It's a Paternalistic World as Obamacare Advocates Admit Their Love for Bossing Us Around

Lego hospitalStefan-XpPresident Obama's famous promise that Americans would be able to keep health plans they like, even after the passage of Obamacare, has proven to be so much bullshit. Caught between immovable quotes and irresistable reality, Barry and friends now double down, explaining to us that, yes it was a lie, but the deception was for the greater good, whether or not we individually have been shafted. Welcome to a world of bare-faced paternalism, in which pundits and presidents sigh in relief at finally treating us all as so many little pieces in the snap-together Lego world they're cobbling together to replace whatever it was that we inhabited before.

President Obama himself dismissed complaints from people losing their health coverage because of the Affordable Care Act with an updated version of "gotta break a few eggs." In Boston, he shrugged and said, "a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good." Since Americans were too stupid to recognize that their health plans were "substandard," it's no great loss that they were swept away. People should shut up and shop for a new plan that complies with the law, he suggested, whatever the price or access to care.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post took a similar for-your-own-good view of the Affordable Care Act's deceptions.

Health-care consultant Bob Laszewski buys insurance on the individual market in Maryland. His plan's benefits are excellent. "I can access every provider in the national Blue Cross network––about every doc and hospital in America––without a referral and without higher deductibles and co-pays," he writes...

But his plan is ending. The replacements all have tighter networks, higher deductibles, and higher premiums. And Laszewski isn't alone. Many Americans who currently buy insurance on the individual markets are seeing their plans canceled and finding the replacement plans have higher premiums or stingier benefits. For them, President Obama's promise that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," is proving a cruel hoax.

But that's OK, you see, Klein says, because Laszewski's attractive insurance policy existed under the old rules, and had to make way for the more inclusive, and expensive, new medical order.

But all the possible solutions have tradeoffs. Laszewski's preference, he said in a recent interview, would've been for the administration to grandfather in more existing insurance plans. That would've meant higher insurance premiums in the exchanges, as healthier people who're able to buy into the individual market now would've just stayed there. High-risk pools or any other kind of direct, government-provided insurance or subsidy for the sick needs to be paid for by someone.

There are no easy solutions to the health-care trilemma. Someone always loses.

And it's apparently the administration's job to pick the losers according to its policy preferences. Laszewski is too healthy and successful to benefit from subsidies or mandates that he be sold insurance. That makes him a loser. So screw you, Bob!

Father knows bestFather knows bestMatt Welch pointed, last week to David Firestone similarly rolling his eyes in the pages of the New York Times at people upset over the federal government's increasingly intrusive health policies. "Republicans were apparently furious that government would dare intrude on an insurance company's freedom to offer a terrible product to desperate people," Firestone wrote.

Yeah, such a "terrible product" that people are pissed that the new law makes those products go away. But they don't know better, so the decision has to be made for them.

But perhaps the most open and honest endorsement of paternalism you'll see that doesn't actually use the words, "all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state" is in a column by Timothy Noah at MSNBC in which he takes Charles Krauthammer to task for daring to use the "p" word as a criticism:

What’s most striking here is Krauthammer’s overconfidence that the word “paternalism” will be received as a crushing blow. In truth it is neither exceptional nor disturbing for government to place certain limits on individual choice, even when those choices affect nobody else.

It is illegal to kill yourself, or to sell yourself into slavery, or to sell your organs, or to practice prostitution. It is illegal to take certain drugs, either recreationally (because they’re addictive and/or potentially harmful) or as treatment for disease (because their efficacy is not yet proven and/or the side effects are unknown).  State laws place maximum limits on how much interest to charge for a private loan. Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states.  And if a state trooper catches you driving 90 m.p.h., you will be fined, even if yours was the only vehicle on the highway.

There’s certainly room for argument about whether particular paternalistic laws are just and humane. But any notion that government paternalism in general is inherently illegitimate stands well outside the mainstream of practical governance.

You'll notice that almost all of the restrictions and bans that Noah cites as examples of beneficial paternalism have been specifically criticized by libertarians and other advocates of personal freedom as government overreach—especially pernicious and dangerous overreach in the case of drug prohibition. The one exception would be selling yourself into slavery, which many libertarians consider a logical impossibility, since you can't alienate your free will. Maybe that ability will be available as a rider on the new exchange plans.

Noah dispenses with that inconvenient philosophical hurdle to his "we all dig paternalism" argument by simply dismissing consistent objections to exactly that as "outside the mainstream of practical governance." Paternalism is nothing for which to apologize, he tells us, loud and proud. It isn't a matter of whether we should all be pushed around by the state, but only the specifics of the pushing. Nothing else rates discussion.

So welcome to world of paternalism as explicit policy, in which substituting the preferences of politicians for our own choices is a moral good, and lying to us about the outcome of rules and laws is just fine in the pursuit of a worthy goal.

And if you object? Well, "someone always loses" in the pursuit of the greater good.

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  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    But all the possible solutions have tradeoffs. Laszewski's preference, he said in a recent interview, would've been for the administration to grandfather in more existing insurance plans. That would've meant higher insurance premiums in the exchanges, as healthier people who're able to buy into the individual market now would've just stayed there. High-risk pools or any other kind of direct, government-provided insurance or subsidy for the sick needs to be paid for by someone.

    Of course Klein is a member of the media elite, so he doesn't ever have to worry about his health insurance and financial security being sacrificed in a government mandated 'trade-off'.

  • radar||

    Well, let's see here - Bob Laszewski's bio:

    "Robert Laszewski is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, Inc. (HPSA), a policy and marketplace consulting firm specializing in assisting its clients through the significant health policy and market change afoot. Before forming HPSA in 1992, Mr. Laszewski was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Group Markets, for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group."

    But yeah, Ezra Klein and his polisci bachelor's and extensive experience blogging for Dem Party propaganda organs totally blows Bob Laszewski's credibility away!

  • Hyperion||

    Whatever is good for the ruling elite collective is for the best. Individuals struggling to ensure what is best for themselves are just selfish. And racists. And they hate science and children.

    Forward, comrades!

  • Tman||

    If you haven't, watch the video from this weekend between Chris Wallace Dr. Ezekiel "Death Panel" Emanuel, if you wanted to know what these guys think of you.

    http://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2.....all-video/

    Dr. Death Panel, whilst being a complete tool who rudely interrupts the discussion constantly, keep bringing up the part about how Obamacare was supposed to stop the idea of "cost sharing", where people who don't have health insurance pass the costs of their care on to those of us who do. The ACA was supposed to fix this.

    The part that has always driven me crazy about this argument is that THIS IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING NOR GOING TO HAPPEN WITH OBAMACARE. By giving several million people subsidized insurance whilst eliminating pre-existing clauses from insurance policies you are effectively raising the costs of health insurance (if you can even still keep your plan) FAR HIGHER than any "cost sharing" issue that existed before.

    This already happened with Romneycare in Massachusetts.

    I hate these guys. I really do.

  • ||

    Tried to watch it, couldnt do it. Got to the part where Emanuel was explaining why grandfathering in plans amounted to forcing insurance companies to cancel them so they wont be grandfathered in and feared for the safety of my computer. I had to stop it.

    I know slick car salesmen that would be ashamed to spew such lies and horseshit. These people are so over the top it rises to the level of psychosis.

    I will mention again that president fuckwit's advice to people who cant log into the website to pick up the phone was completely worthless. They get put in line with people trying to log into the website. I believe one of the commenters here predicted that over a week ago.

  • Sevo||

    "I know slick car salesmen that would be ashamed to spew such lies and horseshit"

    I know a lying piece of shit in the WH who hasn't the decency to be embarrassed by such dishonesty.
    What was that about Nixon and used cars? Nixon is a paragon of ethical behavior by comparison.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I watched that clip. If I ever saw a giant douchenozzle whose rear end I wanted to kick into next Thursday, it would be Ezekial Emanuel. The guy was a two-bit thug who shouted down both the guy in opposition to him and Chris Wallace.

  • Blueman||

    Wow. What an insufferable bastard. Yet another caring liberal/progressive.

  • ||

    I have to admit that one valuable thing has come out of the disastrous Obama presidency: mask slippage of epic proportions. The morons seem to think that Obama will be president forever, and that what they've exposed themselves to be will never be called to account. I really have to say, I love how incredibly stupid they are. We're all very lucky, actually. If they weren't retarded cretins, we'd be living in camps branded by laserscan by now.

  • John||

    IT is because they are delusional and think Obama got a majority not because the Republicans ran shitty candidate or a bunch of people wanted to vote for the first black President for whatever reason but because they really believe all of the prog bullshit. The idea that once they can no longer get people to vote because "its the first black President" they might have to justify their results, never occurred to them. It is great.

    So much for all of their bullshit about how they "care". Yeah, they care so much they are going to tell you how stupid you are and how you are better off losing your insurance.

  • trshmnstr||

    "IT is because they are delusional and think Obama got a majority not because the Republicans ran shitty candidate or a bunch of people wanted to vote for the first black President for whatever reason but because they really believe all of the prog bullshit. "

    You can see this in the hype that comes after each election that goes their way. Headlines abound that herald "Is this the last straw for the GOP?" "Have Rethuglicans finally gone extinct?" "Have we progressed beyond the Right?"

    They think that liberty and individualism has a sell by date of 50 years ago, and they're just waiting for the public to clean out the fridge.

  • ||

    And ObamaCare is like biting into a chocolate and discovering that it's got some sort of nasty orange cream filling.

    Legislation is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.

  • Michael Price||

    I want crunchy frog! At least more than I want some of the other flavours I'm likely to get from these guys.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6uLfermPU

  • Hyperion||

    The ruling elite class are no more concerned about mask slippage. Their compliant state controlled media are on the job with damage control and spreading the latest propaganda. And they know that their sheep are content in the grazing pasture and will not cause any problems. As for us trouble makers, well the NSA knows who we are, and they have plans for us as well.

  • ||

    Indeed, it took about 5 seconds after people's insurance policies started getting cancelled for them to decide that those were "junk policies". No need to bother actually interviewing any of these people. We know a priori that those were junk policies by virtue of the fact that they weren't in compliance with the ACA.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Eh, the mask wasn't hiding much in the first place. Kind of like that pair of yoga pants you got with a true-to-life artistic rendering of your micropenis painted on the front. Are you ever going to stop wearing those to the Koch Anarcholateralist Commission meetings, by the way? They're making people uncomfortable...

  • ||

    I have every right to wear my yoga pants! I fully intend to go to a hot yoga class after the meeting! I just have to sober up first!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    C'mon, man. We swore you in as Chairman last meeting and you still couldn't be bothered to wear something dignified. Tell you what, stop wearing flip-flops with socks to the meetings and we'll call it square.

    Oh, and congratulations on your win, Mr. Chairman.

  • Brett L||

    Now that I'm married, hot yoga is as close as I get to flirting with strippers.

  • Warty||

    true-to-life artistic rendering of your micropenis painted on the front

    TINY BIRD!!!
    HUGE COCK!!!
    CHICS GET HOT

  • ||

    DICKTOWEL 4 EVAH

    I actually bought a Dicktowel hat from them. I'm looking at it right now.

  • Hugh Akston||

    This is burned in by laser scan. Some of us were kept alive... to work... pay insurance premiums. The healthcare exchanges ran night and day.

  • phandaal||

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is passed. The system goes on-line October 1, 2013. Human decisions are removed from medicine. Obamacare begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, November 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, unfortunately, I think the odds on favorite of outcomes is that we're all "called to account". Let's face it, the likely next in office will either be another Democrat, who'll just foist us more of the exact same brand of shit, or an Establishment Republican, who'll just use the precedents Obama established to find new and innovative ways of screwing us over.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    So long as we're to have a benevolent class of dictators, can we at least have a more impressive one? Not that it is morally any different, but it rankles that the "elite" of today are supposed to be 20-something douchebags who write for the Washington Post, Slate, and Gawker.

    Say what you will about them, at least the old-school communists understood that people like Ezra Klein should be pushing the cart and not riding in it.

  • Hyperion||

    So long as we're to have a benevolent class of dictators, can we at least have a more impressive one?

    Well, once the current regimes turn is up, as long as you think the Hillary regime will be more impressive, then you are in luck.

  • Michael Price||

    So I'm not in luck.

  • Lord Humungus||

    at least the Commie had a nice collection of beards and mustaches.

  • Redmanfms||

    Say what you will about them, at least the old-school communists understood that people like Ezra Klein should be pushing the cart and not riding in it.

    Ehh, not really. You should read some of the Communist propagandists/intellectuals from the last century from places like the Soviet Union and Cuba. To be a "true believer" in Communism, you have to be stupid and childish, and it really shows in their writing.

    Or you can be evil, know what you are doing has no positive conclusion and not give a fuck because you love power. The leaders usually fall into this group and the propagandists/intellectuals the first.

  • SugarFree||

  • John||

    Shouldn't they be throwing her under the bus to save dear leader? I guess it really is a cult.

  • trshmnstr||

    No, because then they'd need maternity coverage, and that would be bad for obamacare.

  • ||

    Sebellius would be impregnated by a bus? WTF?

  • ||

    I do not understand how you can read sites like Gawker. You have some crazy masochist impulse that I would love to help along with a car battery, some pliers, a scalpel, and some lemon juice. Even when reading Deadspin I have to gloss over their links to other Gawker sites.

  • SugarFree||

    Horrifying Rape Joke! OMG! RAPE CULTURE!

    They wouldn't last two minutes on the real internet.

  • ||

    You are truly the most vile human being I've ever encountered, and that includes Hugh, Warty, and ProL. And ProL is a lawyer. Oh wait, that means he isn't human. Ignore that last part.

  • Brett L||

    Ah, USENET, where rape jokes were the warmup to the real insults about your D&D characters.

  • Warty||

    willburnforfoodUNeetzan Zimmerman911L
    Annnd here come the "humorless feminazis, it's just a joke!" assholes. I don't understand people who don't believe rape culture is real, but I realize 20% of Americans are basically functionally mentally challenged. Today 10:39am

    20%, you say.

  • Hyperion||

    I guess I am guilty as well. I was in a pretty good mood all day yesterday, when for some fucked up reason, I had an impulse to read the comments at HuffPo on the story about Rand Paul being a plagiarizer. It made me lose just a little more faith in mankind.

  • Hyperion||

    LMAO. Now there there is funny, I don't care who you are!

  • Tman||

    This was mentioned over the weekend when we were talking about this picture, in that the guy who gave it to her is State Senator Brian Kelsey. Besides this awesome photo-op, he is also currently sponsoring a bill that will permanently outlaw income taxes in the State of Tennessee.

    I like the cut of his jib.

  • NoVAHockey||

    promote that man!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Julia would be dead right now if not for Obama's gentle, guiding hand.

  • JW||

    How do you know she's not already dead? I haven't seen her in years.

  • steve sturm||

    There's another element that isn't being picked up. Insurance isn't like retail, where stores can pretty much put on their shelves whatever they would like to. Insurance companies can't sell policies that haven't been approved by state regulators (both terms of coverage and pricing).

    And in blue states like California (home of the woman writing in today's WSJ), those regulators are more likely than not to be blue-blooded Democrats who are not known for the fond feelings for the companies they regulate.

    So in effect, Obama is trying to sell the idea that blue state regulators have sold out their constituents by allowing insurance companies to peddle c**p.

  • trshmnstr||

    So in effect, Obama is trying to sell the idea that blue state regulators have sold out their constituents by allowing insurance companies to peddle c**p.

    This assumes that your average constituent knows how the insurance market works.

  • JW||

    So in effect, Obama is trying to sell the idea that blue state regulators have sold out their constituents by allowing insurance companies to peddle c**p.

    Just for future reference, here are a list of words that are permitted for use on H&R:

    crap
    shit
    piss
    fuck
    cunt
    cocksucker
    motherfucker
    tits
    ass
    cooch
    boobs
    titfucker
    cuntfucker
    shitcunt
    assfuck
    fuckhead
    shithead
    motherfuckingshithead
    goddamncocksuckingmotherfuckingpisscunt

    Feel free to add to this list.

  • Warty||

    Twat
    Twatcunt
    Bitchtwat
    Asstwat
    Twatshit
    Shittwat

  • Troy muy grande boner||

    Shitass
    Fuck-stain
    Shit-weasle
    cunt-bag
    Douchebag
    dick
    prick

  • Andrew S.||

    At the end of the room a loud speaker projected from the wall. The Director walked up to it and pressed a switch.
    "… all wear green," said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, "and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta."
    There was a pause; then the voice began again.
    "Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …"

    Some people are worried we've slipped into an Orwellian 1984-style nightmare. I'm more worried that it's a Brave New World.

  • Hyperion||

    You really have to give the progs more credit. We've already topped both in degree of stupid. It's more like we are living in a real life version of the film 'Idiocracy'.

  • Andrew S.||

    I'm not sure about that. I think I'd rather have Herbert Mountain Dew Camacho as President than the guy that currently holds that position. Or the guy that held that position from 2001-2009, for that matter.

  • Almanian!||

    Well, I ain't never seen no plant growin' in no TOILET.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

  • waffles||

    It's always been Brave New World and never 1984. We must remain mindless consumers and aware of our class and proper place. The brutality of the 1984 world would be too shocking. Instead we have Soma.

  • Rasilio||

    It's funny, In high school we had to do a paper arguing which of those 2 societies was worse. I was the only one in the class who picked Brave New World specifically because it was so soft and easy and enough people might actually prefer that society to where they are now that it could happen.

  • Robert||

    Sheesh, doesn't anyone realize it's more like Brazil? In those other worlds, things actually work.

  • Troy muy grande boner||

    I'm more worried that it's a Brave New World.

    One of the dumbest articles from reason was how Neal Postman's Amusing OUrselves to Death (whose thesis was that Huxley, not orwell, got it right), was wrong.

    American Idol, smart phones, angry birds, Nascar, internet porn, etc.

    Give me a fucking break. One reason this total state is going to win is that fuckstain, pussy-ass American are sufficiently amused. Just give them a free fucking app and a facebook like and they will be happy.

  • Troy muy grande boner||

    Personally, I can't wait for live executions. I hope they fucking drag people out of their house at random. I will get Warty grade hard on to some proggy regulation writing fuckhead crying, "But I voted for the king, I voted for the king" as they drag and kick him to the van. Then to watch his fucking brains splat on the wall. I hope I get to see that.

  • Christophe||

    If it gets that bad, we'll be seeing it from the privileged vantage point of being right next to them on the wall.
    I don't want that.

  • Fluffy||

    That would've meant higher insurance premiums in the exchanges, as healthier people who're able to buy into the individual market now would've just stayed there.

    Um...no, asshole.

    The providers in Healthcare.gov are the same providers being forced to cancel plans.

    They ALREADY HAD Bob in the "pool". (A disgusting concept, but I'll play along for a minute.) This was not about getting Bob INTO the "pool".

    This was about deliberately fucking Bob and making him pay more into the "pool" than he already did.

  • Almanian!||

    I peed in the pool. Go ahead, arrest me - I don't give a fuck any more.

    *throws back head, chugs remainder of Southern Comfort, throws bottle aside*

  • Rasilio||

    At least you didn't drop a Babe Ruth in it

  • Redmanfms||

    Hey, it's not so bad.

  • prolefeed||

    Burst out laughing at the alt text on the pic -- strong work, J.D.!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    High-risk pools or any other kind of direct, government-provided insurance or subsidy for the sick needs to be paid for by someone.

    That's it! Journalist tax! Now! For great Social Justice!

    It is illegal to kill yourself,


    Name me one person who has been convicted of killing themselves.

    or to sell yourself into slavery,


    Once upon a time it was. There are those of us who argue that the present child support system is a form of indentured servitude/debtor's prison (pay off your debt, or we'll put you in the workhouse until someone pays your way out or you work it off in a prison shop).

    or to sell your organs,


    A peculiar farce of the law. You can't be trusted to properly value your organs, but the state-approved donor boards and medical regimes can.

    or to practice prostitution.

    Because women are just too simple-minded to know what's best for them, amirite?

  • Redmanfms||

    You have to admit though, it is kind of amusing to watch supposed left-wingers tout the ideas of Christian moralist crusaders.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Name me one person who has been convicted of killing themselves.

    In theory you can be prosecuted for attempting suicide, though I don't know if this has ever been done. The main purpose of the law is to sanction the use of force to prevent suicide.

  • Michael Price||

    "Because women are just too simple-minded to know what's best for them, amirite?"
    Men too.

  • John||

    One of the many laughable fuck ups in this bill is how they screwed the very people they were trying to give free shit too. They mandated all of these different coverages because doing so would make it cheaper for favored groups to get the coverage they want. Making old ladies and single men pay for maternity coverage is great for the women who actually want it because it makes the coverage cheaper, even if it does fuck everyone else.

    The problem is no one is every free shit group. So, sure the woman about to have kids is just ecstatic to see that maternity coverage, and her neighbor is so happy to finally see that birth control and mammogram coverage and the family across the street finally have that mental health coverage they have been wanting. But since they are all paying for each others' free shit not just getting their own, none of them are happy. Free birth control is great until you realize it comes at the cost of paying for someone else' rehab coverage.

    They were so greedy and so short sighted I honestly don't think they realized it. I really think it occurred to them that giving everyone free shit would end up effectively giving almost no one free shit.

  • Warty||

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks they had to fuck it up this bad on purpose because they want single payer. They can't have been this stupid, could they? But no, I think they really were as stupid as they appear. Which is stunning, really.

  • John||

    It is kind of awe inspiring when you think about it.

  • JW||

    Never attribute to stupidity, to what can easily be explained by power-mad, Fuck You That's Why, mendacity.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I think they didn't stop to consider they might be on the wrong side of the "only the rich" will pay more divide. This had to have gotten jumbled with the underlying soak-the-rich rhetoric from this administration.

  • ||

    I've said it many times, but we are so fucking lucky these people are abject, drooling morons. Their absolute incompetence, stupidity, and overreach are the only things protecting us from their venality. And we're still getting fucked, but at least not as hard as they would prefer.

  • Brett L||

    Actually, my underlying theory of the world states that even if you got the smartest, most competent people in the world together to run the US government, you'd only get marginally better results because the complexity is necessarily more than anyone, or really at this point any group, can manage. There are so many programs working at so many cross purposes that the theoretical optimum isn't really any better than this. But yes, having them be openly small, petty, vile, and cunning as opposed to smart helps make my point.

  • ||

    100% agreed. In fact, it's their overarching arrogance that they actually can manage such a complex system that makes them so bonecrushingly stupid. My contempt for these clowns is so severe that putting me in a room with them would result in me either laughing hysterically at them or spitting in their faces, or both.

  • tarran||

    You need to pick a more effective middle option; flinging feces.

  • Troy muy grande boner||

    Remind me to take you to dinner at Taco Bell. That ought to get things moving.

  • ||

    They really are that fucking stupid. They wanted to give everyone free mental health coverage and substance abuse treatment and give dental care to kids, but they didn't realize that making the "mandatory minimum" health plan include ALL of that shit just made them look like complete total asshole fucking everyone up the ass.

    You have to be FINED for not having coverage for substance abuse? Seriously? At 2.5% of your income?

    Plus it flies right in the face of this being all about cost-shifting in emergency rooms. Nobody racks up $100,000 in therapy bills in the ER.
    Nobody goes to emergency rehab and doesn't pay the tab.

    I honestly think they are that stupid that they didn't make the connection that making all these things "essential benefits" was functionally equivalent to making it illegal to not have that coverage and fining people for not having it.

  • John||

    And even if they were, how is having an insurance company pay for it going to be cheaper?

    And worse still, if you make people insurance and coverage they didn't before, that is going to make them seek coverage they otherwise would have forgone. I am not sure if I have a drinking problem but since insurance is paying for rehab, I guess I will go talk to that counselor now.

    They thought forcing people to buy insurance was going to cut costs. It is astounding that anyone could be that stupid.

  • Troy muy grande boner||

    That is why I laughed when SCOTUS denied the expansion of medicaid. That this is ending up fucking the people that it is intended to help is so fucking awesome.

    "Thank you, sir. May I have another."

  • Slammer||

    Who the fuck is this cocksucker Timothy Noah? I swear to god I will fight that kind of pigfucking fascist tooth and nail to the very end.

  • Warty||

    But any notion that government paternalism in general is inherently illegitimate stands well outside the mainstream of practical governance.

    The last thing I would ever want to be is something this puny stick-limbed cocksucker thinks is "mainstream". Fuck him. Fuck him. We who are not as others

  • Aloysious||

    +1 more metal.

  • Michael Price||

    You're outside the mainstream? BURN THE HERETIC!

  • ||

    But any notion that government paternalism in general is inherently illegitimate stands well outside the mainstream of practical governance.

    Then why is it every one of these disgusting pieces of human detritus goes apoplectic any time the suggestion is made that there is a legitimate role for government paternalism when it comes to protecting the life of an unborn child?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Paternalism is protecting someone from their own choices. That's not what people fighting against abortion are trying to do.

  • ||

    The progressive keep repeating this lie that the coverage these people had was terrible.

    But if you go look around, you'll find many MANY stories of people who have lost coverage that had relatively low deductibles, covered preventive care, never denied a claim, and so on being canceled. Almost always with the policy holders being forced to switch to plan with higher deductibles and higher premiums.

    It's just pure bullshit to say that these people's insurance plans were "junk plans" that needed to be done away with. They weren't even catastrophic-only plans. Some of them were comprehensive plans with good benefits.

    The reality is, those plans are getting cancelled not because they are junk, they are getting canceled because they aren't community rated. Bet anything the policy holders are people paying below average rates relative to the new rates on the exchange. You cancel their plans and then force them onto the exchange because that funnels more money into the system.

  • John||

    Yes. All of the people I know who are getting screwed are young and healthy and good risks, which most people under 50 are. If didn't have a good plan, you are getting fucked by having your catastrophic plan converted into a plan you can't afford. If you did have a good plan, you are getting fucked by having your insurance converted to community rating or having it changed by your employer to avoid the high benefit tax.

    It is hard to see which lie the Progs are telling themselves. At first it was "this only affects the individual market and will be a big nothing to most people." Now it is, "we are only ending bad plans and giving people good ones."

    The bottom line is that nearly everyone who had insurance before will now have worse insurance. But the program makes up for it by making people who didn't have insurance either buy insurance they probably don't want or can't afford be taxed for the sin of having a job but not a lot of money.

    If this program has a constituency beyond the douche bags who created it, I haven't found it.

    Healthcare, Obama broke it and we now have to buy it.

  • ||

    There are a few winners - people with pre-existing conditions that cost a lot of money to treat. But, almost by definition, there are fewer of those than there are healthy good risks.

    Just by virtue of the fact that everyone is forced to upgrade their plans to cover all sorts of add-ons means that average premiums will rise. Then combine that with the fact that the bulk of the health care costs are spent on a small number of sick people now entering the market, and the cost of that is spread out to many, almost by definition the losers will outnumber the winners. You're making the many pay more to subsidize the few. That's the whole point.

  • John||

    But few people have really expensive pre-existing conditions that were not being treated. This country has a huge charity hospital system. Those people were already getting treatment for free or at greatly reduced costs in many cases. Now they are being forced to buy insurance that will cover a condition they were already having treated.

    Also, not every pre-existing condition is the same. Some such conditions are just annoying but so bad you can't live with it. So say I have a bad knee and need a knee replacement but can't get insurance because its pre-existing/. Even with insurance, I still will have to pay my deductable and co pay and such. If I am poor, I might not do it even with insurance.

    Again, the number of people better off is tiny.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Of course it's bullshit. I remember when they were trying to foist this steaming turd on us. They didn't say a damned thing about how there was a problem of under-insured, whatever the hell THAT's supposed to mean. It was all about the people who didn't have insurance. Never mind that a large portion of those people were uninsured by choice. This is the Pee-Wee Herman "I meant to do that" applied to a population that they hope doesn't have much of a memory.

  • Ramjet||

    In Boston, he shrugged and said, "a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good."

    Head. Exploding. Now. ...complements of Barry the Bastard.

  • ||

    It's almost like he has no idea what is actually going on. He's just reading the bullshit dreamed up by his supporters and assuming that it's true. Obama isn't actually creating the talking points. The talking points are writing themselves in the liberal echo chamber.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Say what you will about them, at least the old-school communists understood that people like Ezra Klein should be pushing the cart and not riding in it.

    Nice.

  • OldMexican||

    Timothy Noah: "In truth it is neither exceptional nor disturbing for government to place certain limits on individual choice, even when those choices affect nobody else."


    "In truth" it is neither exceptional nor disturbing in YOUR MIND for the government to place limits on individual choice. Don't presume to think for others, you liberal piece of shit.

    It is illegal to kill yourself, or to sell yourself into slavery, or to sell your organs, or to practice prostitution.


    Ah, how quaint: A legal positivist. Legal = moral certainty.

    There are no easy solutions to the health-care trilemma. Someone always loses.


    I am always fascinated by how liberals so quick showcase their penchant for equivocation. Just because I am not given a free consultation by the world's top specialist in whatever, does not mean something is being taken away from me. I am left no worse off than before I ever knew of that specialist's existence, all other things remaining equal. Liberals thinking is exactly backwards.

  • John||

    Someone always loses. And those people are now going to vote against the people who caused them to lose.

    The problem is not so much that people lose. The problem is that nitwits like Noah think that since "someone always loses", the losers have no legitimate right to do anything about it.

  • OldMexican||

    Timothy Noah: But any notion that government paternalism in general is inherently illegitimate stands well outside the mainstream of practical governance.


    Oh, yes. I am also fascinated by liberals' penchant for question-begging.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    My rage - it is suppressed. Barely.

  • amagi1776||

    It is illegal to kill yourself, or to sell yourself into slavery, or to sell your organs, or to practice prostitution. It is illegal to take certain drugs, either recreationally (because they’re addictive and/or potentially harmful) or as treatment for disease (because their efficacy is not yet proven and/or the side effects are unknown). State laws place maximum limits on how much interest to charge for a private loan. Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states. And if a state trooper catches you driving 90 m.p.h., you will be fined, even if yours was the only vehicle on the highway.

    Translation - Because we have bad policy here, here and here...you have to listen to our bad health care policy.

  • AReasonableMan||

    "Someone always loses."

    When a crime is committed.

  • Michael Price||

    "There are no easy solutions to the health-care trilemma. Someone always loses."
    Then what's wrong with explaining who loses as part of explaining the plan? Or at least not lying when someone else says that this group of people will probably lose for this and that reason? It is one thing in a democracy to have a plan that the public knows and accepts will make this group lose and that group win. It is quite another to have a plan where the backers know who will win and lose but nobody else does.

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