Obamacare

Government's Obamacare Failures Spur Calls for More Government Meddling

From the public option to stiffer penalties, Obamacare supporters won't admit government is the problem.

|

The troubles besetting Obamacare include the cost of Medicaid expansion, which has blown past projections on both the individual and state-government level. Another ailment: the withdrawal of several major insurance companies from state marketplaces, driven by a lack of individual participation.

Aetna, Humana, and United Health Group all have pulled out of state after state—in some cases, leaving only a single insurer to offer policies through the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. The reason is simple enough: While plenty of sick people have signed up, millions of healthy individuals have decided they would rather not.

The law prohibits insurers from turning down the former for coverage. And while it penalizes the latter for declining insurance, it doesn't force people to enroll. The result: Insurance companies don't have enough healthy people paying premiums to offset what it pays out for medical claims.

The numbers are staggering: Three years ago, federal officials estimated that 24 million people would have signed up for individual coverage through the federal and state exchanges by now. The actual number: 11 million. Many of those who didn't have decided it makes no sense to pay steep premiums for a product they don't think they'll have to use.

They've made a calculated bet that a few hundred dollars wasted in tax penalties beats a few thousand dollars wasted on unused insurance.

The obvious lesson here is that the government shouldn't try to hammer square pegs into round holes. So naturally, Washington is ignoring it. President Obama thinks the answer is to create a "public option"—a government insurance program—for the exchanges, to spur competition.

Brilliant plan: Insurance companies already have a hard time eking out a profit on the exchanges, so set up a nonprofit competitor to underbid them. That'll have them knocking down the door to get back in, right?

To others, the answer lies in jacking up the federal tax penalties levied on those who don't buy insurance to make nonparticipation altogether too painful. In their view, government is just not being punitive enough.

"This is the classic case of where Johnny marked crayon on the wall," says Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute. "His mother said, 'Don't do that,' and then slapped his hand a day later. The connection between the offense and the penalty is a little remote."

If treating grown men and women like recalcitrant children sounds condescending and insulting, that's because it is. But it's also the approach that Obamacare's backers have taken all along.

Just remember the words of Jonathan Gruber, who helped craft the ACA, and who said it was written in a "tortured way" on purpose to hide its true costs. Such a "lack of transparency," he said, was a huge advantage because of "the stupidity of the American voter."

The operative premise seems to be that health-policy experts know your own interests better than you do—and, in their infinite wisdom, could restructure the health-care marketplace in a manner that would entice people to do what the experts think they should. Once that happened, the plans would fall into place and everything would work wonderfully.

Never mind that Obamacare was made necessary in the first place by massive government interventions in years past. Those started with WWII-era wage and price controls that made alternative forms of worker compensation necessary; a decision to exempt fringe benefits such as health coverage from such controls further laid the basis for employer-provided health insurance.

Follow that up with the National Labor Relations Board's decision to count health coverage as wages for the purposes of union negotiations, and then the decision, codified in the Revenue Act of 1954, not to count them as wages for taxation purposes, and you have the basic ingredients for many of the problems that afflict the health-coverage market today, such as a lack of portability and skewed cost structures—problems Obamacare's supposedly brilliant architects claimed they knew how to fix.

To be fair, the law has produced some benefits. The most significant: an expansion of coverage for the formerly uninsured. A smaller percentage of Americans today lack coverage than ever before—and even more would be covered through Medicaid, if many Republican states had not balked at Medicaid expansion.

What's more, the law has not turned out to be the cataclysmic job-killer that some critics predicted it would be (although it might partly account for the sluggish to nonexistent rate of increase in wages and salaries, and the fact that many people who want full-time jobs are stuck in part-time work).

Still, to say the law has not proven a disaster is not the same as proving it has been a success. Yet now that its complex apparatus of mandates and controls has failed to produce the desired outcomes, its backers insist the solution lies in even sterner mandates and controls. The beatings must continue, it seems, until morale—or something—improves.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Advertisement

NEXT: Gary Johnson says "Kelo really stands out" as possible litmus test for Supreme Court nominees

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Every govt program is simultaneously both successful enough to prove govt deserves more power and money, and enough of a failure to prove govt needs more power and money.

      1. I am making $92/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $14 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website…go to this website and click to Tech tab for more work details… http://goo.gl/RSVRhj

      2. My brother’s friend Bryan showed me how I can make some cash while working from my home on my computer… Now I earn $86 every hour and I couldn’t be happier… Before this job I had trouble finding job for months but now when I got this gig I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. Start this website
        go web and click tech tab for more info work… http://goo.gl/AzTMwA

    1. Best of both Worlds- for government bureaucrats.

    2. Failure is a feature. It does not mean to govt what it means to sane people.

      1. I’ve always described it as success through failure. The more government fucks up, the more job security, perks and pensions government employees enjoy. It’s the racket every mob boss dreams of but can never achieve.

  2. “You’re just not hitting it hard enough.”

      1. Grab its motherfucking copay.

    1. If you can’t fix it with a hammer, then it cannot be fixed.

  3. “Never mind that Obamacare was made necessary in the first place ”

    Nope, never necessary.

    1. The government was spending one of every two health care dollars before O-care. THAT is why the medical environment was a mess. O-care brought more problems. The fix, for pols, is more gov’t. Who could have EVER seen that coming?

      1. It was a win-win for Nanny State types. If ObamaCare worked, they get the praise. If ObamaCare didn’t work, the USA could be pushed to Single payer.

        Damn Libertarians gaining steam advocating paying cash for minor healthcare and catastrophic health insurance for major health problems. The socialist’s heads just explode!

        1. I’d love to see a graph with two lines for the last 50 years, showing the correlation between industries that have outpaced the inflation rate and the industries govt has become involved with.

          1. +2 housing and education

          2. You don’t even have to compare industries. Graph Lasik against almost anything else in health care.

            1. LASIK successes are just ignored by progs because they directly show how free market medical would be more successful than ObamaCare, single payer, medicare and medicaid.

              Its one of the few med procedures that helps millions per year, gets cheaper with inflation and the tech gets better all the time.

        2. Single-payer law, please.

          Hillary would be drawing up wills for little old ladies in Watertown, NY.

  4. “… the answer lies in jacking up the federal tax penalties levied on those who don’t buy insurance to make nonparticipation altogether too painful. In their view, government is just not being punitive enough.”

    I am for this. Keep it up motherfuckers and soon you will be chased through the streets like Maduro.

  5. To be fair, the law has produced some benefits. The most significant: an expansion of coverage for the formerly uninsured. A smaller percentage of Americans today lack coverage than ever before?and even more would be covered through Medicaid, if many Republican states had not balked at Medicaid expansion.

    Right, because there are like totally no studies showing that those with Medicaid “coverage” are no better off than the uninsured.

    1. These Nanny State types just refuse to acknowledge that paying cash for minor health care in conjunction with catastrophic health insurance for major health problems is a real solution for most Americans. Many Americans used to do it that way until the mentioned government intervention in the health care insurance industry and WWII wage controls.

      1. The Obamacare style insurance is kinda like that. It’s got a very high deductible so it may as well be catastrophic only. The problem is that it costs just as much if not more than previous plans that actually paid for stuff, so there’s no money left to pay out of pocket.

      2. These Nanny State types just refuse to acknowledge that paying cash for minor health care in conjunction with catastrophic health insurance for major health problems is a real solution for most Americans.

        When I discuss this issue, I try to get people to agree that there’s two products here :

        1) Price subsidy for non-catastrophic care through a sort of buyer’s club
        2) Coverage against runaway costs in a catastrophic case

        I then suggest that the first should not be called “insurance” at all, and that until we differentiate between actual insurance (#2) then we will not be having a useful conversation about medical costs.

        People almost never see where I’m coming from, because they view the current insurance paradigm as the only way that things have ever been or could ever be.

      3. Many Americans used to do it that way until the mentioned government intervention in the health care insurance industry and WWII wage controls.

        Hell, it was that way all the way into the 70s, at least–even for emergency room work. We found a receipt for some stiches my mother-in-law had gotten during an ER visit during a family vacation in 1970. It was $15. That’s $93 today. Can you imagine an ER visit being that cheap today? Childbirth visits that cost $1,000 inflation-adjusted 50-60 years ago cost $25K today.

        I’d propose that the real problem wasn’t necessarily rooted in WW2-era policies, but LBJ-Nixon policies like Medicare/Medicaid and HMOs. All set up with the intent of making healthcare “affordable” but have been a complete failure to keep costs reined in.

        1. LBJ-Nixon policies like Medicare/Medicaid and HMOs. All set up with the intent of making healthcare “affordable” but have been a complete failure to keep costs reined in.

          One of these things is not like the others.

          HMOs and other managed care organizations have in fact meaningfully created productivity. As a simple example, many of them provided competition to single-payer statewide monopolies (usually Blue Cross/Blue Shield).

          [source : I know a libertarian who participated in the founding of one such HMO in the late 1970s, which dramatically reduced the out of pocket cost to customers of both itself and the local Blue Cross/Blue Shield.]

        2. WWII wage controls started it because companies could not give more money to gain talent, so they turned to benefits to attract employees. Kaiser concrete and shipbuilding and medical is an example.

          Add is 1960s era big Nanny State and the whole medical and health insurance system changed for nearly all Americans by the 1980s.

    2. an expansion of coverage for the formerly uninsured

      The benefit of this expansion is somewhat mitigated by the lack of providers for many of those gaining coverage.

    3. Most of the expansion has been Medicaid. Medicaid is welfare, not insurance.

      Much of the rest is employer plans, which are not due to OCare.

    1. Cary Grant, or Leo G. Carroll?

      1. Cary Grant played George Kirby. Cosmo Topper was played by Roland Young.

        1. And William Powell did not play the Thin Man.

      2. Cary Grant played George Kirby. Cosmo Topper was played by Roland Young.

  6. When big government fails it is always because it was not big enough or didn’t spend enough, so the answer is to double down. The big government promoters will never allow anyone to get away with pointing out the problem is big government in the first place. Without big government and the opportunity for graft it gives them, they wouldn’t amount to anything but common criminals otherwise.

  7. Reminds me of a quite from an anarchist pamphlet I read years ago: “In government, nothing succeeds like failure.”

    1. Good one.

  8. To be fair, the law has produced some benefits. The most significant: an expansion of coverage for the formerly uninsured.

    The problem with claiming this is a “Benefit” to anyone:

    A) All the people newly covered were already eligible for Medicaid, yet chose not to sign up. In effect, the law simply *compelled* people to do what they were already capable of doing by choice.

    Why would any libertarian magazine describe “taking away choice” as a “benefit”?

    B) This Federally-incentivized distortion of Medicaid imposes huge new costs on that system, which requires more resources from both state and federal agencies which oversee it.

    Why would anyone want to see one of the most wasteful and ineffective Govt programs enlarged and given more power?

    Pointing to “upsides” of the ACA is not like “finding a pony in a pile of poo” = it is polishing the poo and calling it a synthetic pearl.

    1. C) health insurance is not the same thing as health care

      1. True.

        I think in the struggle to find “positive angles”, many other issues have probably gone overlooked. Even the NYT did a story pointing to individuals who, despite getting increased”Coverage”, sought less treatment/care in 2014-2015 because of the higher-deductibles they faced.

        Meaning – there are more people with “coverage”, but fewer people who can afford to use it.

        Gallup published a poll showing the same thing here

        It’s a remarkable shift: after Obamacare’s redistribution of wealth, the middle class is actually delaying medical care due to high costs at a higher rate than the poorest section of the country, which is highly subsidized by taxpayers.

        The growing problem could have serious consequences for the middle-class. Twice as many people (22 percent) have delayed treatment for serious illnesses than than for smaller problems (11 percent).

        Part of the problem is an ongoing shift towards higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, while health insurance premiums continue to rise all the same. The trend, which existed to some extent before Obamacare, increased in intensity with the onset of the health-care law

      2. And can we please stop calling ACA insurance? Insurance is something you buy PRIOR to getting ill, in case you become ill.

        1. The ACA is the law that mandates you buy insurance. yes, they’re not the same thing, but the thing the ACA regulates is the health insurance marketplace.

          Just because the ACA forces insurers to take customers with pre-existing conditions doesn’t mean its not insurance anymore, or that there aren’t higher-costs or restrictions on sicker customers.

          1. Subtitle B ? Immediate Action to Make Coverage More Affordable and More Available
            Sec. 1101. Immediate access to insurance for people with a preexisting condition. Enacts a temporary insurance program with financial assistance for those who have been uninsured for several months and have a pre-existing condition. Ensures premium rate limits for the newly insured population. Provides up to $5 billion for this program, which terminates when the American Health Benefit Exchanges are operational in 2014. Also establishes a transition to the Exchanges for eligible individuals.

            No “insurance” company in their right mind would voluntarily sign a contract to cover someone they were 100% sure they’ll need to pay out on. Insurance companies make their money on the actuarial tables. This isn’t insurance, it’s welfare. Paid for by the responsible picking up the slack of the irresponsible at the point of a government gun, as is the case with all welfare.

            1. None of that contradicts what i actually said. Premiums aren’t the only way insurers cover costs or limit exposure. If you want your own special definition of insurance, fine. But its just a rhetorical point.

              1. Fuck off Gilmore. Pick your nits out of your ass.

                insurance

                Risk-transfer mechanism that ensures full or partial financial compensation for the loss or damage caused by event(s) beyond the control of the insured party. Under an insurance contract, a party (the insurer) indemnifies the other party (the insured) against a specified amount of loss, occurring from specified eventualities within a specified period, provided a fee called premium is paid

                Your really nothing but a troll anymore, are you?

                1. you are claiming that insurance (*where a premium IS paid) is not insurance because that premium is capped.

                  that’s not what the definition you just cited says. And again, doesn’t contradict anything i said.

                  And you’re entirely free to make your claim that products under the ACA ‘aren’t really insurance’. But its just a rhetorical appeal. Demanding that everyone else ‘stop calling it insurance’ doesn’t really have any basis. There have been coverage-requirements for pre-existing conditions that pre-date the ACA, and no one said “it wasn’t insurance anymore” back then. (*e.g. Children are required by law to be included in any family coverage regardless of whatever conditions they’re born with)

                  And your comment was in a thread responding to my comment. Its hardly trolling. i don’t exactly chase you down because i’m interested in watching you froth and moan.

                  1. Hey, Bo, it’s not insurance because insurance covers “eventualities,” meaning the contract exists and premium has been paid PRIOR to the bad shit happening.

                    And your comment was in a thread responding to my comment. Its hardly trolling.

                    And I didn’t respond to you. I responded to Libertarian. YOU were blocked.

                    You are as bad as Bo was. Just here to argue minutia. Back to blocked. Asshole!

                    1. you’re very mature. now go drink your juice box.

                    2. I think you mean “minutiae,” not “minutia.”

                    3. I was going to say that but frankie is humorless enough as it is. 🙂

          2. ObamaCare is a tax!

            The O-Tax.

            Let me see you “O” face!
            O…oh….O…oh….

      3. But even if you can’t get the care, isn’t it comforting to know you’re insured for it?

      4. ^ This.

        It is amazing to me how many libtards think health insurance is healthcare and that a lot of people should be paying many hundreds a dollars a month just for premiums, then pay high copays, then have high deductibles for what amounts to a hundred dollars a month worth (using the term worth very loosely here) of actual care.

        With all but one exception, and he is very exceptional due to his health care needs and his income, the libtards I know who think Obamacare and forced participation is good do not have to pay for their own health insurance and / or get a large part subsidized by their employers, and / or work in the health insurance market where they make high six figure salaries taking money from the one insured, deducting a large portion for themselves, and giving a small portion to the healthcare providers.

        The #1 driver of increased healthcare costs IS health insurance. Right behind it is the high cost of malpractice insurance, but make no mistake, you take away health insurance and get the idiot gubment out of the way and what do you know? Healthcare providers will actually have to compete for business and not have their prices propped up by guaranteed payment.

      5. O’care forever conflates health care with health insurance. The law does not force me to get health care (whatever that may be), it forces me to purchase insurance. The law doesn’t give a shit if I grow a brain tumor and drop dead. But if I don’t pay my “shared responsibility” penalty/tax they’re coming after me. As others have noted, paying absurd premiums for insurance I may not need may actually deprive me of health care I could otherwise pay for out of pocket.

    2. A) All the people newly covered were already eligible for Medicaid, yet chose not to sign up. In effect, the law simply *compelled* people to do what they were already capable of doing by choice.

      It’s worse than that. The Medicaid “expansion” widened the eligibility requirements for Medicaid (in states that opted in, after SCOTUS said they couldn’t be forced to participate). But in tandem with the ACA’s other provisions, the end result is that a lot of people who had halfway decent insurance before were forced onto Medicaid. Moreover, the Federal assistance for the expansion is going to end soon. There is a nontrivial number of people who have been forced to accept far shittier coverage than they had before, which is going to get worse. But hey, at least it’s “free”, right?

      1. But don’t forget, “If you liked your insurance plan, you could keep your insurance plan.”

  9. “The troubles besetting Obamacare include the cost of Medicaid expansion, which has blown past projections on both the individual and state-government level. Another ailment: the withdrawal of several major insurance companies from state marketplaces, driven by a lack of individual participation.”

    Mr. Hinkle, you left out some “troubles”. ObamaCare was an unconstitutional forcing of Americans to buy a product (SCOTUS was wrong) and ObamaCare forced employers to cut millions of people from health insurance plans because of costs and restrictions to old plans.

    1. Costs blowing past govt projections. That has never, ever, ever happened before in the history of govt programs ever.

  10. There’s still plenty of time to find out that Obamacare was and continues to be a disaster.
    So far, many of the predictions of its opponents have come to pass exactly as predicted–let’s watch as it continues to prove us right.

    1. President Hillary will fix things. Right?

  11. I guess prpredicted is the wrong word, cuz we’ve seen this plenty of times, but George Reisman explains this process very well

  12. It’s the Republicans’ fault, obviously. Their negative thoughts made it fail.

  13. File Under = Self-Interested Protests, Exhibit B

    College Professor Goes on Hunger Strike. When Denied Tenure.

    There should be a new “default protest-pose” that has one fist raised in the air in solidarity, and the other, open hand extended, palm up.

    1. For anyone outside of academia, tenure is…bizarre.

      1. Together, Forever

        Why, if we allowed universities to fire and hire professors based on things as capricious as “demand” or “quality”, you’d end up with a completely homogenized academic environment with no diversity! It is vital that we use the tenure system to protect the dynamic and intellectually-diverse marketplace of ideas where academics are free to challenge the status quo and one another without any fear of reprisal.

        1. Where was tenure when this guy needed it. Taught twice as long as the hunger strike dude…

          1. I am now looking for other uses of the term “whore train”

            1. People all over the world
              Join in
              Start a whore train
              Whore train….

              1. In ancient times, there was once a civilization known as “MySpace”….

                Top Definition

                – Whore Train

                myspace groups frequented by 14-17 year old scenesters (mostly girls) who have thousands of friends and lead a very large part of their lives on the internet. the point of these trains is to get a shitload of friend requests, although they seldom actually interact with most of the people they meet on myspace in real life. one must apply for the train by adding the owner, having a large amount of friends (“must have at least 2K”), and look extremely scene. once accepted, members must post the train in a bulletin a set number of times a week. the bulletin displays small pictures of all the train’s members with the owner on top. members are often divided by how many friends they have, with “riders” often being a low rank. to devote one’s time to this essentially means you’re spending too much of your time on myspace.

                When you realize that lots of 20-somethings today were the teenagers who obsessed about ‘likes’ on social-media? things make a little more sense.

                1. I’ve seen two different sci-fi authors lament that their depiction of the internet seems horribly dated (specifically Ender’s Game and Fire Upon The Deep). I think it’s hard to predict just how weird people will get with a new social technology.

                2. I don’t look scene 🙁

            2. Jerry Brown’s got one..

  14. To others, the answer lies in jacking up the federal tax penalties levied on those who don’t buy insurance to make nonparticipation altogether too painful. In their view, government is just not being punitive enough.

    Who cares enough about the poor to sic the IRS on them when they can’t afford insurance? Progressives, that’s who.

    1. Beautifully said.

  15. “This is the classic case of where Johnny marked crayon on the wall,” says Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute. “His mother said, ‘Don’t do that,’ and then slapped his hand a day later. The connection between the offense and the penalty is a little remote.”

    That’s… not a classic case.

  16. West-Indian Day Parade Retains Title as ‘Most Violent NYC Parade’

    4 shot, 2 killed. Same event last year, an aide to Gov Cuomo was killed at the event.

    And before that you had….

    In 2003, a man was fatally shot and another was stabbed in the neck.[6][7] In 2005, one man was shot and killed along the parade route. In 2006, one man was shot and another was stabbed. At the 2007 parade, there was only one official report of violence, when a man was shot twice in the leg.[8][9] However, a different man (named Nathaniel Smith) was shot and killed in the 2007 parade.[10] In 2011 pre-dawn marches took a violent turn with the murder of one person, five instances of gunshot victims and three instances of stabbings coupled with sporadic shooting at crowds of people.[11] Several violent incidents took place after the official end of the 2012 parade. In separate incidents, two people were fatally stabbed, and two others were shot.[14] In 2013, two men were murdered and a further three individuals were wounded in several shootings.[15]

    but aside from that? Try the jerk chicken and ginger beer.

    1. – *footnote: shit popped off in 2014 as well, but, like… only 1 dead, and a ‘handful’ of shootings…. hardly worth mentioning….

    2. I’m about a mile south of Empire Blvd, and the police presence was huge last night. Police posted at a lot of street corners, a chopper making rounds. And still some idiots pull out a gun and start shooting.

    3. The NY Daily News Hot Take =

      Pointing Out the Perennial Violence @ Caribbean Day Parade Is Racist

      Posters on an unofficial cop website called Thee Rant Monday posted comments sarcastically jabbing at parade organizers for the violence that broke out along the J’Ouvert celebration route.

      By lunchtime, two people had been shot dead, two shot and wounded and one stabbed and wound along the route.

      “It’s 0644 on Mon. morning and already we have 4 SHOT with 2 DEAD (shot in face) and we have 1 reported STABBING,” wrote a user posting under the name “Nuthinbudatruth.”

      Another post showed a picture of people running from gunfire with the sarcastic slogan: “J’Ouvert Parade and the West Indian Day Parade: Bringing Mayhem to NYC for Generations!”

      UGH. SO NOT WOKE.

      Noted: i’m not ‘defending racists or cops’ here. But the headline? says this

      NYPD members use racist online message board…

      …while writing a story that notes that a) the commenters are anonymous, and that b) the message board is “unofficial”, and not associated with any organization… and none of the comments cited in the story seem to demonstrate anything ‘racist’.

      par-for-course these days = put conclusions in the headline which nothing in the actual story supports.

      1. To be fair, Thee Rant is horrifically bad. It somehow manages to be worse than that PoliceOne was before they took their comments private.

        1. Thee Rant is horrifically bad

          I’m sure it is, but the headline insists that its de-facto “Racist” despite not citing a single instance of it. What’s stopping them from calling Reason (or anyone else) the same, if they don’t have to actually substantiate those kinds of labels?

          1. What’s stopping them from calling Reason (or anyone else) the same [racist], if they don’t have to actually substantiate those kinds of labels?

            You’ve just noticed this? It has been rule 1 in the Prog Playbook for decades.

          2. Reascist, perhaps?

      2. Pointing Out the Perennial Violence @ Caribbean Day Parade Is Racist

        The reaction was similar when the NYPD posted some “Please don’t shoot each other” signs in the area days before the event.

        The angle that seems to be getting lost is that this violence is caused by known gangs who use this event as an excuse to get shooty. The cops even did a sweep the other day and nabbed a bunch of ‘bangers in advance. Didn’t help, it seems.

    4. “I don’t think anybody should assume that (there will be violence), whether they’re cops or not,” parade spokeswoman Jean Alexander said Thursday.

      Just because there has been deaths every year and there continues to be deaths this year is no reason to assume there will violence at this parade. Yeah, sure lady. Does this happen at every big gathering and someone just happened to notice it at this specific one, or is this parade actually out of the norm in how much violence it attracts?

      1. At every gay pride parade there are a handful of out-of-control, huge-floppy-purple dildo casualties.

      2. Hey, it’s like that warning about the stock market – past performance is not indication of future performance. Duh

  17. Still, to say the law has not proven a disaster is not the same as proving it has been a success.

    My $14,000/year premium for a $11,000 deductible policy for my wife and me is all the proof I need that ObamaCare is a fucking disaster.

    Especially disastrous since it’s projected to go up to $20,000/year in 2017.

    1. We’re at $18 k and $12 k. Wanna trade?

  18. It’s a remarkable shift: after Obamacare’s redistribution of wealth, the middle class is actually delaying medical care due to high costs at a higher rate than the poorest section of the country, which is highly subsidized by taxpayers.

    UNEXPECTED.

  19. “experts know your own interests better than you do”

    Motto of the left

  20. Gee, what a surprise. Too bad my shocked face is down for maintenance from over use.

    1. I think I will just have mine tattooed on. Seems like a good use of a few hundred dollars.

  21. “Brilliant plan: Insurance companies already have a hard time eking out a profit on the exchanges, so set up a nonprofit competitor to underbid them.”

    Pointing out the obvious to people in these situations really is necessary.

    Because profits are the difference between costs and revenue, and competitors are likely to resist price increases to improve their market share at your expense, the easiest most obvious source of profit growth is always to cut costs. Because of that fact, the profit motive does not add to prices over time. The profit motive is the primary reason why companies are so obsessed with cost cutting–because cost cutting is the easiest way to both compete in a market and maximize profits.

    Hence, if you take away the profit motive, you will not lower prices over time. If you’re someone who thinks that health insurance would be 10% cheaper if only whatever insurance company that’s making a 10% profit were to become non-profit, you’re wrong. But you’re not just wrong about how the insurance markets work; you’re wrong about how the markets for almost everything works. I’ve met creationists who aren’t so stupid that they believe getting rid of the profit motive means lower prices. Only uninformed and stupid people really believe that.

    1. If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.

      1. 50% tax rate on the one percenters middle class will make it free, bagger. Start paying your fair share and everything can be free!

      2. Bingo!

        Grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland during the 1970’s. At that time Cleveland had a leftover Depression era carbuncle called The Municipal Light Company (AKA Muny Light), a non-profit power company set up to ‘compete’ with the for-profit companies. Muny Light had not generated a watt of electricity in more than a decade. Its rates had been set by politicians to buy votes, its power distributed to the Deserving. Maintenance had never been a priority, and by the time I became politically aware, Muny Light had, for years, been ‘buying’ electricity from the for-profit company and selling it at a loss …. and then not paying its bills. Many Light owed millions of 1970’s dollars to the for-profit company, and had no way to pay any of it.

        Dennis Kucinich ran for mayor on a platform that included “Save Muny Light”, which is all anyone with a lick of sense needs to know about Dennis Kucinich.

        Bumbles ‘public option’ will be more of the same. It will command services and products by reason of being ‘the public’, it will not pay market prices, it will not even charge what it is paying, it will quickly cease even paying its bills, and the whole thing will rapidly begin to look like the Venezuelan economy.

        I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating;

        Another Luxury Cruise from the wonderful people who brought you the Titanic!

        Obama, please fuck off and die in a fire.

    2. If you’re someone who thinks that health insurance would be 10% cheaper if only whatever insurance company that’s making a 10% profit were to become non-profit, you’re wrong.

      I remember somebody like Gravel or Kucinich making that same, exact argument. Just take away the profits by switching to government programs, and it’ll be cheaper! That’s an argument to nationalize every industry (indeed, it is a Marxist contention) which is exactly what’s happened in Venezuela.

  22. Additionally, someone should ask our progressive brothers and sisters, “How do you blame the profit motive for the increasing cost of healthcare when 78% of the community hospitals in this country are non-profit?”

    Here’s a chart by the American Hospital Association showing community hospitals by ownership type:

    http://www.aha.org/research/rc…..arts.shtml

    Could one of the primary reasons that the cost of care is so high be because our healthcare system suffers from the lack of a profit motive?

    The correct answer is “yes”.

    Is getting rid of the profit motive in the insurance market likely to decrease the cost of care over time?

    The correct answer is “no”.

    1. Those hospitals are all corporations, and are therefor evil.

  23. Why in the HELL do we need govt involved in health care? (yes, I’m preaching to the choir).

    There is nothing more necessary in life than food. Yet, even though the govt regulates a lot of things concerning food it does not interfere to the extent that it does with health care. But when I walk into a grocery store, I marvel at the fact that I don’t weigh 400 pounds. Food is everywhere! From organic spinach to twinkies. I can buy whatever I want. Easily. Simply. Cash, credit, or debit card.

    In other words, government is not necessary for our necessities. QED.

    1. Why in the HELL do we need govt involved in health care? (yes, I’m preaching to the choir)

      Lol, you baggers! 45 million children were dying in the streets every year before the health care law and you baggers want to go back to that. Amazing how greedy and uncaring you baggers are.

      1. This would be funnier if I wasn’t fairly sure Progressives could be found who BELIEVED IT.

        1. Where do you think I got that from? You can’t make that shit up.

    2. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
      Fr?d?ric Bastiat

  24. “Still, to say the law has not proven a disaster is not the same as proving it has been a success.”

    Just because a train wreck is happening in slow motion doesn’t mean it isn’t a train wreck.

    If our current healthcare system under ObamaCare is so badly conceived that it cannot be sustained in its present form, then, yes, this slow motion train wreck is a disaster.

  25. The only way to fix this healthcare system is to get out of the way and let the experts do what they do. Maybe the baggers will get out of the way and let Hillary fix this. Hillary is the most qualified person ever, in history, and she will fix this when the baggers get in the back of the bus and shut up. Who doesn’t want free healthcare? Who doesn’t want free college? Baggers, that’s who!

      1. free shit ain’t free.

        While were at it, freedom isn’t free either. Let’s free up some freedom, shall we?

  26. Holy shit. Wife is watching a Shillary address on TV. Huge coughing for and started to sound like Diane Rehm. The ‘Healthers’ are gonna have a field day…

    1. *coughing fit


    2. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09

      Hillary Clinton had a massive coughing fit as she began a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio. She had trouble speaking and thanking local elected officials and had to stop multiple times to cough and clear her throat.

      Clinton’s voice did not return to normal for quite some time.

      “Every time I think about Trump I get allergic,” Clinton said.

      MSNBC eventually cut coverage after several minutes.

      1. Fuckin’ LOL. Even if she wins, she’s going to spend the rest of her term (in between bouts of graft) fighting off questions about her health every time she sneezes. That was one of Trump’s best trolls.

    3. Like I said, I wouldn’t mind if she goes off to a spa to recuperate while Kaine and Bill fight over who takes over.

      1. I’d rather have Bill play the Edith Wilson role and “convey the President’s wishes” from her sickroom, while Kaine plays the Thomas Marshal role and sits around pulling his pud.

        Though under the constitution, these roles ideally should be reversed.

        1. Thomas Marshall

          Who, by a creepy coincidence, is the guy who said “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.”

  27. Kaine again blasted Trump for not releasing his tax returns, noting that it has been a custom for presidential candidates of the last few decades and likening Trump’s actions to a job interview candidate not fulfilling the questionnaire. Trump has said he will not release his tax returns while he is under audit.

    “You wouldn’t hire somebody for a summer job who wouldn’t answer your questions in a job interview, and he wants you to hire him to be President of the United States?” Kaine asked.

    Um, what if the other candidate for the job hadn’t answered any questions since 2015 and was recently under investigation?

    1. link, just some campaign trail stop where his attack could as easily be against Mrs. No Press Conferences.

      1. I put the odds of President Kaine taking the oath of office before 2021 at somewhere around 50/50.

        1. If i recall, being made vice-president actually decreases your chances of winning the presidency.

          I’m not sure if its true or not, but i’ve seen that argument made. Something about how there’s a below-50% rate of victory for “people who’ve been VP in the past”. (i think this link summarizes the argument)

          The record of vice presidents who won election to succeed their predecessors has been meager. After John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Van Buren, the only other vice president to win the election after his president stepped down, was Republican George H.W. Bush in 1988 (or in the case of Jefferson, to defeat the president under whom he served).

          While 14 former vice presidents have become president, nine of those took office as a result of the death of their predecessor and then went on to win the election (such as Lyndon Johnson). Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968, but that was seven years after leaving the vice presidency in 1961 and after carefully rebuilding his image as a party statesman.

          Why is it so hard for vice presidents? The biggest liability is that they are running at a time when their predecessor has usually become most controversial.

          1. I don’t think L was referring to Kaine winning any elections.

          2. Gilmore-

            I think you missed the before in his sentence…

          3. After John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Van Buren, the only other vice president to win the election after his president stepped down, was Republican George H.W. Bush in 1988

            William Howard Taft was Teddy Roosevelt’s VP and won the presidency at the end of TR’s term in 1908.
            Herbert Hoover was Calvin Coolidge’s VP and won the presidency at the end of Coolidge’s term in 1928.

            That’s before we get to the points that (a) the probability of becoming president if you WEREN’T VP is even lower than if you were, and (b) he’s carefully cherry-picking to exclude Truman, Johnson, and Nixon from consideration.

            1. In fact, in the 20th century, the only VPs whose presidents chose not to run for reelection were:

              Taft, 1908 (won presidency)
              Thomas Marshall, 1920 (did not run)
              Hoover, 1928 (won presidency)
              Alben Barkley, 1952 (did not run)
              Nixon, 1960 (lost in disputed election then and did win in 1968)
              Hubert Humphrey, 1968 (lost)
              George HW Bush, 1988 (won presidency)
              Al Gore, 2000 (lost in disputed election)

              So 3 out of 8 of them won the presidency immediately, one 8 years later, with another losing in a disputed election. Much better success rate than non-VPs.

              1. Interestingly, all 3 who won the presidency while serving as VP would go on to lose their bid for reelection.

    2. “You wouldn’t hire somebody for a summer job who wouldn’t answer your questions in a job interview, and he wants you to hire him to be President of the United States?”

      So I’m sure we’ll see Obama’s college transcripts any second now, right?

    3. “Um, what if the other candidate for the job hadn’t answered any questions since 2015 and was recently under investigation?”

      She answered those questions; she couldn’t remember! She forgot! It slipped her mind! All answers…

  28. My health insurance premiums took an incredible increase, along with my deductible, after July 31.

    This year, we’ve had a child, my wife has had tubal surgery and we’ve had expensive doctors’ appointments for the kids, AND WE’VE STILL NOT HIT OUR DEDUCTIBLE for this year.

    It’s literally cheaper for us to drop out of insurance altogether and just save money out-of-pocket, while pretending at tax time to still have insurance, so as not to incur the penalty.

    I blame evull kkkorporashuns!

  29. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,
    ——————>>> http://www.works76.com

    1. But do they provide free health insurance?

      1. If Hilary gets elected shell make them!

  30. Democrats will get everything they want. It’s just a question of time.

    1. Well, of course. Regardless of the specific ideas, if one side of tug of war is trying to stay in the same place and the other is actively pulling, there’s really only one way they could move.

  31. For me, who works as an indy contractor in the TV/Film industry, in a non-union profession, Obamacare has really put the screws to me financially. Last year I made too much money to do qualify for any tax rebate. This year I’ve worked a lot less than I originally thought I would, and so am making just enough to afford to pay for food/rent/etc. The insurance bill is a 25% of my monthly budget alone, and if I could, I would downgrade my plan to a much cheaper plan to deal with my change in financial situation. Unfortunately, according to Covered CA, loss of job or income is not a qualifying life event for buying cheaper coverage. So I am saddled with a bill I can barely pay simply because I was unable to see that this year was going to be worse than last.

    Thanks, Obama.

  32. I’m going to keep saying this on Obamacare threads until someone acknowledges my geode awesome point.

    It is trivial to prove that Obamacare isn’t about ensuring that the healthcare costs of the uninsured aren’t socialized.

    Imagine a person who is a cash billionaire. If they get sick, they will use their billion dollars of cash to pay for medical care.

    Obamacare mandates that such a person carry “insurance” based on the premise that their costs will necessarily be socialized if they do not.

    tl;dr – Obamacare’s mandate is not means tested, and is therefore transparently not about ability-to-pay.

  33. …the law has not turned out to be the cataclysmic job-killer that some critics predicted it would be (although it might partly account for the sluggish to nonexistent rate of increase in wages and salaries, and the fact that many people who want full-time jobs are stuck in part-time work)

    Other than that Mrs. Lincoln…

    1. And the labor force participation rate is still in the shitter.

  34. Lack of transparency was a huge advantage because of the stupidity of the ACA. I dunno how to do cross-outs, but FTFJG.

  35. “The operative premise seems to be that health-policy experts know your own interests better than you do”

    No. No, the operative premise is: fuck your own interests. The operative premise is, “We know that this doesn’t make financial sense for any of you who might consider buying insurance with your own money. That, obviously, is the fucking point. The concept is to force you to pay for other people’s insurance.”

  36. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,
    ——————>>> http://www.works76.com

  37. my classmate’s aunt makes $74 /hr on the internet . She has been fired for eight months but last month her paycheck was $12598 just working on the internet for a few hours. find out here now

    ?????? http://www.businessbay4.com/

  38. Olivia . I can see what your saying… Matthew `s storry is great, last tuesday I bought a gorgeous BMW M3 since I been earnin $9756 this last month and-a little over, 10/k this past munth . without a question it is the most-financialy rewarding Ive ever done . I began this 7-months ago and practically straight away earned more than $71 per hour . More Info..
    ???????>>> http://www.earnmax6.com/

  39. For those who use Medicare as an example of what government could provide, I should note that Medicare does not provide “no limits” coverage of the sort required by Obamacare. There are yearly limits and lifetime limits on what Medicare will cover. Also, there no “out of pocket” limits with Medicare.

    Medicare Advantage is different and has different coverage limits. Also limits upon what providers you can see.

    The countries that do offer “government health care” also have limits upon coverage.

    No one offers “unlimited coverage” as far as I know.

  40. DEAR ESTEEMED LOAN APPLICANT’S

    Do you need an urgent loan to pay off your bills,or you need a loan to stabilize your business,worry no more because CURTIZ MORGAN LOAN FIRMS is here to help you in granting various loans to any interested & serious minded applicant’s because we offer worldwide loan to any part of the world,we will be glad to receive your loan request today through our email and mobile contact below:
    EMAIL…….curtizmorganloanfirms@mail.com

    MOBILE……{+15206894390}

    LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED
    ———————————-
    1} Full Names:
    2} Country:
    3} Loan Amount Needed:.
    4} Loan Duration:
    5} Gender
    6} Home Address:
    7} Mobile Number:
    8} Monthly Income:
    9} Occupation:
    10} SSN……..
    11} Religion
    12} Where did you here about us.

    BEST REGARDS

    CURTIZ MORGAN

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.