Obamacare

Officials Keeping Mum on Obamacare Exchange Sign-Up Numbers

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We don't even have enough information to use the "Good enough for government work" cliche

It's doubtful anybody can conceivably dispute that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act exchanges have been anything but a total disaster. It's such a disaster that we don't even know how much of a disaster it is, yet. States are keeping quiet about the number of sign-ups so far. Or possibly they don't even know. From the Associated Press:

After more than a week in action, is a key feature of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul a success or a bust? Judging by the dearth of data, it's virtually impossible to say.

The federal government has released no comprehensive data on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using federally run exchanges, the online marketplaces being used in 36 states for residents to compare and buy insurance. In the 14 states running their own exchanges, the situation isn't much better.

Officials with California's exchange say it will be mid-November until they can say how many people signed up. In Oregon and Colorado, the official number of completed applications is zero. And in Minnesota, which billed itself as a leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, officials won't release data until next week about the number of applications started and completed.

In other states, Oregon hasn't even actually allowed residents to enroll yet because it can't determine eligibility for Medicaid and tax credits. Vermont, despite getting $171 million in grants for its exchange, is issuing applications on paper.

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  1. Did it ever occur to you that maybe they’re not releasing information because they’re just super concerned about user privacy?

    1. You can’t have just…lol…A+

    2. How does releasing an integer number between 0 and 27 million violate anybody’s privacy?

  2. After more than a week in action, is a key feature of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul a success or a bust? Judging by the dearth of data, it’s virtually impossible to say.

    Gosh, maybe when you are evaluating a gigantic database, the dearth of data is itself conclusive evidence of failure?

    1. I think we have conclusive evidence that this is a miserable failure for this reason:

      If the sign up week was a glorious success and despite the website glitches they were still able to sign up in the order of hundreds of thousands of people, you know DAMN WELL they would be shouting it from the rooftops as loud as humanly possible.

      The fact that they aren’t answers the question.

      1. This exactly. I was typing pretty much the same before I read your post.

  3. Good grief. If no one knows how many people have signed up, then why all the claims that 50k+ have signed up? Is that number accurate or not?

    And if so, where are all the happy happy people who have singed up? If there were even one, wouldn’t this administration practically be chasing them down in the streets and getting them in front of the TV asap?

    I mean so far, the only success story they have is one lying little asshole that didn’t even sign up.

    Color me fucking skeptical, to say the least.

    1. And if so, where are all the happy happy people who have singed up?

      There was that one guy that Reason demonstrated to be a fucking fraud.

      Chad Henderson, that’s his name.

      Forever and ever, the name Chad Henderson should be associated with any lying or fraud with a specifically partisan purpose. Kinda like santorum and butt juice.

      1. Also, I don’t give money to a lot of organizations, so I’m very glad the one I give to is the one that exposed the fucking little fraud.

        Even if the Suder-Man has been bitching about Republican strategy on delaying Obombercare, I’m okay with that for no other reason than he was the ONE fucking journalist who actually did his homework.

    2. A whole 50,000?
      Out of the, what, 27 million uninsured?
      You’re basically saying that they signed up about 0.3% of their target population.
      At this rate, they will have signed up about 2% of the uninsured by the end of the year.

      1. Right, Hazel, but what we are saying, is that we don’t believe the 50k number, at all, because if they had even 50, all of them would be sequestered somewhere inside of the beltway right now and stood in front of cameras. Unless every last one of them were pissed off about signing up, which would be worse for this admin than if no one would have signed up.

    3. My guess is that the administration is sending the media positive information about the rollout as fast as they can, but that this information is not being proof-checked and thus can’t be directly tied to the administration lest they have to change the numbers in the future.

      If you’ve ever wondered what an economy run by Berkley’s undergraduate body would look like, look no further.

      1. … and Harvard’s law school graduates…

  4. We all know that it was a miserable failure. Like organic food, if there was even the slightest actual evidence that it was successful (in the case of the food, better for you), its proponents would be crowing about it 24/7 and the media would be cramming it down our throats. The fact that they’re not means they have nothing.

  5. WHERE IS EDWARD SNOWDEN WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

    1. The problem is that probably the system is so screwed up I doubt if anyone knows the answer so nobody can even steal the information

  6. And in the meantime (link in hand this time), it appears that the orange pussy is handing Obama everything he wants, on a silver platter, in exchange for other things that Obama also wants.

    Giant Orange Pussy

    If this is true, looks like the GOP establishment incumbents are going to get crucified in 2014, could be a big win for libertarians.

    1. Typical GOP stupidity. They have Obama over a barrel and instead of using that advantage they cave. It’d be funny if it wasn’t going to fuck us all.

      1. This was extremely predictable from the get go, which is why I was skeptical of the strategy (to whatever extent there actually was a coherent GOP strategy). I don’t think this will have much effect on the midterms, but it definitely didn’t help the GOP’s public image

        1. The more they piss off their base the better.

          1. The Republicans have an impossible problem with government shutdown strategy: The Democrats can refuse to negotiate and still blame the shutdown on the Republicans. Joe and Jane Sixpack know that the Democrats love government. So it is easy for the media, which is overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party, to spin the story such that all blame sticks to Republicans. After all, we all know that Democrats love government and cannot be responsible for the shutdown.

        2. It’s going to have a very big impact on the midterms for GOP incumbents. I’m not saying that the GOP take the Senate or that we will have more than 3 libertarians in congress after 14, but a lot of old GOP incumbents are gone.

        3. I don’t think it will matter one way or another. The GOP’s public image is already complete and utter crap; there is a set of actions it can take to further tarnish that image but a partial government shutdown isn’t in that set.

          It was a low-probability of success, low-risk strategy worth trying.

          1. It’s not the shutdown that’s the big deal, it’s Boehners sell out and Obama ass kissing that’s going to doom the GOP establishment.

            Anyone else besides me notice how quiet Rand Paul and Amash are right now?

            1. it’s Boehners sell out and Obama ass kissing that’s going to doom the GOP establishment.

              I’m OK with that. There are plenty of heads that need to roll in the GOP party, as well as among the Dems.

          2. “It was a low-probability of success, low-risk strategy worth trying.”

            It looks like Obo is trying to find out how long he can hold his breath without ‘the public’ finally seeing him as that whiny, spoiled brat:
            “”It is our view that we cannot have a situation where the debt ceiling is extended as part of a budget negotiation process for only six weeks,…”
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

            1. Well, Obie’s strategy in all this is to magnify the pain to make shutdown a low-probability, high-risk strategy. I don’t think he’s succeeded, but he’s apparently done a good enough job of scaring house GOPers that Boehner is caving.

          3. I don’t really think we disagree. Your take is pretty similar to mine. I would add the caveat that the GOP should have had a better backup plan ready to propose as a compromise instead of totally caving like they are.

    2. Homer: Alright Herb, I’ll lend you the $2,000. But you have to forgive me and treat me like a brother.

      Herb: Nope.

      Homer: Okay, then just give me the drinking bird.

  7. It’s not a “failure” it’s a “delayed success.”

    C’mon folks y’all know how to spin, right?

  8. “Thousands sign up in California under Obamacare”
    “Officials for Covered California, the state exchange, released numbers on Tuesday [10/8]”
    So someone is lying.
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/…..879863.php
    As XM pointed out, this is a weasel-claim; what does “sign up” mean? And you’ll notice a complete lack of interviews with happy customers; merely comments by those with a strong interest in success.

    1. Or they yanked the article. I tried searching the sfgate site and couldn’t find it.

      1. Looks like that link works.
        SF Gate’s search function is every bit as good as, well, their editorial policies.

      2. Never mind. Got to it via Google.

      3. Oh, didn’t think of that. Wonder what kind of verifiable lie it contained.

    2. As XM pointed out, this is a weasel-claim; what does “sign up” mean?

      Yeah, at this point there’s a difference between “enrolling” and legitimately picking a healthcare plan.

      1. And is seems if there were ‘thousands’ who had legitimately gotten insurance, there would be at least one quote.

      2. Sign up means registering an account, user ID and password.

    3. The really big question is how many actually get to the point of PAYING for ObamaCare. Talk is cheap, and if the only people who sign up are

      1. less than 400% of poverty line, ObamaCare is still an abject failure.

  9. Actually, I wonder if the problem is that, due to the shutdown, the IRS computers (or homeland security or whatever) that are supposed to verify their accounts are redirecting the internal system inquiries to their bullshit “sorry, we’re shutdown” page.

    This system has to work seamlessly with a bunch of other government departments websites, many of which have petulantly decided to showdown automated internet-based systems. Maybe they can’t tell the difference between inquiries coming from ACA exchanges and other “inessential” services.

    1. “This system has to work seamlessly with a bunch of other government departments websites,”

      That alone says it’s gonna be down quite often.

    2. You don’t programmatically interact with a website through the UI that a human would use; they will have separate APIs for that that are specifically for external code. If they shut down or blocked access to those, right when this was being launched, they are even more stupid and petulant and blind than we thought, which is saying something. There’s no reason to shut down the APIs, because they’re not “visible” to the average voter, and therefore have very little “see what the shutdown caused?” value.

      1. They aren’t just shutting down the public websites. They are also shutting down “services” like regulatory agency inquiries and crap like that. I know that export control stuff is down. What about things like e-Verify, and whatnot?
        I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these systems relied on a database interface that some agency or other decided was “inessential” to keep running.

      2. Have you ever tried calling a government agency and verifying what another government agency told you? It’s like HR in some companies, their only reason to exist is to exist and to send you to someone else, anyone else. That plus not actually ever doing any real work themselves.

        Big, all encompassing government is doomed. It has never worked, and it’s never going to work. We are now the new USSR. Get the popcorn and beer and watch it all fall down.

      3. You don’t programmatically interact with a website through the UI that a human would use

        Well, you shouldn’t do that, at least.

    3. They pulled the systems that are supposed to interconnect. IIRC, it’s all honor system at the moment.

      1. An honor system for free shit with thousands of participants! What a great idea; nothing can go wrong there!
        (hey, who shorted on the check?)

        1. And if you cheat, or they think you did, the irs can bring down the hammer on you. Sooner or later.

          1. There are a few things that government can do quite well. For example, government is by far the world’s most prolific murderer. And, as robbers and extortionists, its taxation authorities are second to none.

            You can bet that, come April 2015, a lot of satisfied ObamaCare customers are going to get the surprise of lives.

            You told your navigator you only planned to earn $62,000 in 2014, but you earned $62,100. You owe the IRS $7446.

            KFF ObamaCare calculator

            Yep, a 740,000% marginal tax rate from $62040 and $62041 of MAGI.

            1. Two adults, one 60 and the other 58, US average. The Reason link doesn’t pass all necessary info to the KFF calculator.

            2. Two adults (38 and 51, non-smokers), no kids, in Tucson, AZ.

              $65,000 income, no employer coverage.

              Premium of $8873/year (silver plan with $12,700 stop loss), no subsidy.

      2. Which is beautiful. When they finally fix it, they’ll fuck it up again when they add that feature and connection.

        1. And shreek can claim victory once more!

        2. Hmm. if true, it wouldn’t shock me if thousands of enrollments were invalidated when the interconnected systems come back online.

    4. Of course it’s the shutdown. I mean Occam’s razor, right?

      If it were the government’s fault that would mean that tens of thousands of government workers and contractors were incapable of putting together a functioning system. And if it were a lack of demand then how do you explain the 8.263 BEELLION unique hits?

      No, the simplest explanation is that the catastrophic GOP shutdown caused the high-demand, perfectly-implemented system to crash. Or it’s the inequality…

      1. Well, that would give the GOP a bigger bargaining chip wouldn’t it?

  10. Here’s the ketchup on this shitburger–It cost over $500 million to set up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to tear it all down and start from scratch:

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/o…..site-cost/

  11. Somebody linked a San Jose Mercury News story earlier this week; it had interviews with two obvious lefties claiming they ‘supported’ O’care for several things it obviously won’t deliver.
    The punchline is that both of them ‘signed up’ and found their premiums far larger than last year, one by nearly 40% (and the actual number was pretty scary, too).
    Now, nowhere did it say they’d actually *contracted* for the insurance, but they were both not pleased about the cost. My guess is they ‘signed up’, saw the cost and started searching elsewhere.

    1. They finally got to see what’s in it!

    2. Yeah? Well, think how bad it would be if the government had not established a previously non-existent marketplace for health insurance.

    3. The link Sevo left out: http://www.mercurynews.com/nat…..s-bay-area

  12. I want to see them enforce the individual mandate despite the total failure of the exchanges.

    Then I want to hear the Democrats call for a higher penaltax because not enough people bought insurance to offset the extra costs of expanded coverage.

    And then I want the next presidential election.

    Time to get the government back up and running, folks–the Democrats need just a little more rope to hang themselves with. And I’m not sure Obama has the humility necessary to postpone the individual mandate and save the Democrats from what’s coming.

    1. “-the Democrats need just a little more rope to hang themselves with.”

      Ken, your optimism is wonderful. It’s just not quite contagious.

      1. What are they going to do if the insurers start screaming becasue not enough people are buying insurance to make up for a) not screening out pre-existing conditions, etc.?

        What are they going to do about premiums rising instead of falling?

        If we learned anything from the various revolutions we saw in Eastern Europe in recent decades, it’s that reality does eventually have its way. They can spin or twirl as they please–right up until it starts kicking average Americans in the groin. Then, suddenly, the spin magic doesn’t work the way it used to.

        This is going to be like when Obama sat around with his thumb up his ass back when all that oil was pouring out of that well in the Gulf of Mexico? only it’ll be Obama himself that blew up the drilling rig. Obama’s numbers took a hit back then, too, remember? This is gonna be that times ten!

        1. I was catching headlines (think on drudge) of no doctors enrolled in Maryland.

          1. Okay, I had to look that up.

            Here’s what the message on the Maryland exchange says:

            “Search for your physician. If you are interested in understanding which health plans a particular doctor participates in, please visit https://providersearch.crisphealth.org ? a new service sponsored by Maryland Health Connection. For the time being, doctors and other providers are not yet available in Maryland Health Connection”

            http://www.weeklystandard.com/…..62222.html

            So, they tell you where to search for Maryland doctors that are participating in the program, but since there are no doctors participating…

            They say that may be why only 326 people in Maryland have completed the application process–much less why so few are actually enrolled.

            It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

            1. Cruz should be calling for hearings right now.

              While the Republicans and Obama are “negotiating” about the standoff, the House should be holding hearings on why the exchanges are failing so badly.

              Cruz should be in front of every TV camera he can find screaming for hearings–if he wants to win the nomination.

        2. If we learned anything from the various revolutions we saw in Eastern Europe in recent decades, it’s that reality does eventually have its way.

          Yeah. That happened after those countries spent literally decades under the heal of Communist oppression. As bad as Obamacare is, I don’t expect it to have the same effect as rampant malnutrition and the police state had in Eastern Europe.

          1. As reality settled in, the people of Serbia saw through the bullshit and voted Milosovich out of power.

            That’s how they got rid of Pinochet, too.

            Those are extreme examples, but Americans won’t have to overthrow a sitting dictator. For now, we just have to nominate and elect a new and better president.

            1. No, now we also have to elect a Congress that is highly motivated to repeal Soviet health care.

              1. We need a president to sign the repeal.

    2. They’ve already called for a higher penaltax, it will take place automagically after next year.

      The next presidential election will see another Dem POTUS, more than likely, Hillary.

      People want free shit, the dumbing down of American has been a total success.

      It will only improve when the fedgov starts to implode financially and states start seriously challenging federal authority.

      The USA as we have known it, is finished. See former USSR for example.

      1. The next presidential election will see another Dem POTUS, more than likely, Hillary.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! Hilary is going to go into one of the Democratic debates and will have someone say something that kind of upsets her. Because Hillary Clinton has repeatedly shown herself to be a petulant child with no impulse control and a shrill, grating voice when she gets pissed, she’ll start screeching nonsensically about stupid bullshit.

        She was supposed to waltz to the presidency in 2008. She’s the same Hillary and her major flaws as a candidate will resurface. I don’t know if she’ll even win the Democrat primary, although it’s such a weak bench that she might.

        Imagine her trying to debate Cruz or Paul though. She’ll be screaming and stamping her feet within 10 minutes. I can’t wait until the day Hillary loses due to her own inability to behave like an adult and then Amanda Marcotte will try to tell me it’s because of the patriarchy and the rape culture. It will be hilarious.

        1. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! Hilary is going to go into one of the Democratic debates and will have someone say something that kind of upsets her. Because Hillary Clinton has repeatedly shown herself to be a petulant child with no impulse control and a shrill, grating voice when she gets pissed, she’ll start screeching nonsensically about stupid bullshit.”

          Yep, and she’ll get nominated and probably elected.
          We are approaching the one-party government we have in CA and I see nothing to stop it. The Dems offer free shit and trying to get people to vote against that seems impossible.
          See how Obo managed to duck any blame for the parks closing? Watch Hillary’s explosions be blamed on rethuglicans.

          1. Defeatist.

            Seriously.

            I remember when Bush’s people were unbeatable. I remember when the Republicans, with their super-majority, were never going to give up power again.

            It wasn’t that long ago. It’ll all happen again. Five years from now, it may seem like we’re never gonna get rid of the Republicans.

            1. Read PJ O’Rourke’s account of the Republican party celebrating their presidential victory in 1988. They thought they were never going to lose power again.

              These things swing and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

              1. I don’t doubt it’ll finally change back, but for the next couple of election cycles, I don’t see it.
                Just entirely too many still hoping they’ll get in on the Pozzi scheme before it tanks.

            2. I remember Karl Rove’s fantasy of “a permanent Republican majority”.

              All they had to do was give in on every expansion of government. Stuff like Medicare Part D and NCLB, and never veto a social spending bill out of Congress.

              The Bush/Rove/Abramoff wing destroyed any hope for the Republican Party.

        2. That will be truly wonderful.

      2. Dumber people have come back from worse.

        You know how people only really react to price signals? Well, this was all fantasy before. Now it’s gonna be real.

        There’s gonna be some real live price signals, and there won’t be any way to spin them.

        This is gonna be like when Greece suddenly realized their politicians had been blowing smoke up their voters’ asses for years. The Democrats will keep on spinning it, no doubt.

        …right up until they can’t spin it anymore.

        1. This is gonna be like when Greece suddenly realized their politicians had been blowing smoke up their voters’ asses for years.

          Ummm, people taking to the streets, throwing rocks and demanding more free shit?

          That sounds plausible, but not positive.

          1. Throwing rocks? Maybe not.

            But they are gonna realize that Obama was completely full of shit.

            Seriously, a lot of them didn’t know it before. They listened to people like Tony and thought they knew the truth.

            Micky Mouse is dead!

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD52pRAYUik

            They believed in something new
            They read the papers, watched the films
            And they thought they knew the truth

            1. P.S. Top 5 bands ever. Maybe top 3.

    3. I like your optimism, but the strategy is to get the hoi polloi clamoring for single payer.

      1. That may be the way it seems. And for true believers, like Tony, I’m sure that’s what they’ll be clamoring for.

        If the whole system comes crashing down, though, I’m not so sure swing voters will embrace the idea that what we need is more of the same.

        It’s already unpopular. That wouldn’t bother Obama, deep in his second term, but it might bother a first term Hillary. And if there’s a Republican that wins? We probably won’t get single-payer.

        And the whole thing collapsing before the next presidential election makes it a lot less likely that there will be a president Hillary. Remember, it’s already unpopular.

  13. Some things just speak for themselves

  14. Take Action

    Call these members of Congress today and tell them this fight is about Obamacare and now is not the time to back down! Also call the Capitol Switchboard to speak to your own member of Congress (202) 224-3121 or find their contact information here: http://house.gov/representatives/

    State Representative Twitter Phone Number
    OH John Boehner @SpeakerBoehner 202-225-6205
    VA Eric Cantor @GOPLeader 202-225-2815
    CA Kevin McCarthy @GOPWhip 202-225-2915
    WA Cathy McMorris-Rodgers @CathyMcMorris 202-225-2006
    WI Paul Ryan @RepPaulRyan 202-225-3031
    TX Pete Sessions @PeteSessions 202-225-2231
    TX Jeb Hensarling @RepHensarling 202-225-3484
    NC Renee Ellmers @RepReneeEllmers 202-225-4531
    NC Virginia Foxx @VirginiaFoxx 202-225-2071
    KY Hal Rogers @RepHalRogers 202-225-4601
    OR Greg Walden @RepGregWalden 202-225-6730

  15. TRUE OBAMACARE STORY:

    I tried about 50 times to set up a user id, enter information, get ObamaCare information. At last, the system was actually responsive. After about about 40 data entry screens for me, my wife, and kids and pisspoor response times, I complete the forms. Then the system crashed when it came time to enter an electronic signature.

    I attempted to get on 20 or so times and finally got on. Much of the information that I originally entered was saved, but I still had to go through all the data entry screens again. At last, I got to the electronic signature page, and the signature was accepted.

    However, then the system advised me that my identity was not verified and to call a toll-free number. Lovely. So I called the toll-free number, and the friendly Experian guy on the other end of the phone said they’ve been getting calls continuously and that if I don’t have a “reference number” they cannot help me.

    So I went ObamaCare chat and asked, “How do I find out what my reference number is?” And the friendly ObamaCare agent said that I have to mail a hard copy of drivers license, passport, etc. along with application information to some HHS address in London, Kentucky.

    US Mail. USPS, seriously?

    I guess the Federal government knows how to deliver mail since they’ve had two centuries to practice, but it doesn’t know shit about how commerce works on the Internet.

    This is a true story without exaggeration or embellishment. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

    1. “This is a true story without exaggeration or embellishment. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xNnRBksvOU

      You know what makes it even more ridiculous?

      They’re gonna penaltax you if you don’t see it through.

  16. It’s doubtful anybody can conceivably dispute that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act exchanges have been anything but a total disaster.

    Au contraire.

    Kathleen Sebelius: HealthCare.gov simple, user-friendly

    Oped by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in USAToday.

    1. I would call them Potemkin exchanges, but they lack even the veneer of respectability and ability to deceive that your average Potemkin village was able to manage.

    2. “This work is delivering results. Wait times on HealthCare.gov are now 50% shorter, and more people are enrolling in affordable coverage.”
      50% shorter than the lifespan of a Galapagos Tortoise, you miserable bag of shit?

      “At the same time, we have been upgrading the capacity at our 24/7 call center (800-318-2596). And consumers are finding that their calls are being answered quickly.”
      Translation: ‘People are so pissed at the web access, we’re having to work on phone support’.

      “To those who are interested in signing up, you have until Dec. 15 to enroll to get coverage the first day it takes effect on Jan. 1. If you are willing to wait a little longer for your benefits, you have until the end of March to sign up.”
      IOWs, we’re trying not to sic the IRS on you for out fuck-ups.

      “Virtually anyone who has tried to purchase insurance in the individual market will attest that it was complicated and time consuming. People were denied and priced out, and they had few if any real choices.”
      Translation: ‘We claim to be better than the fucked-up system the government already delivered’.

      “This is why the Marketplace matters. It is simple and user-friendly, and the coverage is affordable.”
      Bullshit.
      Cont’d.

  17. “Jan. 1 will be a new day for millions of Americans who have waited a very long time to obtain affordable health insurance.”
    Bullshit.

    “We will continue making upgrades and improvements to the consumer experience so more of our neighbors are able to realize this dream when the new coverage takes effect.”
    Translation: ‘It’s so fucked up we have to admit it needs improvement’.

    What a miserable, hateful bag of protoplasm that woman is.

    1. “What a miserable, hateful bag of protoplasm that woman is.”

      I could not agree more. She makes Baghdad Bob seem credible.

  18. OT: Thomas Friedman Writes for the International House of Pancakes Menu:

    In the hyperconnected world we live in, nothing is off limits, which is to say that when the phone rang at the Beijing Hilton I picked up and knew it was one of my Arab friends immediately. “If you have something good,” he said to me, mysteriously, “You can always have something better.” I tapped the message into my notepad app. It was only later, playing golf in the fuzzy green indoor 18 hole arena reserved for visiting businessmen from Europe and America, that I realized what the proverb meant. If you have French toast, stuff it with strawberries and vanilla frosting. If you stuff your French toast, put whipped cream and fruit sauce on top. It’s as simple as that and investments work the same way. I call it the Bettering.

    1. when the phone rang at the Beijing Hilton I picked up and knew it was one of my Arab friends immediately

      Jeebus, Tom, could you yank your own pud a little harder. Oooh, such a cosmopolitan man of the world, taking calls from his Arab friends at the Beijing Hilton.

      I guess I’m supposed to get a tingle up my leg.

      1. You do know this is a parody of Friedman, right…?

  19. Sometimes man, you jsut have to roll with the punches.

    http://www.GoGetPrivacy.tk

  20. I think the people who wanted it for free made an account, saw what they actually had to pay for it and said “F this.”

    When the government takes the money in penalties in April, prepare for the REAL outrage from the people who are not going to get their full tax returns.

  21. Slight upgrade to my original idea.

    Just say if you have *some* form of health insurance, you don’t have to pay the penalty. Go on a private health insurance website, which will work, and sign up for any insurance package there, and we won’t penaltax you.

    1. Except that Obamacare added mandates and banned the cheapest plans, so those are more expensive than many can afford now.

  22. So yesterday I posted a link that said setting this shitty website up cost over $500 million dollars.

    It’s actually worse than that–the contractor, CGI Federal, got $634 million to work for three years to set up a website that doesn’t work.

    http://usaspending.gov/explore…..ailsummary

    Given all the bitching on the Healthcare.gov facebook page from people whose insurance costs are going up, it’s instructive to remember that this whole shutdown was started over whether the individual mandate should be delayed. The irony is that it looks like that now would have been to Obama’s advantage, and of course Team Red is going to screw things up by not hammering his point home time and time again.

    1. …”it’s instructive to remember that this whole shutdown was started over whether the individual mandate should be delayed.”…

      And it IS being delayed. By incompetence rather than design.

  23. An article I read last week reports that the reason no one is actually buying insurance through the exchanges is because the websites aren’t collecting the data needed for the insurance companies to process the applications.

  24. For what its worth, I tried to sign up via MNSure (the MN state exchange) for funsies, and got to about the 4th step where I was asked to choose the option to be able to pick my medical facility or not, and I chose the option to pick the facility (aka keep my current doctors), and the website gave me an error message telling me that option is not available at this time and to come back. Yeah, right.

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