Obamacare

The Looming Tsunami of Discontent with Obamacare

Win or lose Halbig, Obamacare wars will continue.

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Obama.Dont.Care
Shardayyy / Foter / Creative Commons

No matter how you feel about Halbig vs. Sebelius—the recent decision that said it was illegal for the government to funnel subsidies to the 36 states that declined to build health care exchanges—the odds that this legal challenge to Obamacare will ultimately prevail in the courts are not that high. But the law's supporters should brace themselves for even fiercer future battles: Their folly was to pass a complicated and flawed law with zero Republican support, and now they have to contend with full-bore Republican opposition as they try to make it work.

Halbig's odds of being upheld are low, not because its legal argument is "stupid" or "criminal," as its opponents claim, but because of courtroom politics. Halbig was issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but the full court tilts heavily liberal, and it is likely to reverse the decision.

Opponents of the law petitioned the Supreme Court last week to rule on the legality of the subsidies while the lower courts are still split. But the politically squeamish Chief Justice John Roberts might prefer to let matters play out at that level rather than jump into a partisan mud fight. (Theoretically, the four conservative justices would be enough to grant certiorari, but unless they know that Roberts will rule with them eventually, they wouldn't risk egg on their face.)

But that doesn't mean that Obamacare supporters can take a victory lap. The program's biggest vulnerabilities are still down the road. And that's no accident.

The administration postponed implementation of the more painful aspects of the program till after the president is safely out of office—partly through the original law and partly by altering the law through executive fiat.

Thanks to lobbying by labor, the law delayed taxing so-called Cadillac Plans, which benefit union households, till 2018. Likewise, it doesn't require states participating in the Medicaid expansion to pick up any of the tab for their added costs till 2016.

The penalty for the individual mandate, which starts at $95 per individual and $285 per household, will soar to $695 and $2,085, respectively, by 2016.

But the real danger is the "risk corridor" provision that was meant to backstop the losses of insurance companies so that they don't pull out, prompting Obamacare's collapse.

"Risk corridors" essentially cap both the profits and losses that insurance companies can make. A company whose profits are higher than the capped amount has to fork over the excess to one that incurs losses.

In theory, this program, which is also due to expire around 2017, is supposed to be financed by the insurance industry. But the problem is that if the industry as a whole doesn't make enough profits to offset its losses, then a federal bailout may be necessary when these programs are phased out and their final bill comes due.

The likelihood of a bailout is not as remote as liberals claim, given that 71 percent of the exchange enrollees are older and not as healthy, about 11 points more than optimal according to the administration's own projections. Indeed, even before many insurers reported lower-than-expected earnings this week, Moody's had downgraded its outlook for the industry to "negative."

But the insurer bailout is not the only appropriation battle brewing. In the fairytale that the president told the public, Obamacare wasn't going to cost taxpayers a "dime" because all of the necessary funds would be obtained from drastic Medicare reimbursement cuts to doctors and hospitals. How drastic? So drastic, notes Forbes analyst Chris Conover, that by 2030 Medicare would be paying providers 60 percent less than what private plans do.

But everyone knows this will never happen. Congress has avoided these statutory cuts for 15 straight years. So at some point, Obamacare diehards will either have break this streak and make the cuts—or ask Republicans for the necessary funds from elsewhere in the budget.

And then, of course, there is the impending reckoning over the two dozen or so illicit changes, as per the Galen Institute's count, to the law that the president has unilaterally made.

In the face of the massive public outcry, he allowed insurers to reinstate canceled policies for two years that don't comply with Obamacare's requirements. And for two years in a row he has suspended the employer mandate requiring companies with more than 50 employees to pay a fine if they don't offer prescribed coverage.

The long and short here is that a postponed tsunami of discontent awaits Obamacare, just around the time the president exits office, when union plans are hit with new taxes; insurance companies may require a bailout; appropriation battles get underway; providers confront massive cuts; hospitals suffer losses; employers face mandates; and patients, once again, revolt against sticker shock as they are forced to pay higher penalties or buy policies they don't want.

Republicans are likely to fan this discontent in earnest after November in preparation for the final denouement, especially if they win the Senate. They will immediately demand a vote barring an "insurance bailout," something Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has to date avoided. They will also likely push a bill to suspend the individual mandate.

No doubt Democrats are going to berate Republicans as obstructionists. President Obama lectured Republicans to "stop hating all the time" after they voted this week to challenge the legality of his executive actions in court.

But the reality is that unless public opinion swings dramatically in Obamacare's favor, Republicans have no skin in the game and no reason to cooperate.

All of this means that Halbig was just the beginning. For the foreseeable future, the country will remain embroiled in Obamacare battles—instead of actually fixing the myriad problems with American health care. That's hardly an inspiring legacy, especially from a president who came to office as the great uniter!

This column originally appeared in The Week. Shikha Dalmia's full Week archive can be found here.

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  1. My. God. What a racist article.

    1. I’m certain that’s Shikha Dalmia’s role around here. Well that and her desire for cheap live-in servants.

      1. Gotta cut her some slack! This is literally the first not completely retarded article she has ever written! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was boring and she stupidly referred to Anthony Kennedy as a conservative, but still, for her this is phenomenal…

        1. Grow up a little bit, champ.

          1. If the shoe fits…

  2. and now they have to contend with full-bore Republican opposition as they try to make it work.

    I think the Repubs will try and fix it. And in doing so will become part “owners” of it. They just can’t help themselves.

    “Don’t do something, just stand there!”

    1. I was going to write something similar. The GOP will bungle this, somehow.

      1. Stupid Party? gonna stoopid, yo

    2. I hate to say it, but I think you’re right. I think we’ll see a Republican contingent ride in as the “reasonable compromisers” to tweak the bill in a year or two in order to drum up support for their brand in 2016.

      1. It will be interesting. If they go full-Rino with a Romney or Bush, yeah it’s getting fixed.

        A Cruz or Paul would probably try to kill it outright and do some free-market reforms.

        1. The trick would be to essentially kill it with free-market reforms, but market it as a “fix.”

    3. That’s why I think the best thing the Republicans could do would be to lose the Presidency in 2016…

  3. Shits on fire yo!

    1. Perhaps you should avoid an octane rich diet then.

  4. Cool story, bro

  5. Reversing the individual mandate while keeping the rest of the law makes absolutely no sense. This sort of incremental tinkering with ACA only makes things drastically worse.

    What the US insurance market primarily needs is the ability for buyers to make binding, long-term contracts independent of employers/employment, and to extend tax breaks from employers to individual buyers.

    Some other reforms, like loosening up of FDA control, simplifying drug approval, and making a large number of drugs OTC, would also help.

    1. Hm, interesting ideas, but they have a common problem: they don’t seem to involve more government control.

    2. I’m not seeing much graft in that.
      Won’t even get through committee.

      1. It’s at times like this that I ponder creationists who think God is continually monitoring all of us and tinkering full time, where free will is a figment of God’s imagination. It’s the same attitude of statists who can’t seem to comprehend the beauty of creating a simple, elegant system and watching it work all on its own without further intervention.

        I’d rather not have religious nuts running my life, but if they are going to be in charge, I’d rather have Intelligent Designers rather than Stupid Tinkerers.

    3. I always bring this up to supporters of the bill–and add lifting the ban on interstate purchase of health insurance–and wigs flip. I mean, shit, you say health care is to expensive, I tell you how to make it cheaper, you get all mad? Sheeeeyit….

    4. You could do all that without a lobbyist. Due process man, DUE PROCESS. You go through a lobbyist! Now go read The Constitution for Dummies.

  6. I’m not going to sugar coat this…

    1. Can you at least put some Vaseline on it?

      1. As per the Ministry of Health Care Services, your vasoline stipend has been exhausted for the quarter.

        1. But your chocolate ration has been increased to twenty grams.

          1. Is it free chocolate?

  7. “But the reality is that unless public opinion swings dramatically in Obamacare’s favor, Republicans have no skin in the game and no reason to cooperate.”

    In the first place, public opinion is already strongly in favor of taking the start of the ACA and having government officials work to improve it. Just look at every Kaiser poll. There is no support for simple repeal. Even people who say they want repeal, which are few, want it then replaced…they don’t want to go back to what we had. Which is all just another way of saying most Americans are in favor of government involvement in our health care system.

    And as far as the last part, that’s pretty funny. They never HAD any skin in the game because they simply didn’t want to put it there. Here, no less that GOP stalwart David Frum said it best about Republicans failure to ever try to put skin in the game:

    “There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible.”

    http://www.frumforum.com/waterloo/

    Stop carrying the water for an extreme base of the GOP…they never had any interest in working with Democrats to improve the health care system.

    1. “they don’t want to go back to what we had. Which is all just another way of saying most Americans are in favor of government involvement in our health care system.”

      We had 57% govt involvement, which was terrible, and the main reason people hated it. Fascist Obamacare is worse, and you think people want full blown communist single payer?

      Stupid is as stupid does.

      1. Yeah, sure.

        Here, Fully 60% of those polled want Congress to work to improve the ACA, and of the remainder, only 35% want it repealed, and even then they want it replaced.

        http://kff.org/health-reform/p…..july-2014/

        And don’t complain about the poll, Peter always uses it here, but only tells you the results he likes.

    2. that GOP stalwart David Frum

      Wat

      1. He’s not?

        1. Frum is nobody’s idea of a GOP stalwart. You might as well be using Zell Miller as a bellweather for the Democratic party. Frum’s purpose in life at this point is turning the GOP into Dem Lite, or some facsimile of the Tories. I’m sure if you asked the party they’d rather he just go back to deepest Canada, never to be heard from again.

          1. At one time he was. But you’re right…there is no place for Frum in today’s GOP.

            Sadly, he doesn’t recognize that fact.

    3. There is no support for simple repeal.

      8-10% wants to leave it as is, 27-30% wants to repeal it (2/3 of whom don’t want to replace it), 49% wants to tinker with it. The problem is that the deeply unpopular portion is the mandate and the whole system falls apart without it, so any tinkering is unrealistic.

      1. But then the problem remains for the GOP. They need to have an alternative. They need to put skin in the game.

        Frum was right, and he hated the ACA. Now that its here, you simply can’t look to be that child who only wants to take his ball and go home. Shikha seems to think the GOP can remain that child.

        1. Push them goal posts, Jack. If lies won’t do it, try some misdirection!
          Do you think anyone here is fooled by your bullshit?

        2. Oh, and just a hint for you:
          Most who post here are not GOPers.

        3. They don’t have to do anything of the kind until they are in a position to effect such a change. This is the modern version of the Wagner Act, something that the R’s will get their panties in a twist about for the next generation but the Democrats won’t ever allow to be repealed because of its symbolic value. And I expect that it will end the same way: the Republicans will gut the legislation somewhere down the road but it will still remain nominally in effect.

          1. Well, we’ll see. I think you are wrong about it going away in its near entirety. I don’t think most Republicans will stand for that, but we will see.

            Anyway, we tried to have a mature discussion about it, but Sevo checked in. There goes maturity.

            1. Jackand Ace|8.5.14 @ 10:32AM|#
              “Anyway, we tried to have a mature discussion about it, but Sevo checked in. There goes maturity.”

              Gee, you show up, hope to pitch your BS and then get called on it!
              What a shame.

        4. You’re right that the GOP hasn’t put forth a good alternative. I don’t know what that has to do with libertarians. All though, to be fair, some Republican group did half-heartedly put forth a minor deregulation/tax break scheme that would have been an improvement a year or so ago. It was weak sauce, but better than ACA or the prior status quo.

          That being said, most of us would probably like to see ACA replaced, too. Just not in the way you think. we don’t want a new government-instrusive plan. We want laws that deregulate insurance markets to allow plans to be sold across state lines, streamline FDA approval (or outright eliminate it), make more (all) medicines OTC, get rid of patchwork licensing laws that limit supply, eliminate the tax favoritism for employer sponsored plans, etc. So, to say that the Kaiser poll indicates that most people want something like the ACA, but better, is stupid. The poll doesn’t specify what people want. It just notes that they want SOMETHING. Given how government had f’d up medical care prior to the ACA, I don’t know why you’d assume that all of those people want more goverment as the replacement for the ACA.

          1. I’ll be honest with you Butler. I could not care less what form the revision in our health care system takes, as long as we start, which is what the ACA accomplished at the minimum… a start, and I think the poll reflects that I would be in the majority of what most Americans think.

            I own a small business, and I can tell you what we had before the ACA was untenable. Now you might think the ACA will make it worse, and that’s OK.

            But that then necessitates an alternative, because I know what we had before in regard to insurance for working people was not effective.

        5. But then the problem remains for the GOP. They need to have an alternative. They need to put skin in the game.

          People who say this kind of stuff (like Frum) do so without addressing context.

          Any “plan” the Repubs come up with while holding only the House is completely pointless and would be brutally attacked by the Dems and special interests. There is no House legislation that will pass through the Senate right now, and there’s no way Repubs are going to expose themselves until there’s a reasonable expectation of success which means after the mid-terms.

          It’s like Paul Ryan’s completely useless plans to improve ..whatever.. They’ll never get passed or implemented so even see the Senate floor. Why does he continue to propose these things? As an exercise in positioning. period.

          Politics is filled with signaling that is legislatively pointless. The Republicans will “fix” Ocare or come up with an alternative when if become politically necessary to do so. That time isn’t now.

          1. That’s right…when you start your discussion with “repeal” (see Mitt Romney, and so far just about every GOPer in DC), then the discussion will go nowhere, because at a minimum that is a non-starter for at least 2 more years. That’s reality. And that really was Frum’s point.

            Regardless, they will need to have a plan by the time we get to 2016. And you know what? That goes for Libertarians as well. If Rand Paul runs for the nomination, he too will need to lay out a clear plan as to what he will do in health care. He won’t be able to say, “I’ll just repeal the ACA and that’s it.” Well, he can try, but he will lose.

            Just ask Mitt Romney.

            1. You completely ignore the very real disagreement within the Republican party about *how* healthcare should be reformed. Moderate Repubs like Frum want to dismiss the ideas of the free market/limited government wing of the party to “deal” with Dems. Your premise is that it doesn’t matter how healthcare is reformed as long as it’s done. As a libertarian, I am very interested and invested in a “fix” that focuses on de-regulation instead of centralization. Romney’s repeal position reflects the interest of those who want a very different kind of healthcare reform than that which Obama provided.

              1. The ACA WAS a GOP revision to health care…it reflected in large part what Romney did in Mass.

                That’s right…my belief is that our health care system was poor, and I only say that as a small business owner. It needed revision. I’m willing to listen to all comers as to their ideas. I’m not wedded to the ACA.

                But I know this…you won’t be able to put the genie back in the bottle.

                Let me ask you a question. Do you want kids to be able to stay on parents health care until they are 26? Do you want pre-existing conditions to be excluded from insurance rejection? Do you want insurance companies to be unable to cancel you when you develop a condition?

                You may say you don’t care, but I do. And I also believe most Americans do. And therefore, no one will be able to skate by without saying how they will achieve those things, and then how they will pay for it. And you know why? Because now they have it, and you don’t want to simply propose taking it away.

                1. The ACA WAS a GOP revision to health care…it reflected in large part what Romney did in Mass.

                  Who gives a shit? As a small government libertarian why would I care that some Republican think-tank and Romney came up with some of the initial concepts of it?

                  It needed revision.

                  That’s right. But you’re commenting on a libertarian chat board and are surprised to find people who are strongly in favor of de-regulation and anti-crony principles? Your idea of reform maybe “whatever works for me right now” but for us long-term principle matters.

                  Nice strawman you offered with, “You hate the CHILDREN because you don’t like Ocare!!!”

                  Libertarians are NOT anarchists. Do a little reseach, try CATO to start and quit with the hysteria. You might want to actually have an understanding of what constitutes a “libertarian” plan for healthcare before pontificating on it.

                  1. Actually, I was asking you for the Libertarian plan…I had nothing to pontificate on. But I guess you don’t have it.

                    But I do notice you did not answer my question as to whether or not you want those things in health coverage. Why? Because you don’t know how it could be paid for?

                    Don’t worry, Rand will have to answer to that.

                    1. But I guess you don’t have it.

                      Pleeeeze, bitch. This site and other libertarian organizations have endless resources for those who want to access them. So you’re either willfully ignorant or lazy.

                      A limited and basic regulatory scheme is well within the conceptualization of a libertarian “plan” and that regulation may include some equal access concepts.

                      Why are you holding Rand Paul to a different standard than Obama? How is Obama paying for Ocare? Right. He’s not.

                    2. OK then…no detail necessary from the Libertarian candidate on health care revision. Good luck!

                    3. Good luck!

                      Yeah, because what I care about is whether or not Rand Paul is elected or not.

                      But, hey, I’ll send that ‘Good luck’ right back to you because I’m sure your health insurance issues will be resolved once Hillary is elected.

                2. Jack. So basically when you were shown why the healthcare system was screwed up, shown the free market solution which would allow people to afford their that own healthcare. You continue with the argument that someone else should pay for your healthcare,your employees healthcare, everyone else’s healthcare, just as long as it is not you.
                  This is why people think you are a twit. No matter how “Civil” you act.

                  1. Also. Eat a giant bag of dicks.

                  2. No one pays for my health care, other than me. I pay for it. And I pay increasing amounts each and every year, and that has been the case for decades.

                    Actually, the problem for Libertarians is that they have yet been able to explain exactly how the free market will achieve all those things. At least, not to the majority of American’s satisfaction. Or if they could, Johnson would have won the last election.

                    Sorry my civil “act” has offended you.

                    1. Turd Burglar.

                    2. Actually, the problem for Libertarians is that they have yet been able to explain exactly how the free market will achieve all those things.

                      Could you please explain how Ocare is going to achieve those things?

                      Right, you can’t. What you could do is what Obama and the Dems did when they passed Ocare – lie and make a ton of false promises.

                      Your basic position is: DO SOMETHING!!!

                      Great. That certainly relieves you of any responsibility for the shitty Ocare outcome while simultaneously providing you a childish excuse to blame others for not offering a magical fix.

                    3. Ocare HAS done those things. And you can list all the complaints you want as to how its not paid for, etc. But that so far is only your opinion, and the fact remains that those things are now in existence when prior to the ACA they were not.

                      So lets see if Rand can explain to the American public how he will keep those things in the free market system.

                      You can’t, but hopefully he can.

                    4. Turd Burglar.

                    5. I agree that the free market falls short when it comes to health insurance. The Libertarian health insurance reform ideas offer up plenty of good stuff such as allowing policies to be sold across state lines, equalizing the tax treatment regarding premiums (so individuals can deduct premiums just as employers do), etc. Still, in the end — it seems that we end up with special “risk pools” for those with pre-existing conditions. Well, as somebody who has been licensed to sell health insurance since 1985, I can tell you that insurance companies would prefer to deny coverage to many, many people for reasons that might surprise many who have been fortunate to have employer provided coverage throughout their lives. Insurance companies don’t just run from diabetics, or people undergoing cancer treatment, or who require life long treatment for some chronic condition.

                      I favor adopting something like Switzerland’s approach: an individual mandate for basic coverage (no employer provided coverage) that is guaranteed issue, no pre-existing condition exclusions. Insurance companies participate in a reinsurance pool to protect them from insuring “sick” people. The insurance companies make profits from selling supplemental policies. Consumers have skin in the game. Switzerland has 99% universal coverage, arguably the best health care in the world, doctors are in private practice,….

                    6. Very interesting. I always wonder why we would want to saddle business with the role of supplying health insurance. I will look into the Swiss plan further. Thanks.

                    7. Wage freeze mandated by the government (during WWII) forced employers to get creative when trying to compete for employees. They found a gift in the tax code: the employer deduction for health insurance premiums. Such “fringe” benefits were not considered wages for the purpose of wage controls. Thus began what I believe turned out to be the biggest reason (when considering the long term impacts) our health insurance system is so screwed up.

                    8. Jackand Ace|8.5.14 @ 11:39AM|#

                      No one pays for my health care, other than me. I pay for it.”

                      So you business doesn’t get a tax deduction for providing it’s employee(s) health insurance ?

                      You didn’t build that !

                    9. I get other tax deductions as well, both in business and personal. Lets see…I get a tax deduction on my home mortgage payment…what? I’m not paying for my house, oneout?

                      Libertarian logic at work.

                    10. Turd Burglar.

        6. They need to have an alternative. They need to put skin in the game.

          (1) Repeal ObamaCare. In its entirety. The first sentence of the bill.

          (2) Give people a full (non-refundable) tax deduction for their insurance premiums. I’d rather have no tax break, but if there aren’t any soundbite friendly handouts, its going nowhere in Congress.

          (3) Allow interstate sale of policies.

          Let’s see how that works.

          1. Maybe the GOP will get that chance. Its an alternative at least.

            I would suggest you keep in mind a couple of things.

            1. The GOP has talked about points 2 and 3 for a long time. In fact, it was discussed when they held the Oval Office and BOTH houses. And they did nothing. It never happened. It never even hit the floor. And as a result, you know have Obamacare, simply because the GOP chose to do nothing.

            2. If that then is the proposal, you can bet on this…whichever candidate proposes it will be asked if pre-existing conditions will then again be allowed as a reason for rejection, will kids get covered until they are 26, will caps be put back on insurance policies, and will an insurance company be able to cancel you if you get sick.

            That person probably will need to say that those things are not going away. And the scrutiny then begins in earnest.

            1. And as a result, you [now] have Obamacare, simply because the GOP chose to do nothing.

              No. We have OCare because the dems have wanted nationalized health care from the early days of the progressive movement. They have been at this for the better part of the last century. The repubs’ lack of effort has nothing to do with it.

              1. Health care has been a topic for revision for a long time, and not just Democrats.

                You may find this interesting. Richard Nixon’s health care revision proposal. Note how he complained that nothing reached his desk even though he asked for it. And note all the things he covers, including this statement:

                “There would be no exclusions of coverage based on the nature of the illness. For example, a person with heart disease would qualify for benefits as would a person with kidney disease.”

                Its only in the most recent past that any suggestion from the government on health care revision is taboo within the GOP ranks.

                http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or…..posal.aspx

                Read it…you will be amazed.

                If the GOP was so fearful of nationalized healthcare, then it was incumbent upon THEM to head it off at the pass. And since there were so many calls for reform for decades, they have no one else to blame but themselves for not initiating the reform when they had the chance.

                1. Why should they work and legislate when they have been able to shunt trillions to big business (health care) for decades and now use reform as a stick to beat the Dems over the head with – all while letting it work it’s positive magic?

                  They get the best of all worlds. Now they are talking about repeal while KEEPING the same programs! Call it McDonellCare in KY and Mitch will run on it!

                  1. Turd Burglar.

                2. Turd Burglar.

              2. Here are a couple more statements from GOP President Nixon:

                “–The Federal Government would add about $5.9 billion over the cost of continuing existing programs to finance health care for low-income or high risk persons. ”

                “There has long been a need to assure every American financial access to high quality health care. As medical costs go up, that need grows more pressing.
                Now, for the first time, we have not just the need but the will to get this job done. There is widespread support in the Congress and in the Nation for some form of comprehensive health insurance.”

    4. “There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible.”

      WHOA, I never knew this. Gonna write my thank-you notes pronto.

      Meanwhile, Jack, I don’t blame you for your fundamental misunderstanding of conservative and libertarian principles on “helping” American citizens. The main idea is to DISMANTLE government obstacles between producer and consumer, not to erect another elaborate, interlocking, Rube-Goldbergesque structure on the creaking ruins of the last one.

      The GOP, which is unfortunately the official voice of conservatives and libertarians, hasn’t a clue how to explain this. “When you don’t have to go through three layers of bureaucracy to buy a thing the seller of which has to go through four layers of bureaucracy to deliver it to you, the thing gets cheaper, better, and easier to obtain.”

      They could do it with pictures, role-play, puppets, whatever, but in the end it’s always some mess of abstractions and minutiae with a dash of Romneycare evasions and no concrete examples, and Americans who need reminders of the advantages of a non-nannying government are still demanding “What are you gonna do for me?”

      1. Well, like I said, I get the feeling that Rand Paul will get the chance to explain to everyone all those details. I know I will listen closely. He will now have to explain it. I do think the choices will be made clear.

  8. “The penalty for the individual mandate, which starts at $95 per individual and $285 per household, will soar to $695 and $2,085, respectively, by 2016”

    The “individual shared responsibility” as the IRS calls it, or what I call a penaltax, is:

    ?The greater of: ?1 percent of your household income that is above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status, or
    ?Your family’s flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, limited to a family maximum of $285

    See explanation here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/ACA-Ind…..he-Payment

    Using the IRS calculator, I figure my “share” is about $500 in 2014 for being too broke to afford a $1200 per month insurance premium.

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    1. A new anonbot, and so unlucky as to trigger the squirrels right off the bat!

      1. And the links is SF’d

        1. No, those spammers don’t use live links because they are less likely to trigger deletion this way.

  11. “Risk corridors” essentially cap both the profits and losses that insurance companies can make. A company whose profits are higher than the capped amount has to fork over the excess to one that incurs losses.

    That’s sure to give them incentive to perform well…

    1. I wish they’d do that with lobbying firms.

  12. I keep bringing this up, but never get an answer: what’s up with the backend of Healthcare.gov these days? Months ago it was acknowledged that a large part of it was still not finished, they hired Accenture, said it was crucial to get it all operating shortly, and then… nothing. I said a year ago that there was a good chance the website would never work as designed, and so far I think I’ve been proven correct.

    1. All the concerns about the site’s security seem to have disappeared too. They surely didn’t fix it though.

    2. I think for the most part the back-end problem was “solved” by processing applications by hand. We haven’t heard about it in a while because enrollment season is over for the year.

      We’ll probably get a better answer if the employer mandate ever goes into effect and tens of millions of people have to go shopping.

      1. There was also an issue about paying insurers. Supposedly they have been “estimating” them.

  13. The American public will never be satisfied with the healthcare system, because a majority believe that they are entitled to receive unlimited care with no regard to cost. Healthcare will be rationed in one of two ways: the government can do the rationing, or the free market can do the rationing.

  14. Yep, people hate Obamacare. But they love the actual program:

    “Leading the nation were two southern states where the law has found political support. Arkansas saw a drop of about 10 percentage points in its share of uninsured residents, from 22.5 percent in 2013, to 12.4 percent by the middle of this year. Kentucky experienced a drop of nearly 9 percentage points, from 20.4 percent of its residents uninsured in 2013, to 11.9 percent.”

    It’s working. Very well, in fact.
    BUT, we need to rename it something like “libertarian care” so that all the repeal efforts will stop. GOPcare would do the job also.

    It appears many people are too stupid to understand that a Rose by any name smells the same…that is, the same idiots that are benefiting from it will be convinced to vote against their own interests because Koch money will run ads which show that that support the Negro in the White House is bad.

    1. Turd Burglar.

  15. Big problem is that any “fix” to reduce our world highest health care costs are going to cut into someone’s present day income. They of course will attempt to preserve their income at the price of someone else’s income. So “who” gets the “cut”. Insurance companies? Doctors? Hospitals? Drug Companies? Medical device makers? Lots of “sacred cows” there.

    I have been advocating (on my blog and internet postings) that repeal of our present day prescription laws (making medical drugs “adult signature required”) would considerably reduce overall medical costs. However this means that doctors take a “hit” in their incomes because without their government enforced legal monopoly over access to medical drugs we will return to the “status quo” that existed before these laws were passed. People with the simpler chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or problems with osteoarthritis (the generic I take costs less than $10 every three months) will no longer be willing to visit a doctor so often. The so-called “shortage of primary care physicians” will disappear, but those in practice now won’t like “how” it came about.

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