Joe Biden, Health Policy Comedian


During the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama told voters that his health care reform plan would reduce premiums by an average of $2,500. Instead, they've gone up by a little more than $3,000 on average. But that hasn't stopped Vice President Joe Biden from saying that lower premiums are on the way. Jokingly, of course. 

The Washington Post reports that while in Florida this week, Biden had a phone call in which he talked health care with the Republican brother of a woman at the campaign stop. "Look, I'm not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you," he said. "And after its all over, when your insurance rates go down, then you'll vote for me in 2016. I'll talk to you later." The pool report describing this exchange notes that Biden said this "in a joking manner." Ha-ha, right?

Is the funny part that he might be on the ballot in 2016 or that premiums will go down? I'll grant that the idea of President Biden rates a chuckle (as well as perhaps a shiver of terror). The reality of insurance premiums under ObamaCare, however, is less funny. Officials in California, one of the minority of states aggressively pursuing implementation of a state-based health insurance exchange under the law, are now warning that insurance in the exchange will be considerably more expensive. According to the Los Angeles Times:

California insurance officials have expressed concern about substantial rate hikes for some existing policyholders going into the exchange.

Under a new rating map approved by state lawmakers, the Department of lnsurance estimated that premiums for similar coverage could increase as much as 25% in West Los Angeles, 22% in the Sacramento area and nearly 13% in Orange County.

Total out of pocket costs may go down for some individuals, but only because publicly funded subsidies make up the difference. The projected rise is larger than expected nationally, but the likely fact of a rise was predictable: The Congressional Budget Office projected in 2009 that ObamaCare would cause individual market health insurance premiums — those most affected by the exchanges —  to rise by 10 to 13 percent. Supporters of the law sometimes note that this is partially because the coverage required by the law will be more robust. But that just makes promises of lower premiums even more difficult to believe. Combining massive new subsidies with regulations designed to make a product more expensive is not a recipe for lower costs.  If there's a joke here, it's that the Obama administration was able to convince anyone that under ObamaCare's new regulations, the real price of individual premiums would go down. 

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  1. Im pretty sure that my plan + the penaltax will cost me less than a “qualified” plan.

    At this time, thats what Im gonna stick with.

    1. Your plan will soon disappear if it is not a mandatory minimum coverage “qualifying” plan. The insurers just won’t offer them.

  2. There is no other reason to vote for Obama except to keep Crazy Uncle Joe in the news! If Romney wins do you think he can be given some honorary role where he continues to demonstrate his stellar public speaking skills?!

    1. If Romniac 2000 is elected, he should appoint Uncle Joe as Official Court Jester or Lulz Czar or Assistant Chief Department Aid to the Laugh Council.

      If I’m elected, that’s what I’m going to do.

      Almanian – 2012
      Cause I’ll Appoint Joe Biden Assistant Chief Department Aid to the Laugh Council

      1. Oughta be good for a 2 point bump in GDP all by himself.

        1. “Hey, [can’t remember the name], why doncha stand up…

          *dude’s in a wheelchair*

          oh…God Love YA!”

          My fave Biden Moment?.

          1. I tells ya he’s the gift that just keeps fucking giving!

            From Drudge:


    2. “If Romney wins do you think he can be given some honorary role where he continues to demonstrate his stellar public speaking skills?!”

      How about court jester?

      1. Nah, let him announce trains at his Wilmington Amtrak station. “Now arriving giggle giggle on track two hahaha….”

      2. The court jester was actually a smart dude that played stupid in public for the luls.

        Biden isn’t any where near smart enough to be a court jester.

  3. The complete idiocy and stupidity of the current crop of politicians really gives me hope.

    The less people respect them, the more they will turn to or develop non-state institutions. The only possible path to a free society involves a transition through a society ruled by increasingly contemptible politicians.

    Keep it up, Joe!

  4. “President Obama told voters that his health care reform plan would reduce premiums by an average of $2,500. Instead, they’ve gone up by a little more than $3,000 on average.”

    The scariest explanation is that Obama really believes what he says.

  5. I’ve heard from a couple people that recently went through benefits enrollment with their employers and in both cases their health insurance premiums went up significantly.

    1. Mine sure did.

      I have the most bare-bones plan my employer offers, because I’m 23, and the monthly payments went up from around $70/mo to $115/mo.

      Not huge, but annoying, still.

      1. Mine essentially doubled, forcing many of us here at work to go from PPO’s with low deductibles that covered most of our costs to HSA’s with high deductibles that barely covers anything.

        Yay obamacare.

        1. Consider this: when the mandate/ penaltax goes into effect in 2014, high deductible plans with HSAs will not qualify, so you’ll have to pay the penaltax, if your employer even still offers that kind of plan, since they’ll also have to pay the penaltax for failing to offer a qualified plan to their employees (unless you work for a company with less than 50 employees). Yay obamacare indeed.

          1. Yeah, we discussed this recently at the office. It was bad enough that Obamacare was forcing us to go to HSA’s when many of us didn’t want to, but now even the HSA’s will be prohibitively expensive and the choice comes down to which color condom do you want them to use when fucking you up the ass.


          2. But…BUT…STATE EXCHANGES!

            1. We had exchanges in California for power in 2000 and 2001…

    2. Over the last two years mine has doubled.

      I had to switch to a different plan.

      Affordable Care Act my ass.

      1. But The Zero assured everyone, and I quote, “If you like your plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep him, too.”

        I had to purchase an international medical insurance plan, and I did make sure that is would be compliant with the new legislation. It ain’t cheap, that’s for sure.

        I’ll be paying for most of my medical care OOP, like the market intended. -)))

        But remember, “FREE MEDICAL CARE!” and “MEDICAL CARE IS A RIGHT!”

    3. My employer was bragging our premiums only went up 6%!!!! Considering the average raise will be 2%, no smiles blossomed.

      1. I probably would have said, “How about you eliminate the healthcare plan, give us a 12% raise, and we’ll purchase the plan of our choosing?”

    4. 38% increase.

      In ONE year.

      Thirty. Eight. Percent.


      Unbelievable. Fortunately, I’m basically a One Percenter?, so it’s frankly not affecting my life – yet…

      1. Well, *cough*, we’re a self-insured integrated healthcare system, and my share of the cost is, umm, zero.

        I am using the HSA to shelter income, though, so there’s that.

  6. “And after its all over, when your insurance rates go down, then you’ll vote for me in 2016. I’ll talk to you later.”

    Biden 2016!

    1. That would be the test to determine whether our insanity is temporary or whether it has gone clear to the bone.

  7. Whoah whoah whoah…hold on a second here.

    Are you saying that by adding giant new layers of costs for insurance companies to cover due to things like pre-existing waivers or allowing 26 year old adults to remain listed as dependents is causing premiums to go up?

    I thought that insurance companies would simply lower their profit margins out of the kindness of their hearts and refrain from passing these costs on to their current customers!

    I am truly shocked. SHOCKED.

    Maybe we should just give the government more money?

    1. “Maybe we should just give the government more money?”

      And more power! TOP MEN.

  8. Just got my benefit info for 2013. Health insurance premiums up another 20%. But free condoms, amirite? Woohoo!

    1. Are condoms actually going to be covered? Serious question. Because I thought it was only the special doctor-permission-slip-required lady contraception that was important.


      1. Nope. Male contraception, barrier protection, surgical procedure or otherwise, is not covered in ObamneyCare.

        If a male wants a eunicky snip-snip, pony up OOP.

        1. I don’t know what the feeling I have right now is. It’s sort of like Schadenfreude, but…whose sadness am I celebrating? The sadness of progressive males? The sadness of all males? The sadness of all nonstatists? If the last, why would I be happy? Is it just general tragicomic satisfaction at the absurdity of the state? I knew the ACA would send me over the edge of sanity…

          1. Well, calling it the ACA is definitely a hallmark sign of sanity…-)))

            To serial for moment, it’s Stockholm Syndrome.

            It’s certainly not progressive males’ sadness, as they are Beta-to-the-Max and don’t have any. I’m not entirely sure most males are sad with this at this point, TBH. Nancy Pelosi was actually quite correct in a backdoor way when she said that, “The more the people find out about it, the more they will like it.” They just don’t like the individual and collective price tag associated with it. Overall though, ObamanyCare is ultimately why this president will be re-elected, and re-affirming my “Obama’s a Lock” status.

            Go with the absurdity of the state to keep whatever sanity you possess intact. It works for a variety of situations.

            1. It does. Probably the more shitty thing is that I think this thing is making me even more of a misogynist.

          2. The sadness of progressive males?

            Quite the epistemological quandary: can a null class be sad?

      2. To be more precise, mandatory “free” coverage of said enunicky snip-snip is not required of insurance providers, whereas all the woman’s health goodies are mandatory coverage “at no cost to the patient.*”

        *I can’t say the word “free” anymore IRL without getting very irate.

        1. See, there’s your problem, doc. All we need is blanket legislation declaring everything on God’s gree Earth to be free and we’ll all live lives of luxury.

  9. One small problem with your alt-text: Biden washes his baby himself.

    1. You know what never gets old?

      Yeah – THAT

  10. “Is the funny part that he might be on the ballot in 2016 or that premiums will go down? ”


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