Obamacare

How Much Will Obamacare Cost? Bet on 'More Than Expected'

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Obamacare estimates
Reason Infographic

As the nation prepares for the second enrollment period under The Affordable Care Act in November, there is officially no way of figuring out what Obamacare is going to do to federal deficits compared to the estimates used to push the program through Congress.

Back in 2009, it was really important to President Obama that people understand he would not "sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future. Period." He sold the plan as costing about $938 billion in its first decade of operation (2010 through 2019) but saving about $143 billion overall because of the various taxes and other revenue it raised. A 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report figured that Obamacare would shave $109 billion off the deficit between 2013 and 2022.

This past June, however, the CBO said it will no longer try to estimate the law's effects on the deficit. There have been too many delays, postponements, modifications, you name it, to the original bill. "Isolating the incremental effects of those provisions on previously existing programs and revenues four years after enactment of the Affordable Care Act is not possible," the CBO concluded.

So what's going on? The deficit for fiscal year 2014, which ended on September 30, came in at "just" $483 billion and 2.8 percent of GDP, the lowest figures in years. President Obama was quick to say it was because of his signature health-care reform plan. "Healthcare has long been the single biggest driver of America's future deficits," reports The Hill. "Healthcare is now the single biggest factor driving those deficits down."

At the same time, the CBO (and everyone else) expects deficits to start growing again in fiscal 2016, so it's a bit premature to break out the bubbly just yet. Senate Republicans have just released a report based on CBO data claiming that Obamacare will end up adding $300 billion to federal deficits between 2015 and 2024.

The Republican report is ultimately a political document, so its methods and conclusions deserve to be taken with more than a few grains of salt. But if past experience with massive government-run health care programs is any indicator, the odds are high that Obamacare will end up costing way more than it was supposed to.

Indeed, all signs suggest that overall health-care spending, including the government's already-large share, will keep growing over the next decade.

Official figures show that local, state, and federal governments will spend a record-high 46 percent of all health-care dollars this year and the percentage is expected to grow over the next decade, to 48 percent. 

The New York Times reports that by 2023, all spending on health care will equal 19.3 percent of GDP, which is "two percentage points more than last year." So whether it's through taxes, increased premiums, or out-of-pocket costs, we'll be paying more for health care in the coming years.

If that's disappointing, it's not exactly surprising. Government-run health-care programs have a track record of costing more than advertised.

Here are three examples to think about as the health care reform law gears up for its second year of sign-ups (for more information, go here).

1. Massachusetts Commonwealth Care. This is the plan supported by Gov. Mitt Romney that provided the very model for Obamacare. It guaranteed universal coverage and subsidized insurance premiums for low-income residents. Initial cost estimates came in at $472 million while actual costs were closer to $628 million for an error ratio of 1.2:1.

Masscare Estimate
Reason Infographic

 

2. Medicare. In 1967, Congress estimated that the nation's single-payer system for the elderly, Medicare, would cost $12 billion in 1990. The actual price tag was $110 billion, for an error ratio on 9.17:1.

Medicare Estimate
Reason Infographic

3. Medicaid DSH program. Medicaid pays for health insurance for the poor (its expansion represents the main way Obamacare in enrolling new beneficiaries). The "disproportionate share hospital program" (DSH) gives money to facilities that serve a large number of poor patients. In 1987, Congress figured DSH payments would be less than $1 billion in 1991. Instead, they totaled $17 billion, creating an error ratio of 17:1.

Medicaid DSH Estimate
Reason Infographic

Read more about phony-baloney health care accounting here and here. And check out Reason's special collection of new stories about "The Sad Story of Obamacare."

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124 responses to “How Much Will Obamacare Cost? Bet on 'More Than Expected'

  1. Best gifs ever!!!

    1. Those things are obviously racist

      1. How can Reason be so cruel as to force the blood people to carry around death crushing amounts of cash?!?!

        1. the blood people

          Nice band name. (Props to Lothar.)

    2. Its like reason just hired someone who knows how to make gifs, so we’re making gifs!

    3. Inspired by Bambi Meets Godzilla, I suppose.

  2. What is this? Buzzfeed? All those animated gifs.

    1. Next up: The Top 33 Ways You Know You’re Dating A Libertarian and 15 Signs You’re At a Meeting of The Mont Pelerin Society

  3. prices are irrelevant if you don’t bear the costs.

  4. Well, we do know that the Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement cuts never happened. And since that was the largest single line item in the alleged savings due to Obamacare, we can pretty much rule out any actual savings.

    1. we can pretty much rule out any actual savings.

      Except for all the lives we save. We’ll be saving the lives of eleventy trillion low income elderly chilrunz with pre-existing conditions every day. So it is written, so shall be done.

      1. Send the bill to someone who cares.

        Literally. Find a sick person, find a liberal, tell them to pay the bills. See how fast they backpedal.

        1. http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..ay-for-it/

          “Of course, I want people to have health care, I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally,” Vinson said.

      2. And the trillions of dollars we are going to save because of the miracle of preventative care.

        1. Which was cheaper and easier to get just a couple of years ago, and is headed toward being even more expensive and harder to get.

          INTENTIONS!

    2. WASHINGTON (AP) ? At the prodding of business organizations, House Republicans quietly secured a recent change in President Barack Obama’s health law to expand coverage choices, a striking, one-of-a-kind departure from dozens of high-decibel attempts to repeal or dismember it.

      In a weekend statement, House Speaker John Boehner’s office characterized the provision was “just one part of Republicans’ larger effort to repeal the full law and replace it with better solutions focused on lowering health care costs for families and small businesses.”

      Until the statement was issued, no member of the House GOP leadership had sought to draw public attention to the fix, which was tucked at Republicans’ request into legislation preventing a cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients. The bill cleared Congress more than a week ago.

      http://news.yahoo.com/gop-seek…..38136.html

  5. No we know the cost, it cost us our freedom.

    1. if you don’t put in your buck 0 five, who will?

  6. Do we really need to ‘liquify’ the poor stick figures?

    I mean, it seems like an extra-dimension of anthropomorphic dramatization has been thrown in here to ensure we’re clear that the poor laborers have not simply been crushed, but their bodies (which were apparently just stick-shaped blood-bags) have been completely pulverized, with their live-essences shooting out of them with swatted-mosquito-like speed. No chance for even a scream? A brief cry of terror before their lives are mercilessly snuffed out by the….giant piles of money they’re carrying? Is the context here that they’d thought they’d hit it rich? They’d stumbled across giant-sized money, and thought they were going to live the remainder of their stick-figure lives in stick-figure luxury?…only to be undone by their own cupidity, crushed to death by excess wealth…

    Also: they’re brown. You goddamn racist.

    1. Clearly, the gifs should be structured in such a way as the formerly obese Americans, filled to the brim with cash that they use to buy evil Gaea killing meat, have just enough cash removed from their pockets to slim them down to fitness levels unrivaled by even the world’s greatest athletes.

      And they’ll still have enough money left over to get a degree in (insert culture of preference) studies, a Prius, and solar panels for their new home in an up and coming hipster area.

    2. While of course the page background remains lily-white and undamaged.

      But say, those gifs seem to be acting as some sort of Troll-Away, don’t they?

      1. I think that’s more the numbers than the gifs

  7. Has Ted seen all the gifs? He’s gonna plotz!

    1. Alt text: I hate Ted S.

  8. I can’t stop looking at them.

    1. “You and I… we’re not really so different from one another, you know…I too feel as though I am being repeatedly, endlessly crushed while trying to escape a box with giant-sized, cartoon money… ”

      As you stare at the stick figure, so also does the stick figure gaze into you.

  9. Now this post has been taken off of H&R?…

    Is this so that the wanton slaughter of GIF-Men can continue unabated without provoking further public outcry?!

    The body count by this point has also become ‘unknowable’. Who will build the monument to the Unknown Gif-Dead?

    1. Said monument will almost certainly be my next endeavor.

      1. It could be a GIF of a couple of GIF-Men approaching a statue of a valiant GIF-Man, and one of them laying a wreath.

        1. Tomb of the Unknown GIF-Man

  10. I was wondering why everyone was complaining about GIFs on the site. Now I can’t unsee it.

  11. The federal deficit is down this year and President Obama says it’s most because of health-care reform.

    Emphasis added. Gee, that’s just great.

    1. The problem being that, by this time, Obama’s credibility os so low that if he said that oxygen was necessary for life, I’d want a second opinion.

    2. I attribute that to Congressional gridlock.

  12. I don’t see the problem. Obviously we can just appoint new Czars to fix everything.

    1. NO! Need CZAR-Czar!

      One Czar to rule them all, One Czar to find them,
      One Czar to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

      1. and in the darkness

        FUCKING RACIST!

        1. Exactly!

          “One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne”

      1. Give that man a GIF-Czar!

        (Sorry, Sir — couldn’t resist!)

  13. OT Question:

    How “libertarian” is the idea of limited liability in business and the shielding of individuals from liability in business? It is a question I’ve been asking myself for quite a long time. I believe it is not a very libertarian set up.

    I understand that it is good for business in the short term at least, but I’d like some principle based insight, if anyone would offer it.

    1. It is very Libertarian because limited liability is nothing but a contract. If I have a corporation, you know up front that my assets will not be available to pay the corporation’s debt and you can act accordingly. Everything is out in the open so you are free to decide if you like that deal or not. If you don’t, you can insist that I put up some of my personal assets as collateral. Business owners do that all of the time. If you are okay with the deal then you loan me money and if the corporation goes tits up you get to get your share of any assets it has.

      If you get rid of limited liability, you are saying that you and I can’t make that deal. That only contracts where the business owner is personally on the hook are allowed. And that is very unlibertarian and against the freedom of contract.

      1. Very simple yet correct answer for what appeared to be a complicated question.

          1. You’re kind of on a roll this morning, John.

            1. Agreed.

              He is on a such a roll that I wont derail him with discussions of driverless cars.

              1. I do endorse driverless trucks.

                1. I do endorse driverless trucks.

                  But what about the people who ENJOY driving 18 wheelers around the interstates?

                  Honestly, Im not sure why long haul trucking makes any sense. Short haul, of course, but it says something about how government subsidies and regulations have fucked up train travel that long haul trucking exists.

                  1. I’d like to see some figures for that assertion. It seems to me that once the country decided to shift emphasis from railroad construction to highway construction, long haul trucking became inevitable. The shift came about in large part because the military thought (or said they thought) that it was necessary for national defense.

                    The argument can be made from several sides, but roads do have it over rails in that they can be used by private individuals for local and unscheduled transportation.

                    I remember reading somewhere that the U.S. has one of the better freight hauling rail systems in the world, and that the differences between a freight hauling rail system and a passenger rail system accounts for the long failure of Amtrack. You can take that for whatever you think it’s worth, but if find it interesting that somebody thinks we have a good freight-rail system, AND we still use trucks a lot.

                    1. It seems to me that once the country decided to shift emphasis from railroad construction to highway construction, long haul trucking became inevitable.

                      That is some of the government subsidization I was talking about. Not that rail wasnt subsidized too.

                      I guess its hard to say what a free market would have produced, but I would lean more towards freight-rail.

                    2. Actually, the history if rail development indicates that there would have been significant problems sans government support. Historically, trunk lines made money, but feeder lines lost, and without some encorage ment railroads were loath to build more feeder than could obviously add to the profit of the trunk. The construction of the larger network brought a great deal of value to society, but individuals were unwilling to pay for it.

                      Construction of networks seems, on first look, to be one way taht government spending works. I suspect there’s a PhD dissertation in proving it one way or another.

      2. I understand your point, but you can bring that to the extreme, no?

        If you buy my product, I am not liable for anything.

        And if you create a contract, shouldn’t it be specific? Limited liability is not specific. I think specific contracts are fine, but I don’t know about blanket limitations on liability. It seems less of a contract and more of a “I’m not responsible, FYTW”

        Also, does this not cause the average progressive to claim “oh we need government oversight and regulation now!”?

        1. The corporate vale against personal liability is not complete. There are lots of things I can do to enable my creditors to pierce it. For example, if I start mixing my finance with my business’s by say using corporate assets for private purposes or taking money from the corporation to pay for personal expenses, I lose my immunity. If I commit criminal misconduct or fraud in the name of the corporation, I can be personally liable.

          I only get the immunity if I actually keep the corporation separate from my personal affairs. It has to be a separate entity that hopefully pays me a salary in the form of profits. This is why corporations are legal “persons”.

          So the law of limited liability addresses your concerns.

          1. Vale? Vicky Vale?

            So the law of limited liability addresses your concerns.

            So does business insurance, no?

            1. Sure. But why buy business insurance when you can just form a corporation? Moreover, if you replaced incorporation with a system of business insurance, it would be nearly impossible to start anything but the most well funded and safe bet corporation since anything less would be unable to obtain insurance. You would basically turn investment decisions over to insurance underwriters. I doubt that would work out very well.

          2. Thanks for taking your time to answer me John, I really appreciate it.

            What about setting up separate corporations to spread out your liability, even if all those corporations are really acting as one entity? Can a person or corporation be multiple entities at once?

            Trust me, I get your points, but there is something that just doesn’t sit right with me. Generally that alarm bell in my head is right, but maybe I need to actually think it through more.

            1. Eh, rereading it, apparently you sort of answered me already on that one.

            2. Yes, you can be multiple people at once. I can be my corporation and my personal self and be another corporation but I have to keep the money from the three separate.

              This is how corporate fraud is done. For example, one of the great frauds of all time involved the building of the eastern end of the transcontinental railroad. The crooks were the owners of the Central Pacific railroad. Whoever built the first transcontinental line was going to lose their shorts because the costs were huge and it would be years before the traffic made enough money to pay for it. So what they did was form a second closely held corporation called Credit Mobilier. The public corporation Union Pacific then contracted with Credit Mobilier to build the railroad. So while Union Pacific went broke and begged the government for help, Credit Mobilier raked in all the investors and government subsidies and skimmed a huge profit for the insiders off of the top.

      3. “If you are okay with the deal then you loan me money and if the corporation goes tits up you get to get your share of any assets it has.”

        Unless Obama decides the Democrat supporting unions are more deserving of said assets, of course.

    2. As currently and historically implemented, limited liability is entirely and purely an implementation of the state.
      There are those who argue that it is possible to craft libertarian/ancap acceptable ‘limited liability’ companies by contract, but that is such a far cry from the current and historical facts of limited liability as to be an entirely different animal.
      I think the case that ‘limited liability’ is non, if not anti, libertarian is trivial.
      Remember, it’s not about “what’s good for business”.

      1. Very often intended purposes have unintended consequences. It just appears that the unintended consequences in this scenario benefit Liberty; very rare.

      2. That is just wrong. We could have limited liability under contract. The problem is two fold. First, you would have to get courts to enforce such, the state still has to endorse them. Second and more importantly, without the state system of incorporation, it would be very difficult to tell who exactly has formed a corporation and this isn’t personally liable and who hasn’t.

        All state incorporation laws do is set up a public record where investors can tell what is a corporation and what is not and then make an informed decision. The idea that corporations are a creation of the state is nothing but leftist horse dung. Corporations existed long before the state ever recognized them because they are nothing but associations of people. All the state did or should have done was set up a systematic way for people to know just what those corporations were.

        1. Incorporation has nothing to do with limited liability.

          LLCs are not incorporated, for example, as they are limited liability companies.

          The question, as properly posed by Fluffy yesterday, is why should investment not have limited liability but loans do?

          Because its easy to restructure an investment as a loan.

          And other point to continue, the actual actors dont have limited liability. If the President or some other exec acts in an improper manner, they can be held personally liable. Without limit.

          1. Incorporation has nothing to do with limited liability.

            That is just not true. One of the main reasons you form a corporation and the biggest reasons why the innovation of incorporation generated so much wealth is that incorporation allowed people to form business ventures without risking everything they owned. Being able to separate your business’ liabilities from your own is one of the main reasons for incorporating.

            And other point to continue, the actual actors dont have limited liability. If the President or some other exec acts in an improper manner, they can be held personally liable. Without limit.

            You are just playing semantics with the term “limited”. You are correct, the amount of their liability in the circumstances you describe is unlimited. The circumstances under which they may be liable for corporate debts, however, are very limited. So they do have “limited” liability in the sense that they are not liable at all for corporate debts unless they do something dishonest like you describe which will make them so.

            1. That is just not true.

              You misinterpreted my statement. It was poorly written when taken out of context like you quoted. The very next sentence makes it much clearer.

              I was trying to say that incorporation isnt necessary for limited liability, you can also get it thru other means, like an LLC.

              Limitied liability as a concept does not require incorporation.

              1. Okay. Sorry about that. Really though, the bitch about corporations is usually over limited liability. LLCs create the same problems for people who don’t like corporations.

                1. My personal experience with people who are bent out of shape by the idea of Corporations is that hey don’t trust Corporations, but do trust Governments. To my mind, this marks them as unusually stupid. I’m aware that there are honorable exceptions, but I only seem to run into them on REASON.

    3. Re: PaulW,

      How “libertarian” is the idea of limited liability in business and the shielding of individuals from liability in business?

      Very, as long as the two parties (company and client) accept the limited liability condition whenever engaging in trade.

      But it should be meaningless when it comes to a third-party that becomes an unwilling participant, like someone being crushed on the street by a giant candy crane or something. But that is what insurance is for.

      1. Wouldn’t that be like saying, John Wayne contractually agreed to a duel, and I accidentally shot someone walking down the street, good thing that little kid has insurance?

        1. You would be responsible for the kid as the actor.

          The people who invested in your gunsmithing corporation had nothing to do with it.

          1. To continue the analogy, lets say you had 60% of the stock in the gunsmithing corp and I had 40% as an investor. The kids family might end up with the 60% due to your negligence and then shut the company down.

            But I would still get 40% of the liquidation value of the corp.

            And would have a very valid minority shareholder lawsuit against the family if they tried to liquidate below fair market value.

            1. Sorry, my example was extremely poor.

              You’d have to look at it more as John and I being corporations putting on a show for the public, and passerby did not come to that show.

              I was just trying to bring it down to the individual level, and show how there is really no equality under the law between individual actors and corporations.

              1. No, your example was fine.

                The law is equal. If you kill someone negligently, you would be responsible whether you did it as an individual or as a representative of a corporation.

                Its the negligence that is the key factor.

                In fact, there is limited liability for individuals too…thats the purpose of bankruptcy, to end your liability and allow a restart.

                1. There is at least one former regular poster on here who felt the way you did who supported debtors prisons as the logical end to his views.

                  1. There is at least one former regular poster on here who felt the way you did who supported debtors prisons as the logical end to his views.

                    This is very helpful, a piece of the puzzle I’m trying to fit together.

                2. But what makes it in practice so different?

                  The issue of justice is clear cut in that case, in the perfect world, I agree.

                  Maybe it is not so much the set up that makes the alarm bells go off, but the implementation. One cannot say with a straight face that liability in practice is the same for a corporation as it is for the individual. What creates this difference?

                  1. If anything, liability for a corporation is worse. Because of deep pockets, they get sued instead of going after the individual actors, whose assets are limited.

                    1. Ah, but I am talking of criminal liability as well as civil liability.

                      Personally, I’d rather lose all my money in the entire world than go to jail. Can I pay a fine rather than go to jail for manslaughter or worse? No. So what makes the corporation different? You can effectively “jail” a corporation by suing them into oblivion, sure, but in practice, it depends on how big you are of a corporation. So would a corporation then be, depending on its assets, more of a person than an individual as far as rights go? And how does that gel with libertarian principles? It doesn’t seem like equality under the law.

                    2. As far as criminal liability goes, that should always be the individual actors involved in committing the crime, not the corporation.

                      Corporations dont commit manslaughter, the individuals do.

                      As far as protection from criminal liability goes, the state gets that, not corporation. Look how rarely cops are criminally liable, even when the city’s taxpayers end up civilly liable for the act.

                    3. So then, a corporation becomes not a person as far as rights go. It becomes a bunch of individuals, who are limited in their financial liability only, while the whole group maintains the rights of a full person.

                      Basically, you can act as a corporation in a way that violates someone else’s rights, but financially you are not responsible after a certain point. Criminally you are not responsible unless you are the exact person who did this harm.

                      I understand the limited liability concept within a strictly financial sense with contracts between companies and consumers. I get it. It makes sense, but I still cannot see how there is any sense of equality under the law between a corporation and an individual in practice, if said corporation violates a right, and if the premise is that the corporation is considered a person under the law.

                      Trust me, as far as cops and other actors of the government, I agree completely.

                      I hope I’m not coming off as a left-libertarian. It is honestly an intellectual curiosity, and something that seems to be maybe an issue that isn’t discussed much among ourselves, that probably should be.

                      If we as a group believe that the basic principles are just, we need to be able to defend it, and we also need to be able to realize when those principles aren’t actually being followed.

                    4. I’m reading up on it a bit, thought you might like this quote:

                      “The king was said to be above the civil law. Only God is superior to the king’s authority, the people were told. This is the judicial meaning of “the divine right of kings”: no higher earthly court of appeal. The king therefore claimed limited liability as a monopoly. That claim ended in Anglo-American law no later than 1688: the Glorious Revolution. Parliament wanted in on the deal. Parliament’s claim ended in 1783 in the North American colonies. Then Congress wanted in on the deal. Then the U.S. Supreme Court. And so it goes. The state wants its divine rights: complete limited liability except from God, who is thought to be on an extended vacation.”

                    5. Basically, you can act as a corporation in a way that violates someone else’s rights

                      Such as?

                      but financially you are not responsible after a certain point.

                      If you violate someone else’s rights, you have no limitation of liability.

                      Criminally you are not responsible unless you are the exact person who did this harm.

                      Yes? Is there some justification for locking people up who did not cause harm?

                    6. I’m saying in practice.

                      My question to robc was, I get what you’re saying, but what makes the difference in practice?

                      What makes it so much more difficult to lock up a person who committed a criminal act while acting as part of a corporation as compared to the individual.

                      And basically, if we can recognize this difference, what can we do to fix it?

                    7. What makes it so much more difficult to lock up a person who committed a criminal act while acting as part of a corporation as compared to the individual.

                      [citation needed]

                      Im not sure I accept that.

                      Heck, if anything, acting as part of a corporation can get you locked up for things that arent criminal at all. And never would apply to an individual.

                      When has someone been able to get away with say, manslaughter, because they were an executive in a corporation?

                      There may be a factor due to quality of lawyer, but that applies to individuals like OJ Simpson too.

                    8. The state wants its divine rights: complete limited liability except from God, who is thought to be on an extended vacation.

                      The problem with the state is not that it limits its liability, the problem is that it grants immunity to individuals for prosecution of criminal acts.

                      In the case of King qua state, then yes the two are one and the same. But in the case of a state distinct from its agents, limitation of liability applies to the organization only. In other words, you cannot sue the state (unless it allows you to). However, if an agent of the state aggresses against you, that individual is criminally culpable.

                      It is precisely the conflation of limited liability with personal immunity that has corrupted the state in a way that that, certain state-enabled exceptions aside, corporations have not been.

                    9. From that quote, when he said complete limited liability, I assumed he meant immunity.

                      The article was basically talking about how limited liability is not a state granted concept, it is the sum of contracts by individuals. But since the state decides that it is the grantor of limited liability, it limits its own to the greatest possible extent, just like Kings of the past.

                    10. Maybe I’m not communicating well, but it seems in both cases that you did not address the things that I said.

                      Criminal acts committed by employees of corporations are not corporate acts and the individual(s) involved are criminally culpable.

                      The state shields its agents from culpability through its role as monopoly agent of force, enabled by the electorate.

                      How does this undermine the legitimacy of limited liability in any way?

                    11. The quote was meant as a “Hey, robc, I got your point on government, you’ll probably like this quote”

                      I completely understand what you’re saying and I agree with it, so I didn’t realize you were trying to convince me of something, which is why I guess I thought you were having an issue with the author using the term limited liability in that instance.

                      Though, I am not so sure about the complete truth of your last sentence. I’ll have to think on that one.

                    12. The last sentence in your original reply, I should say.

                    13. I think I see, now.

                      You’re saying that using limited liability and the shielding of the individual agents of the state when the state acts as a group is fine.

                      Sure, I agree with that.

                      Problems arise, though, when the agent acts at the behest of the state, and the state decides it doesn’t want to be sued.

                      Which was really the point of the quote.

                    14. You’re saying that using limited liability and the shielding of the individual agents of the state when the state acts as a group is fine.

                      No, I am not saying that, and I am finding that you are not understanding what I am saying, so either I cannot communicate or you cannot argue honestly, and in neither case is it desirable to continue.

        2. Re: PaulW,

          Wouldn’t that be like saying, John Wayne contractually agreed to a duel, and I accidentally shot someone walking down the street, good thing that little kid has insurance?

          No, YOU have to have insurance.

          Also, shooting a kid on the street makes you CRIMINALLY liable, which means you’re changing the subject for some reason I can’t fathom.

          1. Wasn’t trying to change the subject.

            Apologies.

          2. Re: PaulW,

            Ah, but I am talking of criminal liability as well as civil liability.

            You didn’t make that clear at the beginning of the conversation. This change in the terms of the discussion ex post facto compels me to stop trusting your sincerity.

            Can I pay a fine rather than go to jail for manslaughter or worse? No. So what makes the corporation different?

            Only individuals commit crimes. Whenever criminal liability is proven, individuals working at a corporation HAVE been taken to jail. I don’t understand why you suddenly think they don’t, or maybe I am not understanding your logic. Am I wrong in concluding that you want a whole company placed in jail for someone’s death, bricks and all? I don’t want to think you’re deranged.

            1. If you want to question my sincerity, then don’t respond.

              This is what a partially confused person who is looking to evolve and form a stronger opinion looks like.

              I’ve been polite, and I’ve asked questions. Sometimes they are muddled and incoherent, because like I sad, I’m not sure on my stance as of yet. I come here because I know there are intelligent people that can enlighten me on the subject and my admitted ignorances. That is all.

              1. I think his last two sentences are very appropriate, because even confused people shouldnt veer into insanity.

                1. Jumping to insane conclusions for me is not an issue with my sanity.

                  If I jumped to that conclusion myself, sure you have a point, but I did not. Nor were his last two sentences the logical conclusion of what I was trying to say.

              2. And yes you are wrong, and I realize that people have been taken to jail.

                The issue becomes, why at such a lesser rate?

                Obviously a part of that is that the corporation can buy better legal aid than the individual, and for the individual that was working in its capacity.

                Anyway, where this all comes from is when I argue with leftists on regulation. I make the claim that civil courts and criminal courts should be able to take care of this so-called need for regulation, and they make the claim that they’re obviously not working very well. And I can point out all of the obvious areas, but when they bring up criminal responsibility, they have a point that cannot easily be refuted. I’m sure that has something to do with government interference, but where to point? How does the libertarian address this? I can say, stronger justice, but, how?

                I have come to the conclusion (through you guys) that I was wrong in suspecting that limited liability is a cause, but I want to know what parts of it have been twisted or what other parts of government are twisted so that our system fails in the ways it does.

                1. Citation needed, right?

                  It would be like trying to prove voter fraud, wouldn’t it? Damn near impossible.

              3. Re: PaulW,

                This is what a partially confused person who is looking to evolve and form a stronger opinion looks like.

                I am not sure about that. Even confused people do not stray from logic like that.

                First of all, a company is simply an organization created by individuals. It is the individuals who are held liable in case of civil trespass or tort. If ONE of them commits a serious crime, then that person is liable for HIS or HER crime, not the whole company.

                Let me put it this way: let’s say the PaulW household contains 5 individuals, one of which murders the person that came to see the house with the purpose of buying it. Would you accept that everybody in the PaulW household be dragged to jail for the murder?

                If you think that such is insane, then what on GOD’S EARTH would you want to think it is not the same for a company?

                This is why it is better to stop, think and ponder your questions before putting them out there. There are things that can be excused because of ignorance, like for instance, an economic question. When what you imply goes beyond reason and logic, then don’t blame people for thinking that you’re here to pull everybody’s collective leg.

                1. Maybe I need to reread what I wrote before, but you jumping to that conclusion for me shows either my writing or your reading comprehension are below standard. I don’t quite remember making the claim that someone doing something criminal that was outside of the interests of the corporation’s business practices made every individual in the corporation liable criminally. You’re right, that is insane, but you’re also projecting that on to me.

                  I can see where you got it from, maybe, when I made the claim that a corporation cannot be considered a single person in that regard. But I was agreeing with your concept above, not attacking it.

                  It seems to me you’re just trying to pick a fight. Being a bit zealous and dogmatic, perhaps.

                  1. Regardless of any of it, I have a better foundation, thanks (grudgingly, since you’re kind of a dick) to you and robc and John, and will do my own research now that I have more of a base to start from.

                    I’d hate to be your kid, btw.

    4. Well you do have the option as to whether to do business with, work for, loan money to, or invest in said business.

    5. I don’t agree with limited liability in the case of a private firm with relatively few investors who have a say in the operation of the business. When it’s a large firm with a multitude of investors who have no say (or almost none) then there is a valid case for limited liability. And in any lawsuit the arbitrator/judge would just have to use reason to see that the “distant” investors bear no responsibility for the actions of the firm beyond what they have invested.

      1. In the case of private firms with relatively few investors who have a say in the operation of the business, lenders can ,and frequently do, require that the investors guaranty payment of the loan with their personal assets. No lender is required to lend to anyone and they determine the creditworthiness of a corporation using the same standards as they would for an individual.

        The situation for criminal liability has already been explained adequately.

        As for civil liability, I pretty sure that any officer or employee of a corporation who committed, directed or ordered the act which lead to the damages can be named as a co-defendant and be forced to pay all or part of the damages in question. It rarely happens, individuals rarely have the kind of deep pockets plaintiff’s attorneys are looking for.

        It seems a lot of people have a somewhat distorted idea of what “limited liability” really means.

  14. I’m real tired of projections made by the CBO being passed around as definitive or impartial. What the hell does non-political even mean in Washington? It’s a bunch of nonsense. Throwing a few Republicans and a few Democrats together doesn’t make something fair.

    Their numbers have been incredibly rosy on Obamacare and added a great deal of legitimacy to those in the mainstream media who wanted to accuse all its opponents as being liars. Basic common sense and even an ounce of historical research would show the obvious – it was almost guaranteed that the costs of Obamacare would balloon over time.

    But as long as the CBO said it would cut the deficit, Obama was allowed to run lying to the American people unchecked. Fuck the CBO.

    1. The Cbo uses numbers that are provided to it by those who want to use it’s output. It does no reasearch on it’s own as I understand it.

      The users can make the CBO’s output say anything they want it to.

  15. Indeed. Predictions should be compared to reality after, say, two years; and if they differ by, say, more than 10% everyone involved in the study should be fired.

    1. Or executed, but whatever.

      1. Let’s compromise: Exiled to west Africa.

  16. I’m going to estimate the cost in the Aleph 2 range.

  17. The wanton slaughter of blood-bag Gifmen continues unabated.

  18. Paying more money for less access to health care seems like a fair trade-off to me.

    1. As long as it’s for the children I’m in.

      1. I’m in as long as we all don’t have a choice in the matter, because choices are scary and confusing.

  19. A deficit of $483B results in $809B added to the public debt. Just wait until interest rates rise so we can have a budget surplus while the debt increases more than $1T.

  20. This should be anything but surprising. To the Democrats, no cost is too much for their fabulous ideas. Obamacare can end up costing 10x, 100x as much as now, and it will still be worth it to them.

  21. There may very well be an increased cost other than economic.

    By bringing millions of more Americans into Medicaid, Obama is doing worse than ignoring his own 2009 warning that Medicaid is a “broken system” financially (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK3wId8y3sU). With his cart-before-the-horse Obamacare, he may also have written a prescription for a mini-disaster when it comes to our nation’s overall health. Here’s why:

    “People respond to incentives, although not necessarily in ways that are predictable or manifest. Therefore, one of the most powerful laws in the universe is the law of unintended consequences.” -From the book “SuperFreakonomics”

    Hint:

    “Chelsea Byers of Flagstaff is insured for the first time in her life through Healthcare.gov and couldn’t be more pleased. She might even go skiing for the first time, now that any injuries from an accident would be covered.” -Arizona Daily Sun, January 21, 2014 – http://azdailysun.com/news/loc…..f887a.html

    That in mind, see:

    “Will Obamacare make a bad situation worse?” http://relevantmatters.wordpre…..ion-worse/

  22. I believe the administration is playing a lot of games with the deficit. If you go the treasury web site and find “debt to the penny”, the increase in the national debt was over $1 trillion while the increase in the debt held by the public was $857 billion. Neither of those are compatible with a deficit of less than $500 billion unless the government has some huge bank account somewhere where they are holding a large amount of funds.

    1. Debt interest is not included in defecit calculations. If you ignore it, it isn’t a risk.

  23. I just went thru a possibly optional ‘back surgery.’ I was pretty pro about having it the 9months it took to get it lined up. Good thing, in 10 years, when I’d really need it, doubt it’d be available. Kinda weighs heavy on my mind the selfessness of those who voted for it. A few more folks may wind up with coverage, at least on paper, but likely fewer folks will receive the actual care that they sacrificed for and earned over the years.

  24. This shit is hilarious proof of one of my personal maxims: “People love their opinions but hate math.” Even if the initial estimates were true, $15.8 billion per year off a deficit of (2015 estimate) $564 billion isn’t even a rounding error, yet folks gobble this up like it’s some sort of salvation? A program, that even if it works as advertised, contributes as much to trimming the deficit as the change in the couch cushions contributes to paying down a payday loan?

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