Is Obamacare's Medical Socialism Working?

Liberals would like you to believe it is, rising coverage costs tell a different story


The real curse of Obama-don't-care is that instead of discussing how to fix America's admittedly crazy health care

Obamacare Socialism
American Life League / Foter / CC BY-NC

system, we will now be arguing about how to make this exercise in socialism work — or prove to liberals who want to believe that it is working that it is not.

They've been touting the tremendous success of the law ever since healthcare.gov stopped crashing anytime four people logged on simultaneously. Their new tactic is to take the direst predictions of the law's critics, show how those didn't come true, and, voila, declare that everything is just peachy.

But on the real world test of what the law is actually doing to the wallets of exchange customers, a very different picture emerges, I point out in The Week. I note:

Every year, companies selling coverage through ObamaCare's exchanges have to ask state regulators to approve their premiums for the following year — a practice more appropriate for the Soviet Union than an allegedly free-market economy. And this year, according to several news reports, some are requesting increases of over 50 percent…

What's more, these hikes are likely just a prelude to far bigger ones in future years. Why? Because two programs — risk corridor and reinsurance — that were meant to "stabilize" rates in ObamaCare's first few years so that insurers could obtain the right mix of enrollees are set to expire next year…

So, to recap: ObamaCare has fallen short of its enrollment target, hiked insurance premiums, failed to cut down on ER visits, and flopped in its attempt to improve hospitals' bottom line.

Other than that it's working great.

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. We had to pass it to pretend it works.

  2. “Obama-don’t-care” Ugh, I dunno about that one.

  3. We had to pass the law to find out that it doesn’t work!

    1. We had to eat the shit to taste it!

      1. We had to fuck all those monkeys in order to find out where the AIDS came from!

  4. So, to recap: ObamaCare has fallen short of its enrollment target, hiked insurance premiums, failed to cut down on ER visits, and flopped in its attempt to improve hospitals’ bottom line.

    But other than that, how do you like your free birth control, Mrs. Lincoln?

    1. Shriek and Tony should be along any minute to explain how Obamacare really is a success.

      1. A free market success. Don’t forget ‘free market’. I am sure shreek can explain that better than I can.


      1. WAR ON WOMYNZ!!!!

  5. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether government’s chief purpose is to steal or to lie. It’s to steal, of course, but there are so many lies, many of this Big Lie sort, that it gets confusing.

    1. The lying is so they can steal, or cover up after the fact. Theft is the primary business, and business is good.

      1. Power is an end, not a means.

    2. Government’s chief, and constitutionally-endorsed, role is to inflict violence upon its subjects. Despite this tautology, some people actually advocate for more government.

  6. We are all familiar with skyrocketing rates, and missing enrollment goals. I’d be curious to see how Obamacare has affected the employment rate in this country. Anecdotally, I can think of three friends who were fired from their jobs in the last 18 months, and each one kind of felt like, “Because Obamacare.”

    1. You keep strange friends. I think every one of my friends would sooner blame it on their “asshole boss”….

      1. If they work for the government, they can be right either way.

      2. My observations were, “Because Obamacare.”

        Their reasons were asshole boss, didn’t fit in, going in a different direction, etc.

    2. There’s no obvious answer to that question, Mr. LBC. You can run models that show it has had an effect, but those can always be explained away.

    3. “I can think of three friends who were fired from their jobs in the last 18 months, and each one kind of felt like, “Because Obamacare.””

      My company tried to pass on the added costs to the employees. People with families were told they were going to have to pay about $700 extra per month (which is less than my *total* plan cost at my last job a couple of years ago). Young single people had to pay $200 more.

      Many people said they were going to have to quit because they couldn’t afford it, so the Board rolled it back and ate a lot of the cost themselves.

      Thus, I wonder how many “voluntary” job exits have occurred because of Obamacare as well. . .

      1. $700/mo? – jeezus.

    4. Ask the blossoming number of adjuncts eho only get 2 or 3 classes depending on how many credit hours whether their employment has been affected. I imagine hourly workers get turfed as aggressively at 29 hours for the week the way I used to at 39.5 in my first job. “Brett, stop what you are doing and clock out and go home.”
      “But I’m scheduled until”
      “Merry Christmas. Be clocked out in three minutes. I’ll count your drawer. “

  7. I suspect that the progs have a rather different idea of the definition of “works”. For them, “works” means “brings us to ‘single-payer'”. “Single-payer” being their cutesy euphemism for “government-run”.

  8. That’s only because greedy insurance corporations are funneling immoral profits to the rich! Government doesn’t waste money on profits to the rich! That’s how it gets things done more efficiently and at a lower cost! Single payer now!

    1. As you say, if you feel instead of think, it makes sense.
      It just feeelz like single payer should be more efficient.
      If you look at actual results in the real world, not so much.

  9. When Obamacare passed, George Will wrote a column basically saying it will be with us forever. And I tend to agree. It is impossible to get enough people to understand that Obamacare has doubled down on the very things that made health insurance complicated and expensive, while adding new vectors of cost and complexity. The things causing the problems are the same things purported to solve the problems.

    Soon we’ll have a decision in King vs Burwell. And the general perception will be that mean republicans want to deny poor people medical care. Later, when people’s health insurance continues to get more expensive, they will demand that govt “do something”. It’s fucking hopeless.

    1. Yeah, I’m not optimistic about an incremental reduction of government anything.

      Its gonna happen (and it will happen, I believe), when the math says it just can’t keep on keeping on. When that will be, nobody knows. I think it will be an economic collapse, probably triggered by another credit crisis, that takes out the government’s tax base and the dollar as a reserve currency. That will mean that monetization of current spending levels will trigger hyperinflation (without the reserve currency to buffer and export our monetary inflation), and the last support for government spending will disappear.

      We’ll get something different after this crisis. Odds are, it won’t be much better, but it will be different.

      1. We’ll get western Europe’s managed decline and will be told it’s all getting better because we now have 7 years of paid maternity leave (seen) coupled with 50% youth unemployment and labfor (unseen).

        1. The youth unemployment will be plenty seen when they’re rioting in the streets and torching cars annually.

          1. Nope, because they’ll be torching cars and routing in the streets of Hyrule, Pandora, Halo-land, etc.

        2. We’ll get western Europe’s managed decline and will be told it’s all getting better because we now have 7 years of paid maternity leave (seen) coupled with 50% youth unemployment and labfor (unseen).

          Fuck you, you “wrecker”! The chocolate ration is up to twenty grams a month now!

          1. This is a little less plagiarized looking if if use the italics.

            We’ll get western Europe’s managed decline and will be told it’s all getting better because we now have 7 years of paid maternity leave (seen) coupled with 50% youth unemployment and labfor (unseen).

            Fuck you, you “wrecker”! The chocolate ration is up to twenty grams a month now!

      2. Hopefully when that happens, we’ll punish the people that caused this, and put Democrats in their place.

      3. Just give an opt out clause. It already fails to pay for itself. Let individuals sign a waiver, and obtain health insurance on their own. Companies must follow the rules, but individuals may opt out.

    2. Maybe spending 13+ years in government schools is giving people the belief that everything must be handled by government.

  10. OT from TP: Another take on The Texas Pool Party Power Grab:


    Pete Schutle, a former McKinney police officer and “longtime reserve deputy,” spoke to Fox4 Dallas and blasted the conduct of Eric Casebolt, the police corporal shown slamming a 15-year-old girl in a swimsuit to the ground.

    “I don’t care what she was yelling at that officer. Anything would not have justified throwing her to the ground and pushing her down and throwing her face into the concrete like he did,” Schutle said.

    Schulte also said there was no reason for Casebolt to have drawn his weapon and described Casebolt’s reaction to the situation as “crazy.”

    1. No no, that’s impossible.

      I’ve been assured that the teens were wrong in every conceivable way.

      1. And the tragicomedy of it is that the neighbors called the police to report a legitimate nuisance and instead have their problem exacerbated tenfold. Calling the cops really is the worst of a bad set of options.

        1. Calling the cops is always the worst option, unless it’s literally a life and death sort of issue. And even then, it’s often questionable.

          1. Calling the cops turns it into a life-or-death issue, dunnit?

  11. My premiums haven’t been going up, actually. But every year my deductible and my out-of-pocket maximum (I have a HDHP) keep going higher and higher, so I’m getting less and less for my money.

    This is exactly what all of us here knew would happen with Obamacare. I’m just curious how much longer they can pretend it works.

    1. Yeah, kinda like when the box of cereal doesn’t cost any more, but has less cereal in it.

      1. I took a photo of two bottles of Simple Green and sent it to my friends. One I bought several months ago, the other just recently. Both cost the same. The older one was almost twice the width of the new bottle.

        See? No inflation!

    2. My deductibles have doubled then increased substantially again, and my premiums are around 40% higher over the last two years. With a major provider. Not to mention that they insurer now fights many claims that used to be approved, no problem.

      1. Not to mention that they insurer now fights many claims that used to be approved, no problem.

        Funny you mention that. I had three cases cancel this morning for insurance issues.

        1. But we all win! Socialism is so great, making everyone suffer more, with no hope of escape, unless you’re one of the special political elite, with a nice dacha.

  12. Doktor Krugabe constantly assures me my suspicions about the inherent unworkability of Obamacare are completely unfounded, and are rooted in a deep psychological animus toward persons of African descent. Also, higher prices are always and everywhere good for the economy, because it makes us all richer, or something.

    1. It’s like raising the minimum wage. If you give everyone $100/hr, then everyone is rich! Huzzah!!!11!!

      But woe unto those who oppose it – they are raceist!!!11!!

  13. But Reason itself said that Ocare would not lead to single payer!


    1. You can’t hold reason accountable for suder-MAN!

    2. Aw fuck. I clicked the link, saw Suderman’s name and closed the window. Reason is a forum, and a damned good one. The few retarded writers and commenters don’t speak for Reason. No one does. It is a collection of differing opinions.

      *Hint; If you see the names Suderman or Richman prepare for derp.

  14. Every single article/LTE I read about how Obamacare is “working” focus exclusively on benefits. EVERY … SINGLE … ONE. “It works because more people are getting care.” “It works because less uninsured are in ERs.”

    The liberal fucktards have no understanding of costs. None.

    1. You’re just *ignorant* of the massive GOP campaign to sabotage Obamacare. It must be true because I read it on HuffPo!


            1. And Salon:


              Kulaks, hoarders, and wreckers are everywhere!

              The insurrection of five kulak districts should be pitilessly suppressed. The interests of the whole revolution require this because ‘the last decisive battle’ with the kulaks is now under way everywhere. An example must be demonstrated.

              Hang (and make sure that the hanging takes place in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known landlords, rich men, bloodsuckers.
              Publish their names.
              Seize all their grain from them.
              Designate hostages in accordance with yesterday’s telegram.
              Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble, know, shout: “they are strangling, and will strangle to death, the bloodsucking kulaks

    2. You’re describing simpletons for whom “free healthcare” literally meant free. The notion of having a cost attached to the service is literally inconceivable.

      1. Never go in against a Sicilian black man when death free healthcare is on the line…

    3. butbutbut I canz stay on my parents coverage until I’m 26!! That = working. Nevermind the other 2599 pages of the law…

  15. I just today got my estimated increase for next year. My plan will go up 8%. This is after a 19% increase last year. The cost is now about par to what I previously paid for a minimal corporate plan with a significantly higher deductible and imaging copay, though similar out of pocket.

    So the market does seem to be adjusting price to better reflect reality. But, other issues aside, the cost is more reflective of corporate plan pricing rather than the prior gouging that was individual pricing (over $1200/mo for BCBS HMO).

    1. My wife and I were just talking about how we’re paying full price, adjusted upwards 50-60% for what used to be called catastrophic care. The deductibles may be a notch lower than that, but they’re in the ballpark now.

      1. I had a $5000 deductible HDHP plan in 2009 that cost me $1400/year. And I could hide about $2600/ year in a tax shelter from Uncle Sam. That was bought as an individual. Today my contribution to the corporate plan that has a $4000/person family plan is well over twice that and we have great insurance (ie, the company picks up a higher percentage than most) by most standards.

  16. I just heard on some radio “news” that Obama said Democratcare “should not have ended up in court because it’s working”. That’s such a bizarre statement, even from him, that I can hardly believe it.

    1. George Wallace: Segregation should not be in court because it’s working.

      Jefferson Davis: Slavery should not be in court because it’s working.

      1. Adolf Hitler: The Holocaust should not be in court because it’s working.


        1. You know who else went there?

          1. St. Paul?

  17. You can’t hold reason accountable for suder-MAN!

    You don’t want McArdle to make him sleep on the couch, do you?

    1. Hey, you better be nice to him, or he’ll tell Megan and then she’ll beat you up!

  18. Obama said Democratcare “should not have ended up in court because it’s working”.

    That’s what FDR said about that Korematsu guy.

  19. Not a single comment pointing out the obvious flaw with Obamacare: there’s still some capitalism left in the system. If we can root it out and destroy it, then Obamacare will be perfect.

    1. I think that’s my favorite argument from progtards:

      Look, we completely fucked up the free market and put in a bunch of favors to our preferred industries, but people are paying out of pocket, therefore it’s capitalism. You should LOVE it and if you don’t RACEISM!!!!

  20. There are still more than 30 million uninsured, but all you hear about is the 10-13 million that got insurance.

    1. And of that 10-13 million, most are on Medicaid, I believe.

      Which isn’t insurance. Its welfare. Calling it insurance is like calling your foodstamps a paycheck.

      1. At least 3-5 million of those lost their employer insurance and were forced on the “marketplace”.

  21. Did anyone see his presser earlier where he said the SC must decide the ACA case on the intent of the legislature? That means that he doesn’t think the subsidies extend to the Federal exchange! What an idiot.

    1. To the extent that “intent” should be considered at all (and I believe it shouldn’t because the constitution requires a bill to be approved by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President in order to become law, and no one voted on/signed X senator’s intent), it is used to inform us what was in the minds of those voting on the law. Post-hoc statements, (especially those made during pending litigation) are always irrelevant. For all the gnashing of teeth about intent, I have yet to see a single statement prior to the filing of these cases by ANYONE claiming that the subsidies were intended to go to the Federal exchanges.

      1. DOM 5000-

        See the Supreme Court case shooting down the part of PPACA that would have cut federal funding to any state that didn’t expand Medicaid as the feds wanted.

        They wanted to coerce the states into forming their own exchanges- anyone saying differently is lying.

    2. Intent is a horrific standard to base a ruling on. Essentially, every law on the books could literally be re-interpreted within a generation if you could get a big enough constituency to agree that the ‘intent’ was something other than what a law said.

      Interestingly, that’s exactly how we’ve ended up with the Constitution in the proverbial shredder.

      “The framers never intended…”

      1. That’s exactly what I thought when I heard him say it, “How could anyone know if they were breaking a law if the plain text isn’t what it means”?

    3. The best evidence of intent is, of course, the legislative language they actually voted on.

      Traditionally, “legislative intent” is invoked to resolve ambiguities in the actual law.

      If they go to “legislative intent” here, they are going to be hard-pressed to find any statement in the legislative record (again, traditionally the only place to find evidence of legislative intent) that clearly states that the subsidies were to go to state and federal exchanges. Statements about “the exchanges” don’t cast light on the state v federal issue.

      It stinks of desperation, yes it does. And I don’t know why they feel so desperate. My optimism that the Court will do the right thing and apply the statutory language as written is waning almost by the day. As of today, I’m betting the Court will find a way to save subsidies for everybody, statute be damned.

  22. I don’t think Obamacare is really socialism, though. It’s more like corporatism. It fucks over the taxpayers, but the medical industry rakes in money.

    (And let’s not forget that Reason basically advocated a similar plan – forced health insurance, as did Republicans)

    1. Here is Reason’s article, “Mandatory Health Insurance Now!”


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