Sunday, October 16, 2016

Optimism Delayed

I promised to provide some optimism about the US today, but I have to put that off. Apparently, I was a tad optimistic about the amount of time I would have this weekend. So instead, I have put together a quick update on Obamacare. The wheels are starting to come off the thing.

Here are some numbers that might interest you:
● Bloomberg News estimates that at least 1.4 million people will lose their health insurance next year, as private insurers drop their Obamacare plans. That's 1.4 million out of the 10 million plan participants. This is the result of massive loses resulting from the failure of a subsidy plan which sought to rescue the foolish plans by taxing the companies who competently priced their plans and giving that money to the fools. Welcome to the lessons of East Germany.

● 20% of Americans will have only one insurer to choose from. Nothing like a monopoly to solve problems.

● Because of the last one, premiums are skyrocketing. In Minnesota, premiums will rise between 50% and 67%. In California, they are rising 13.7%. Other increases include: Alaska 40%, Oklahoma 41%, Montana 35%, Oregon 17%, West Virginia 21.6%, Pennsylvania 10.5% and so on.

● Because of this, an S&P forecast anticipates an 8% reduction in total people covered this year even though the fine is increasing.

● 27 million people remain without insurance under this "universal coverage" plan.
I think what we're looking at is Peak Obamacare. At this point, it's covered all it will cover and I expect it to slowly slide into irrelevance. The question(s) that's left is (1) will some of the most noxious regulations be undone or is this sucker permanent? And (2) what will eventually replace it?

Whatever replaces it will be an even bigger mess is my guess. See, here's the thing. Our medical regulations are like a poorly done painting. And when people try to "fix" it with things like Obamacare, they don't clean off the canvas and start over, they try to fix the ugly painting by adding to it. The result is an even worse mess as the system gets muddier and loses its structure. It's never enough to wipe out the system because people learn to adjust, but it just keeps making things harder.

At this point, I think the savior of our healthcare will be physicians who go private and refuse to touch insurance. Essentially, a private system will need to develop apart from the bastardized mess we have. Will it happen? I think so. Americans are inventive and healthcare is important to them.

In completely unrelated news, Venezuela is apparently lifting its price controls on food. It seems that government control of prices was strangely causing people to starve to death and to turn to violence to feed themselves. Who knew? Perhaps the East Germans? the Poles? the Russians? the Chinese? the Vietnamese? the Cubans? Oh well, clearly, no application to the above.


tryanmax said...

No matter what, it looks like we'll have to wade through some single payer BS to get to the other side. Silver lining: Obamacare is straining already.

tryanmax said...

An aside: Is it just me, or has virtually every article at Nat'l Review become a reading from the Book of Buckley? I thought the point of the mag was to explore and develop new conservative ideas, not to press every hot topic into 50 year old ones.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax: Jonah Goldberg et al. are in the over-wrought "See! We told you so!!!" phase of their NeverTrump election meltdown. I stopped listening to them since they are supposed to be about "policy", but have turned into the testosterone ridden version of "The View".

BevfromNYC said...

If this had been an normal election year, this would be really big news. But alas, it is not a normal election year. But the good news, this is also why down-ballot Republicans are still doing well and we most likely will keep the majority in both sides of Congress. Of course that means, at least 2 more years of blaming Republicans for not "fixing" ACA/Obamacare so's it would work right. But at least we'll be called "sexists" for 4 years and not "racists"! That's something, right?

FYI - NY is down to just a few insurance companies and rates are going up at 24%. Again my insurance costs have gone up 247% at last count. I almost lost my doctor (again), b/c the practice didn't take my insurance policy. I refused to change doctors again, and opted after discussion with my doctor to pay fees out of pocket (and pray that nothing really bad happens).

The the much heralded NY state-run exchange has already gone belly up. Insurance companies are fleeing NY, but that isn't really news because very few insurance companies of all types are willing to do business in NY. Liability is too high; therefore the cost is too high.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I suspect single payer is dead. For one thing, the Democrats who voted for this got massacred. And it's kept the GOP in power since 2010 despite acting like utter fools.

For another, the Democrats bragged too much and made it sound like the government actually took over healthcare. As a result, the government is now responsible for all the problems of the system (yet it lacks the power to fix them). That's kills its reputation and makes it impossible to suggest "more government" as the answer.

Look for all future changes to sound a lot like less government, even if they aren't.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and tryanmax, I've given up on most conservative pundits. They all seem to be focused on their turf rather than on winning people over.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, What's interesting about that is that NY is one of the states the left holds up as an example of where Obamacare works because it is similar to what they already had... or so they say.

ArgentGale said...

I understand things getting busy, so no worries there! Not surprised that things keep getting worse for Obamacare... It's too bad that nobody's looking to take advantage of the opening it's created, though. Why does everything have to be so dysfunctional?

- Daniel

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I think the answer is that (1) liberals don't care, they support the person blindly and don't care about the effects of the damage, (2) the Talk Radio right don't care because they're busy building vast conspiracies in their heads, and (3) the "smarter" politicians (a low bar indeed) know that pandering to the fringes brings them what they need and is easier than actual policy.

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, I'm laughing about this idea that Trump's claims of a rigged election are (a) new and (b) dangerous. The Democrats have been screaming about rigged elections for years. Gore even sued claiming it in 2000. How is that any better than what Trump is doing?

Incidentally, what Trump is doing is legitimizing Clinton, just as the left did to Bush. That's why they're so freaked out over this.

Anthony said...


Trump whining about rigging is dangerous for Trump. Another parallel with Romney is a lot of Republican activists in 2012 focused on poll watching (the phantom menace then was the New Black Panthers) rather than getting supporters to the polls.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, It is. It's a distraction from what he needs to do. But it's the left whining unholy terror about him claiming this. They are basically writing that he's on the verge of destroying democracy as an institution by making this claim and he needs to be stopped. That actually makes me laugh. I hope they really are that worried because they deserve it.

ArgentGale said...

Sounds about right on all counts, Andrew. This whole thing would be funny if it wasn't for the effects it's had and will continue to have on all of us.

- Daniel

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