Monday, January 6, 2014

Obamacare: The Implosion Continues

Obamacare remains the big news. Team Obama has been ridiculously trumpeting their new numbers. These numbers are worse than their worst case scenario, yet they are pretending this is a victory. Moreover, their “most embarrassing scenario” has come true, and I’ve spotted something deceptive. Read on...

Worst Case Scenarioing It: According to HHS and others, Obama needs seven million suckers to sign up for private insurance through More than 30% of them need to be “young invincibles.” In addition, they promised to sign up another seven or eight million Medicaid people through To do that, they estimated they needed 3.3 million suckers before the end of 2013.

So how many did they have? It's not clear. After a huge rush at the end of the year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claims they signed up 2.1 million people (other sources say 1.1 million). That mean they are running at about 60% of the pace they need to meet their worst case scenario. Yikes.

And do you know what? It's worse that that. We don’t know how many of those 2.1/1.1 million are Medicaid and how many are private insurance because Obama hasn't told us. So the pace they are going at is more likely running between 15% and 30% of what they need... if that.

It gets worse.

Of those 2.1 million, more than half haven’t paid. And apparently, there is no mechanism in place to tell them they need to pay... they just need to know. And if they don’t pay, then they aren’t covered. The big fear right now is that these people will show up at doctor’s offices with computer printouts of signup screens which reflect policies that don’t exist. Ha ha!

Extremely Embarrassing: Back when they were sure that more people would sign up, Team Obama’s PR flacks admitted that it would be a deeply embarrassing moment for them if more people lost their insurance than gained insurance under Obamacare. In fact, they said it might be the death knell for Obamacare. "But don’t worry!" they assured us with a laugh, "that simply can’t happen."

It happened.

There have been 2.1 million (or 1.1 million) signups, but 4.7 million people have lost their insurance because of Obama so far. Disaster.

Racism Is The New Excuse: It's not Obama's fault though. Do you know why Obamacare is failing? Well, it turns out that racist white Republicans are telling people that Obamacare was repealed and that confused people into thinking they didn't need to sign up. Thus bleated professional race baiter Eleanor Holmes Norton: “There are millions of people out there who think it was repealed, so there was no way to break through that very easily,” because of the “negative propaganda campaign” by Republicans. Yawn.

Anyways, she’s sure things will change once the state starts smacking around anyone who refuses to be “helped”: “When that fine is going to kick in, you’re going to see people trotting to sign on like you’ve never seen it before.” How very fascist.

Extremely Embarrassing II: Howard Dean now says they don't need the individual mandate and they should repeal it. Look for more leftists to jump on this bandwagon until the election. Look for insurers to freak.

What A “Coincidence”: Finally, there is this story “going viral” about some 20 year-old Californian who was shocked to receive a $55,000 bill just for having his appendix removed. The outrage!

Ok, hold the phone. Does anyone not see this for what it is? This is a planted story. This is an attempt to create viral buzz to get “young invincibles” to say, “Wow, I could get hit with a $55,000 bill for something that minor? Obamacare is making a lot more sense!” This is a PR ploy and I'll bet that if anyone bothers investigating, they will discover that this little pudwhacker or the people who took this bill and are trying to make it go viral are affiliated with the Democratic Party. As an aside, according to the Healthcare Blue Book, a fair price for the whole procedure should have been $10,091, and it can be gotten for around $2,000 if the little sh*t had shopped around.



Tennessee Jed said...

"you bet your sweet bippy" the viral story is a plant. I do care about people and their healthcare, but since we can agree this plan is too expensive, too flawed, too you name it, the more compelling question is: How will this impact our governance in the coming years. What should the Republicans do "short term" to make the Dems pay at the ballot box. Will Obama have the balls to bail out the insurance companies in year one. P.S. Do you know where the term in quotes comes from?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That was my first thought. That's one of those "too perfect" moments that you know has been planted.

To make the Democrats pay, I think the best strategy is to keep pointing out all the people who are losing coverage, the unpaid hospital bills, the worthlessness of the coverage, the doctors who won't take it, the flaws and problems, and always end it with "this is what happens when the Democrats run the government."

Beyond that, keep a low profile, keep the idiots quiet ("guh guh guh, we outta dun impeech him!"), keep pushing for things that will unbalance the program like killing the mandate, and then talk in broad strokes about a better way to handle things.

Tennessee Jed said...

that is a sound strategy, overall. Probably individual mid-term races will dictate specific tactics. The goal hs to be to gain control of the senate to stop appointment of liberal judges, pick our spots to support challenging legality of executive over reach, and building on specific things R's will do to fix health care and the economy if given all three houses. If we believe limiting government is the better way, it is necessary campaign effectively. As you suggest, avoid specifics and remind how bad things have become with 8 years of liberals.

Koshcat said...

Well, I still like the idea of impeaching Obama. Unfortunately, it isn't illegal or unconstitutional to be dumb and an a$$hole. I predict we will see the death of Obamacare by a million duck bites to "fix" the law. Should be an interesting ride.

Individualist said...

Koshcat, the "fix" to the law will be to simply grant government more power.

Young invincibles refuse to sign up thereby making the system fall apart. Well can't have that can we. They must sign up so the government will sign them up and take out the premium in the form of a new payroll tax. They'll even charge half of that to your employer to make it appear you are not paying all the tax.

Then everyone will be required to sign up for insurance with a provider through the government who will kindly provide you your health insurance they tax you for "for free"!

Health Insurance companies will no longer negotiate with you for plans they will negotiate with the government as the country will be on one giant plan.

I am sure if you are very rich like George Soros or a Senator there will be additional plans you can by that give you little perks like for instance getting that appendicitis surgery the day you feel the pains instead of the usual two week wait, etc.

No government program is ever eliminated. I'd be more scared of their fixes than the original.

Anthony said...

2014 will be 2010 if the Democrats are lucky.

I think Obamacare if its still alive or only recently dead will help Republicans a lot in 2016, but a lot will depend on who the nominee is and how far to the left Hillary has to go to win the nomination. Will she have enough freedom of action to do the politically shrewd thing and denounce/pledge to repeal Obamacare or will a rival from the left scare her into defending it?

AndrewPrice said...

Guys, my internet is really spotty (this comment from McDonalds). So I'll have to get back to you all later.

tryanmax said...

Best excuse to go to McDonald's ever!

Somehow I missed the "Obamacare is repealed" stealth-aganda campaign. And by who, exactly? Last I heard--according to Rush et al--the Republicans are now in flushed and fluttering love with Obamacare, which is why they didn't repeal it when they never had the chance. This sounds suspiciously like the "low information" claims that the right has been making. Who know that governance was like herding cats?

BevfromNYC said...

Oh, good grief, don't you all (or "ya'll" for you Texans) understand that ALL government programs go through these kind of seismic/cataclysmic "hiccups" when they are first implemented? As liberals would have us believe - Social Security was one of the leading factors that lead to WWII and Medicare was one of the reasons cited for our involvement in Vietnam. And as I have been told repeatedly, the elderly had to wait days...DAYS mind you, to get their prescriptions filled because of the mess that is Bush Medicare Prescription Plan. I even hear many of the elderly just gave up and booked passage on the nearest ice flow...(though I do not remember that...).

Oh, here is a message from Valerie Jarrett!

Oh, look over there -----> Pivoting to jobs and legalizing pot and those mean ol' Republicans who hate immigrants and poor, jobless people who have been on unemployment for 2 years ------> Look more pot related jobs! ------>

Oh, and as we hear from our designated "anonymous WH source" the WH will be happy to report once President Obama finishes his Shutterfly 2013 Winter vacation photo album that over 800million people [worldwide] have access and/or have received adequate healthcare since the Affordable Care Act went into effect!

But seriously, the worst thing we could do is NOT have a solid reasonable plan. And it is imperative that the Tea Party stop being wacky and start thinking in terms of big picture goals. We need to take back the Senate, but we cannot do that if the Tea Party radical are going to run candidates that will split votes. We must mature to the political process...

TJ said...

Two things I heard on the news this morning:

1. Rand Paul's son was put on Medicaid when they were trying to sign him up for Obamacare; and

2. They claimed that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion would cut down on emergency room visits, however, they have actually increased.

Happy New Year everyone!

Koshcat said...

Three things would make most of this go away.

1. Wave the individual mandate
2. Since the mandate is a tax and isn't required, nobody will be required to pay the tax.
3. Eliminate the no pre-existing condition requirement.

Without the mandate, insurances would not survive the pre-existing mandate and will push very hard to pass that. If there is no mandate it will be hard to justify keeping this. Basically, back to square one. This is why it was a stupid law. Everything else is goobledy gook, ways to spend money and feel good, and price controls.

Tennessee Jed said...

Koshcat - we retired insurance fat cats call this "the principle of adverse selection, and we learned about it day one in "insurance 101. Only people who have an exposure to a given "hazard" are willing to pay for coverage of that hazard. In health insurance, private carriers cannot survive being forced to cover pre-existing conditions such as needing a heart transplant without either some guarantee of a minimum number of healthy bodies unless they can charge a rate reflective of the exposure. Being limited to 3 times the rate for a young healthy would most likely be insufficient.

AndrewPrice said...

Howdy everybody! Sorry about that. Hopefully, the net should be working after this. :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That is the greatest excuse ever indeed!

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat and Jed, Despite what Dean says, if they give up the mandate, then the law is dead because the insurers will run away. So they can't give that up even if it hurts them in the election. Their only hope is that the Republicans do themselves in.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Shiny indeed! Pot jobs you say?

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, They got the hospitals on board by promising them that everyone who showed up would now have insurance, but from what I'm seeing, they're actually making the lack of insurance problem worse. And it will get even worse when half the people who do sign up for insurance drop out in a few months when they stop paying their bills.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, The only thing that can the Democrats from a disaster is the fringe right. They excel at turning off average voters and then throwing tantrums and staying home in any event. So we'll have to see.

Interestingly, Liz Cheney just dropped out. She was the first test case for the non-fringe fighting back and they buried her. So maybe things are headed in the right direction.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, If the Dems get the government, they can hide these problems in any number of ways. If they don't get the government, then no fix is coming.

Tennessee Jed said...

In my view, what doomed Obamacare as written is that the people crafting the law could not, would not, (or in any event did not) make provisions strong enough that purchasing a policy is a less unattractive alternative than paying a fine (or not paying a fine as the case may be.) If liberals had there way, there would be no fine. You buy or they haul your ass off to jail or otherwise ruin your life. Not enough young healthies are making a sufficient income to afford the high prices required to subsidize the elderly and pre-existings. Last, the fine is not being enforced other than by deducting it from a potential tax return. For lower incomes, they take the standard deductions and short form and there is no big return to deduct a fine from. Young healthy/wealthys are probably hip to the notion that you don't want a tax return since all that means is the government had an interest free loan from you that they will use to fine them with.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That is exactly the problem. And the problem for liberals was that they could not do what they wanted to do without an open revolt. As it was, the little bit they did spawned the Tea Party. So they passed something that would never work and they hoped to fix it later. But later probably will never come because the Republicans are standing fast against the law. So I think it will ultimately collapse under it's own failure to draw in anyone but the truly sick.

darski said...

As evil as the democrats may be the Republicans are so much more stupid that they couldn't legislate their way out of a wet paper bag. You guys are toast as you are heading for the Mexican form of government. it is just a matter of the degree of your toasting. get rid of the Repub establishment and let real people/conservatives take the lead and you might only be half dead for the next 20 years.

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