The Legacy of Obama’s Health Care Lies

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govLess than a week before the October launch of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges, President Obama delivered a speech in Largo, Maryland explaining how the new health care would work, and what Americans in different circumstances could expect.

“Even before the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, about 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance—either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market,” said the president. “So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you—especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this:  If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.”

For the millions of Americans who already had health coverage in the individual market and have since been informed that their existing plan was being canceled in the wake of Obamacare, that is plainly not true. Despite Obama’s assurances, their coverage was not secure from changes brought on by the law.

Obama said these people were wrong to worry that the law would negatively affect them. It turns out those worries were not misplaced.

That’s worth keeping in mind when looking at polls showing that people who lost their individual market coverage are not the only ones worried about the effects the law will have on their current insurance.

Survey data shows a “a striking level of unease about the law among people who have health insurance and aren't looking for government help,” according to an AP report from yesterday. The report draws from information in a newly released Associated Press-GfK poll which finds that almost half of individuals with private coverage say their coverage will be changing next year, and generally those changes will not be for the better: rising costs, high deductibles, and the like. For most people, the culprit is clear: Some 77 percent say Obamacare is to blame.

The reality is more complicated. In some cases, Obamacare may be partially responsible for the insurance changes these Americans are seeing. In many instances, however, there’s no obvious, direct link between the health law and shifts in coverage. Even in cases where it’s possible to establish some connection, it’s often not the entire story. 

But for these Americans, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that President Obama and his fellow Democrats promised a sweeping overhaul that would improve the nation’s health care system for everyone.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to go back and read President Obama’s big health care speech from September of 2009. He argued that reform was necessary not only to help the uninsured, but to help middle class Americans facing rising costs and coverage insecurities. The law, he said, would “provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance” and would slow the growth of health costs for families and businesses as well as for the government. Obamacare, in other words, was supposed to fix what most Americans felt was wrong with the health care system—not simply expand coverage to the uninsured.

That speech, and others like it, contributed to a sense that Obama, along with the rest of the Democratic party, was not merely attempting to reform a small segment of the health insurance market, but was instead taking responsibility for fixing the entire health care system. When Obamacare passed the next year, that’s essentially what the president and his party did.

So in an important political sense, President Obama, and by extension Democrats in Congress, own the American health care system now. And they own all of it. So when any part of it breaks or goes wrong, Obama, the Democratic party, and the health law they passed will be blamed, regardless of whether or not the law is directly responsible. 

The instinct for the White House and its defenders will be to protest that most of these changes in employer coverage are a longstanding part of the existing market, that they happened before Obamacare, and that the law isn’t the cause of every health insurance woe in the nation. Obamacare, they’ll say, is responsible for the part of the system that’s getting better, not the part that’s staying bad.

But Democrats will have a hard time selling this argument to a skeptical public. Partly because it sounds awfully self-serving, taking all the credit and none of the blame. Partly because the impression has already sunk in that Congress doesn't understand the real-world effects the health care law is having. But mostly, however, because President Obama has already lied about who the health law will affect, and how. For lots of Americans, it won’t be easy to trust the president or his party on the subject again. 

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  • LynchPin1477||

    The reality is more complicated. In some cases, Obamacare may be partially responsible for the insurance changes these Americans are seeing. In many instances, however, there’s no obvious, direct link between the health law and shifts in coverage. Even in cases where it’s possible to establish some connection, it’s often not the entire story.

    This is correct, but it will be interesting to see how much premiums increase overall in the next year (and beyond if Obamacare survives that long). Healthcare costs have been increasing for a while but if there is huge spike in parts of the market most affected by Obamacare so far, then it won't be too hard to assign blame. Yes yes, correlation is not causation, but in this case I don't think it will be hard to disentangle the two.

  • John||

    Is it? Suderman provides no citation for that assertion other than his ass where he apparently pulled it from.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Is it true that the insurance market is complex and that costs increase for reasons other than Obamacare? Yes, just look at the past several decades of healthcare costs. That doesn't undermine the argument that Obamacare will make things worse.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, the Suder-Man has done some real decent work on exposing Obamacare bullshit. I wouldn't hold his feet to the fire based on the above comment.

  • ||

    Well you're not John.

  • John||

    Can you really say "in many instances"? That to me at least implies that a good number if not most of these cases are not really do to Obamacare. I am skeptical of that.

  • GILMORE||

    Skeptical of *what*, john?

    The language being used here is basically this =

    "some things happen in some cases for some reasons with some insurance products the various causes of which may or may not have any connection to the ACA but which may sometimes be suggested as having some influence on these things regardless"

    WTF. You can't disagree with a point that goes out of its way to weaken itself into meaninglessness before the sentence is even finished.

    The point suderboy seems to be making is more about 'political perceptions' than actually trying to decode the real impacts of the law on the labyrinthine health insurance business.

    So perhaps you're taking issue with a point the guy isn't even attempting to make.

    My lawyer-dad does this a lot lately; I think he's just bored and spoiling for an argument all the time.

  • Harun||

    On the other hand, some of the cost increases prior to now but after 2010 may have also been due to Obamacare, but its also hard to disentangle that.

    I know my rates skyrocketed from 2009 until now, with large increases coming in 2011-2012...now, how much of that was due to Kaiser making my plan compliant, which it is?

    I'd have to say a lot, because I can find something similar to my plan, but without the HSA for $1,111 / month (family of 3) vs. $1,077 which is what I pay now.

    Now, this could be just a coincidence and those costs would have risen anyways or it could be they were pre-loading O-care costs into the plan, which is what I suspect. (My plan was not cancelled, but is grandfathered as it has an HSA.)

  • Homple||

    Obamacare is certainly responsible for the unprecedented deluge of policy cancellations.

  • JWatts||

    The insurance companies were planning on cancelling these policies anyway. They are just using Obamacare as a convenient excuse. /prog

  • MJBinAL||

    And you support this statement ..... with nothing.

    Indeed, I am sure that some of them would have been cancelled, plans get eliminated eventually (after a number of years) and other factors.

    ALL of them cancelled? At one time?

    You can't be that stupid.

  • Jan S.||

    Um, the "/prog" at the end there indicates the statement might have been just a tad facetious.

  • MLN||

    One of the big advantages of the ACA is there will be data available about the premiums. Before the ACA, the medical insurance industry was not making those facts available. The regulation of this corrupt industry is finally here. I'm looking forward to the day when the medical insurance industry is a thing of the past and we're on a single payer system. Then we'll see lower premiums because the CEOs of the medical insurance giants will be out of the picture.

  • LynchPin1477||

    For the millions of Americans who already had health coverage in the individual market and have since been informed that their existing plan was being canceled in the wake of Obamacare, that is plainly not true.

    It's not just the individual market. Remember, UVA is no longer covering its employees spouses if they can get insurance through their own job (even if that insurance isn't as good). I suspect you'll be hearing more of this in the coming year.

  • Sevo||

    Don't 'employer-provided' plans have another year before they have to be conforming?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Honestly, I can't keep track anymore. But I think there are some rules that already apply. My wife works at UVA. I can ask her if the explanation they got specifically cited something imposed by Obamacare.

  • LynchPin1477||

    She said they did specifically cite rising costs due to the ACA when explaining the change.

  • MJBinAL||

    Actually, conformance phases in.
    In addition, although full conformance is next year, employers may decide to just yield to the inevitable rather than wait.

  • The Last American Hero||

    I expect a bevy of State Govt employees to be dumped into Obamacare to help balance the budgets. The SEIU will be put in a tough spot as they should race to defend their members, but dare not defy the Lightworker.

  • Floridian||

    Saying the ACA is not directly responsible for the negative impact on healthcare is like saying the semi-truck that flipped over on the highway did not directly impact the cars in the back of the 40 car pile up.

  • ||

    You know who else left a painful legacy after a big lie?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Every religion that has ever existed?

  • fish||

    My ex wife?

  • JeremyR||

    I don't think the B'Hais have ever done anything...

  • OneOut||

    Lance Armstrong ?

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Nachos ?

  • Malkavian||

    There's one positive thing i can see coming out of Obamacare - it'll mess up medical insurance industry so bad, that everybody will just give up and go back to paying cash for medical services. Cash only clinics becoming the norm, and not the exception.

  • Floridian||

    Only one problem with that. The economy is still in the ditch after our drunk driving friend the government crashed it there. People don't in general have the cash on hand to pay for medical services. Also many people wrecked their credit in the housing crash so financing that new liver will be a no go.

  • Malkavian||

    Just send the bill to Krugman. We owe it to ourselves.

  • John Galt||

    I use a cash only general physician as my primary doctor. He usually charges far less than those who accept the insured.

  • Paul.||

    Even in cases where it’s possible to establish some connection, it’s often not the entire story.

    While this is all very scientific to point out that in our byzantine system of health and insurance regulation, that one thing did not necessarily cause the other... directly.

    However, when on the eve of a new, massive -- and I say again, massive-- healthcare law is about to take effect, millions of Americans lose their coverage, it's relatively safe to say, that the waters of the market are being moved by the rhinoceros thrashing about in the middle of the pond. Was this drip, this splash, that ripple cause by the rhinoceros? Maybe not. Maybe this particular ripple was caused because of that little wave that bounced off that log over there or that rock here.

    I suggest that what we're seeing, in aggregate. is the thrashing about of the Rhinoceros.

  • Floridian||

    I would have suspected the Hippo. Being in water and all.
    /smart ass

  • LynchPin1477||

    Hippos are also extremely dangerous, but many people don't realize it. They are a better metaphor for government than Rhinos, which are awesome on all levels.

  • Paul.||

    This is true. The Hippo is responsible for more deaths on humans in Africa than any other animal.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Do malaria carrying mosquitos count as animals?

  • Paul.||

    I'm guessing not. I think when I read that statistic was based on animal attack.

  • GILMORE||

    Do heavily armed south African rape-gangs count as animals?

  • Meowmeowoofwoof||

    Actually the Muslim biped is responsible for more deaths on the African continent than the hippo. :)

  • GILMORE||

    I suggest that what we're seeing, in aggregate. is the thrashing about of the Rhinoceros

    +1 Eugene Ionesco

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYgR1Pb-lk4

  • The Original Jason||

    So in an important political sense, President Obama, and by extension Democrats in Congress, own the American health care system now. And they own all of it. So when any part of it breaks or goes wrong, Obama, the Democratic party, and the health law they passed will be blamed, regardless of whether or not the law is directly responsible.

    That is not true.

    We'll hear Republican governors get the blame for refusing to build their own exchanges and for refusing to expand Medicare/Medicaid and Republican Congress members get the blame for the shutdown, refusing to raise taxes, and implementing the sequester.

    The only question is which theory wins.

  • PapayaSF||

    They will try, but I don't think most people will buy it. For one thing there are the failures of many of the exchanges in Democrat-led states.

  • Paul.||

    As a card-carrying pessimist, I agree with this. The tiny island of the free market, Republicans, Bush, Gov. Schwartzenegger, Scott Walker and Fox News will always be around to blame.

    But seriously, anyone who believes this: President Obama, and by extension Democrats in Congress, own the American health care system now. never paid much attention to California politics which has been uniformly owned by Democrats for what, two decades now?

  • Paul.||

    Detroit.

  • Paul.||

    Chicago.

  • Paul.||

    L.A.

  • GILMORE||

    ALL EXAMPLES OF THE EXCESSES OF THE "FREE MARKET" AND RAPACIOUS FINANCE

  • MJBinAL||

    Ho HO, ha HA, He HE.... Ahem

    That was humor, right?

  • Tony||

    One subtext of this argument is that Democrats were brave enough to finally pass major healthcare reform (albeit modest compared to alternatives, market-oriented, and invented by Republicans), with the high likelihood that every imperfection in the American healthcare system will now be cynically blamed on that effort.

    In a mellow, reasonable world, the contrast would be between the actual improvements or harm delivered by the new policy, and the policy alternative critics are offering. That would be, it seems, that healthcare should be available only to those private insurance chooses to cover, and everyone else can fuck off and die. But we don't live in that world. Conservatives and libertarians have long settled comfortably into the cheap seats, offering nothing but unintelligible ranting and throwing tomatoes.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Hey! Everyone loved their double digit rate increases 2000-2012!

    But imagined ones now? PURE HELL!

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|12.16.13 @ 5:05PM|#
    "Hey! Everyone loved their double digit rate increases 2000-2012!
    But imagined ones now? PURE HELL!"

    My "imagined" one is double digit this year for the first time in this century, you lying pile of shit.

  • LynchPin1477||

    You are clearly delusional. The good news is your mental health care is now covered by your health insurance plan. Thanks Obamacare!

  • Sevo||

    And I can't wait to receive my pre-natal treatments!
    Thanks, O'care!

  • JWatts||

    Well, obviously your previous policy was sub par and now it's been fixed. /derp

  • Sevo||

    I'll say it's been "fixed", but I didn't need a "fixer".

  • ||

    The health care market has been "fixed". In the sense of a rigged casino. Literally.

  • ||

    Better.

    When they said they were going to fix the health insurance market, we didn't realize they were speaking in gambling terms.

  • MJBinAL||

    why don't you lay down and rest. The nice men in the white coats will be coming soon. Just think about unicorns and wood nymphs like you usually do until they get there.

    There, There, There, it's going to be just fine.

  • Paul.||

    with the high likelihood that every imperfection in the American healthcare system will now be cynically blamed on that effort.

    But healthcare's been reformed! What imperfections?

  • John||

    Those are the wages of passing this without a single Republican vote. You now own the entire healthcare system good bad or indifferent. If you don't like that, too fucking bad. Should have thought about that possibility when you were shoving this bill down an unwilling country's throat.

    Your whining and perceived injustice just makes me happy Tony.

  • Tony||

    Are you even capable of talking about this law without referring to shoving and throats?

    No Republicans voted for this law because they are completely unconcerned with policy and focused only on politics. They weren't taking an objective, reasoned approach. They didn't want Obama to get any legislative victory. You've demonstrated your own deep political cynicism amply enough that you certainly know this.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.16.13 @ 6:57PM|#
    "Are you even capable of talking about this law without referring to shoving and throats?"
    Are you even capable of posting about this avoiding the fact that it was shoved down our throats?

    "No Republicans voted for this law because they are completely unconcerned with policy and focused only on politics. They weren't taking an objective, reasoned approach. They didn't want Obama to get any legislative victory. You've demonstrated your own deep political cynicism amply enough that you certainly know this."
    I see that you somehow "know" the motives of several hundred people. And you "know" a certain number of them are of pure motives since they adhere to your religion.
    Suffice to say, you are a lying piece of shit; you "know" nothing of the sort.

  • G3||

    "No Republicans voted for this law because they are completely unconcerned with policy and focused only on politics. They weren't taking an objective, reasoned approach."

    ...as opposed to the president who has done nothing BUT play politics with this 'settled' law?
    There are several good alternatives to Obamacare offered by the GOP - none of which were even slightly entertained by this administration (i.e. Tom Price's plan). So...I get that you may not like the Republicans, but at least be honest about their intentions.

  • MJBinAL||

    awe, the leader of the nastygram brigate has hurt feelings ... so sad.

    Isn't it interesting that Democrats idea of compromise means giving them half of what they want? I don't seem to remember them asking Republicans for suggestions. But, failure to fold the tent and agree to what the Democrats want is being obstructionist!

    If Libertarians and Tea Party folks were to get together wanting to cut the budget by 10% over last year would Democrats get a yen to compromise and agree to cut it 5% instead? Mmmm, thought not.

    I know, objective and reasonable means agree with you, or at least that is how you see it. Marxists are all the same.

  • PRX||

    brave enough to finally pass ... cynically blamed...the cheap seats, offering nothing but unintelligible ranting and throwing tomatoes.

    shut up Romo.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.16.13 @ 5:03PM|#
    "One subtext of this argument is that Democrats were brave enough to finally pass major healthcare reform [...]
    In a mellow, reasonable world, the contrast would be between the actual improvements or harm delivered by the new policy, and the policy alternative critics are offering"

    Tony, when the "reform" makes every single condition worse, no sane person applauds those who championed the "reform". And, no, it does not need to be compared to what others suggested, just to what existed.
    Those people are not "reformers". They're first-rate fuck-ups to ignorant to be in control of their check-books, let alone my wallet.

  • Tony||

    If it did make things worse, that's a good reason to be against it. But how did it make things worse? Healthcare costs have actually slowed in their upward trajectory (you don't have to attribute any of this to the law, but it is contrary to claims that it makes things worse). Once fully implemented, there will be near-universal coverage. So how is it worse than the previous system (the worst system in the entire industrialized world by far)?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.16.13 @ 6:59PM|#
    ..."But how did it make things worse?"...
    Strange you should ask. The supposed intent of the law was to lower health costs and have more people covered by insurance.
    The result of the law is increased cost and fewer people being covered by insurance.
    Now, there are brain-dead lefties who still find the law "successful" since it is a religious matter with them, and given your history of imbecility, I'm sure you're one of them.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Healthcare costs were falling before BarryCare was introduced. CBO concluded that there was no indication that BarryCare has had any impact on the slowdown of costs. In fact because of all the of the "free" goodies given out insurance costs have actually gone up significantly under BarryCare.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1205958

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/defau.....h-8-22.pdf

    Your near-universal coverage will consist of (hopefully) a bunch of 20-somethings buying insurance which they traditionally have not required (the majority of the uninsured) and an expansion of Medicaid which has terrible outcomes in spite of belonging to that holy grail of single payer. That's right. Including Medicaid in US health statistics significantly worsens our performance.

    As to outcomes you just refuse to look at the facts, but we'll try one more time. The US has a higher rate of preventive screening, a higher 5 year survival rate for major cancers and heart attacks, a higher rate of usage of medically appropriate drugs for chronic conditions, a higher rate of new drug utilization, and finally one of if not the highest life expectancies in the entire world once corrected for medically irrelevant causes of death such as car accidents and homicides. Now I know you want to dwell on the WHO/OECD reports that only look at life expectancy without correcting for these, but you could try being truthful for once.

  • Sevo||

    NotAnotherSkippy|12.16.13 @ 11:18PM|#
    ..."Now I know you want to dwell on the WHO/OECD reports that only look at life expectancy without correcting for these, but you could try being truthful for once."

    I remember researching the WHO reports before Obo inflicted this mess on us. The reports were biased in other ways; two come to mind:
    1) The infant mortality rates were reported raw, as if all reporting agencies use the same criteria. That is BS, and I'm not going to bother trying to correct it here; suffice to say it is dishonest to even claim so.
    2) One of the major criteria in rating countries' medical care was whether it was socialized or not. So the actual outcomes were graded as less important compared to the amount of theft used to deliver the care.
    Given the UN's lack of accountability and its obvious bias toward government-provided (everything), it is no surprise that the reports are bent, and I guess it's no surprise that brain-dead lefties like Tony will continue to cite the lies.

  • MJBinAL||

    no No NO! Tony be truthful?

    Wait! Is that the light of the second coming? Have the final days come at last? Is today the beginning of truth, beauty, and enlightenment?

    Oh, sorry, just dreaming that Tony gave up Marxism and Totalitarianism. And it was such a beautiful dream too.

  • sauce||

    I work for a small firm of about 20 people. We were asked to reup our health plans early this month because rates were going up by only 4% instead of waiting until January, when the rates would go up by 17%. Probably nothing to do wit the ACA though.

  • gimmeasammich||

    My company is roughly the same size. We were asked to re-up early because this would "only" mean a 7% increase as opposed to a 30% increase. The reason given? Obamacare, of course.

  • LynchPin1477||

    One subtext of this argument is that Democrats were brave enough to finally pass major healthcare reform

    They thought it was going to help them politically. There was nothing brave about it.

    (albeit modest compared to alternatives, market-oriented, and invented by Republicans)

    Yes, it was modest compared to single-payer. That doesn't make it good. The fact that you would call it market-oriented demonstrates that you don't understand markets. And I don't care who invented it. I judge policies on their merits, not on the names attached to them.

    with the high likelihood that every imperfection in the American healthcare system will now be cynically blamed on that effort.

    They are being blamed for problems they caused. Their lies, contortions, and condescension towards people suffering because of the law is what's cynical.

    In a mellow, reasonable world, the contrast would be between the actual improvements or harm delivered by the new policy, and the policy alternative critics are offering.

    This has been done. Go back and look at the articles pointing out that, for all its imperfections, what we had before Obamacare is now more popular.

  • LynchPin1477||

    That would be, it seems, that healthcare should be available only to those private insurance chooses to cover, and everyone else can fuck off and die.

    Healthcare != health insurance. And I've never seen anyone here, or anywhere else, advocate for people dying in the streets. They haven't even advocated for policies that would indirectly lead to that. Go take that strawman somewhere else, because its been beaten down too many times here.

    But we don't live in that world.

    And yet that doesn't stop people like you from using it for scare mongering.

    Conservatives and libertarians have long settled comfortably into the cheap seats, offering nothing but unintelligible ranting and throwing tomatoes.

    Cato's plan for replacing Obamacare is only $3.20 on Kindle. I haven't read it in full but based on the other stuff they've released I expect to be modest and market oriented (for real). And actually good.

  • Tony||

    I wonder if it doesn't assume the continued existence of medicare and medicaid. That would be a big blow to its traditional position of relying on individual tax-free accounts and transitioning people to higher-deductible plans.

    The fundamental conflict is that either healthcare is actually available universally or not, and there is no purely market-based way to achieve universality. The goals here are entirely different. One side's goal is to figure out how to provide universal access to affordable healthcare. CATO's is to preserve its own laissez-faire ideology in the face of reality. I don't see why anyone in the world should give a shit about that second goal.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.16.13 @ 7:09PM|#
    ..."The fundamental conflict is that either healthcare is actually available universally or not, and there is no purely market-based way to achieve universality."
    Nor is there any other way to do so, since unicorns just don't fart medical care.

    "The goals here are entirely different."
    Correct.

    "One side's goal is to figure out how to provide universal access to affordable healthcare."
    Wrong. That side's goal is to claim to want to help people and the results be damned; That's YOU, Tony.

    "CATO's is to preserve its own laissez-faire ideology in the face of reality."
    Wrong. CATO's goal is to attempt to spread medical care as much as is economically possible while keeping theft to a minimum

    "I don't see why anyone in the world should give a shit about that second goal."
    That's because you're an imbecile.

  • MJBinAL||

    Tony is NOT an imbecle! Well, ok, maybe he is, but mainly he is a marxist and a totalitarian.

    So he is a scum bag, dishonest, believes that the end justifies the means (for him), and that anyone who does not agree with him is evil.

    I on the other hand, remembering that most totalitarians die a hard death, believe Tony is going to eventually come to a bad end.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I strongly suspect it advocates for Cato's traditional position.

    I don't consider private charity to be non-market-based, and I see no reason in principle why charity couldn't provide for those in need. You don't think people are that generous? Fine, government-funded cash grants to the poor to cover the cost of private care would still be far, far better than what we currently have. And I would still consider it market-based, just not purely libertarian. So right there are two suggestions for how to get as close to universal care as is practically possible in the real world in a market-based system.

    Cato's goal when it comes to health policy is to improve the health care system in the United States.

  • Tony||

    The charity fairy is not a legitimate contribution to this debate. If charity were sufficient, social programs never would have been necessary in the first place.

    What an aristocratic frame of mind you guys have. It's kind of nauseating. A social safety net is about empowering individuals--you think more freedom is achieved by making them wards of benefactors?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.17.13 @ 10:15AM|#
    "The charity fairy is not a legitimate contribution to this debate."...

    It is not up to you, you lying piece of shit, to decide what is 'legitimate' in this conversation.
    You're yielded that possibility many years ago when you proved yourself incapable of posting without lying.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    A social safety net is about empowering individuals--you think more freedom is achieved by making them wards of benefactors?

    It's completely accurate to describe people relying on a social safety net as "wards of benefactors."

    I know it's fun to pretend that relying on the government == independence, but we all don't have to live in fantasy land, now, do we?

  • MJBinAL||

    No Charity Fairies! Hey, what do you have against Fairies anyway?

    Oh, Tony, you forgot to blame it on religion being the opiate of the masses. Gotta keep all those lines straight.

    Oh, just checking, you got multiple families that you fail to support while you live off the largess of others like your hero?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    The fundamental conflict is that either healthcare is actually available universally or not, and there is no purely market-based way to achieve universality.

    That's a gross oversimplification.

    "Universal health care" is such a poorly defined idea in the first place that it's just a form of question begging. "I assert that universal healthcare is better. Only socialized systems are universal, therefore, we can only have socialized systems."

    In Canada, universal healthcare is the equal right of everyone universally to wait in line for healthcare. It's a universal right to queue up, not get healthcare. Apparently, Venezuela took the arguments in favor of socialism's grand superiority to their logical conclusion, with all the consequences that entails.

    In Venezuela, it's a universal right to the same lack of basic medical care that the socialist system guarantees for everyone.

    In several countries, universal healthcare is the universal requirement to get health insurance (Switzerland, Netherlands, Singapore). Somehow, some of them manage without an analogous component to medicare. The savages. Which begs the question, how horrible is it that someone choses not to buy health insurance? Is universality so precious that such an event can't be permitted to occur? The horror!

    In short, there's no reason anyone in the world should give a shit about universality.

  • GILMORE||

    ""the policy alternative critics are offering.""

    Here's one = STOP MAKING THINGS WORSE

    Until you can demonstrate the ACA IS NOT making things worse, you can shut the fuck up and stop pretending the onus is somehow on the republicans to create some kind of solution for the idiotic policy disasters of the democrats.

  • Tony||

    It doesn't appear to be making things worse.

  • Ballz||

    "...and everyone else can fuck off and die." -Tony

    ftfy

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.16.13 @ 6:54PM|#
    "It doesn't appear to be making things worse."

    Uh, are you blind?
    People are losing coverage in the millions and haven't been able to buy new insurance, courtesy of the rank incompetence of your fave liar-in-chief.
    Those who have been able to do so are, by and large, finding the costs drastically higher than the canceled policies.

  • JWatts||

    "It doesn't appear to be making things worse."

    Thank you. That's the funniest thing I've heard today.

  • MJBinAL||

    Except to almost 80% of the US population.

    But other than that, it does not appear that way.

  • wadair||

    One subtext of this argument is that Democrats were brave enough to finally pass major healthcare reform...

    Nationalizing healthcare has been a goal of the left for the better part of a century, and this bill is not reform--it's a step toward that goal.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    "One subtext of this argument is that Democrats were brave enough to finally pass major healthcare reform..."

    Brave? That's a rather comical way of looking at politics.

    It only looks brave when you pretend they didn't commit gross, strategic blunders and miscalculations, or outright deceit.

    Instead, they either believed their own BS, or willfully sold it to the public. In that case, they should definitely expect to endure some pain and suffering, so, bravery, indeed, I guess.

  • Copernicus||

    "One subtext of this argument is that Democrats were brave enough to finally pass major healthcare reform "

    Yes, I remember when the Democrats "passed" this legislation. The process truly reeked of bravery.

    Unfortunately, I have to throw away all of my Dictionaries. For some reason they have transposed the definitions for "bravery" and "cowardice".

  • John Galt||

    At this point a real life Pinocchiobama would have a minimum fifteen mile long wooden nose.

  • James Taggart||

    Obamacare adds increased demand by putting more people on medicaid and mandates to buy insurance. It also puts more money into the system (amount unknown at this point but based on everything else the Feds do, will be billion$). But what it doesn't add is one single thing to healthcare supply- not one doctor, not one nurse, not one new bed pan.

    Quite contrary to bending the cost curve down, the effect will be to jack the price curve right your HSA.

  • Sevo||

    James Taggart|12.16.13 @ 6:58PM|#
    ..."But what it doesn't add is one single thing to healthcare supply- not one doctor, not one nurse, not one new bed pan."

    In fact, it reduces the number of medical providers in three ways:
    1) Many are now not taking new Medicaid patients at all, so all those new Medicaid patients are trying to get care from fewer providers.
    2) The new treatment/care reporting requirements are eating into the time of active providers.
    3) Some of the reporting requires MDs for certification, removing those people from the provider population.

  • blcartwright||

    4) doctors and hospitals who decide that the reimbursements don't cover the cost and just go out of business.

    My 2nd grandchild was delivered by a popular obgyn in our town, but he decided to call it quits. The next time my daughter became pregnant, she had to shop around because everyone else wasn't taking new patients. She finally got in with a group of 3 obgyns the next town over, 12 miles away. That hosital (Windber - Google it) built a brand new birthing center where my granddaughter was delivered, but last year that one and only group of doctors decided they weren't going to do anymore ob - just gyn - and the birthing center was closed down. This is a metro area of 100k people, with 4 hospitals, and it's almost impossible to find an obstetrician.

  • Ballz||

    just like education costs more when you subsidize demand.

  • Rohdewarrior||

    "So in an important political sense, President Obama, and by extension Democrats in Congress, own the American health care system now."
    Whatever you think of the Supreme Court decision last year on Obamacare, it is interesting to conjecture how things would be different if Judge Roberts had voted the other way. Certainly the Democratic party would not own the issue in the way they do now.

  • ||

    There are many way in which changes in health care plans, especially price increases, ARE a direct result of the ACA.
    The essential benefits package means that many people will be paying more for coverage they don't need.
    Community rating means that healthier people will be paying more to subsidize sicker people.
    Narrowing provider networks are being used to keep costs down for exchanges.
    And ACOs are going to mean that in some cases, the standard of care is going to decline.

    I already suspect that the ACA is affecting my personal healthcare, when I go to the doctor and they tell me they aren't going to order a particular test, because it wouldn't change the way an issue is treated. When you have a complex problem, is it better treatment for the doctor to guess at what the cause is, or to do some imaging to get a better understanding of what's going on? How many people are going to have cancers go undetected because the doctor decided not to order a CAT scan or an X-ray?

  • MJBinAL||

    SEE! It WILL reduce healthcare costs! All those people will not get expensive care, they will die with dignity!

    Oh, wait, death panels? NOOoooooo!

  • Logical 1||

    "Congress doesn't understand the real-world effects the health care law is having"

    They understand, they just don't give a shit because it doesn't affect them. Taxpayers pay for their "Cadillac" health plans while they destroy ours. Then, after they retire they'll get a nice fat pension and health insurance coverage for themselves and their families for the rest of their lives paid for by the taxpayers. Then after they "serve" their terms, they'll go on to a cushy consulting job and continue to sell their brand of bs.

    (sorry if this is too bitter and cynical but unfortunately it's true)

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