Health Insurance, Washington's Way


At the beginning of last month, administration officials indicated that they could take over the health insurance rate review process in as many as 10 states. ObamaCare gives the federal government authority to muscle in to state health insurance regulation if administration health regulators decide that a state isn't doing enough on its own. Now it looks like even more states may see increased federal oversight of another part of the health insurance business. The Hill reports today that "the federal government may end up administering rules for appealing insurance companies' coverage denials in at least 17 states." As the Galen Institute's Grace-Marie Turner told me last summer, the federal government may talk up state-driven health policy flexibility, but when it comes to ObamaCare, it's Washington's way or the highway. 

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  1. http://www.theonion.com/articl…..ion,21061/

    Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition

    1. Jesus Christ. The Onion used to be okay at avoiding lazy-ass REPUBLICANS R DUM jokes.

      1. According to White House officials, Obama attempted to work with Republicans right up until the Aug. 4 deadline, but was ultimately left with no choice except to turn a year older

        I didn’t read this as a purely “republicans are dumb” critique.

        1. Me either. I thought it was pretty funny.

          1. I thought it was a pretty good parody of every lame-stream media report I’ve heard in the last few weeks.

            1. I heard the same joke last night on one of the late-night “comedy” shows.

              1. I’m an old libertarian. I don’t stay up and watch late-night shows.

    2. I thought I was turning 57.

      1. Zing!

      2. Winner.

      1. Everyone sucks eventually. Look at The Simpsons.

        1. The drunk Krugman bit is ok. But yeah. The Onion is depressing nowadays.

          1. I think you meant Ben Bernanke.

        2. The Simpsons isn’t funny anymore.

          1. That was the point.

            1. Just let him be, Stossel needs to figure these things out for himself.

        3. Everyone sucks eventually. Look at The Simpsons.

          Cheer up. You sucked way before them.

      2. I know. Democrats got their debt ceiling raise, and Republicans got a bunch of phony budget cuts in 8 years that will likely never materialize. Sounds like its Republicans and the GOP offering all the concessions.

        1. It’s all about running out the clock, bitchez.

          1. Too bad those Congressional pensions aren’t going to mean much in a hyperinflationary world.

            1. I’m kinda hoping they don’t mean much in a post-guillotine world, myself.

              1. +535 and one sharp ass blade.

        2. But, gosh, it sure made the news cycle exciting, with all of that manufactured gravitas.

          Besides, what else is the chattering class supposed to fret and clutch their pearls over?

  2. Wouldn’t this be a great pretext for secession?

    1. Do you ever just cruise around black neighborhoods, picking out which ones you’re going to buy once they bring slavery back?

      1. The lighter skinned hot chicks. I’ll buy Halle Berry first.

  3. Are they gonna use the time-honored Washington trick of threatening to withhold unrelated funding to ensure compliance, or is Holder just gonna have to send a SWAT team into the insurance boards’ offices?

  4. “Romney, Bachmann, Santorum sign marriage pledge”

    That is going to be one fucked up 3-way.


    1. SIV to defend in 5..4..3..2…

      1. But wait…when we call him on his Bachmann hardon, he’ll claim we have Bachmann hardons! Isn’t that clever?

        1. We’re just obsessed about the culture war. Social conservatives aren’t, we are! If we could just get over our obsession we could see how great Bachmann and her ilk really are.

          1. Well, when your whole philosophy is based on pop-culture references…

          2. All three can drown in rabbit diarrhea for all I care, but this is mere a symptom… Iowa is the disease.

            1. No one cared about Iowa before that dip-shit peanut farmer.

              It’s not our fault that the “mainstream” media covets every word that gets said here prior to the caucuses. You can’t blame us for cashing those checks before the rest of the country comes to its senses.

            2. Iowa – The Caucuses of the Corn

              1. Iowa – The Subsidy State

                1. For Ag yes, but ag is not the only story in Iowa. And we don’t have military bases or major defense contractors (although we do have businesses that sell high-tech dodads to defense contractors).

                  But ag subsidies are certainly a big enough issue to turn a hard-core conservative like Grassely into a sniveling beggar like ever other Senator from states with big ag industries.

              2. He Who Votes Behind The Rows

            3. “rabbit diarrhea”

              your muse is one freaky bitch

          3. I mean, we just go frothing at the mouth when she’s mentioned. Questioning her retarded statements is obsession, don’t you see? And wanting her just to go away is absolute madness over just hearing her name! See how obsessed we are?

            1. Voicing an opinion on anything is clearly the same thing as being obsessed with it. God knows how difficult it is to do in the digital age…

    2. I’m whistling right past that particular graveyard.

    3. You’ve gotta love that group acronym though: National Organization for Marriage (NOM)

      1. Just makes me hungry

        1. I can haz Christian social agenda?

  5. “That’s a pretty nice little insurance system you got there Texas, be a shame if something happened to it….”

    1. What language is that? Vomitese?

      1. You’re just jealous because no one ever wrote your name on their chest with a razor blade.

        1. So I guess you don’t remember that night we went to the vomitorium with Warty. You were completely trashed, so I guess that makes sense.

          1. Such an ugly word… I prefer “The Roman Showers.”

            1. You probably don’t remember how excited you were that the sex shrine, with the statue with the huge penis, was right next to the vomitorium. You were really excited. That’s when you started popping Viagra.

              I can’t believe you remember none of this. But, as I said, you were plastered.

              1. I vaguely remember you wrestling with Warty and then doing a line of volcano ash.

                1. That was you, dude. Man, you really were hammered. Or you just want me to be you, or something twisted like that.

                  1. Horsepucky. My deviant septum won’t let me snort anything any longer. If I had any volcano ash, you blew it into my anus Stevie-Nicks-style.

                    1. I won’t deny that.

                    2. That’s good…it’s the first step to healing.

                      Now that you’re out of the denial stage, Michelle Bachmann’s husband has a clinic that can help you the rest of the way.

                      [still trying to bait SIV]

                    3. I tried praying the gay away, but I think it came back twice as hard.

                    4. “Hard”? It seems it did.

                    5. [still trying to bait SIV]

                      Hehehehehe… I think it’s really wonderful that SIV has gone outside of his social conservative tendencies to support a candidate with a gay husband. Very progressive of him!

                    6. Go into the bathroom, look into the mirror and say “Bachmann” 5 times.

                    7. …I think it came […] twice as hard.

                      Son, if it had, you wouldn’t think, you’d know.

                    8. I was unconscious after praying the gay away as vigorously as recommended. I just woke up all sticky and heathen.

                    9. “Yes, It’s all very confusing!”

  6. Federal government is more efficient these days. It took them decades to move from publicly funded schools to centralized control in Washington. These days it goes much quicker.

  7. Washington-run health insurance is bad.

  8. Excellent work, dumbass

    Joseph Schwarz, who works as a compliance officer for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is accused of falsely claiming to have video of customers doing drugs and performing illegal sex acts at the club, according to prosecutors.

  9. Five of the Fullerton Six have been identified

    According to our sources:

    Officer Jay Cicinelli was there
    Officer Kenton Hampton was there
    Officer Manny Ramos was there
    Officer Joe Wolfe was there
    Officer James Blatney was there

    1. Comments are hilarious. It’s like a slightly improved version of H&R, albeit with MORE CAPS AND TYPOES!1!

      1. Dude! Tell them to slow down or Peak Typo will come sooner.

    2. Same blog on Jay Cicinelli’s career.

      I hope the people behind that blog are wrapped in many layers of anonymity.

    3. There’s a cell phone video making the rounds now where you can hear the taser going off (crackling electrical sound).

      I just remember yesterday, the whole, “their lawyer wouldn’t say that as a fact if it wasn’t true!” meme. Of course, someone may have added the sound effect to the video before releasing it. WE JUST DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FACTS TO MAKE UP OUR MINDS YET!

  10. Random: Yesterday’s brickbat was irritating, but it was also already out of date when it was posted. Update: Mother no longer faces charges for helping her son

    So that’s good.

  11. I kind of think the states are letting this happen because:

    a) let the Feds spend their money on this; after all, the states are going broke too

    b) the Feds will eventually rolling and take over anyway, so why should states spend money doing something that’s going to get uprooted and re-done anyway?

    c) Obamacare’s still massively unpopular; why should the states willingly tie on that albatross?

  12. Motorcyclist injured after hitting trooper’s cruiser

    A Holland, Ohio, man was seriously injured early Saturday morning when he was thrown from his motorcycle after crashing into a patrol cruiser and another vehicle, according to a release from the Toledo post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

    Mr. Mahlman was driving a 2006 Yamaha motorcycle south on McCord Road at 12:19 a.m. Saturday when he crashed into the stopped patrol car of Lt. John Altman and a Dodge Charger the trooper had pulled over.

    The patrol car had its overhead lights turned on during the traffic stop, Lieutenant Altman reported.

    Local libertarians dispute facts, claim police brutality.
    Nothing else happens.


  13. So… do we know which states are going to be taken over?

    I mean, the South, obviously, but beyond that…

    1. My guess: All of them, eventually.

  14. the federal government may end up administering rules for appealing insurance companies’ coverage denials in at least 17 states

    “End up”? Please. Like that wasn’t the plan all along?

  15. Wow. The federal government may change my state’s denial-of-coverage appeal procedures.

    I’m so scared of the creeping socialism that I just peed in my smiley-face boxer shorts.

    This is exactly like Zimbabwe.

    Whither all those freedoms we had back in the 1830’s?

    I want my country back!

    Also: food stamps are theft. And you own yourself. There. Did I leave anything out of the catechism?

    1. Is your sarcasm implying that we don’t own ourselves? If not, who owns us? If someone else owns you, that’s slavery. Why are you a racist who supports slavery?

      1. “Self-ownership” is the most insipid concept of human dignity and autonomy to besmirch the history of philosophy. “Ownership” is something that can be alienated, traded away. Human dignity is inalienable, unforfeitable.

        Loudly proclaiming “self-ownership” is one of the most likely ways for a moron to blow his cover.

        1. “Ownership” is something that can be alienated, traded away.

          I’ve had ownership interests that I couldn’t trade or alienate.

          Quite common, actually, in old-style general partnerships, where any transfer of a partnership interest automatically terminated the partnership (which could be reconstituted, but that would be a different partnership).

          So, I don’t think your critique is quite as trenchant as you seem to imagine.

          1. You transfer, and it dissolves. Thus, you can transfer. What happens if you transfer self-ownership? You become a new person?

            Your critique of my critique lacks a certain “trenchant-ness,” as well.

      2. It’s Thursday, Jim.

        1. Is that Designated Nutter Day or something?

          1. Today has been declared Troll-Free Thursday. Today is the day we do not respond to trolls, at all. Ask NutraSweet about it.

    2. Did I leave anything out of the catechism?

      I’m pretty sure you have to work Somalia in somewhere.

      1. That’s in the other side’s catechism, isn’t it?

        1. You are the other side.

          1. So you discerned! Take that up with sevo, infra. He seems to have doubted the sarcasm.

      2. Roads.

        oh…and the aqueduct.

    3. “Did I leave anything out of the catechism?”
      If this was intended to be sarcasm, stick with your day job.

      1. Joe M got it.

    4. “The federal government may change my state’s denial-of-coverage appeal procedures”

      You say that as if it’s of no concern and does not reflect anything wrong with the system. It’s almost as if you don’t even understand the implications.

      Wait. You don’t.

      1. Understanding and caring are two different things.

        One entity over which I have effectively nil control may displace another entity over which I have effectively nil control. Which decision-maker would be marginally more beneficial me or the public is utterly unknowable.

        No, this does not stir my passions.

        1. this does not stir my passions.

          Sure it does. You’re here posting comments.

  16. “the federal government may end up administering rules for appealing insurance companies’ coverage denials in at least 17 states.”

    Even if you want the government to completely take over healthcare, even if you think health insurance companies are evil…

    From the health insurance industry’s perspective, if they got to pick their own regulatory environment, do think they’d rather have to chase influence in 50 different state legislatures?

    …or do you think it’s easier for them to run healthcare regulation through just one Congress in the Washington D.C.?

    As the recent budget showdown in Congress showed, you don’t even need a majority in Congress to change things–you only need a significant minority to change the direction of things!

    I’m sure the insurance industry loves things moving from the states to the federal government. It’s Christmas in August for them.

  17. Again, we see the fetish for centralization. It worked for Stalin; it will work for us.

    1. Actually, Stalin was a good delegator.

      1. He didn’t delegate very well when Hitler turned on him. The Soviet army was largely paralyzed, waiting for orders, while Stalin disappeared for days (probably on a bender).

        1. one might say he over-delegated on that occasion.

          1. No, because the army was afraid to do much of anything without direct orders from the top. Being good at delegating means giving underlings the authority to make decisions on their own. The Soviet army was organized in the opposite way: initiative was discouraged.

            1. I’ll defer to your obviously studied opinion on this particular point.

  18. “You’re completely free to do as you wish, as long as you do exactly what I would do, in the exact manner I would do it.”

    1. pronoun ambiguity

      1. You are just a font of interesting and insightful comments today, aren’t you?

        1. not really. I carpet-bombed them with sarcasm and the thread kind of died.

  19. “I carpet-bombed them with sarcasm moronic gibberish and the thread kind of died.”

    1. truly, html ‘strike’ tags are the height of wit, and the ultimate argument-winner.

      P Brooks, do share more of your priceless wisdom via html strike tags in reply here. Everyone is soooo impressed.

  20. Every who was bitching and moaning about the tactic used in the recent debt ceiling debates should recall those used to pass this abomination.

    Obama, this administration, and the Democratic leadership in congress put their stamp of approval on any and all tactics in the legislator, and hove no room whinge now.

    And that is too bad in two ways, because (a) they passed this passed this ever-more-state-control-of-everything-but-it-really-isn’t-totalitarian-or-anything piece of crap and (b) they let the Republicans back in before they had time to process that they were out because they had screw up and screwed up big.

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