Obamacare

Under Obamacare, People Must Be Broken of Their Preference for Choice

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Whitehouse.gov

We have a new contender for most-telling-ever Obamacare quote this morning: "We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has." That's Marcus Merz, head of Minnesota health insurer PreferredOne, in a New York Times report on the increasing prevalence of narrow network health plans.

Merz is basically stating openly what the Obama administration won't, which is that Obamacare is intentionally designed to narrow consumer choice and plan design within the health insurance market. The Obama administration doesn't want to say this because it is bad politics generally, and also because President Obama specifically and repeatedly promised that, under the law, people would be able to keep their choice of health plans and doctors, not that they would be broken of their preference for medical choice. But the law's authors and administrators have a pretty good idea of what kind of health insurance they want you to have, and that's the kind of insurance that you're going to get.

"We're all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks," Merz continues. "We"—by which I mean the insurance industry—tried this before, in the 1990s, when narrow-network plans referred to as Health Maintenance Organizations were all the rage. It didn't go so well, and eventually insurers cut it out.

But this time it will be different, insurers tell The New York Times. Why? Because…look, it will just be different. Trust us. 

Although a similar attempt to restrict choice failed in the early '90s, after opposition to H.M.O.s and managed care, insurers insist these efforts will not run into the same resistance because they are now working more closely with providers, and customers are more concerned about costs. "It's a new era," said Dr. Sam Ho, the chief medical officer for United Healthcare.

Others agree. "You're going to see this as a dominant strategy," said Jeff Hoffman, who works closely with hospitals for Kurt Salmon, a consulting firm.

And if insurance executives say it, well, it must be true, and the liberal health wonks who back Obamacare would never think to question them. Truly it is a new era.

Yes, obviously this time it is different, in the sense that there is now a mandate to buy insurance and a bevy of administration-enforced rules and regulations about what sorts of plans, covering what sorts of procedures, can be sold through the exchanges. Hence the necessary "breaking of the choice habit." The law is written in such a way as to severely constrain and, as a result, practically predetermine which sorts of plans are available at any given price point. Insurers all end up offering what amounts to a few standard models, plus or minus a handful of decorative touches. 

Given the limited choices and the requirement to buy, then, it's not really surprising that many customers end up choosing cheaper plans—and the narrow networks that inevitably go along with them. Or, as Karen Ignani, the head of the insurance industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, says in the article's second best quote, "What we're finding is individuals are experiencing a preference for affordability."

It's worth stopping for a moment to admire that quote. It is a minor masterpiece of lobbying communications nothing-speak. It is almost entirely removed from action or accountability. It's like she's talking about a new observational study on cloud formations. 

But people shopping for insurance under Obamacare are not simply experiencing some mysterious condition. They are being required, by law, to purchase a product, and then deciding that for the money they have spent—which in many cases is merely a fraction of the total cost, the rest of which is being picked up by taxpayers—they do not like what they are getting in return. That is why the choice habit must be broken. We can't have people's quirky, complicated personal tastes and preferences messing up our perfect system. 

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  1. Uuuuuuuugh. That picture is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. I want to make a Warty joke or something, but I simply can’t.

    I can’t…..can’t even talk about it anymore.

    “Aaaahhh, it looks like it’s suicide again for me.”

    1. “I’ve been contemplating suicide,
      but it really doesn’t suit my style”

  2. Uuuuuuuugh. That picture is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. I want to make a Warty joke or something, but I simply can’t.

    I can’t…..can’t even talk about it anymore.

    “Aaaahhh, it looks like it’s suicide again for me.”

    1. It’s so awful you needed to tell us twice. 🙂

      1. I said it was suicide AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!

        Fookin’ squirrelz.

      2. He reincarnated, saw the picture again, and so it goes.

    1. Fuck your preferences!

    2. We need to get you out of this annoying habit of wanting your choice in things. Take the collective bread Reason is offering not the cake offered by that running dog capitalist stooge Drudge.

    3. It’s because they found they have a backlog of reason articles they want people to comment on, so they posted those instead.

  3. Yes, obviously this time it is different, in the sense that there is now a mandate to buy insurance and a bevy of administration-enforced rules and regulations about what sorts of plans, covering what sorts of procedures, can be sold through the exchanges. Hence the necessary “breaking of the choice habit.” The law is written in such a way as to severely constrain and, as a result, practically predetermine which sorts of plans are available at any given price point. Insurers all end up offering what amounts to a few standard models, plus or minus a handful of decorative touches.

    But I have been told this is a shining jewel of freedom, consumer protection, choice and liberty! Should I just be quiet and drink my Victory Gin and enjoy my new 20 gram chocolate ration?

    1. This time we have created the new Soviet man who will accept the will of the collective.

    2. HOW DID YOU GET A 20 GRAM CHOCOLATE RATION?!

      1. Hey, the 20 Gram chocolate ration, is 50% better than the old 30 13 Gram chocolate ration.

    3. The New Grams are better than the old ones.

    4. “my new 20 gram chocolate ration?”

      whats scary is that back in January a news lady said the price of chocolate was going to go up but people will be happier for having less anyway.

      My jaw dropped with that statement, I never thought anybody would be so openly and actively Orwelian.

      1. Obama campaigned on raising the price of gas so people couldn’t drive as much. COULDN’T.

    5. absolutely. the law says every insurance carrier has to offer just about the same policies at the same prices, the only distinctions being in customer service.

      1. Well you wouldn’t want any unfair, dog-eat-dog competition, now would you?

  4. What got me turned on to Reason, and contributed to my conversion to full-on libertarian, was a speech I saw on YouTube by Nick. In it he described being libertarian as choice vs. control. The idea is that the more choices you have in an area of your life, the more happy you will be with that area. And the more control someone else has over an area of your life, the less happy you will be with that area. So if you frame it that way, Obamacare should be making everyone fucking miserable. And in my experience, that is the case.

    1. Progressives believe freedom means freedom from choice. Choice comes with responsibility and the possibility of being wrong. Progressives want to free themselves from all responsibility and the chance of being wrong. The only choices they want to allow people are what sex to marry and whether or not to get an abortion. But that’s it. All other choices are to be spelled out in policy, and administered by top men who have no choice themselves because policy is policy.

      1. Progressives believe that freedom means freedom from responsibility.

        1. Yup. Which is why they despise liberty.

        2. I’m convinced that at the foundation of every liberal is the belief that most people are profoundly stupid and immoral. That’s why choice is a burden and a liability, and needs to be placed into the hands of someone smart who can make decisions to better all of our lives… save us from trans-fats, being under-insured, dangerous guns, “unfair” wages etc

          1. I love the blank looks (or outright anger) that I tend to get when I use the following response:

            For the sake of argument I’ll accept the premise that “most people are profoundly stupid, selfish, and immoral”, but without a clear test to tell me who the exceptions are I’m going to be forced to assume that your chosen experts are also stupid, selfish, and immoral.

            1. dingdingding… i couldnt have said it better

            2. A friend of mine used to say, “Thank God WE’RE perfect.”

      2. Progressives believe that the Proles must only be offered Progressive approved choices. Because the Proles can’t be trusted.

        1. Proles aren’t smart enough to make choices about their own lives, health, welfare, money, etc., but somehow they’re smart enough to be able to choose the people to do that for them. Or maybe it’s not really all that important whom they choose as long as it’s someone other than themselves?

      3. They hate freedom because it makes their central planning schemes impossible. They want to build the world like an engine. In an engine the gears and pistons don’t get a lot of choice do they? And it wouldn’t work well if they did.

        To them, you are just a gear in their machine. You have no right to be screwing up their plans with your idiotic preferences.

        1. “Welcome, my son. Wecome, to the machine.”

          No I’m going to be thinking that song all day. Thanks, John.

          1. try this one, “Feed the Machine” by Red

            lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics…..chine.html

            video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2uZO7xnus

        2. Who is “they”? What if “they” is everybody but you?

      4. No. Emphatically and crucially wrong.
        Progressives want to free *others* from all responsibility and the chance of being wrong.
        Progressive demands are never, ever, ever “please pass this law so *I* can no longer “. It is always, always, “please pass this law so others can no longer “

      5. whether or not to get an abortion

        I would have preferred whether to get a free condom or a free abortion.

      6. So instead of the Demo party, it’s really the Devo party? That’s efficient! You only need to change one letter!

      7. I think progressives are also incredibly terror-struck and paranoid over what they perceive as the chaos of freedom. You know that phrase “bold experiment”? Specifically, what the Founders did, in turning the government over to the people themselves? There’s a reason for that. BOLD = opposite of progressives.

        For progressives, the idea of these, these people, running around, this guy paying that guy for God-knows-what! instead of having it all collected so it can be spent in an orderly fashion — gives them ulcers. Parents choosing their kids’ schools, wages floating around with no ceilings or floors, people eating whatever they want, hiring whoever they want — it’s chaos!

        That crying jag that temporarily saved Hillary’s ass in 2008, do you remember exactly what she said as her voice fell into a miserable wail and the tears filled her eyes? “Spinning out of control!”

        We don’t need her “million ideas” that the country can’t even afford (remember that gem?). We don’t — but she does. She can’t sleep at night knowing that we’re doing our own thing, unsupervised, uncentralized, uncontrolled, spinning.

        1. You haven’t noticed that your freedom has been shrinking more and more over your lifetime? If you haven’t it’s because you haven’t lived long enough. Is it “the progressives” who are reducing your freedom, or the “free market”? Would you rather have your choices limited by what you can afford, or by what you need? Having a choice between two things you can’t afford is less than no choice at all.

          1. Not sure if you’re towkin’ to me, but yeah I’ve noticed.

            I have a friend who’s absolutely sick over recently losing the lottery (that’s how we do it in our school district) on the best school in town, which is a block from her home but juuuuust on the other side of the magic dividing line that puts her into another school’s territory — you know, TERRITORY — guarded by vicious teachers’ unions. How anyone in such a situation can vote Democrat is beyond me. My friend’s a former liberal. Yeah, mugged.

      8. The same criticism could be made about non-libertarian “conservatives”. So much social policy boils down to the idea that it should be illegal to disagree with the Religious Right. They feel threatened by a world where people have the audacity to believe the “wrong” things.

      9. That’s not true.

        As a small business owner, I had very little choice in the policies I could take out for my employees. Because for some stupid reason, insurance companies are allowed to put small businesses in one pool, and put the companies with the clout in another. As if the size of the business purchasing the policy had any effect on health.

        My employees had effectively zero choice. They took what I offered, or they got milked even worse.

        I have never been on a plan that did not restrict the doctors I could use.

        And the policy costs would go up at least 20% every year.

        All before ObamaCare.

        On the other hand, I moved to Australia for 2 years. I walked into a store, gave them my name, my age and address, and walked out with a completely private policy (as a non-citizen I was not eligible for govt care), that covered me with no deductions, only a $20 co-pay for primary care, and no cap. And I could see any doctor or go to any hospital I wanted in the country.

        For half of what I was paying in the US.

        And Australians have greater life expectancy than we do, so it is not crap care.

        So yes, health coverage is mandatory over there, but who the hell cares when it is so vastly superior to what private companies offer over here.

        And no one can explain to me why private insurance companies/health care costs in Australia are so much better than ours.

  5. We’ll be seeing more and more doctors opt of of Obamacare completely and just take cash.

    1. Don’t worry, the kulaks and wreckers will be punished eventually. Nice medical license you have there… hope you like accepting Medicaid.

    2. You can make a good living as a concierge doctor. Plus you never have to deal with Medicaid and Medicare ever again.

    3. No we won’t. The local hospital will be bought by a network and those doctors will be told, either you take our insurance, or you no longer have admitting priveleges at our hospital.

      But again, that’s the result of market consolidation, not Obamacare.

      1. Obamacare is driving market consolidation. Narrow networks ARE market consolidation, in many ways, but that’s not the only way OCare drives consolidation.

  6. People need to be broken? People need to be armed.

    1. They need to be rode hard and put away wet.

    2. Who’s going to arm us?

  7. “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has.”

    The essence of Progressivism in thirteen words!

    1. Hello, uh, can we have your liver?

    2. Explain why people in Australia have more choice in medical treatment than we had here before Obamacare?

  8. “What we’re finding is individuals are experiencing a preference for affordability.”

    Limiting choice usually leads to affordability, right?

    1. Absolutely. If the government provides you only one choice, it’s always the lowest price offered, right?
      /derp

    2. Not sure how I reconcile “People choose affordability” and “We have to break people of their preference for choice.”

      1. Try these for practice, comrade!

        WAR IS PEACE
        IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
        FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

  9. This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.

    1. Now, I got no fight with any man who does what he’s told, but when he don’t, the machine breaks down. And when the machine breaks down, we break down. And I ain’t gonna allow that in any of you. Not one.

  10. “President Obama specifically and repeatedly promised that, under the law, people would be able to keep their choice of health plans and doctors, not that they would be broken of their preference for medical choice.”

    In related news, President Obama is a lying sack of shit, and putting any faith in anything he says is dumber than climate change denialism.

    1. So when Obama says global warming is happening now and the seas are rising, he’s lying?

      Are you a climate change denier? Or are you putting your faith in Obama?

      I’m confused by your statement.

      1. To be fair, the climate is always changing and will continue to change until the sun goes supernova.

        Of course saying that does not in any way endorse the bullshit that is being pushed as “climate change” for the last 50 years.

  11. Hero of la Revolucion, Barack Obama.

  12. “Merz is basically stating openly what the Obama administration won’t, which is that Obamacare is intentionally designed to narrow consumer choice and plan design within the health insurance market.”

    Not only was this foreseeable, it was also foreseen.

    I suppose there is an open question as to whether Obama, personally, is knowledgeable enough to understand the likely outcome of his plan, but if the administration didn’t understand this, they should have.

    Personally, I still believe that they pushed this through Congress because they were afraid that what happened to the Clinton as a result of HillaryCare failing in the ’94 midterms would happen to them either during the midterms or Obama’s own reelection.

    In other words, they knew what was going to happen, but they cared more about sustaining their own political careers rather than what was good for the country. Is that unusual from politicians? Of course not, but that’s why they should be limited to making as few choices as possible on our behalf.

    I don’t blame the scumbag politicians. I blame the scumbag voters who support them.

    1. It was foreseen by anyone who isn’t an economic or business illiterate. Lets add a bunch of people who are likely to be sick and bad risks to the insurance pool. The money to care for them has to come from somewhere. Some of it will come from raising insurance rates. But there is a demand curve for health insurance so there is a limit to how much companies can raise rates. Additionally, many states control insurance rates. So where is the rest of the money going to come from? Cutting access to doctors and reducing the size of the networks.

      It is not hard to figure out, provided you are not retarded.

      1. Anybody who saw they were taxing employers for offering “Cadillac” plans should have seen this.

        You’re discouraging companies from offering excellent benefits to their employees–huh?

        Anybody who saw that they were taxing providers for purchasing new technology–because they wanted them to invest in more beds and nurses instead…

        Those are all policies specifically meant to limit choice and offer everyone the same thing.

        They don’t want you to be able to pay for better care with more money. Until the wealthy and the poor all get the exact same standard of care, they’ll never be happy. And they don’t care if that degrades the quality of healthcare for the middle class–and 90% of everybody else. All they care is that we all get the exact same thing.

        And if you don’t want their shitty quality of care, then that’s too bad for you, you fucking racist.

        1. “Anybody who saw that they were taxing providers for purchasing new technology–because they wanted them to invest in more beds and nurses instead…”

          This is the single dumbest thing a government can possibly do. So much for medical research and innovation…. Hooray communism!

          1. Well, they don’t want any money wasted on innovation–they want that money to go to providing more free beds for deadbeats.

            Never mind that they can do things now with technology they never could before–that actually keep costs down.

            One of the innovations of HMOs was that they were the first to start offering free mammograms. The reason is because the sooner you can diagnose breast cancer, the less expensive it is to treat.

            The HMOs actually embarrassed the government into doing such things themselves–before (and it’s still this way with almost everything), if you can’t prove that you need the test, you can’t get the government to pay for it.

            The HMO’s said, “Screw that noise! If it’s cost effective to give it away for free–and it improves the survival rates of the patients–then we should give mammograms away on our plan for free!”

            1. Well, they don’t want any money wasted on innovation–they want that money to go to providing more free beds for deadbeats.

              Deadbeats?..?

              Incorrect!

              They are more properly referred to as “core constituents”.

          2. Point is that without the technology to detect breast cancer sooner, you can’t benefit from those kinds of cost savings. My mom was recently diagnosed (she’s 100% recovered) by a proprietary machine in La Jolla (the heart of Biotech Beach)–that proprietary machine caught it at a miniscule size that no other machine could.

            It is absolutely tragic that the Obama Administration is trying to deny women like her everywhere the same benefits of that technology–and a million other technologies that are yet to be discovered and brought to market.

            …all because of the Obama Administration’s stupid redistribution scheme?

            Barack Obama should be hated by sick people everywhere. We’ll never know how many millions of children and moms needlessly suffered because of his conceit.

      2. thankfully the “shared responsibility” payment nullifies that pesky demand curve, which will have no economic consequences whatsoever, because ___________

        p.s. still working on my exemption from ACA, but its looking like i’ll be able to evade this piece of shit for a year at least

    2. There is no evidence that Obama knows anything about anything. At best he is a typical Senator who thinks that voting to fund an idea is the hard part. He’ll just delegate the details to an agency.

      Sadly, my academic physician friends have long thought the same way, so I’m sure he’s getting advice consistent with his inclinations.

  13. Less choice and more expensive. Why are people so stupid that they believe Obamacare (and government programs in general) are a good thing?

    1. For one, a lot of middle class people imagine that almost everyone else out there is wealthier than they are, and so it’s easy to make them feel like they’re being jipped.

      Part of it is no doubt due to media consumption. An excellent example, I think, is the King of Queens. A story about a fat, lazy guy that somehow manages to live in a multimillion dollar house and keep a smokin’ hot wife happy–all while working delivery for UPS.

      There are plenty of other examples:

      http://www.businessinsider.com…..012-4?op=1

      The other thing is that we’re talking about the dismal science, here. I’m over here telling people that they gotta work hard and invest their money–and be smart! Obama is over there promising them free money. Which one of those pitches to you think sells better to your average idiot voter?

      And let’s face it, voters are idiots. Price signals are amazing for making stupid people look smart when they’re participating in a market, but nobody’s getting price signal feedback when they vote. As smart as markets can make people look, elections make them look even more stupid.

    2. and all this new stuff coming out about VA hospitals – our current government owned & operated health care system, and this is supposed to be where we have a moral obligation to provide for those who put their ass on the line to serve their country. Now multiply the VA times 100, and that’s the Progs wet dream

      1. It also makes you wonder about the various stats that are brought up in comparison studies.

        Or do we think no hidden wait lists exist in Europe, for example?

        1. Hidden so well nobody can see them. The death panels are very well hidden, too.

          When you say “Europe, for example,” you sound as if you think there are a few little countries here and there who operate on the principle that healthcare is too important to be subjected to market forces. In fact, the USA is the only little country in the entire developed world that subjects healthcare to market forces – all in the name of “freedom.” The problem is that it’s the freedom to die because you can’t afford medical care.

  14. The fact the medical industry is becoming more vertically integrated has little to do with Obama care. Hospitals are being bought up by “health care networks” and insurance companies, and they’re using access to the hospitals to force physician to sell their practices. Eventually a given area will only have one or two providers who can the dictate the terms of what sort of coverage is available in that area.

    And that also answers the question of how this is different than the 90s. Now that they’ve bought out all the competition, it doesn’t matter if there’s pushback, because the only other option is to die.

    1. The fact the medical industry is becoming more vertically integrated has little to do with Obama care.

      It has everything to do with OCare. Hospital reimbursement has been cut, and cut again, under OCare, driving independent hospitals with low margins (mostly nonprofits) into being acquired.

      The red tape piles up on physician practices, driving up their costs and making back office economies of scale essential. Plus, with the narrow networks OCare is driving, you are either part of a large system or you are cut off from big chunks of the patient population.

      Narrow networks, ACOs, all the rest are de facto, if not de jure, consolidations.

      1. My brother’s an insurance executive. The insurance industry loves Obamacare because they can basically take a dump on their customer’s head and go “Oh sorry, Obamacare’s shit hat requirement made me do that” and everyone will believe them.

        Every other industry consolidated all by itself, but yet we’re supposed to believe medical care consolidation is entirely unexpected and is happening only because of Obama.

        1. Who do you think the biggest supporters of a complex and inscrutable tax code are? Accountants, of course. It keeps them employed.

          That doesn’t absolve the legislators who created the tax code nor the executives who enforce it from responsibility for their role in screwing everyone else over.

          If the law gives businessmen cover to run roughshod over your interests, then sure hate the businessmen, but the focus of your ire should be on the lawmakers who enabled such abuse in the first place.

        2. Probably its a bit of both. Many insurers have been leaving markets if they feel they cannot make any money, which often leaves a consolidated giant in place to dictate terms.

          Keep in mind in Europe, Big Regulation led to Big Business and much less small business start ups.

          But I also suspect that the insurers love having an excuse. See the quotes in the article. Those are not the quotes of someone who is afraid. They think they have an Ace in the hole.

          Problem is that the pols might sell them out, and even bigger problem for the Dems – now every insurance hiccup becomes political. Good luck.

    2. Treating health insurance as a proxy for health care is the root of this problem.

      The high income taxes of the 1940s and 1950s beloved by liberals drove out direct compensation. As soon as health insurance became tax advantaged, it became the de facto way to pay for health care.

      The easiest way to break the health insurance “cartels” is to let people keep their own money.

      That the market was already consolidating before Obamacare does nothing to absolve the PPACA’s effect in driving further consolidation, nor in expensively failing to address the root problem.

      1. It wasn’t just the high taxes. The whole “pre-tax healthcare as part of compensation” model was established, and lasted long enough to gain traction, because of FDR’s wartime wage and price controls. The health-care plan had to be exempt from taxes because, otherwise, people would have had to PAY taxes on the benefit received, thus receiving LOWER net salary than they were used to getting, even if the benefit they received theoretically made up the difference and more. Also, as this was a business expense, the employer caught a tax break on the deal. After the war, the wage and price controls went away, but the tax advantages for both employee and employer stuck around, the result of political pressure from those who benefited. And we were off to the races (in the Marxist — as in Marx Bros. — sense).

        1. This is why I argue that even if you support Single Payer, you should be very, very careful what you institute.

          For example, don’t slap an NHS system together – because the NHS sucks compared to other single payer systems, and now John Q Public refuses to countenance any major change at all.

          So of course we get a hurriedly put together 2,000 page bill.

  15. These people never seem willing to give up their own choices in sending their kids to private school. But it’s ok to force me to purchase a particular kind of health insurance in a particular kind of network.

    1. Therein lies the problem, IMO. Extreme intellectual dishonesty, hypocrisy, etc….

  16. One thing for sure. The wealthy don’t have to worry about any of this. And you can be sure that the Members of the U.S. Congress all have nice health care insurance/plans. All this yapping about health care is just more bullshit the sweating masses have to endure because a bunch of professional, career politicians have to have something to do.

    1. Break time’s over. Back in the salt mine with you. Damn it, someone has to pay for my medical care.

  17. Although a similar attempt to restrict choice failed in the early ’90s, after opposition to H.M.O.s and managed care, insurers insist these efforts will not run into the same resistance because they are now working more closely with providers, and customers are more concerned about costs. “It’s a new era,” said Dr. Sam Ho, the chief medical officer for United Healthcare.

    Ahh, I remember those heady times. And how the left HOWLED about HMOs, when they essentially invented them.

    1. It’s a brilliant scheme really. Create a system that will take decades before it really and truly screws people over. Then raise a new generation of useful idiots to recognize the faults without addressing the cause, and voila you compound the problem further.

      I agree though with John that the ACA is somewhat of an exception in this regard, in that the screwing is happening in a far more clearly accountable and immediate way than with its predecessors.

      1. The big error was to note have the subsidies come through taxes.

        They wanted to avoid any deficit spending and the taxes, but this also means that people who pay more see it directly.

  18. insurers insist these efforts will not run into the same resistance because they are now working more closely with providers

    What utter horseshit.

    1. Agree, utter crap….

  19. Preference for affordability isn’t was is surprising the administration. For some, Obamacare is a great deal – low healthcare prices subsidized by tax payers. But they still hate it because it requires that they put some skin in the game. They are so used to being entitled to free stuff that even a great low cost option is considered abhorrent. I think that is surprising the administration more. Of course the poor hating Obamacare fits into their plans even better because ultimately they will want to make it free for those poor who don’t even appreciate a great deal – and the only way to do that is to switch from government health insurance to government healthcare.

    1. Having “skin in the game” has morphed into “it’s not an entitlement, I paid for it”
      Very few people want to be on welfare, so the rationalizations begin and are believed.

    2. Where do you get your ideas about poor people and how they live?

  20. They want to liberate you from your liberty which is what choice is.
    The only choice they believe in is the choice to kill your unborn child which they contort into not being murder.
    Honestly you have to be mentally ill to be a progressive

  21. There exists only one choice: Worship the Donkey

    1. As in kneel down and kiss the Asses?

  22. “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has.”

    The Tax Cattle are already broken of choice.

    My employer canceled my previous health plan. They now offer 3 new ones which are identical but for minor variations on deductible, which fulfill the “Mandate”.

    Which are pretty much identical to all the plans on offer in the state.

    Obamacare has a facade of “private” insurers acting as tax collectors for general revenue and administrators for the National Health Service. It’s the IRS and DOD in one.

  23. When I read articles like this, I am astonished that anyone in this country is a Democrat. They’re arrogant, self satisfied and think they are the smartest people in the country and have the right to tell the rest of us what to do.

    With what they’re doing to our healthcare, I would like to give each and every one of the a good breath-taking sock in the stomach to get their attention so they’re hear what I say when I tell them how idiotic they are.

    1. Are you a Keynesian?

  24. If Obama had repealed prescription laws, it would have been a greater benefit than Obamacare because without prescription laws, people are free as they once were before 1938 of choosing who to trust with their health. Which often at the time (Great Depression) was not a doctor, but their neighborhood druggist, who could often advise them or mix up something that would resolve their health condition.

    It should be understood that doctors, like all those “gifted” with a government enforced monopoly, enjoy a higher income than what they could obtain without having a legal monopoly over access to medical drugs. In fact, prescription laws are a part of the “War on Drugs” where the government decides what you may have and what you may not have…

  25. “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has.”

    Isn’t that pretty much the gist of modern “liberalism”? And by “liberalism” I mean of course “tax-happy, coercion addicted State-humping.”

    1. Why is modern “liberalism” absolutely illiberal? Why do words today mean the opposite of the implied definition?

      These are mysteries we may never find answers for.

      (Although, personally, I believe it’s obvious some people are trying to feed us bullshit while telling us it’s ice cream.)

      1. “Liberalism” refers to a philosophy of non-intervention by government into the affairs of corporations. In the USA it seems to refer to intervention by government in favor of corporations.

  26. Shorter version of headline for smaller, mobile screens:

    “Under Obamacare, People Must Be Broken.”

  27. All kneel! Worship the Donkey (if you know what’s good for you)!

    1. HAHA! HeeeeeeHaaaaaw

  28. I bet Obama and his cohorts can maintain choice in their healthcare needs,
    Elitist Pigs.

  29. Doesn’t everyone prefer affordability?

  30. “Choice” is merely an artifact of our obsolescent “free” society. Our forefathers, poor ignorant fools, thought we would be happy if we could make choices, that the ability to choose different paths in life would promote “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. They had no idea that there is but one way to happiness, and that is to have government give you an appropriate amount, not to “pursue” it.

    Some people do not pursue happiness effectively, and they are miserable. Others, due to greed or undeserved luck, get too much and are unreasonably, indeed unconscionably, happy. No democracy can survive with this inequitable distribution of an essential commodity — just as no democracy can survive with an inequitable distributon of nutrition, medical care, housing, or double fudge ice cream. It is much more important that everyone’s allocation of the world’s goods be equal than that anyone’s allocation be adequate.

    1. Hence President Obama’s (PBUH) Affordable Healthcare Act. Under this enlightened regime, everyone will get affordable healthcare — and if you choose not to afford it, with the excuse that you haven’t got the money, you will get slapped down, hard! as you so richly deserve. In order to make the healthcare affordable, frills will be stripped away. Like beds in hospitals — they’re not really necessary. Dressings can be washed and reused. Food will be nourishing and plentiful, if you like potato soup. Treats can be brought in from outside by the family of a patient — but only if they bring enough for everybody.

      It is a great tragedy that President Obama (PBUH) mis-spoke when he unveiled the ACA to a breathless America. He said, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” What he actually meant was, “If you like your plan, you are either a poor oppressed fool who thinks that your doctor or hospital is actually acting in your best interest or an overprivileged scion of wealth who is appropriating far more than your share of healthcare. Either way, you will now get only the services the ACA furnishes, and only your proper share, and you will like it or lump it.”

      I just wanted to see if I could argue like a lib. I can, but it cost me. I need a drink — and a bath.

      1. Don’t worry. You’ll always be able to come to Europe, where we have beds in our hospitals.

  31. Let’s not forget that when the industry started offering HMO plans, it was as a response to ClintonCare. They were trying to fend off a complete government takeover.

  32. Money, Power, Societal Control…
    What part of Neo Communism aren’t you getting?

  33. The true problem with Liberals is that they see problems as static events that simply happen and are convinced that you can make it better by barking orders at things. It’s why they like big government; it provides a mechanism to make such demands. The economy in particular behaves more like a hydrodynamic model; if you apply pressure in one place, it creates effects in other places.

    I don’t see the problem here of some sort of plot but of naivete. With the cancelled insurance policies I can picture somebody scratching their head and saying “but we didn’t Tell them to shed all those policies”. The reason why for sixty years Insurance has been a third rail of politics where so many of Both parties have failed to do anything is because the insurance companies don’t Want change. Given the opportunity to malinger, they would be happy to pout and hope everything fails.

    Instead of trying to carve something or shoehorn it into some prefab mold, efforts should have been made as to how to give things a shove in the right direction and then let it fly under it’s own power.

  34. OK, I am a weird, business-owner, half progressive, half libertarian, who has lived in many countries and have seen up close and personal things that work and things that do not.

    Obamacare does not work because it just funnels money to insurance companies. By force.

    As opposed to a basic social insurance which provides minimum care.

    Everyone got up in arms about this “forcing” thing, bringing in the Commerce clause, which everyone knew would be a loser.

    But there is a much better fight, which everyone has ignored, because they do not know history, so they do not even know what it means.

    Article I of the Constitution:

    “No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

    Most Americans do not know what a Capitation tax is, or get it confused with a poll tax, which is a tax you have to pay in order to vote. But a capitation tax is not that.

    A capitation tax is a tax per head. As in the same amount charged to everyone.

    Which is why an amendment was passed allowing taxation based on income.

    However, the Obamacare law was passed with a minimum payment – which was deemed by the Supreme Court to be a tax, on every citizen in the country. This levy would be waived in the event you hold insurance, but it does not eradicate the fact that the government is, indeed, levying a capitation tax.

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