage a month ago, and now no one cares.

    The GOP probably should have abandoned the defund strategy earlier and focused more on delaying the individual mandate and repealing the medical device tax (as Suderman suggested). But they eventually did, and the Democrats rejected the Collins plan.

    This was all about the GOP planting seeds to say "I told you so" later. The predictions about the glitches were true. The grumbling over premiums also seem to be happening. Now we wait to see if long waiting time and limited access to doctors will also happen.

    The shutdown can't provide cover for the Dems forever.

  • John||

    Yeah. No one is going to care about the shutdown. Did anyone care about the 1995 shutdown in the 1996 election? No. The Republicans actually gained in Congress during that election. If anything both Clinton and Gingrich won during that shutdown.

  • Robert||

    But in that case they won only by not continuing in the vein of the 1st step that was the Contract With America. Fortunately, though, Clinton didn't continue on his previous course either.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    No. The Republicans actually gained in Congress during that election.

    I think the Donks picked up two seats in 1996 when Slick got re-upped. But I don't think the shutdown had much to do with the election of '96 either way.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You're right, they lost 2 in the house, but gained 2 in the senate.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The Dems couldn't push the "shutdown kills the economy!" canard in 1996 because the biggest boom in the history of man was happening.

  • Calidissident||

    Your timing's a bit off; the economy wasn't doing badly in 96, but the huge boom didn't really take place until Clinton's second term.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Unemployment in 1996 was 5%. The Dow went up 25% during 1996. It was the beginning of the boom.

  • ||

    I'm willing to be that a not-insignificant number of people believe that all of Obamacare's web problems are a result of the Republican Tea Party shutdown.

    So there's ignorance that probably can't be helped.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    On the NYT message board this view is being pushed. It is the Koch Bros. and Republicans causing all the chaos as how could Obama who is saintly and created so many lasting and wonderful institutions fail to implement something so obviously wonderful....right ?

  • XM||

    They're also starting to blame the insurance companies. Surprise!

  • sarcasmic||

    You can't fix stupid.

  • nailzer||

    "Stupid is as stupid does"

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The lousy rollout of the federal exchange is self-inflicted.

    They should license California's state system if they had any sense.

  • Sevo||

    "They should license California's state system if they had any sense."

    The CA system that can't yet claim a single person has gotten insurance?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    CA claimed 40,000 as of Thursday.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It wouldn't have made a difference. California's state system is unique to California. You have no clue whether or not they would have been able to roll out a vastly higher-scaled national system in the same time frame.

    The contract to set up this $650 million clusterfuck was farmed out to a Canadian corporation that was used to dealing with healthcare exchanges for a country with 10% of our population. Whether it was them or the California contractor, the result would have likely been the same, if people had been honest with President Cornball and told him that a fully functioning system could not be established in the timeframe and at the scale he wanted it done.

  • Jon Lester||

    We still have over a year before the midterms. If Democrats are so confident of the ACA's ultimate success, to the point of betting their political fortunes on it, then it should be allowed to play itself out, and from the looks of it now, Republicans shouldn't have to make any active effort to gain from it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They haven't. BO (illegally) delayed the employer mandate until 2015.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Which means that the pain will be dialed up again right before the presidential elections in 2016.

  • PapayaSF||

    What does Obama care about that? He's not running again. It's been clear for years that he only cares about the Democratic Party to the extent it serves him. Heck, he may be hoping for a Republican victory in 2016: that way he can be seen as more of a martyr, and all the crap he's created or extended gets to be blamed on the GOP from 2016 onward.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That is undoubtedly true.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January.

    Preliminary figures suggest a benefit increase of roughly 1.5 percent, which would be among the smallest since automatic increases were adopted in 1975, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

    Next year's raise will be small because consumer prices, as measured by the government, haven't gone up much in the past year.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....27187.html

    Inflationistas keep telling us that prices are out of control.

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe you should ask your mom if she's been paying more for the groceries you eat when you climb the stairs out of her basement.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Next year's raise will be small because consumer prices, as measured by the government, haven't gone up much in the past year."

    1) Overspending eventually causes inflation. If you're trying to debunk that, then you should write your argument up and go collect your Nobel Prize. But don't hold your breath.

    2) Anemic growth because of the Obama Administration's stupid policies is nothing to brag about. Obamabots bragging about anemic growth are dumber than creationists.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Next year's raise will be small because consumer prices, as measured by the government, haven't gone up much in the past year.

    Refutes its own point. Dumbass!

  • ||

    In all fairness, this is actually a good strategy to cut entitlements while claiming you're not.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Fucked by government data again, dumbass:

    http://www.economics-charts.co.....i-1913.png

  • The Late P Brooks||

    One couple I know has decided against having a second child because they could not afford the expected hospital bill for a birth under their new plan.

    I'm okay. I just... there's something in my eye.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "House Republicans are worried that the government shutdown cost them the opportunity to highlight flaws associated with the rollout of Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges."

    The solution to that problem is to hold hearings on it.

    You create a news event. You bring in the people who are responsible for the roll-out and ask them embarrassing questions.

    I'm not making this stuff up!

    They've seen Congressional hearings before, and if John Boehner is so incompetent that he hasn't arranged for hearings on the roll-out of ObamaCare yet, then that's yet another reason why he should be removed as Speaker.

    ...either that, or Boehner doesn't really want the Republicans to publicly oppose ObamaCare. We should always keep in mind that the reason the Tea Party formed outside of the Republican Party is in no small part due to the leadership of John Boehner.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Just like those hearings on Solyndra, Benghazi, and Fast+Furious created news events?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some hearings garner more attention than others. If they were holding hearings about the ObamaCare roll-out--while the government was shutdown over ObamaCare? yeah, they would get a lot of attention.

  • ||

    An Obamacare meeting would be different because the media and the pundits will rush to defend their darling and his greatest accomplishment.

    Ordinary people would pay attention because they've been told that it's a big fucking deal that's going to help America.

    Hearings would be a brilliant move, so of course the orange pussy isn't going to do it, he's not that clever.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Those other hearings weren't inconsequential either.

    Lots of Americans wouldn't know anything about Fast and Furious or Solyndra if it wasn't for hearings.

    Only Tulpa would need to be convinced that Congressional hearings generate coverage--he's willful obtuseness on wheels.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The dirty secret is that the Insurance sector wants Obamacare and is paying assholes like Boehner and Cantor to kill efforts at repealing it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Boehner's been the object of Obama's two-minute hate drills...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vvvPZd6_D8

    ...and its really fashionable right now for a lot of people to suggest that Boehner is somehow responsible for the shutdown--as leader of the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party arose out of frustration with both the Obama Administration's and Bush Administration's TARP support. Boehner was Bush's point man in the House. We might not have had TARP if it wasn't for John Boehner. Boehner also oversaw the ridiculous overspending during the Bush Administration. He was Bush's champion in getting the prescription drug benefit passed, etc., etc.

    From where I'm standing, the most likely reason Boehner hasn't caved yet? Is because he's afraid that if he did, he might get voted out of the Speakership, if not immediately then after the midterms. But there isn't any reason to think John Boehner is philosophically opposed to more spending, raising the debt limit, or ObamaCare. To the contrary, there are plenty of good reasons to think he supports all of them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I would go so far as to say this:

    Boehner is being projected as the Tea Party's representative to the Obama Administration, but I think he's really the Obama Administration's representative to the Tea Party.

    Every time we say "Fuck you, cut spending"? we should really be addressing it to John Boehner--he's the weakest link.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Agreed.

    Boehner's a peice of shit that needs to be purged.

    Rumor has it that he's going to retire from the house at the end of this term -- to a six figure K Street 'lobbying' job / payoff for some underhanded shit he's pulled.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Boner is indeed scum, but your claims here make no sense. If he wanted to end the attempts to repeal, all he has to do is let the House vote on a blank-check CR (so-called "clean"), which will almost certainly pass; they need less than 20 GOPers to join the Dems. The Senate would then pass it and the prez sign it and game over.

    tbh, it sounds like people know they're going to lose and are searching for some shadowy conspiracy to blame.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Boehner's not going to be worth much on K street if his reputation is completely distroyed.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but where he's workingin 2015 will tell.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    You go to K street after you have done your job to collect your payment. A reputation is meaningless, just time to pick up payment for services rendered while in office.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They're wasting their money pretty badly then, since BO and Harry Reid are already much bigger obstacles to repeal.

  • ||

    Ken, I usually think you're smart, but that would be a terrible idea. You don't want Republicans giving the spectacle of concern-trolling over the glitches on the exchanges by holding hearings about it.
    The glitches are the least of the law's problems. Focusing on them draws attention away from issues like the premiums hikes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Republicans can draw attention to the failure of the roll-out and why the individual mandate should be delayed should be abolished.

    They need to fight this as if they were fighting for the little man against the Democrats who want to sic the IRS on the working poor. The individual mandate is wildly unpopular--the most unpopular part of ObamaCare--and the Republicans should make abolishing it a primary plank in their platform. ...both for the midterms and the next presidential election.

    If ObamaCare can't stand on its own without the individual mandate? then that's just too bad for ObamaCare. I guess we'll have to scrap it and try something else.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Republicans can draw attention to the failure of the roll-out and why the individual mandate should be delayed should be abolished."

    Again, the reason the exchanges are so important is because not being able to get health insurance means you will have to pay a penaltax (if you can afford it), or it means the IRS will come after you; make your life miserable; maybe garnish your wages; maybe ruin your credit...

    If Barack Obama and the Democrats want to insist on siccing the IRS on the working poor anyway--despite the fact that many of them couldn't get insurance except for on the non-functioning exchanges--then, by golly, let 'em run on that...

    I dare them.

  • ||

    Or, they could fix the bugs in the exchanges, which leaves you with nothing to complain about.

    What they need to run on is not that they are getting penaltaxed for not buying a product that they can't get because of the glitches.
    What they ought to run on is that they are being penaltaxed for not buying a product that is insanely overpriced due to the Democrat's idiotic regulations.

    Even if the exchanges worked perfectly, your still being forced to take a significant chunk out of your take-home pay to buy a product that you don't want. And while the D's jump up and down screeching about "free preventive care" your month bills you tell you exactly what they mean by "free".

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Or, they could fix the bugs in the exchanges, which leaves you with nothing to complain about."

    I'm going to question your convictions about how poorly ObamaCare will work.

    You understand that it's going to fail, right? It has no chance of not failing miserably.

    "What they ought to run on is that they are being penaltaxed for not buying a product that is insanely overpriced due to the Democrat's idiotic regulations."

    That's right--costs are going to rise precipitously, and it doesn't matter how high they raise the penaltax if the working poor still can't afford to buy it.

    Reality will have its way. ObamaCare will fail. The opposition needs to be on the record opposing the utter destruction of the healthcare system--especially for the middle class--and they need to be on the record before it all blows up in Obama's face.

    Providing themselves with a forum to oppose the individual mandate because of what it's going to do to the working poor is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They're not going to actually stop ObamaCare from being implemented--the pressure to reopen the government when bond payments come due will be too great. But now's their chance to make their case against the individual mandate.

    Finally, they've got an issue they can harp on that already resonates with average Americans--Americans hate the individual mandate. Even Shrike says he hates the individual mandate!

    They've got Obama and the Democrats by the balls on an issue like that, and you're not going to use it because the Democrats might use Congressional hearings to fix the exchange? That's a small battle in a big war. =We should be looking at the big picture.

    There are midterms coming. There's a presidential election kicking off. There's an individual mandate to get rid of, and according to everyone--including the Obama Administration--ObamaCare has no hope of working without the individual mandate. Get rid of it, and we might get a chance to privatize the healthcare system instead of effectively nationalizing it.

    That's the big picture.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    consumer prices, as measured by the government, haven't gone up much in the past year.

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It is saving tax dollars, pal.

    Unless you are a moocher loading up on government bennies.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It is saving tax dollars, pal."

    You're advocating sluggish economic growth--because it saves the taxpayers' money?

    That's fucking retarded.

    You understand that if the CPI is growing at a low rate and interests rates are low, it's mostly because of dearth of economic growth, right?

    I mean, you understand why Bernanke's done what he's done over the past 5 years, right? I'll give you a hint: it's not because growth in this country is going gangbusters.

    And after five years of Obama stacking more and more regulation on the American economy, believe me, sluggish growth is nothing for the Obama Administration to be proud of. It's a an indictment of his profound economic stupidity.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Measured In Gold, The Story Of American Wages Is An Ugly One
    ...The bottom line is that, in terms of gold, wages have fallen by about 87 percent. To get a stronger sense of what that means, consider that back in 1965, the minimum wage was 71 ounces of gold per year. In 2011, the senior engineer earned the equivalent of 63 ounces in gold. So, measured in gold, we see that senior engineers now earn less than what unskilled laborers earned back in 1965.

    That’s right: today’s highly skilled professional is making less in real, comparative terms than yesterday’s unskilled worker.

    When measured in dollars, wages and prices appear to be rising and, comparing wages to prices, we see only a small loss of purchasing power. However, prices do not tell the whole story, because they reveal nothing about costs. Costs also fell and this explains why the apparent drop in the real wages seems small.

    But measured in gold—and this is crucial to understanding why we need a gold standard—we see reality with clarity. Incomes are about one tenth what they were in the 60’s. Prices are down too, but not as much....

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That's right. It's saving tax dollars, but that doesn't mean I can't have my doubts about the quality of "official" economic numbers.

  • Jordan||

    I guess House Republicans just want to attend Reason's cocktail parties.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    There not Reason's partaez.

    They're the important, cool, people's partaez that bubble boys want to attend because that means their cool and important too.

  • ||

    The South is holding America hostage!

    Another mistake is the failure to recognize that the Southern elite strategy, though bound up with white supremacy throughout history, is primarily about cheap and powerless labor, not about race. If the South and the U.S. as a whole through some magical transformation became racially homogeneous tomorrow, there is no reason to believe that the Southern business and political class would suddenly embrace a new model of political economy based on high wages, high taxes and centralized government, rather than pursue its historical model of a low-wage, low-tax, decentralized system, even though all workers, employers and investors now shared a common skin color.

    So the struggle is not one to convert Southern Baptists to Darwinism or to get racists to celebrate diversity. The on-going power struggle between the local elites of the former Confederacy and their allies in other regions and the rest of the United States is not primarily about personal attitudes. It is about power and wealth.

    For some time, the initiative has rested with the Southern power elite, which knows what it wants and has a plan to get it. The strategy of the conservative South, as a nation-within-a nation and in the global economy, combines an economic strategy and a political strategy.

    Is it suddenly 1857?

  • ||

    The economic strategy is to maximize the attractiveness of the former Confederacy to external investors, by allowing Southern states to out-compete other states in the U.S., as well as other countries if possible, in a race to the bottom by means of low wages, stingy government welfare (which if generous increases the bargaining power of poor workers by decreasing their desperation) and low levels of environmental regulation.

    The South: Come for the jobs, economic freedom, and livable cities and communities, stay for the white hoods and cross burnings!

  • John||

    That is the most appalling ahistorical idiotic piece of writing I have read in a long time. Most people in the South today have no roots in the old Confederacy. The South's population exploded as people from the midwest and northeast moved there for better jobs. Cities like Charlotte and Houston and Nashville are full of former midwesterners and Yankees.

    These people literally know nothing about the country. I bet that asshole has never lived outside of the Northeast or California much less lived in the South. How can you go through life that stupid?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    But they're talking about the elites, not ordinary people. The Bobby Jindals and Nikki Haleys have deep roots in the slaveholding era.

  • John||

    +100

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    nother mistake is the failure to recognize that the Southern elite strategy, though bound up with white supremacy throughout history, is primarily about cheap and powerless labor, not about race.

    Unlike the industrial North, where labor was paid generous wages and warmly welcomed in the decision making process.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Reading that hurt my eyes.

  • Almanian!||

    There's an Obamacare for that.

  • ||

    Comments!

    sabatia 3 hours ago
    Just as they were willing to destroy the Union to preserve their vaunted slavery, now the are willing to destroy the entire nation if they don't get their way, no matter that a clear majority of voters rejected their party, their ideology, their lies, and their thuggishness. Treason.

    Gee, I wonder what this guy is going to do about it. Write angry comments on blogs? Prog impotence is hilarious.

    Chris Herz 1 hour ago
    It is not just the South. Civilization stops just west of the Hudson, south of the Potomac and is not found again until past the western slope of the Sierra Nevada

    Indeed. 2/3 of the country is a failed state!

    JulieSczesny @JulieSczesnyfrom Twitter28m
    @DanteB4u those who've never experienced prejudism, reaped rewards of being on top, locked car doors around the rest of us, don't get it.

    What if you have but you don't agree with progressivism?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    JulieSczesny @JulieSczesnyfrom Twitter28m
    @DanteB4u those who've never experienced prejudism, reaped rewards of being on top, locked car doors around the rest of us, don't get it.

    Probably tweeted from whatever whiteopia she's living in.

  • Calidissident||

    "Chris Herz 1 hour ago
    It is not just the South. Civilization stops just west of the Hudson, south of the Potomac and is not found again until past the western slope of the Sierra Nevada"

    This is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read. And I say this as someone who has lived my entire life in California, and in spite of the clusterfuck that is our government, has no plans to leave.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So, he'd be OK if we secede?

    (and of course PA, OH, IL, MI, NC, VA, CO, NV, IA, MN are all entirely in the uncivilized region and went for Obama....)

  • Rhywun||

    Ditto for this New Yorker. We're not all like that, honest.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Upstate NYS is imho the most pleasant, beautiful part of the country. But it's NOT worth dealing with the nanny-vampire state to live there.

  • Rhywun||

    I grew up in Rochester and Buffalo - but the economies are so wrecked I moved to NYC to make a good living only to watch my neighbors continue to vote for politicians who won't stop ruining places like Rochester and Buffalo.

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    That's funny Rhywun, I grew up in Roch (Penfield) as well, and also moved to NYC to make a decent living.

    And yes, the NYS gov, owned and operated by and for the benefit of NYC, won't stop until the entirety of the state north of Westchester is gutted and basically becomes a giant national park populated by the vacation homes of NYC residents.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If the South and the U.S. as a whole through some magical transformation became racially homogeneous tomorrow, there is no reason to believe that the Southern business and political class would suddenly embrace a new model of political economy based on high wages, high taxes and centralized government

    No shit.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The strategy of the conservative South, as a nation-within-a nation and in the global economy, combines an economic strategy and a political strategy.

    SRSLY?

  • PapayaSF||

    How is the conservative South a "nation-within-a-nation" any more than the liberal big cities?

  • Rhywun||

    Duh, one of those is "reality-based".

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Best advice for Republicans' political prospects in 2014 and beyond is to get out of the way and let Barry do his thing. The moron has stumbled from getting schooled by Putin on Eric Snowden to getting schooled by Putin on Syria to implementing Barrycares like most people drop shit - all in only three months.

    And what is everyone talking about instead? Ted Cruze and his grandstanding. Get that guy off the stage. Whenever the Congress is laying low Barry's poll numbers drop; indeed the Republicans are most politically effective when Congress is in recess leaving Barry all by himself.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    get out of the way and let Barry do his thing.

    The problem with that strategy is it's much, much harder to end a program, no matter how ill-conceived or dysfunctional, once it has been established.

    I believe that is what motivated this "doomed" last ditch attempt to kill it.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The problem with that strategy is it's much, much harder to end a program, no matter how ill-conceived or dysfunctional, once it has been established.

    I believe that is what motivated this "doomed" last ditch attempt to kill it.

    With Barrycares I think that normal paradigm is suspect. The Clowncrats got off the hook in 2012 on Barrycares because the Republicans inexplicably wound up with Romneycares, so there seems to have been some silent agreement nobody talk healthcare in that election cycle. Barry didn't want to bring it up, neither did Mitty.

    But now its getting pretty inescapable, which is why Barry's been illegally punting all the inconvenient bits. He'll punt the inconvenient bits past 2014, you wait and see, but the damage is being done already. When people get mired in facts on the ground, media narratives don't matter near as much. And people are getting the DMV treatment on Barrycares like any rational observer knew would happen.

    The wingnuts have a clear shot to run against Barrycares without Mitty around in 2014. And they will, unless they're trying to explain the antics of a Ted Cruz all the time - he's the new Michelle Bachmann: Popular at the caucus level of his party, toxic and creepy to every other polity beyond it. That smarmy fuck is quite an albatross for the Republican Party to be carrying around as a primary face of their brand; look at the damage he's doing to his party now.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Civilization stops just west of the Hudson, south of the Potomac and is not found again until past the western slope of the Sierra Nevada

    Paging Diogenes!

  • Plopper||

    For once Tulpa is right. This shutdown tactic is stupid, and will continue to be a strategical blunder.

    They do need to be making it as hard as possible for the masters of spinjitsu to spin this shit however they like. Instead they've made it super easy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They do need to be making it as hard as possible for the masters of spinjitsu to spin this shit however they like. Instead they've made it super easy.

    There is not a shred of evidence to qualify this statement.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The WSJ poll would seem to support it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ...that's it? Nate Silver knows this is just noise.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Uh, yeah, OK Cyto. Is there any piece of evidence I could point to that you wouldn't attempt to rationalize away?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The WSJ poll would seem to support it.

    The poll that oversamples government employees by 100%

  • Winston||

    So I suppose the choices are to cave earlier as supposed to later? Really makes me optimistic about the future.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Its not quite so digital. The smart politics, like I was saying a month ago, would be to threaten shut-down etc. unless the Democrats did two things:

    1. Kill off the get-out-of-Barrycares exemption Congressional staff got.

    2. Fully enact Barrycare or fully delay Barrycare. Democrats want it? They love it? Then eat it, pukes. Employer mandate and all.

    Clowncrats would be floundering right now if wingnuts had gone that route. But where's the opportunity for a low-rent megalomaniac like Ted Cruz to grandstand about that? And of course Congressional staff is kind of a bipartisan interest group. It tells you where priorities really are with what they do.

  • Winston||

    Except the Dems would reject that leading to shutdown which they would blame on the GOP for not compromising. Just they are doing now and did back in 1995.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    They would reject it, and it just might lead to a shutdown - leaving Clowncrats explaining they're willing to shut down the government so their staff and Big Evil Business get off Barrycares.

    Much shittier optics.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That really doesn't sound very different from the current situation.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The Clowncrats right now get to talk about how Republicans are sabotaging 'settled' law and being sore losers - a very different narrative. Plus, not really but via the 'narrative,' get to pin Barrycares ineptitude on them.

    But shit, even Jon Stewart didn't let the DHS mandarin-bitch off the hook with punting on the employer mandate - even in the midst of a shutdown. Its The Republicans really fucked up here, and managed to turn lemonade into a lemon.

  • Winston||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The libertarian hatred of insurance is just fucking bizarre.

    If you are going to pretend a Starbucks "coffee club" card is Coffee Insurance, then yeah, I'm gonna hate it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If drinking coffee could prevent a big insured loss -- as is the case with regular checkups preventing bigger more expensive medical problems -- then it would make sense for insurance to cover it.

  • Sevo||

    If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs if we had eggs.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Shouldn't you be off dehumanizing deities somewhere?

  • Sevo||

    More fun poking holes in your supposed 'arguments'.

  • John||

    So if my home insurer installs a smoke detector in my house I am no longer buying insurance? Yeah thAt makes sense

    God people on here are stupid when it comes to insurance.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And you're unwilling to confront the mathematics of the issue. That's hardly our fault.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    One good sign: veterans (some in wheelchairs and Segways) remove barricades from various DC memorials, bring them back to the White House.

    The snipers on the roof are a nice touch.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But a heads up - be ready to hear *a lot* about one of the demonstrators carrying a Confederate battle flag.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Yes, that was an unfortunate choice.

    You know who else was an unfortunate choice...

  • Almanian!||

    You know who else carried a Confederate Battle Flag...

  • Almanian!||

    You know who else carried a Confederate Battle Flag...

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