The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Even the Democrat's trained hamsters at the NYT, the LAT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC can't avoid news of the implosion of Obamacare. Obama-friendly CBS News reports:
WASHINGTON - Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That will stoke another “Obamacare” controversy days before a presidential election.

Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.

Moreover, about 1 in 5 consumers will have plans from only a single insurer to pick from, after major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM) and Aetna (AET) scaled back their roles.

“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Republicans will pounce on the numbers as confirmation that insurance markets created by the 2010 health overhaul are on the verge of collapsing in a “death spiral.” Sign-up season starts Nov. 1, about a week before national elections in which the GOP remains committed to a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Window-shopping for plans and premiums is already available through

The sobering numbers confirmed state-by-state reports that have been coming in for months. Administration officials are stressing that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will insulate most customers from sticker shock. They add that consumers who are willing to switch to cheaper plans will still be able to find bargains.
With insurers fleeing the system, rates rising dramatically, young, healthy people avoiding the program, and deductibles at stratospheric levels, I think it's fair to say that the program is an abject failure.

Of course, the Democrats try to put lipstick on a pig by telling us that many millions are covered. Of those millions, between 80 and 90 percent are "subsidized" by the taxpayer. The taxpayer money that is now dedicated to Obamacare "subsidies" cannot be applied to debt reduction, infrastructure, education, defense or any other government function.

In my very first post on Obamacare (July 22, 2009) I wrote:
Every politician at the federal level has a very large ego. It goes with the territory. And most suffer from so much hubris that they begin to believe their own bullshit. (excuse the language, but its appropriate in this context).

They tell us "If you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it" even though any government sanctioned health care option will slowly invade the private medical insurance landscape like crabgrass, forcing private options to wither and die.

They argue that their legislation will lead to “savings” even though the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office clearly states that no “savings” will be achieved under the current legislation.

They believe that they can run 15 percent of the economy even though the vast majority of legislators and our President have never run a business of any kind, never met a payroll, and never balanced a budget.

They tell us that 47 million people go without health insurance, even though no one can substantiate the number or put it into context (e.g., as many as 10 million are illegal aliens). They fail to mention that (doing the math with their inflated numbers) 84 percent of Americans are insured and have immediate access the world-class medical care.

And then, our President tells us that the current problems facing American business, job creation, and the economy in general are somehow tied to health care. To quote a commenter named "Cowboy" at The Belmont Club, "This is absurd. Our financial panic never had anything to do with health care, but rather the ticking time bomb of securitized mortgages and various similar financial instruments which spread risk wantonly all over our financial sector. Doctors and Big Pharma didn’t cause this pain."

Would targeted reforms of health care be a good idea? Of course, but a total restructuring of the system is … well, it’s through-the-looking-glass crazy. But then again, what more can we expect when the designers’ strongest attributes are ego and hubris.
And there I was, just a lowly citizen in 2009 who took a hard look at the then-proposed legislation (it wasn't passed until almost a year later) and got it all just about 100-percent right. Funny how the smartest (progressive) guys in the room lead by the "smartest president ever" got it just about 100-percent wrong, and then lied to get it passed by Stepford Wives Democrats who never encountered a big government idea they didn't like.

In a just and fair world, the Dems would be held to account for the healthcare debacle that they, and they alone, created. But this isn't a just and fair world—an idea that will be reinforced over and over again during the next four years.


The Wall Street Journal editorial board summarized the Obamacare debacle nicely:
At every stage of the ObamaCare saga, liberals said not to worry. Sure, the law was unpopular when Democrats rammed it through Congress on a partisan vote in 2009-10, but voters would learn to love it once the subsidies started rolling. That didn’t happen, and in 2014 President Obama tried to buck up Democrats by saying that “five years from now” people will look back on the law as “a monumental achievement.” Two years later it’s worse.

Nothing could shake the liberal faith in their supposed landmark: Not the website fiasco of 2013, or the millions of individual health plans that were cancelled despite President Obama’s promise about keeping them. The left kept the faith as the entitlement subtracted from economic growth, hurt incomes and killed jobs. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber called the critics stupid, and Mr. Obama denigrates anyone who disagrees with him as illegitimate or politically motivated.

Now reality is confirming what the critics predicted. ObamaCare’s regulatory mix—benefit mandates, requiring insurers to sell coverage to all comers, and narrow ratings bands that limit how much premiums can vary by health status—was tried by several states in the 1980s and ’90s. Every one saw the same results that are now unspooling nationally: high and rising costs, low and declining enrollment, and less insurer and provider competition.
Obamacare has been a strong metaphor for a broad range of existing blue model policies (e.g., pensions, public assistance, entitlements) and those to be proposed in the future (e.g., "free" college tuition): (1) define a real problem, but (2) propose "crazy" solutions that are doomed to fail from the beginning; (3) call anyone who criticizes the crazy policies "uncaring" or worse; (4) use dishonesty, emotion, and parliamentary tricks to get the policy passed into law; (5) make illegal changes to the law to avoid early, predictable failures; (6) as things begin to unravel, talk about "investments" and "subsidies" to mask huge infusions of taxpayer money that were never planned to happen; (7) continue to twist the statistics to avoid real fixes, and last, (8) lie, obfuscate, and if necessary, find a scapegoat to avoid taking the blame for championing failed policies.

Works every time! Be prepared to watch it in action after January 20th.


David Harsanyi writes:
Of course mandating and subsidizing health-care insurance will decrease the number of uninsured. Yet Left punditry seems to be under the impression that coercing people to participate in their plans is revolutionary policymaking. But countless times in 2009, the president promised that exchanges would offer those newly insured Americans more quality “choices” and “affordability” and push down rates overall. (He promised the rest of us that health-care premiums would fall by $2,500 for a family of four. Instead, they’ve risen by over $4,800.) ...

The number of health-care insurance carriers in the exchanges will drop from 298 this year to 228 in 2017. In five states — Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming — there will be only be one insurance company providing plans in 2017. It’s one too many for many on the Left.

Obamacare is working so well that Democrats are now pressuring Republicans to fix it and Hillary Clinton is arguing that to save it we need a “public option” — a euphemism for a government-run insurance program that incrementally undermines competition and care by allowing political considerations to dictate price.
Let's just take a deep breath and consider the idiocy of a "public option." Progressive thinking always falls back on the following meme—if our ideas fail miserably, it isn't the idea itself, it's just that we haven't spent enough, regulated enough, or forced enough people to participate. Following that dictum, let's fix Obamacare by implementing a public option—after all, the feds do such a cost effective, efficient job of running any program—e.g., look at the VA. And for those who argue that Medicare is a counterexample, remember this—even by the most liberal estimates, the Medicare program in its current form will go bankrupt in about 10 to 15 years.