Free Markets, Free People

Obama: Selling a Pig in a Poke

Does it bother you that a president who is out pushing like hell to pass a bill that will fundamentally change the way we receive health care, and apparently most now believe that change will be negative, apparently isn’t familiar with what he’s pushing?

With the public’s trust in his handling of health care tanking (50%-44% of Americans disapprove), the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to pass Obamacare: all Obama, all the time. As part of that effort, Obama hosted a conference call with leftist bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible.

During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”

It’s only a question that’s been in the news for a week after it was raised in an Investors Business Daily editorial. That’s the entire reason the blogger brought it up. Salesmanship 101 – know your product. He’s been so busy flapping his jaws about how we have to pass this now that he hasn’t even taken the time to understand what “this” is.

IBD said the provision would, in effect, outlaw private insurance.

The Heritage Foundation did a little digging into this provision to figure out the real impact it will have. Here’s what they have to say:

[T]he House bill does not outright outlaw private individual health insurance, but it does effectively regulate it out of existence. The House bill does allow private insurance to be sold, but only “Exchange-participating health benefits plans.” In order to qualify as an “Exchange-participating health benefits plan,” all health insurance plans must conform to a slew of new regulations, including community rating and guaranteed issue. These will all send the cost of private individual health insurance skyrocketing. Furthermore, all these new regulations would not apply just to individual insurance plans, but to all insurance plans. So the House bill will also drive up the cost of your existing employer coverage as well. Until, of course, it becomes so expensive that your company makes the perfectly economical decision to dump you into the government plan.

President Obama may not care to study how many people will lose their current health insurance if his plan becomes law, but like most Americans, we do. That is why we partnered with the Lewin Group to study how many Americans would be forced into the government “option” under the House health plan. Here is what we found:

* Approximately 103 million people would be covered under the new public plan and, as a consequence, about 83.4 million people would lose their private insurance. This would represent a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.

* About 88.1 million workers would see their current private, employer-sponsored health plan go away and would be shifted to the public plan.

* Yearly premiums for the typical American with private coverage could go up by as much as $460 per privately-insured person, as a result of increased cost-shifting stemming from a public plan modeled on Medicare.

So it ends up not killing the private insurance business outright with a bullet through the brain, but instead, by slow strangulation. Same effect, but it will just take much longer. Legislate rules and requirements which will up the cost of private insurance to the point that the economic incentive is to dump it in favor of the cheaper public option.

Like your plan? Like your doctor?

Too bad.

But the man who promised you could keep both couldn’t be bothered to become “familiar” with this particular “provision”.


27 Responses to Obama: Selling a Pig in a Poke

  • President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”

    I see this as part of his “I inherited this mess” attitude.  He pushes hard for a sea-change in health care, lets other people write the health care laws, and fails to familiarize himself with it.  Then if it passes and becomes law, and then degenerates into the disaster that it seems it must inevitably become, he thinks he can toss the blame onto others.  “This wasn’t the health care plan that I wanted!  Who wrote this mess and snuck this into a 1,300-page bill?  It’s not my fault!”

  • Yep, Obama wasn’t familiar with a provision that IBD simply made up. How dare he?

    • IBD didn’t make it up, but their choice of wording was bound to come back at them.  Section 102 doesn’t make private health care illegal, but it paves the way for putting private insurers out of business over the course of time, leaving the government plan as the only option.  It’s no mistake that the left quickly latched on to the erroneous headline– it allows them to ignore the very real threat that is described.

  • Maybe he’ll just issue a signing statement to remedy the situation?

    I love the fact that after spending his political capital on porkulus (“I won. I will trump you on that”) he’s throwing the rest of it at this.

    Even a party as hopeless as the GOP will have a good shot at gains in the midterms.

    And here’s my *bold* predicton: By the end of his tenure as POTUS, Dems (blacks especially) will be beginning to try to disassociate themselves a bit from Lightworker. That’s how big a disaster he will be, and how bad his legacy will be.

    (But then again, what do I know? I don’t even have a Ph.D)

  • Let’s see, the President has a filibuster proof Democratic Senate, a +60 seat margin in the House, a favorable press, a fawning Hollywood, a supportive academia and he is still whining about Republicans. 

    Makes me wonder what President Biden would do ?

  • “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”

    Yeah…uh huh…you bet…

  • McQuain said this: “Does it bother you that a president….”
    No, of course not.
    That person has nothing to do with me.
    Just another street thug as far as I’m concerned, and if he confronts me directly I will deal with him on the spot, just as I would any other street thug.
    It’s appalling that you offer unlimited free rent in your brain to such things when surely there are more important issues in your life.

    • Another one who wants to tell me how I should prioritize my life.

      • Well, it’s all for your own good.

        Of course, the odd thing is that people who want to tell me what to do for my own good seem singularly uninterested in what I have to say about what’s good for them.

  • Perhaps critics of Democratic programs tend to take an expansive interpretation to those programs because that’s what history has taught them.

    1913: The income tax is made possible via Constitutional amendment. Critics protest that there is no top rate set, warning that the top rate might rise to as much as ten percent. They are assured that no such thing will ever happen.

    1936: A Social Security Administration explanation of the programs says : “And finally, beginning in 1949, 12 years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay.” [Emphasis mine.]

    1964 – Critics of the Civil Rights Act charge that it will result in quotas. Hubert Humphrey responds “Ill eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas.”

    1966 – Critics claim Medicare will be too expensive. The Democratic-dominated “House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was supposedly a ‘conservative’ estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.” 

    The critics were right in their analysis and the proponents were wrong. The lesson is that it doesn’t pay to listen to the explanations, protestations, and assurances of Democratic advocates of legislation. Only pay attention to the words, and interpret them as favorably to the government and the left as possible, because that’s likely to be the way things end up.

    I know our good friends on the left really hate it when we question their intentions or interpretation of their programs. After all, what could go wrong. go wrong. go wrong. go wrong. go wrong….

  • Yeah, the civil rights act was a disaster. I mean, equal rights what the heck? Segregation now, segregation for-ev-a!

    • What’s up Ollie – trying to change the subject? Defending the Dem boondoggle becoming heavy lifting? Tell me – how’s that “the country’s on the right track” poll going these days?

    • See, I knew you would miss the point on this.

      There were some needed reforms in the Civil Rights Act. Its worst aspect was that it resulted in quotas, and that could have been prevented by explicitly barring them. But the proponents instead expected everyone to depend on their assurances. We now know how that worked out. 

      • Billy, it’s the same old tactic. If you say, “I think government-run health care is going to be far more costly and far less effective than its proponents say,” they’ll say, “Why do you want poor people to die?”

    • Oh, and pulling out the race card at the drop of a hat doesn’t do much to enhance your seriousness as a debater. Not that we’re all surprised by that.

      • That’s Oliver’s main tactic these days. Unless it’s about a black republican…then the n-word is fair game. That’s why I stopped paying attention to him. Racism isn’t a real problem to him — it’s just a tactic to be used in an effort to score points.

  • Segregation now, segregation for-ev-a!

    Ah yes, the famous quote from George Wallace (D).  Always makes me laugh when some historically-ignorant lefty hauls it out to try to play the race card on conservatives.

  • So Oliver, which party was it that filibustered the civil rights act in congress.  Good old Ollie, never one to let facts and reality get in the way of a funny narrative.

    • You say that with such spite — as though there were more to (Leftist) politics than The Daily Show…

  • I liked the first talking point about the provision being made up.

  • And Ollie, how is that presidency going, feeling pain are are we?

    … and the president says, ‘You’re going to destroy my presidency.’ ”

    Sorry pal but that wound was self inflicted.  Ah entitlement.

  • TonusI see this as part of his “I inherited this mess” attitude.  He pushes hard for a sea-change in health care, lets other people write the health care laws, and fails to familiarize himself with it.

    In other words, he’s voting “present” again.  No surprise: there is absolutely NOTHING in his background that would suggest that he has an iota of leadership ability, or for that matter any conception of what leadership is.  Indeed, there’s not much to suggest that he even understand the legislative process, especially at the federal level.  His entire career has been nothing more than reading a teleprompter and spending other peoples’ money to propel himself up the next rung on the ladder.  In all fairness, though, it appears that having no idea what’s in a bill is par for the course in the Congress; do ANY of them read the bills they vote on???

    Obama: Selling a Pig in a Poke

    In all fairness, one can’t accuse TAO of selling a pig in a poke.  That implies that he KNOWS what’s in the poke and is trying to sucker us into buying it.  Apparently, he has no idea what’s in the poke.  It might be a pig.  Or it might be a chicken.  Could even be a steaming pile of fresh horsesh*t.  He doesn’t know anything other that we’ve got to buy it NOW… or else his administration is through.  DeMint really hit the nail on the head, and TAO knows it. 

  • He doesn’t know anything other that we’ve got to buy it NOW… or else his administration is through.

    Where have I heard that before?
    “Buy now, or be priced out forever!!!!”

  • … and the president says, ‘You’re going to destroy my presidency.’ ”

    I say, after hearing his speech tonight and how he answered a certain question, the sooner the better.
    His eloquent lies are not so eloquent anymore.


  • Section 102 DOES make it illegal.  If its illegal to sell to new customers, its illegal.  Making something illegal to sell makes it a non-viable product, doesn’t it?
    I’m amazed at the number of Obama supporters who are in favor of this plan, and when they find out about the provisions of the plan, they insist that they aren’t in there!