Obamacare

Did I Accidentally Prove that Obamacare is a Success?

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Whitehouse.gov

New York's Jonathan Chait needles me for having "accidentally" shown "how Obamacare is succeeding." To make his point, Chait summarizes and briefly quotes several posts I wrote between January and the second week of March of this year noting low or overstated enrollment figures in various parts of Obamacare, and then jumps forward to a post I wrote earlier this week arguing that a recent estimate combining all of Obamacare's coverage expansion provisions is almost certainly too high. 

"We have gone from learning that the law has failed to cover anybody to learning it would cover a couple million to learning it would cover a few million to learning that it has probably insured fewer than 20 million people halfway through year one," he concludes, as if the items he links to are all discussing comparable components of the law's coverage expansion.

But Chait's argument relies on on selective quotations from posts of mine that examine different aspects of the law that aren't really comparable, and stringing them together in a way that implies they are all referring to the same thing. And he fails to mention other posts I wrote, between March and July, noting the law's late-March enrollment surge and effects on covering the uninsured.

Mostly, then, his item serves to demonstrate is that enrollment in Obamacare's insurance exchanges was, as was widely reported, sluggish from the beginning of the year until the middle of March, and that it grew afterwards. (Until the very end, it lagged behind the administration's own projections.)

Throughout the year, I noted the low enrollment figures as they came in, arguing that the numbers weren't promising. And when the enrollment did pick up at the end of March, I also wrote items on the surge and its effects on multiple occasions—including a March 31 post noting a "last-minute sign-up surge," an April 1 post noting the White House's announcement that 7 million had signed up for coverage, an April 17 post noting the administration's report that 8 million had signed up for coverage, and a May post specifically saying that early speculation that the law might have no or negative effect on coverage was not plausible.

Chait does not mention any of these items in his post, which does not quote or link to any post I wrote between March 11 and this month. He also says my posts are useful as a "lagging indicator of Obamacare's progress." But these posts were written within a day of the information becoming public.

Chait also fails to quote my own caveats in the posts he does cite, or to provide important context for comparing the posts he quotes. For example, he quotes me saying on January 21 that "it appears possible that there has been no net expansion of private coverage at all." Note that this is presented as a possibility, not a certainty, and that I also wrote in the same post that that even if this were true, "there's still time for that to change. As the administration is keen to remind us, people who want coverage have until the end of March to sign up for coverage this year."

The March 11 post Chait quotes from, meanwhile, dealt specifically with the question of how much effect Obamacare was having on the uninsured rate, based on a Gallup survey, which turns out to be a completely different metric from what's being looked at in the next post he selects.

The Gallup survey, I said, was the "best evidence" that Obamacare was reducing the rate of the uninsured. This effect, which was measured prior to the late-March surge, is separate from the question of how many people now have coverage through some coverage-expanding provision in the law. But the total-coverage question is what the next post he quotes from (a July item taking issue with a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study estimating 20 million total covered by Obamacare, through the exchanges, Medicaid, and other provisions) discussed.

The authors of that study specifically note that, unlike the Gallup survey, it was not an attempt to judge the law's effect on the uninsurance rate. As the authors of the study say, "We do not know yet exactly how many of these people were previously uninsured…"

Chait pairs the two posts without much context, implicitly suggesting that they are looking at the same thing. They are not.

The July post on the NEJM's total-coverage estimate is also not really comparable with the the February 24 post that Chait quotes from, which specifically deals with President Obama's claim that almost 7 million people had gained coverage under Obamacare just through the law's Medicaid expansion.

Obama's claim was wrong at the time. It's still wrong. I was not the only journalist to say so at the time. (The Washington Post's fact checker gave Obama's statement four Pinocchios.) By now even the administration has backed off that number for the Medicaid expansion, saying only that total enrollment in the program (which additionally counts the surge month after Obama made the 7 million claim) has increased by 6 million following Obamacare's coverage expansion, and that not all of that increase is directly attributable to the law. If you read that post on the day that it was published, you got an accurate and real-time impression that President Obama was wrong. If you read it now, you get an accurate impression that Obama was overstating the health law's coverage effects.

Obamacare has, without question, enrolled far more people since January, and the evidence is pretty strong that it has cut the rate of the uninsured by several points. But even as the coverage figures have increased, what you also see is that the president, his administration, and the law's backers have consistently relied on dubious, misleading, or incomplete metrics to overstate what can be known about the law's impact based on the information available.

Chait may see my posts noting this as inadvertent proof that Obamacare is actually a success, but to me it looks more like evidence that the administration and its supporters are desperate to convince people that it is more of one than the evidence supports.

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  1. “But Chait’s argument relies on on selective quotations”

    Lefty imbecile cherry-picks data?!
    Well, I NEVER!

    1. Chait in particular has never debated anyone without putting out-of-context details under a microscope and disregarding all else. Similar to Sam Sider.

  2. Peter, when people are doing oppisition research on you, you’re important. So take heart, you’re not as irrelevant as you thought.

  3. According to Suderman’s most recent article, “I…prove that Obamacare is a success…”

    See, I can do it too!

  4. But what do the millenials think?

  5. Oh. Now we know from where craiginmass received his talking points.

  6. I stopped at “New York’s Jonathan Chait…

    No. Just no.

  7. you were expecting intellectual honesty from Jonathan Chait? What the hell were you thinking –

    1. Its like reading “predictions by Paul Ehrlich state…” You just know its going to be wrong and biased.

  8. But Chait’s argument relies on on selective quotations from posts of mine that examine different aspects of the law that aren’t really comparable, and stringing them together in a way that implies they are all referring to the same thing. And he fails to mention other posts I wrote, between March and July, noting the law’s late-March enrollment surge and effects on covering the uninsured.

    I, for one, am shocked that a dishonest hack would be dishonest.

    Are there any leftists out there who argue in good faith?

  9. Well, so long as the law meets the arbitrary criteria set by its proponents, that’s good enough for me. Has the president repeatedly declared it to be a success in public speeches? That would really seal it.

  10. Obamacare has, without question, enrolled far more people since January, and the evidence is pretty strong that it has cut the rate of the uninsured by several points.

    And if you mandated that every American must buy a pound of gummy worms or face a $1000 shakedown, the percentage of gummy-wormless Americans would fall.

    Here in the real world, the price of insurance has skyrocketed for employers and families while medical-care providers are discouraged from continuing their practices. Worse yet, students who might consider a career in medicine are being actively discouraged from going into medicine, as the writing is on the wall as to the sort of rationed compensation they’ll enjoy over the next generation in return for enduring the half-million-dollar hell that is med school. And in the face of all of these predictable consequences, all the schemers can do is point to the number of people who purportedly signed up for subsidized insurance, whether these individuals actually paid or not and whether they paid for more than a single month or not.

    Presumably more people having an insurance card in their pocket is more important to Chait than expanding the quality and quantity of medical services.

  11. This whole farcical debate reminds me of trying to teach a child to hit a tennis ball. I would hold his hand with the racket, toss the ball in the air and then we’d swing together. After hitting the ball, he’d look at me very earnestly and ask, “I win?” I would sigh and say, “yes, you win.” He would then hop around for a bit, and we’d try it again.

    Since that’s the level the proggies are operating at, I suggest a compromise on Obamacare involving blue ribbons made out of construction paper. We gut the damn thing, privatize and deregulate everything, but, no matter what happens, we distribute blue ribbons to each and every one of our child emperor’s supporters in order to assure them that they won.

    1. Nice.

  12. I dont believe anything I hear about Obumblecare for two reasons.

    1. It’s supporters are craven liars.

    2. Those same craven liars have made sure that there is no concrete information to base any analysis on.

    When you are dealing with con artists skepticism will serve you well.

  13. But has it cut the rate of people without access to healthcare? Has it cust heathcare costs? These are the important questions. While it’s also hard to tell at this point what things will look like 10 years from now, I’m not terribly optimistic.

    1. Actually, it has already cut costs – part of why GDP recently went down. It has vastly cut down the uninsured – and from that you can assume more people have access.

      There is a lot of reason to be optimistic. You can thank Newt and Heritage Foundation along with Romney if you dislike giving those democRATS any credit.

      1. DELUSION, thy name is craiginmass.

      2. Actually, it has already cut costs – part of why GDP recently went down.

        Wow. We’re lucky the GOP didn’t support it. I don’t think the country could’ve taken a 5-10% dip in GDP.

        It would’ve undone all the results we saw from the stimulus and then some.

      3. So private sector production and commerce went down, actual employment went down, while also the population increased, and this is a sign of a good economy?

        1. Conversely, if people are unhealthier and get ripped off much more by the medical establishment, this is a good thing?

          Of course not! You are being silly. Everyone knows we spend at least 50% more than the rest of the civilized world – and get LESS for it.

          That’s a pretty simple statistic. Try to understand it and then get back to us.

  14. I gather polls are not concrete enough for you. How about company reports to insurance regulators? At any time any State Insurance commissioner has it in their power to embarrass the Obama administration by canvassing insurers in their state for the number of person-months of coverage provided so far in 2014 – and they can also publish comparisons to 2013 if they choose as well.

    If your State frustrates you by not publicizing that information, you can always suggests that a right-minded body mine the regulatory data themselves from http://www.markfarrah.com/prod…..ortal.asp. That data is incomplete, as some companies file annually rather quarterly, but it is easy enough to perform year-over-year comparisons on the component of the market that does file quarterly.

    1. If your goal is to give everyone insurance cards, why not just print up 400 million of them and hand them out on the street?

      Or could it be that you don’t understand that medical coverage and medical care aren’t the same thing? That passing coercive legislation does nothing to increase the number of medical-provider hours that are available on the market and has, in fact, decreased it?

      1. Or could it be that you don’t understand that medical coverage and medical care aren’t the same thing?

        The creators of MassCare figured that out, and even sheepishly admitted as much. I tried to get that concept across to our old local lefty, Joe to no avail.

        I kept telling him that I promise him 100% “access” to the MRI machine in my garage. As soon as it’s purchased and installed.

        1. Yeah, you read things somewhere – most likely in a Koch Funded echo chamber.

          How about if I tell you I live in MA and (unfortunately) have family who have MRI’s multiple times per year and are often in the finest facility in the USA (MASS General)…..in rooms which have nicer views than the Ritz?? With the best surgeons?

          Yeah, I know. You don’t believe it because you read somewhere it’s a failure. Mass. is a failure – just because we have the highest incomes, best education, best health care, least divorce, STD, gun murders, etc…..doesn’t mean anything, right?

          Backwards, Bizzarro World, my friend. I expect to hear something back like “yeah, you have all that but no FREEDOM”.

          Hah…

          1. “How about if I tell you I live in MA and “

            Then I would point out that several of us here also live in Mass, and therefore know firsthand that you’re nothing but a bottom-feeding, lying fucking sleazebag who just parrots whatever shit he read in the echo chamber of the HuffPo comment section.

            If living in that shithole for 30 years taught me anything, it’s that nobody who’s ever actually had to deal with the healthcare and educational systems have anything remotely positive to say about either.

            1. “nobody who’s ever actually had to deal with the healthcare and educational systems have anything remotely positive to say about either.”

              I know. Measurement and statistics are wrong. You have a feeling in “your gut” which tells you things are better in Red States. Even though all the stats point the other way. All the brain power in Boston are just fakes….and all the biotech and high tech – posers. The real men are up in the hollows of NH defending their homes with their arsenals. That’s because the first shots heard round the world were up there – right?

              Ha Ha. You are funny. Look up the stats sometime. Mass General is always in the top 5 hospitals in the USA – and folks fly in from all over the world. You can get sick and go to the ER there right now….if you so desire. Or, go to some of the others nearby – also rated among the best anywhere.

              My GP is very very busy because he’s good. But I can call his office and get an appoint with one of the doctors today – for today.

              You can squawk all you want,. 84% of Ma residents have expressed satisfaction with their RomneyCare. You are one of the brainwashed – probably read the Herald religiously and they told you it was bad bad bad big gubment.

              1. You are one sick and twisted guy, buddy.

              2. I know. Measurement and statistics are wrong.

                I know. All the firsthand horror stories that I and everyone I know experience magically disappear because you have some made-up, bullshit statistics, The time I hate to wait with my mother, who had a broken leg, in an ER for upwards of 8 hours before giving up and trying another hospital? That time she had severe neck pain and the doctors kept her sitting in the ER all day, condenscending to her that all she wanted was drugs, and we got fed up after 6 hourt and jumped to yet another hospital to find out she needed emergency surgery or she would be paralyzed? Yeah, those never happened because Craig took some crayons to some paper and made his very own statistics.

                I say again, you lying fucking weasel: Some of us actually live in Massachusetts and know firsthand what a dishonest little shitsucker you are.

                “84% of Ma residents have expressed satisfaction with their RomneyCare.”

                I’m not in the practice of taking polls seriously, especially not when they’re recited without a source by a pathological liar. But maybe you can tell me why, if Romneycare is so beloved, did the Blueblood voters of Mass. elect Scott Brown over Martha Coakley precisely in the hopes that he would help strike down a similar version of that law carried out on a national level?

                1. “tell me why, if Romneycare is so beloved, did the Blueblood voters of Mass. elect Scott Brown over Martha Coakley precisely in the hopes that he would help strike down a similar version of that law carried out on a national level?”

                  C’mon, aske me some hard questions! Based on your brilliance, he would have been re-elected, right? Instead, Liz Warren cleaned his clock and he went running to NH with his tail between his legs….

                  The simple answer to how he got elected – which you well know – is that it was a special election and out of state money and people (tea baggers) bombarded him and the state with money (I know, since he advertised with a publication I ran…plenty!) while the Dem Candidate did absolutely nothing to campaign. It was an accident. AND, remember – MA already had the full romneycare, so we certainly were not voting for or against it.

                  Please – use “the google” on “the internet” and look up current satisfaction levels with health care in MA.

                  Of course, like any poll, these can be skewed. This is satisfaction with health care – not with a particular health care LAW. When asked about RomneyCare in particular, 18% of state residents oppose it, 19% don’t know what it is or are not sure, and the rest support it.

                  Any way you slice or dice it, it’s popular and it’s working.

                  Sorry for your bad experience. USA health care sucks – and even the top states (and MA is one) need a heck of a lot of improvement.

                  1. “Based on your brilliance, he would have been re-elected, right?”

                    No, because by the time the 2012 elections had rolled by, Obamacare had already been unlawfully foisted on us. You’re gonna have to try harder than that.

                    “Instead, Liz Warren cleaned his clock “

                    Elizabeth Warren squeaked out a victory by redirecting every discussion about her experience, knowledge and integrity into a bullshit “War on Women” rant designed to scaremonger out the henhouse vote by all but outright telling women that, if elected, Scott Brown would creep into their houses, rape them and then deny them access to abortion doctors. After all, that WAS the Democrat Party’s 2012 strategy.

                    The simple answer to how he got elected – which you well know – is that it was a special election and out of state money and people (tea baggers) bombarded him and the state with money”

                    Sure, I forgot: When Democrats win elections, it’s irrefutable proof that the system works. When anyone else wins, it’s because the evil Money Monster sprinkled fairy dust and rigged everything. Even though Democrats typically outspend their opponents.

                    1. Course, there’s a little problem here: You’re a goddamn fucking liar. Martha Coakley outspent Scott Brown in that election by fucking 5:1 and still lost, running a campaign that was compared to “the Hindenberg crashing into the Titanic”.

                      http://majikthise.typepad.com/…..-lose.html

                      Oh, and Lizzie Warren also outspent Scott Brown with the vast, VAST majority of her funding coming from outside the state. Funny how you don’t have shit to say about that.
                      Course, that shouldn’t have mattered when you think about it: Coakley was a Democrat in Mass. running for a seat that was previously held indefnitely by a thieving, alcoholic killer who did his level best to make life miserable for everyone else int his state. Coakley should have been able to win without lifting a finger. And yet, she massively outspent her opponent and lost in the only state to vote for George McGovern. It follows that there must have been some bigger, extraneous issue that was the deciding factor like, say, a key deciding vote in preventing the national implementation of the shitty healthcare system that mass. residents are saddled with.

                      < i”while the Dem Candidate did absolutely nothing to campaign.”

                      Nothing apart from outspend her opponent 5:1 with money that mostly came from out-of-state, you lying, hypocritical weasel.

                    2. “It was an accident”

                      An ACCIDENT?! What the fuck does that even mean? Deval Patrick was supposed to parachute in with his rectum stuffed full of last-minute Coakley votes he happened to find, but got blown off-course?!

                      “AND, remember – MA already had the full romneycare, so we certainly were not voting for or against it.”

                      Nope, we were just trying to spare the rest of the country the nightmare our healthcare system has become.

                      “Please – use “the google” on “the internet” and look up current satisfaction levels with health care in MA.

                      Please pull your “head” out of your “ass” and cite these polls and graphs you keep going on about.

                  2. CraiginMass wrote in separate emails:

                    1. “84% of Ma residents have expressed satisfaction with their RomneyCare.”

                    2. “When asked about RomneyCare in particular, 18% of state residents oppose it, 19% don’t know what it is or are not sure, and the rest support it.”

                    You might be referring to polls about two different things that you call by one name, “Romneycare”, but either your writing is not clear or your math is bad (or both).

                    1. RomneyCare is ACA.

                      As far as the folks here who want to suck on Scott Brown, you should follow him up to that “free state”.

                      Oh, and as far as our failing health care in MA – check it out:
                      http://health.usnews.com/best-…..al-6140430

                      Top in the land, my friends.

                      Now, go back to backwards/bizzarro world and while you are headed there, give old Ted Kennedy a shout out for the ADA as well as health care for kids and lot of other stuff your families probably use.

                    2. Gee, a Lizzie Warren zealot is a mendacious little lying shit who will say or do anything to ensure maximum government control, regardless of how many lives have to be ruined. Color me surprised.

                      I can’t help but notice you never tried to make the same bullshit deflections defending Massachusetts’s shitty schools. Why’s that? Didn’t DailyKos have any charts anywhere that dictate that rampant child abuse is good for Learnin’?

                    3. Oh, and you were SUPPOSED to be citing this magic poll that says 84% of Mass.’s population are enamored with the same healthcare system that the majority seem so eager to escape, not some BS hopsital rankings.

                      I’ll take your sudden silence on that to be indicative of your extreme dishonesty, much in the way you quickly dropped your lies about spending amounts in mass. senate campaigns.

  15. I had a sort of epiphany while reading this piece and the one it refers to. Whenever my “team” has a bad time, I get really depressed. I worry for the country. Losing elections is hard. But you guys are disproved on a pretty much constant basis. (Through all this bitch slapping between Suderman and Chait, the fact remains that Obamacare is pretty much doing what it was supposed to and even exceeding expectations in some ways.) I couldn’t handle that much disappointment if I internalized it as I normally do. I would have to shut down. Start latching onto conspiracy theories maybe. Do that whiny tantrum thing Suthenboy did a few posts up. Move into an alternate reality. That’s not to judge–it’s just coping. I think I have gained some insight into what makes libertarians tick–and persist, despite the world constantly making them into fools.

    1. “That’s not to judge–it’s just coping.”

      Tony, you are a total moronic ass. A true blue, yank-me doodle fuckstick. The reason for improving birth control. A crude, prototypical cyborg with a petri dish bound, slime mold for a host and a Z80 powered by a 6 volt lantern battery for a brain; barely able to light the ‘on’ indicator.

      Not to judge–just coping…

      1. Flaccid insults from people in your pathetic situation have no effect on me, sorry.

    2. Tony|7.10.14 @ 6:04PM|

      “Move into an alternate reality”

      That has a good chance of improving you being in touch with the reality in which you actually live.

      How old were you when your Father abandoned you/your family ?

      1. Unfortunately he stuck around every other weekend and still asks us to come visit.

    3. Talk about question begging.

      Doing what its supposed to? According to who?

      Exceeding whose expectations? What expectations were they?

      Some ways?

      Vague asshole is vague.

    4. Obamacare has been declared as all things to all people from different corners of the left. So your choosing to cherry pick the predictions that were closer to the mark than the insane ones were does not surprise me, but it does make this fanciful argument about who has a better batting average all the more ironic.

      Also, Suderman has been one of the most level-headed and conscientious people covering the ACA numbers. Not inflating or deflating them unfairly and doing a pretty good job getting any info considering the way this administration has worked to hide true numbers and costs. And hacks like you and Chait punish him by lying about what he said.
      That is why partisans like you and Chait are so absolutely horrible; you make it impossible to have an adult discussion because you shit on everything with your knee-jerk team partisanship.

      And your mind is so simple that you constantly conflate conservatives and libertarians, which is the only explanation for why you wrote this stupid post that proves you only see the world as good statist progressives vs some undifferentiated mass of evil.

    5. “I had a sort of epiphany while reading this piece and the one it refers to. Whenever my “team” has a bad time, I get really depressed. “

      You’re entire pathetic fucking excuse for a life is a lie, and you’re only just realizing this now?

  16. Any numbers released by this administration Re: BarryCare can only be described in one word: BOGUS!
    Until the ‘back office’ functions of HealthCare.gov and IRS are talking to each other, and can give accurate data concerning policy costs and subsidies, it’s all smoke and mirrors….mostly smoke.

  17. And of course HuffPo links to Chait’s article with the even more dishonest headline “Republicans Love Obamacare!”

    1. Actually, they do love it. They loves most everything about it except the name.

      Call it by any other name and they are – far and away – for it.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..t-it-does/

      ” Seventy eight percent of Republicans support “banning insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions; 86 percent of Republicans favor “banning insurance companies from cancelling policies because a person becomes ill.” Those are backed by 82 percent of independents and 87 percent of independents.”

      ” Eighty percent of Republicans favor “creating an insurance pool where small businesses and uninsured have access to insurance exchanges to take advantage of large group pricing benefits.” That’s backed by 75 percent of independents.”

      Summary:
      “For the last two decades, leading Republicans have supported various health care plans that looked, well, like the Affordable Care Act. Then Democrats embraced the proposal and Republicans turned against it.”

      1. Let me fix that last sentence for you.

        Decades ago, Republicans proposed, then abandoned health care legislation plans, which were then dusted off by Democrats, rewritten by special interests, made exceedingly complex and were not properly scrutinized before being rammed through into law.
        Much better.
        Just because your political opponent approves of certain provisions in some legislation, that doesn’t mean they “love most everything about it”. Even with your limited mental capacity and tenuous grip on reality, you should be able to understand this simple tenet.

        1. “Republicans proposed, then abandoned health care legislation plans, ”

          Well, actually – Republicans being the selfish and ME ME ME types they are, the proposed them because they knew it was a problem which needed a solution. They were fine when their name was on them. But far be it from them to either solve problems or help the poor or middle class. So, when the Dems suggested we do the same thing, they disavowed it and instead spent many times that money bombing people with brown skin. That worked out quite well. Also, they found another great way to make money off people with brown and black skin – that was to sell them real estate at inflated prices and put them far into debt. That worked out well too.

          I think many of this countries problems would be solved if we just elected more of those Republicans so they could ply their “free (slave) market” solutions…..and separate us even further from any hope of a civil and advanced society.

          1. Why do you assume that anything served up with the title “reform” is actual reform? Ever think that a slew of “reform” laws have caused the problems you want to reform? Ever consider as to why it is that these same problems of unaffordablity and limited access didn’t exist prior to the intervention of the government many years ago?

          2. Gee, I thought this was substantive when it’s actually just a launching point for your stupid hyperbole.
            You’re about as logical as PB, Tony and AS.

            Never mind.

            1. I think we can ALL agree that hyperbole is the “sport” of both Reason and these so-called “Libertarians”. You know – the sky is falling, the republic is crashing, the dollar is worthless, buy more Gold, be a prepper, etc. etc. etc.

              On the other hand, I inhabit the regular planet earth and this fine land…where everything is basically fine…or at least in the process of improvement.

          3. Here you are saying Republicans are terrible people and very immoral. In your previous comment you argued that Republicans support the same healthcare policies that you do, and you quoted the WashPo article stating:

            “Seventy eight percent of Republicans support “banning insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions; 86 percent of Republicans favor “banning insurance companies from cancelling policies because a person becomes ill.” Those are backed by 82 percent of independents and 87 percent of independents.”

            “Eighty percent of Republicans favor “creating an insurance pool where small businesses and uninsured have access to insurance exchanges to take advantage of large group pricing benefits.” That’s backed by 75 percent of independents.”

            If you support the same things that Republicans do, doesn’t this make you evil in your own eyes, too?

            1. There is a difference between republican pols and republicans people….but, yeah, the current far far right faction in this country (people or pols) are simply wrong and…to be honest….of low intelligence. That’s why they think the earth was created 6-10,000 years ago. Once you start there, it’s hard to come up with anything worth discussion.

      2. That Commonwealth Fund survey is like most surveys, it comes up with figures that support the sponsor – in this case an organization dedicated to socialized medicine, you know, that which has failed or is failing, everywhere tried.

        1. I think you can say that about the Reason Polls – unfortunately, though, the numbers in favor are so high that even Reason has a difficult time skewing their polls and questions to get the answers they are being paid to get.

          1. Even Reason has a hard time. Care to show any evidence (other than your gut your feeling), that these polls have been ‘skewed’?

            1. No.

              I’ll wait under near the next election and watch while some righties against start an “unskewed polls” web site to tell us things are different than what we want.

              Any questions asked by Reason are so general and so biased as to be laughable…..interjecting Rand Paul and Chris Christie into the multiple choice questions, for example! What a goof…..

              “Q15. When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful.”

              Ha Ha!

              Talk about leading questions!

              I think the executive summary is this.
              53% say they would vote for Hillary.
              17% say they would vote for Rand Paul.
              Therefore, they are not unclaimed politically but VERY DEEP BLUE, and in fact much bluer than the country as a whole.

              Wouldn’t you agree?

              Heck, ask ME if gubment is wasteful? (yes)
              Ask ME if I want taxes lower and gubment to spend less (yes)……

              Libertarians have always tried to fool others into believing that they were really libertarians at heart – like with the “worlds shortest political quiz” where everyone scored as a libertarian. Unfortunately, given his religious fundamentalism, Rand Paul wouldn’t pass even that test these days!

              1. CraiginMass wrote:

                “Heck, ask ME if gubment is wasteful? (yes)
                Ask ME if I want taxes lower and gubment to spend less (yes)……”

                Damn, now you’re sounding like one of those evil libertarians! haha Seriously, you expect anybody to believe that?

  18. It’s worth noting that anyone who signed up at the very last minute probably only did it to avoid the penalty, not because they needed health insurance.

    1. It was an incentive, not a penalty.

  19. Chait is an especially foul creature. He constantly assumes bad faith on the part of anyone who is not a lefty.

    He shows moments of intelligence, so then you are left to ponder whether his more insane claims are due to stupidity or malice.

    1. Chait is Tony?

      1. Can you point me to an instance where Tony shows a moment of intelligence?

        1. touche

  20. Meh. Who gives a shit? Liberals have a giant boner (actually a tiny one, but giant relative to their flaccid size) over Obamacare and will defend it to the death, even if they have to lie to do so. Nothing new here.

  21. Anything 77% of Republicans favor MUST be a success….

    As to you, you get PAID to make sure – not matter what – that you don’t utter that statement.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    1. Does that work for government workers and those who receive government benefits?

      1. Certainly. The truth is the truth no matter who you apply it to.

        But being as we are on a Koch funded site and they are bringing 100’s of millions into the political process, it would be good to understand that these pubs are bought and paid for. Period. They have no “reason” to exist except to give Koch his money’s worth.

        He’s the CEO and the writers are the employees. Period.

  22. How can you view anything with the troubles of the ACA a success at this point? Seriously, what do you do that allows this to be a victory? What employer allows you to be this upside down and not fire you?

    Your fearless leaders have postponed portions of it untill after the next round of elections. Verification of payment is still iffy. The risk pool hasn’t stabilized ect,ect,ect

    Let’s try this, our Middle East policy is brilliant because oil is still exported.

    1. The uninsured rate is now back down around where it was before the recession. Therefore, the ACA is the greatest success that ever existed. FACT!

      1. Yup, and all they had to do was pass a fucking breathing tax on every man, woman, and child in the country. Maybe next they’ll solve the unemployment problem by drafting everyone into government servitude of some sort.

      2. Actually, that sounds pretty dang good, considering that the pre-recession economy was a complete bubble based on home equity loans and endless refinances and money flowing as fast as the BS on Reason does!

        Now we are, by any measure, in more of a sustainable economy – more people starting their own businesses, working for themselves, working in real jobs as opposed to bubble-driven, etc…..and we are back up to where we were?

        Great!

        Do you think it’s going to stop here or continue upward? I say the later.

        1. Where did the bubble come from? Why on Earth would banks be giving loans that couldn’t be paid back when it only takes about 2% loan failure rate to kill the bank. Could it be perhaps that their losses were insured by some sort of unscrupulous institution with no profit motive? What kind of institution could that be… hmmmm

          1. Uh, one major such institution was MBIA. I think the biggest was AIG.

            I’m talking about ALL hedges, not just housing. Without the fancy leveraging of Wall Streeters, we would have had just the normal garden variety housing bust – like I’d seen about every 10-12 years my entire lifetime.

    2. Let me try this. My recent visit to a really great place was ruined because I had to go to the bathroom there, drink something, eat something and pay admission to one particular event…..

      In other words, all you guys do is look at the mundane parts of everything – many of them actually created by you and the opposition – and shout “see? bad bad bad”. Other people actually look at the bigger picture – more people insured, better outcomes, customer satisfaction (once they actually receive a policy and care), pressure on price increases, getting more of what they paid for, etc.

      That’s the big difference here. “Libertarians” should be renamed Critiqueatarians” because all they know how to do is complain. Ask them to do better and you’ll hear – well, you don’t have to guess on this one! You’ll hear Rand Paul telling us to keep the defense budget as it is, that we need MORE religion in our country and government and that women’s medical issues are within the realm if his (well, actually his God’s) decision.

      1. We complain because ignorant people like you empower paternalists and tyrants to run our lives based on your thoughtless beliefs. Bad ideas are easier to produce and reproduce than good ideas, your ideas being so awful are also quite pervasive. We complain because your stupidity rules the world.

        1. Ah, so you admit that you basically are complainers and don’t fix things?

          Wow….I guess I have to agree.

          It’s really easy to do that. I can find something wrong with anything and everything….quickly. You should join your local CURMUDGEON & PROCRASTINATION society – yes, they have those. They must be full of libertarians – or, as we used to call them, grumps.

  23. When you’re reduced to boasting of the successful defense of the capital, after sinking the enemy’s fleet, destroying their amphibious assault, and crushing their pitiful offensives….

    1. I think GW”s and the Right’s Iraq and Afghanistan qualify for this – but isn’t that fodder for another thread?

      1. “I think GW”s and the Right’s Iraq and Afghanistan””

        *And Bill Clinton’s and Al Gore’s and Obama’s and the Congressional Democrats’.

  24. Aww Shucks……look at those numbers!
    60% able to make an appointment within a WEEK.
    Thanks, Obama!

    “The Affordable Care Act seems to be having an immediate and impactful effect on the number of uninsured patients and those who could not afford to access primary care providers, according to new data from the Commonwealth Fund. Sixty percent of patients who enrolled in ACA coverage during the first eligibility period have already visited a physician or filled a prescription, while 41 percent of patients seeking a new PCP adding that they were able to make an appointment within one week. “

    1. And you weren’t able to make that same appointment before?

      You are an even bigger demfag than shrike, and that’s saying something.

      1. I’d say that the uninsured rarely if ever made primary physician appointments prior, but when you get the data I’ll be glad to scour it.

    2. People who were already on the market for medical services, jumped at the opportunity to have other people pay for it at the point of a gun. What a triumph of policy!

  25. Chait is EXACTLY right, Peter. Exactly.

    You have been wrong from day 1 about every single indicator on the ACA. Enrollment, costs, the uninsured…you name it. Its laughable that you are trying to pass off that you are some kind of fair arbiter on the success or failure of the ACA. Chait is selective about you? You always selectively cite polls, and only those questions that give you an answer you like. You have yet to tell everyone here that the clear majority of Americans either like the ACA, or want Congress to work together to fix it.

    Here, I’ll give you just one example. “Obamacare has lost the uninsured.” The title of your article, and even if you want to pass off the writing of a title to someone else, its your first sentence as well.

    https://reason.com/blog/2013/12…..-uninsured

    No qualifiers. Done deal. The uninsured are lost.

    How has that worked out?

    1. How much have medical costs gone down, Jack?

      1. Come on, free. You know as well as I do that medical costs NEVER go down. Never, ever, ever. I know, I own a small business and they never go down.

        However, the rate of increase has been the slowest in about one decade.

        “The cost of health-care services rose just 0.8 percent in February from a year earlier, compared with an average 2.6 percent pace in the prior 10 years. Prices of medical goods such as prescription drugs rose 2.2 percent, down from the 10-year average of 2.7 percent.”

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..icine.html

  26. Wasn’t the law pitched as the means by which politicians would reduce the price of medicine for all?

    How is that working out for everyone?

    1. No, it was not.

      1. Actually, it was. Remember Obama’s promise that a family of four would save something like $2,500 per year?

      2. From FactCheck:

        It is indeed the same simplistic calculation that the Obama campaign used to come up with its figure on savings. We first questioned Obama’s claim five years ago. He said on the campaign trail in 2008 that his health plan would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year,” a prediction we called “overly optimistic” and “misleading.” More than half of his projected savings would come from widespread use of electronic health records, his camp said, and he’d get there by the end of his first term, a claim one expert we consulted called “pie in the sky.”

        http://www.factcheck.org/2013/…..more-spin/

      3. By the way, JackAce, it’s not hard to do this kind of research on the internet.

    2. Actually, the short history is this

      GW gave away the total farm with his unfunded Medicare Part D – which gave welfare to seniors, etc. while PROMISING that the Fed. Gov. could not negotiate for better drug prices!

      I feel I should repeat that because it is so fantastic and anti-free market….but instead I’ll let you look it up.

      Obama, instead, told Big Pharma what was coming down the pike – brought them into the talks and policy decisions, and came to an agreement whereby Pharma agreed to give 100 BILLION in discounts, etc over 10 years to help bring medicine to more people.

      Pop Quiz. Which was better? Bush Part D with no negotiated price – or a negotiation that saved 10 billion per year?

      1. God damn, even for a Massachusetts Regressive, you’re a disengenuous, solipsistic little shit.

  27. Being able to get health insurance for the first time in 10 years, despite pre-existing conditions, has changed my life, much for the better.

    1. You didn’t mind having to point a gun at me and others to steal our money to get it?

      🙂

      Just joking, but the real libertarians here must use that phrase in every post to qualify.

    2. And all you had to do was kick 8+ million people off of THEIR healthcare to get it. Good for you.

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