The Administration's Continually Shifting Standards for Obamacare's Success



Calling Obamacare a success requires defining standards for what success looks like. In theory, those standards should be consistent over time.

But as National Journal's Sam Baker pointed out earlier this month, the administration has repeatedly backed off its own success metrics.

Just a few months ago, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said success would entail covering 7 million people this year. Now, the White House has disowned that standard for enrollment—and it hasn't come up with a new one.

President Obama touted HealthCare.gov, the main portal to shop for coverage, as the "Amazon" or "Expedia" of health insurance. Now the administration is calling it a win for the site to be "functional for the vast majority of users," and even that standard has been watered down since its debut.

And when the law passed, it was expected to reduce the federal deficit by about $210 billion over a decade. Now the projected savings are about half that, largely because one big program proved unworkable.

In a recent follow-up, Baker notes that the White House is once again downplaying one of its goals for the law—the necessity of getting a large-enough number of young and healthy adults into the exchanges:

White House officials consistently—and accurately—argue that the most important metric for Obamacare's success this year is the mix of young and old enrollees. But they're backing away from their own goals for that mix.

Getting young people into the system is critical to holding down premiums, and therefore to keeping each state's insurance market stable. Administration officials previously said their target was for young adults to make up about 38 percent of Obamacare enrollees. Now that standard is down to about 30 percent. Or maybe even 24 percent—where the mix stands now. 

I'd add another item to this list, which is that the law was supposed to be popular. Before the law passed, Democrats predicted on multiple occasions that it would quickly become reasonably well-liked by the public. Then when opposition continued in the months after passage, Obamacare backers updated their argument, saying that in 2014 when the law's biggest benefits kicked in, the public would shift. But at least so far, that hasn't happened. If anything, the law has become less popular in the last year.

At this point, the White House has backed off so many of its own definitions of success that it's not clear what would constitute a failure. The administration seems to be defining Obamacare success if it continues to exist.

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  1. http://toprightnews.com/?p=765

    Jimmy Kimmel takes a whack at O’Care.

    1. Just watched that before coming here. Very good. The back-flip guy really freaked me out.

    2. If it is the one I saw, the ‘we vote, you don’t’ line should have been changed to ‘you vote like chumps, we don’t.’

      1. What matters is the fake ad attacks Ocare, Social Security, and Medicare as robbing from the young.

  2. It’s impossible to lose when you can move the goalposts anytime you want.

    1. Unless a watchdog media holds you to your promises.

      Yeah, they can’t possibly lose.

      1. “Unless a watchdog media holds you to your promises.”

        Bought and paid for lapdog. Wants nothing other than attention, like any mutt.

        1. MSM: “But if I don’t suck their dicks I’ll lose my access”

  3. Obamacare is a total success when 100 million hits have occurred on its websites.

    1. Although all came from a single user in Boise.

      1. Look, measuring stuff is for technical people. Politicians can’t worry about technical mathematical concepts like how many people are generating hits. It’s all about the hits.

        1. Bong hits?

  4. We know ObamaCare was a success because Barry got re-elected.
    We will know that ObamaCare is a continued success if HillDogg gets elected in ‘014.

    1. As running mate to Biden? And don’t you mean ‘0014?

  5. The Obama administration’s definition of the success of Obamacare seems to mirror the rest of Obama’s accomplishments in office.

  6. Remember this beauty?

    “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

    Ah, those were the days.

    1. “Well, negative values are less than 2500, so it fits the ‘up to’ in the strictest sense. And those who lost insurance are no longer paying premiums…”

      Gah, I can’t keep that level of faux mendacity up for that long.

      1. negative values are less than 2500, so it fits the ‘up to’ in the strictest sense.

        A beautiful example of Obamaese. Thank you.

        1. It hurt me to do the mental somersaults to come uo with it.

            1. Created, I was trying to be snarky.

              1. I think Paul was referring to the ‘jobs created or saved’ by the stimulus. Your brain must have broke when you went to progthinkplace.

                1. Possibly. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    2. Hmmm. Well, I’m paying about 15% more than I did before this law and my deductibles have doubled.

      1. That sounds about the same as mine.

        The thing that pisses me off is that he gave the “$2500 in savings” line on several occasions during his campaign, and afterwards as well.

        Plenty of us were saying at the time “that’s impossible, and in direct contradiction of the economics and actuaries”. But I suppose we’ve been saying that shit forever.

        1. They took a total savings estimate from some statist nerd and divided it by the number of families in the country. It was always the rankest nonsense. Even SNL made fun of it at the time, something along the lines of: “So we’re going to cover more people, and it’s going to cost less? How does that work?”

          1. Apparently not enough people made fun of it, because he said it A LOT.

            1. People didn’t want to be called racist for questioning the Messiah.

      2. My contribution went up 39%

        1. Same. And my copays went up about the same. I can’t wait for the employer mandate to kick in so they can tell me I need a plan that pays for my baby making needs!

      3. Only 15%? You lucky lucky bastard.

        1. “ooooo, proper little jailer’s pet aren’t we? Must ‘ave slipped him a few sheckels then, ay? WHAT WOULNDT I *GIVE* TO BE SPAT IN THE FACE! They must think the sun shines up your ass, sonny…think you’re god almighty.

          Crucifixion? Best thing the Romans ever did for us.”

    3. I love the use of “up to”. Means exactly the same as “no more than”, but somehow people process them differently.

      1. Yeah, that goes in contracts when I want to insult the other side.

  7. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  8. I like how the news keeps uncritically reporting how “young invincibles” are “critical” to the success of obamacare to help spread the risk.

    1. Are they even signing up? I heard something about a very substantial percentage of the enrollees being in Florida, which smells to me like people with preexisting conditions. In other words, old, sick people.

      1. I believe that Washington’s exchange just reported that “one in five” signing up is a “young person”. No word on the health status of that young person.

        1. The irony is that most of said young people probably qualify for the medicaid expansion, thus rendering their enrollment a further net drain.

      2. Pro Libertate|1.16.14 @ 12:55PM|#
        “Are they even signing up?”

        NYT (Monday?) had an article about how the pool is heavily biased to the elderly and ill, but not to worry, Obo is going to mount a new marketing pitch to separate the yutes from their money!

        1. Washington just announced they have a booth at the Justin Timberlake concert and will be offering a chance to win tickets to Sasquatch Festival to the scruffy young hipsters that sign up!

          1. The sad thing is that after Pajama Boy and all those other idiotic ads targeting frat bros and shit I can’t tell if you’re serious or joking. This means the Obama admin. is literally beyond parody.

            And if they wanted to get hipsters to sign up, they should do that at a Fun concert, not Justin Timberlake. Although I suspect a lot of hipsters went home over the Christman holiday and pestered their enabling parents into signing up for a plan that will cover them until they’re 26 so they can be just like Pajama Boy.

            1. No, this is deadly serious. Reported on the local NPR station this very morning.

              Another facts-only non-critical report of Obamacare. Young invincibles being ‘critical’ to the success of Obamacare etc.

              1. Holy shit. Like I said: Beyond. Parody.

          2. “As seen on TV!” “Operators standing by!” “But wait! There’s MORE!” “Beautifies as it moisturizes!” “I wanna give ’em away, but my wife won’t let me!”

    2. Yes. We have to get these idiots to sign up to pay for other people’s healthcare.

      I amazes me how baldly this argument is made. I’m not sure it’s because they don’t understand statistics, or because they do and they just assume that “young invincibles” are too stupid and illiterate to.

      1. because they do and they just assume that “young invincibles” are too stupid and illiterate to.

        Well, that was the population that voted for him in greater numbers than any other age demographic, so their assumption may not be invalid.

    3. Why would young invincibles sign up? Most of them are unemployed and living in mommy & daddy’s basement, and Obamacare allows them to then be covered till they are 26. That demographic they were hoping was gonna take the brunt of the shock is drastically reduced by Obamacare and Obamanomics, so they are gonna get squat.

  9. Why is H&R on the left side of the screen now? Its HURTING MY NECK! LAWSUIT. CALLING SAUL.

    1. It’s also annoying to read for when it doesn’t cause neck problems.

    2. I was wondering about that, too. Thought I’d screwed up my browser settings or something.

      1. I’d missed a day, so I thought there might have been some announcement I’d missed about why it looked wrong. I waited for someone else to bring it up before commenting.

        I shouldn’t have waited I guess. How many of the rest of you are seeing H&R Screwy?

        1. It started looking different yesterday afternoon.

          1. The evil Kochtopus needs bigger sidebar ads. Even tho the adverts are the same @*(&$@ vendors. Just bigger. so now we can Not Give a Shit in equal amounts to larger ads.

            Seriously though. it hurts my neck.

            Website design seems to be a constant process of taking a perfectly readable format, and gradually chipping away at it until it becomes some ungodly mess that is painful to look at and impossible to navigate. Sort of like Government work, really.

            1. For an example of everything wrong with Web Design, please see =


              I believe they may make history. “First website to be determined a crime against humanity”

              1. Is it even possible to close that goddamn motherfucking overlay asking you to subscribe? I spent a good 10 minutes looking for an X to click on to close, but it must have been black-on-black because I couldn’t find it.

                What an utter clusterfuck.

                1. “Ted S.|1.16.14 @ 4:29PM|#

                  Is it even possible to close that goddamn motherfucking overlay asking you to subscribe?”

                  bwa ha hahahahahahahaahahahaaaaaaa

                  No. Even if you try and subscribe, it just gets worse. Even if you *are* subscribed, it keeps repeatedly asking you that. Then it asks you to change your password. Then that doesn’t work either.

                  It is website of THE DAMNED.

            2. Reason has ads in the sidebar…?

              1. I’m not seeing any changes. Looks the same as always.

                1. Ditto on Mozilla

                2. YOU MOCK MY PAIN!?


                  No, really, you’re kidding, right? The sidebar on the right went from a measly 1.5″ or so to like 4″ wide now. which crushed the indent on the left, putting all the text squished on the extreme left of the screen.

                  That said – Dear Reason: please keep the really hot chick who wears the red/orange Roadkill T-shirt. You know the one I mean. The one lying down. Smiling. Keep that one. Thank you.

                  1. Oh, also? There’s like 3 hot chicks in the sidebar now.

                    So, yes, I’m still complaining. But AD/HD girl does qualify as New And Improved webmastering. That wins a Golf Clap.


        2. Announcements? That’s funny. They never point out that they changed the website because that only calls attention to it. Not only H&R, but basically everyone.

    3. Since Reason.com probably has a ‘suggestion box’ or some shit, somewhere… let’s try a little consumer-input.

      “look, if you MUST have more ad-space, that’s fine. But integrate it into the !@(*@# site rather than shove it onto the side, which squishes 99% of the content, and forces much more scrolling than needed for pure text.

      i.e. = put the ads between posts. in the middle of the screen. like you already do with the individual articles before the comments start. The sidebar stuff is a waste in a vertical-oriented blog, because at a certain point they stop and now all you’ve got is a ton of unused blank space on the side, which would have been better employed *making the posts READABLE*

      Repeat = squeezing text into a long, skinny vertical column is *fucking stupid and painful to read*



      You probably *can’t* read that, because FP has gone full-retard down the road of internet self-destruction.

      It may seem implicitly sexist to put this way, but I’ll do it anyway = *No one cares what you’re saying when you’re painful to look at.* Just a thought.

  10. At a gross level, we need three (maybe four) data points to evaluate OCare’s impact on coverage:

    (1) How many people had health insurance (not Medicaid, which isn’t insurance) at the end of 2013 (those cancellations were mostly effective 12/31/13)

    (2) How many people have health insurance (fully paid for and in effect) on April 1, 2013 (when all the extended deadlines for signing up run out)?

    (3) How many people who had health insurance in 2013 are now on Medicaid?

    (4) How many people who were newly eligible for Medicaid under the OCare expansion have signed up for Medicaid?

    The odds that we will actually get this information, and that it will be widely distributed and discussed in the DemOp media complex? Nil.

    1. Those numbers are pretty available. We certainly know them for 1 October 2014. And you could get a pretty good guess on the numbers for 2014 by conducting a few well run polls, which someone will do. It won’t be the media but some think tank or insurance industry group will.

      The numbers will be out there. What the media will do is not publish them and tell the country how the number of people with health insurance really isn’t important. Yeah, they are going to be that mendacious. After years of crusading for the uninsured Americans, the media is going to spend all of 2014 talking about how the number of uninsured people isn’t really very important.

      1. Americans, the media is going to spend all of 2014 talking about how the number of uninsured people isn’t really very important.

        Considering they’ve already moved the goalposts by declaring the individuals’ cost of healthcare isn’t important, this I would estimate as highly likely.

      2. Those numbers are pretty available.

        Well, we won’t have the final numbers until April, but I haven’t seen a solid number for any of them anywhere. Even the cancellations are usually a range (4 – 6 million is what I’ve seen, and I’m not sure if that’s policies or covered lives).

        If you’ve got a solid source for any of these numbers, I’d love to know of it.

        1. “Well, we won’t have the final numbers until April,”

          Yeah, maybe. But I suspect the first quarter numbers will be sequestered till November 5th, due to …umm… technical issues.

  11. the administration is calling it a win for the site to be “functional for the vast majority of users”

    Of course, in order to be considered a “user”, a person must experience a functional site. Therefore, the site is functional for *100%* of the users.

    Continuing to study Obamaese ….

    1. I registered, browsed through the plans dished up by the estimator tool, rolled my eyes, and logged off.

      A few weeks later I tried again, this time going through the actual process and availing the website of my payroll information, and had my application(ostensibly) dispatched to the state Medicaid office (college student making just above the FPL). I haven’t heard back after about six weeks.

      Nonetheless, I suspect I’m now tallied as a successful registrant by the administration, despite never having secured affordable health insurance.

      1. ‘Friends, can you fog a mirror? If so, you qualify for a loan at Friendly Fred’s Used Cars!’

        1. E-3 and below welcome!

        2. “‘Friends, can you fog a mirror?'”

          That’s just blatant discrimination against many of Obama’s Chicago voters.

      2. “To be considered a successful applicant for the ACA, a person must have filled out their personal information and had it made available to the identity thieves who have cracked our database.”

        1. I see what you did there….

    2. It will be functional for some users alright. I just don’t think they understand what type of users it will be functional for.

      1. I wish I could claim to be surprised.

  12. the administration has repeatedly backed off its own success metrics.

    Not only the most transparent administration in history, but also the most *humble*.

    1. And much to be humble about, too.

  13. I think an important fact has been overlooked by many commenters.

    That is that ObamaCare has probably already reached it’s entire target market.

    The point of the ACA was never to force healthy 26 year old men to purchase insurance. It was to get health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

    And the obvious fact is: Anyone who really wanted health insurance and couldn’t get it before would have signed up by now. You don’t wait until the last day of the enrollment period if you’re eager to begin treatment as soon as possible. You do that if you don’t really want insurance and are only doing it to avoid the penalty.

    Which means those 2.1 million enrollments, plus 4 million medicaid, probably contains nearly everyone who is actually going to benefit from the law. And given that we know a lot of those people were people re-enrolling or who previously had plans they liked, that means that the number of beneficiaries is going to be vastly dwarfed by the number of “losers”.
    We’re probably talking 1-2 million people getting health insurance they couldn’t otherwise get, and 10-20 million people (ultimately) being forced off of plans they liked or being compelled to purchase insurance they don’t want, at inflated prices.

    1. +1 Insightful

    2. those 2.1 million enrollments

      Since the term “enrollment” has been stripped of all meaning, I think this number probably sets the upper bound, and the real number will be far less.

      And, really, the number that matters is covered lives, not policies. Wouldn’t surprise me to learn that cancelled family policies are being replaced with individual policies that cover fewer people, given the higher price on the new policies.

      1. Indeed, I think they are still counting people who registered and put a plan in their shopping cart, not people who actually paid.

        1. “Indeed, I think they are still counting people who registered and put a plan in their shopping cart, not people who actually paid.”

          The administration has already stated that the number is enrolled, not the number who have made their first payment. Indeed, they “encouraged” the health insurers to accept late payments.

      2. To be fair, the people who signed up but didn’t pay their premiums may include a large number of people who are hoping to scam a few months worth of medical care out of the system. Maybe they heard about how you could get three free months of coverage before you could be cut off.

        1. Could also be people who had their hands held by “navigators” for the enrollment process, but never followed through.

        2. Their mistake is that you only get the grace period for nonpayment once the policy is in effect, and to get it into effect you have to pay the first premium.

          Some insurers are giving a grace period on the first premium, but I don’t see how that works. Are they saying that your new policy is in effect on January 1, but will be retroactively cancelled if you don’t pay by the end of the month? How does that work for all the providers who provided care during the retroactive cancellation?

          1. I think they are saying that any claims incurred after Jan. 1 will be covered so long as you pay your first premium by XX date even though XX date is after Jan. 1. If don’t pay by XX date, then you never have coverage.

            1. Yes, but in that case, they scammed “free” healthcare right? There is literally a 2 week window or so, where you can get healthcare without any payment.

              And if you do manage just 1 payment, then you can ride it for 3 months.

              1. I don’t think so. You still need to pay a full month’s premium on XX date to get the retroactive coverage. It’s not more free than if you paid the premium before Jan. 1.

                1. Right, but the point is, those people can get treated in the window between Jan 1 and XX date and then walk away without paying leaving the provider stuck with the bill.

            2. If don’t pay by XX date, then you never have coverage.

              And the doctors and hospitals who saw you under the foolish belief that you were covered? How do they get paid under a policy that was retroactively cancelled?

              1. “How do they get paid under a policy that was retroactively cancelled?”

                one thing obamacare does have is a lot of wiggle room for HHS to backstop insurers ‘excess costs’ in some form or another. In November last year they made clear that any coverage made in ‘error’ or undercharged or whatever would be made whole through mechanisms already extant in the law.

                in effect, the white house has said, “2014 is going to be a loss-year for insurers (due to Govt screw-ups), and taxpayers will backstop those losses” Its a bailout made in the name of getting O’care ‘up and running’, regardless of costs.

                Some detail


              2. I suppose they have to send you a bill directly. I doubt the insurer would have provided a card or other confirmation of insurance prior to payment, so I wouldn’t be real sympathetic to a doctor that thought he had recourse against an insurance company.

    3. The system works!

      1. It des what it was meant to, right?

    4. My wife and I are part of that 10-20 million sector.

  14. White House officials consistently?and accurately?argue that the most important metric for Obamacare’s success this year is the mix of young and old enrollees. But they’re backing away from their own goals for that mix.

    Pyramid schemes need a wide base of suckers on the bottom in order to work. Now do your patriotic duty and kick those payments up to the old and the sick and the rich.

    1. I disagree that the most important metric is the mix.

      The most important metric is covered lives. Are there more, or less, of them post OCare?

      Based on the very limited information we have so far, I don’t see how it can be more, and it may be less even if you count all the new Medicaid beneficiaries who have actually signed up.

      1. Even if it were the mix, the young v old issue obscures what matters: the costs of claims. Young is just being used as a proxy for healthy and therefore cheap. But plenty of young people are sick. If all the 25 year olds in your pool are sick, the fact that they are young doesn’t help you.

        We’re going to find out what the enrollment mix looks like in April when insurers have to submit 2015 rate proposals to state regulators. Obama can’t delay that deadline, and it’s going to be based on first quarter claims experience.

        1. About that same time we are also going to find out how much of a bailout taxpayers are going to have to fork over to Health Insurance companies.

          The bailout language in the ACA is disgusting.

        2. We’re going to find out what the enrollment mix looks like in April

          Probably not, or not well, because the insurers weren’t allowed to do medical underwriting.

          1. But in April they will have 3 months of claims experience, so they’ll know what they got.

            1. 3 months claims isn’t nearly enough to give you a good picture of what your risk pool is.

              Plus, some/many won’t have been enrolled the entire 3 months.

              And, health care is, believe it or not, a seasonal business to some degree. You can’t multiply the first quarter times four and get a good prediction.

      2. The most important metric is the effect on the next election.

        Covering more lives might not improve that metric if most of the lives “covered” are unhappy with what they were forced to purchase.

      3. The most important metric is covered lives.

        Ultimately, the most important metric is actual health. Will Obamacare improve it, on balance? I’d say no, because more people are being hurt than are being helped.

        1. I would say that a health care financing program can’t be evaluated based on actual health, because actual health is driven mostly by lifestyle, not health care or health care financing.

  15. If moving goalposts counts as exercise, Obamacare is already making some people healthier!

  16. Administration officials previously said their target was for young adults to make up about 38 percent of Obamacare enrollees. Now that standard is down to about 30 percent. Or maybe even 24 percent?where the mix stands now.

    And their acolytes in the media will not only buy this without question, they’ll seriously argue that it was implied all along and only racist Tea Baggers could be stupid enough to think that this glorious healthcare law isn’t going exactly as the Dear Leader promised it would.

  17. it was designed to fail so they could introduce single payer.

    1. Been hashed out ad-nauseum. I’m one of the believers around here that it will usher in Single payer but I don’t buy the conspiracy theory that ocare was “designed to fail”. I do believe that Obama and his supporters/advisers were actually dumb enough to believe they could make this work.

      ocare’s failures have prompted a call for single-payer, that much is without dispute. the only remaining question is, will it gain enough steam to be taken seriously in the mainstream. I think it will, but it’ll be a couple of presidents down the road. And I think this because I believe that most of us drastically underestimate just how entrenched into the mindset of “free stuff” this country finds itself.

      1. Using Obamacare as a reason for single payer is like a caterer who ruined a big event (food was late, not as ordered, food poisonings, and a much higher bill than promised) claiming that the reason he screwed up is that he doesn’t handle all your meals. Just commit to that, forever, and everything will be fine.

        I don’t think that argument is going to sell.

        1. This is what I have been saying. Why would anyone respond to a huge federal intervention causing terrible things with ‘hey, what we need is far more federal intervention of the same type?’

          1. Seriously? Like every statist, ever.

            1. Sure, but it is hardly logical.

              And there are some instances where the failure of a big program leads to a lingering distaste among much of the public for anything similar. Vietnam and now Iraq have led people to be hesitant about foreign intervention, and in the domestic sphere the failure of big programs got us to a place not long ago where even a Democrat President proclaimed that the ‘era of big government is over.’

              1. the failure of a big program leads to a lingering distaste among much of the public for anything similar. Vietnam and now Iraq have led people to be hesitant about foreign intervention,

                Ah, but even in the example you cite (Vietnam and then Iraq) people got over their hesitation for foriegn intervention eventually. And actually we were still plenty interventionist in the intervening years, we just weren’t as interested in getting into big interventions that require nation building. We either did limited small scale stuff against far weaker opposition (Panama, Grenada) or we went in as the backbone of a large UN mission (Desert Storm, and even then we didn’t topple the Iraqi government and try to nation build).

                Point being, people do eventually forget.

                1. At this point I will take a few decades of relief.

              2. “Bo Cara Esq. – Why would anyone respond to a huge federal intervention causing terrible things with ‘hey, what we need is far more federal intervention of the same type?'”

                Bo, meet Paul Krugman, Paul meet Bo.


                Now, Bo, Paul is a Nobel Prize winning economist who writes for the New York Times. And remember he’s The Conscience of a Liberal.

              3. Sure, but it is hardly logical.

                We are talking about collectivist statists. What the fuck does logic have to do with anythign these people believe in? They are a bunch of unicorn fart smellers. They really bellieve they can simply override the laws of economics and human nature by sheer desire. Logic has the same effect on these people as holy symbols, holy water, or sunlight is supposed to have on vampires.

            2. Seriously? Like every statist, ever.

              Based on recent election results, I’m going to say that by “statist”, you mean “voter”.

              1. Hey, all statists are voters, but not all voters are statists.

                1. Exactly. The vast numbers of voters in the middle are less inclined towards single payer, not more inclined, because of Obamacare. They think “the government screwed it up,” not “the free market screwed it up, so we need more government.” Obamacare has been a PR disaster for statists.

                  And note that the Democrats lost the House, and nearly the Senate, because of Obamacare. They lost the House in 1994 in part because of Hillarycare. Pushing single payer would be electoral suicide.

          2. This is what I have been saying. Why would anyone respond to a huge federal intervention causing terrible things with ‘hey, what we need is far more federal intervention of the same type?’

            Why would anyone *cough*latinos*cough* vote for Obama a second time, and in greater numbers after witnessing his first term?

            1. If you run Mr. ‘Self Deportation’ against him, then it is less inexplicable.

          3. Why would anyone respond to a huge federal intervention causing terrible things with ‘hey, what we need is far more federal intervention of the same type?’

            Bo, I think you’re seriously underestimating the lengths people will go to delude themselves into thinking, “This time it will be different.”

            There’s going to be fights over it for a long time because so many people are going to get screwed over this, but ultimately the single-payer folks will likely win out because their ideological fellows are so heavily entrenched in the media and bureaucratic institutions that determine the makeup of the nation’s culture.

            I’m already seeing various TV shows mentioning off-hand how sweet it would be to have Canada’s system–exrtrapolate that out to the education system, various media outlets, and a couple of generations that have no clue as to the limits of scale, and single-payer will probably come along sooner rather than later.

        2. That’s why it will be a couple of presidents or so down the line. You have to give people enough time to develop mass amnesia and “forget” that the reason healthcare sucks so much is because of Obamacare and how badly the government fucked things up in the first place. Add in ~20 years of prog propoganda about it’s all those EVUL GREEDY insurance companies fault (“MARKET FAILURE!!!11!!!! OMGZ!!11!!!) and constant bleating about how much better Single Payer would be, and eventually people will be stupid enough to buy into the bullshit.

          1. It’s not like Obamacare is entirely new. It’s really just another layer of regulatory laminate on top of an already heavily regulated system. And we were told this layer of laminate was necessary because of Market Failurez and greedy insurance companies.

            Essentially, it’s been demonstrated that our ability to learn from our past mistakes is non-existent.

            I remain confident in my pessimism.

            1. Essentially, it’s been demonstrated that our ability to learn from our past mistakes is non-existent.

              And therein lies the problem doesn’t it? When people learn that the only problem with statists over the 20th Century was they were the wrong people, which lead to 150 million deaths – the solution is just getting the right people in.

              Of course that’s not learning, but that’s what many of those in charge believe and they certainly believe strongly they’ve “learned” the true lessons of history and doing everything in their power to not repeat them.

    2. They didn’t want single payer. They wanted the finger wag where they can ‘tut, tut’ about you unsophisticated hicks who keep America from reaching her full potential as an industrialized social democracy while at the same time enjoying the benefits of the health related technology and efficiency of services that we have and our betters don’t.


    1. Here in this three ring binder labeled “Single Payer”.

  19. Getting young people into the system is critical to holding down premiums for nonyoung people, and therefore to keeping each state’s insurance market stable.


  20. LBJ gave us the War on Poverty.
    Nixon gave us the War on Drugs.
    Obama has given us the War on Healthcare.

    1. That’s not accurate, because the results of the war on poverty was more poverty, the war on drugs resulted in more drugs, and the ‘war on healthcare’ won’t result in more healthcare.

      1. So, success?

      2. the ‘war on healthcare’ won’t result in more healthcare.

        That just means that Obama will have actually won a War on [whatever], thereby making him the GREATEST PRESIDENT EVAR.

      3. Obama has given us the War on Healthcare Expensive Healthcare Insurance.

        How is that?

        1. That’s a win.

  21. Kimmel does raise a good point I hadn’t considered.

    How *are* they going to get a large number of 18-30 year olds to register if you can stay of your parents *subsidized* health care plan until you’re 26?

    1. Easy! Destroy their parent’s healthcare plan but dropping a sledgehammer on the employer-based market.

    2. He’s not the first. I suspect the administration gambled the workability of Obamacare for youth votes in 2011/12.

    3. Please, don’t actually use logic around the liberals.

    4. Another thought.

      Most people in their 20’s aren’t making that much – usually the ‘big bucks’ don’t start coming in until your 30’s when you’re running full-speed in your chosen career.

      SO what good is it to even get 23 year old pajama boy to sign up when you’re just going to have to subsidize him anyway?

      1. Because then we can pretend like he’s taken personal responsibility for his healthcare.

      2. Subsidy is the whole idea. The young and healthy subsidize the old and sick. The taxpayer subsidizes the poor. The young are more likely to be poor.

        So all of this ends up being yet another taxpayer subsidy of the older and better off. Just like Medicare and Social Security. And all the while abusing any semblance of what’s left of the actual health insurance market.

        You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? Perfect legislation. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

        1. Don’t forget that we are now subsidizing the cost of health insurance plans with revenue generated by taxing all health insurance plans. And we are lowering the cost of health care by taxing medical devices. It’s the statist version of perpetual motion.

          1. I admire its purity. A survivor… unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

            I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.

  22. This is how big government types backpedal when inevitably their interventions into areas they barely understood goes wrong. In my adult life the two clearest, most egregious examples were the Iraq War and now the ACA.

    The Bush administration took us into an insanely arrogant scheme to invade and occupy a country and ‘remake’ a region. We were told we would find WMDs, be greeted with flowers, order would be easily kept and the invasion would pay for itself. When things did not work out that way the measure of success started to shift; the Iraqis would have an election, we were really fighting al Qaeda over there rather than over here, we had killed this or that ‘top lieutenant’ of al Qaeda. Bandaids were peppered over wounds streaming with blood.

    Then came Obama with his idea for a one sized fits all (except for his numerous exemptions for his chosen few) takeover of one of our biggest, most complex industries. We are at phase one, just the sign up phase, and already it has gone disasterously. It will keep getting worse, and they will keep changing the measure of success.

    At least with Iraq the upshot is that now and in the immediate future the American people have no stomach for meddling in foreign wars. I certainly hope that the upshot of the ACA’s collapse will be a long period of healthy and deep skepticism against such arrogant federal forays into our lives.

    1. But since Bush left office has anything actually changed for the better in our foreign policy?

      1. We haven’t capitulated on *all* of Obama’s adventurism, so there’s that.

        Unfortunately it’s probably more a sign of Congressional gridlock than a seachange in federal attitudes toward warfare.

        1. I was just reminded of this
          Senior UK Defense Advisor: Obama is clueless about what he wants to do in the world

          On the one hand, he doesn’t appear to have an agenda. On the other, that doesn’t appear to stop him from flailing about. Ultimately, his foreign policy legacy will be worse than Bush because his weaknesses are not offset by any strengths.

          1. “Obama is clueless…”

            Just stop right there. That’s all you need to know.

          2. On the one hand, he doesn’t appear to have an agenda. On the other, that doesn’t appear to stop him from flailing about.

            hmmmm; perhaps flailing about IS the agenda.

      2. Since Bush left, has any foreign policy actually changed?

        1. Sure. Obama has been much more willing to give things to our enemies and stab our friends in the back than Bush ever was.

          1. Don’t forget other wonderful, well thought out plans such as knowing that never seen video caused a skirmish in Bengahzi, and giving guns to drug cartels.

            Also there was that speech, where he said, as eloquently as anyone before, that he really, really, really understood. I mean really understood, deep down in those places that only feeling people know about, how some peoples might not like the US due to its past foreign entanglements.

            Oh – and then our president, the brilliant, steely eyed warrior who killed Bin Laden, got into a third-grade school yard fight with Putin. Snowden, gay ambassador, Billie Jean King, snubbings by skipped diplomatic meetings – and at each step, the US administration showed how inept it was, as Putin barely moved yet manipulated the most powerful government on earth into doing the equivalent of sticking their tongue out in the middle of a debate they know they’re losing.

            & let’s not forget muderdroning – which only exists because of our exceptionally moral commander-in-chief. No one else is even capable of questioning those decisions they are so pure.

            At least some of that has to help the US image worldwide, right?

      3. Yes. Pre Bush, interventions in Libya and Syria would have proved much more popular than they did post-Bush.

      4. Yes. Pre Bush, interventions in Libya and Syria would have proved much more popular than they did post-Bush.

      5. You’re all christfags!

        *runs out of room crying*

      6. I think we have had no new interventions matching that administration’s.

  23. Obummer: If just one person who couldn’t get insurance before can get it now because of my healthcare plan, then it will have been a success.

    Peasant: What about the millions who lost their coverage because of your healtcare plant?

    Obummer: Let me be clear, uh, those people should thank us for getting rid of their insufficient health insurance policies.

    Peasant: But, Mr. President, most people are seeing their insurance premiums significantly increase as a direct result of your healthcare law. Your law is called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But fewer people than ever can now afford coverage. Will you please address that?

    Obummer: Uh… next question, please.

    1. …peasant: *places new Obama 2012 sticker on his car, next to old Obama 2008 sticker*

      1. And probably has a “Hillary 2016” sticker next to that one… -_-

        1. I think I’ll put a series of bumper stickers on my car

          Bush 2000
          Bush 2004
          Obama 2008
          Obama 2012
          Hillary 2016
          Because if you’re gonna drive this thing into the ground, then DRIVE it!

          1. Or maybe

            Trainwrecks are awesome

            1. I bought a “PEROT ’92” t-shirt on ebay last week.

              I am officially 2X more awesome.

              I had to pass on the “ROSS for BOSS” shirt though, as I thought it may be just a little too obscure

              1. Jeez, I should get one of those. That brings me way back to my college days and the na?ve thoughts that considered Bush Senior a bad President for reneging on his no new taxes pledge.

                Sigh, that was a golden time, when a popular President breaking a campaign promise was enough to get him kicked out of office.

                1. Bush Sr. was by far the best President we have had post Reagan. He cleaned up the S&L mess, got Congress to agree to spending restraints, and successfully managed the fall of the Eastern Block. He is the last President to have any real accomplishments that were not forced on him by the other side.

            2. Or maybe

              Trainwrecks are awesome


              Bush 2000
              Bush 2004
              Obama 2008
              Obama 2012
              Hillary 2016

              Maybe voting the lesser of two evils isn’t working?

  24. Rep Ann Kirpatrick (D-Arizona), a woman who voted for Obamacare and against its repeal at least twice, is now running campaign ads criticizing Obamacare. Peak irony and derp will be reached.


    1. Her opponent’s ads just write themselves, don’t they?

    2. “The ad opens by praising her for blowing the whistle on the “disastrous healthcare website.””

      And the move towards the door starts.

  25. Jeffries says the NTIA needs to see how hate speech is transmitted over the various new modes of communication that have sprung up over the last two decades.

    “The Internet is a wonderful vehicle for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” he said. “But it can also be used as a platform to promote hate and target vulnerable individuals.

    “This legislation will mandate a comprehensive analysis of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of the First Amendment protection.”


    We don’t have a right to free speech. We have a zone of free speech determined by our betters.

    1. They need to cut that shit out. There are some things worth going to civil war over. 1A is one of them.

    2. The National Organization for Women also supports the bill. “We hope that the study will address continuing hate speech that vilifies women seeking reproductive health care…

      I can’t even think of any smartass remark to go with this one.

    3. By the way, I would consider the abortion protest controversy to be ground zero for when liberals progressives moved away from the first amendment. Up until the abortion protests really took hold, protesters were largely aggreived liberal groups carrying the host of usual causes.

      There was no shortage of angry, abusive language, actual taking of hostages, sit-ins and occupations of actual private property (AIDS protests of the late 80s/90s anyone).

      It was all considered part of the first amendment landscape. Then came along abortion protests and then whoaaaaa differences!

      Suddenly we had studious liberals and progressives explaining the limits of free speech to us, when protesting became abusive or ‘hate speech’ and the concept of the ‘free speech’ buffer zone was born.

      Not brought to you by Ronald Reagan, but brought to you the Planned Parenthood Army.

      Bet you never suspected that, Abby Hoffman!

      1. Yeah, I brought this up the other day. Progs can be so hypocritical. They also love “grassroots movements,” except when they are anti-leftist. In those cases they are are all “astroturf.”

    4. “that occurs outside of the zone of the First Amendment protection”

      WTF is the “zone of the First Amendment protection”?

      1. It used to mean things like fighting words and fraudulent commercial speech, but now it means “saying mean things” or “facts that make me uncomfortable.”

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