Free Markets, Free People
When I read articles like this they infuriate me.
Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.
The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.
Why? Because there doesn’t seem to be any ability to relate their problem with the problems they’ve imposed on business through their ramming through this horrific legislation we call “ObamaCare”. Even with the effects beginning to be understood, like that above, they don’t get it:
Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.
“If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”
But apparently it is “fair” to the employees of business who, in some cases, will see 100% plus increases in their premiums. It only becomes a problem when it effects who? Why, ‘federal employees’, of course. You know, our so-called “public servants”. And then, apparently, only that subset of federal employees that work for Congress. They seem oblivious to the fact that the same thing is happening in thousands of places and effecting multi-thousands of businesses. Freakin’ clueless.
Even as mad as this made me, I got a chuckle out of this:
If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.
Talk about silver linings to storm clouds.
This should be interesting to watch:
A group of small business owners (and individuals) in six states today are suing the federal government over an IRS regulation imposed under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which will force them to pay exorbitant fines, cut back employees’ hours, or severely burden their businesses. Complaint can be viewed here.
The Affordable Care Act authorizes health insurance subsidies to qualifying individuals in states that created their own healthcare exchanges. Those subsidies trigger the employer mandate (a $2,000/employee penalty) and expose more people to the individual mandate. But last spring, without authorization from Congress, the IRS vastly expanded those subsidies to cover states that refused to set up such exchanges. Under the Act, businesses in these nonparticipating states should be free of the employer mandate, and the scope of the individual mandate should be reduced as well. But because of the IRS rule, both mandates will be greatly enlarged in scope, depriving states of the power to protect their residents.
Michael Carvin, partner at Jones Day, who co-argued the Supreme Court Obamacare cases in March, 2012 and who represents the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, stated: “The IRS rule we are challenging is at war with the Act’s plain language and completely rewrites the deal that Congress made with the states on running these insurance exchanges.”
33 states have refused to set up these exchanges. The IRS, per the complaint, is ignoring that ability given by the states by the law and proceeding as if it didn’t exist. The argument is the IRS is overstepping it’s authority.
“Agencies are bound by the laws enacted by Congress,” said Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). “Obamacare is already an incredibly massive program. For the IRS to expand it even more, without congressional authorization and in a manner aimed at undercutting state choice, is flagrantly illegal.” CEI is coordinating the lawsuit.
We’ll see. Given the way the law is interpreted anymore, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the IRS upheld (or the suits be dismissed out of hand). Such is the lack of respect and confidence I hold for our “legal system” anymore.
This week, Michael and Dale discuss Syria and Obamacare.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
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Pretty much everybody knows Obamacare is a disaster. I mean, everybody who has an ounce of sense. Obviously, that excludes a lot of rank and file Lefty Democrats who think Obamacare is actually a fix or a cure for something, but most of those people are simple dolts anyway. But, apparently there’s plenty of agreement on both sides of the Congressional aisles that Obamacare is an unworkable albatross. How do we know this? Because Democrats and Republicans are negotiating some way to exempt Congress from Obamacare.
Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.
The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides…
The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere. Older, more senior staffers could also retire or jump to the private sector rather than face a big financial penalty.
Plus, lawmakers — especially those with long careers in public service and smaller bank accounts — are also concerned about the hit to their own wallets.
In other words, unless they can exempt themselves from Obamacare’s exchange requirements, health costs for the Congressional employees will rise so much that they won’t be able to afford it.
So, both Democrats and Republicans clearly realize that Obamacare, if implemented in Congress, will kill jobs and raise health insurance costs. Is their solution to repeal Obamacare and save the rest of the country that same burden? No. Of course not. Their solution is to see how they can exempt themselves from the law. The rest of us, who have to live with it? Tough cookies, proles. Health care costs money. Deal with it.
I guess my only question is, why are we not not dragging members of Congress—of both parties—naked and screaming from their offices for a good tar and feathering?
The Republicans may make pleasant mouth noises about repealing Obamacare, but they will never do it. Even if they passed a bill, it’d die in the Senate or get vetoed by the President. So, knowing that, their fallback position is, "Well, let’s at least see if we can get ourselves exempted from it."
Both parties in Congress know Obamacare is an unworkable, unaffordable disaster, and their response is to just give a big "F you" to the American people. And, as far as I can see, the American people are just…gonna take it, tug their forelocks, and say, "As you wish, m’lud." As far as I can tell, the majority of Congress is composed of people so stupid it’s a wonder that they can think clearly enough to walk erect. And yet we keep electing them, and doing what they tell us to do. That idiot from Georgia, for example, who complained in a Congressional hearing that if we send too many marines to Guam the island will tip over and capsize…he got re-elected by his idiot constituency.
We really do deserve the total crapstorm that’s headed our way.
Two-thirds of Democrats now believe Obama’s health care reforms will either hurt them personally or have no effect on their daily lives, a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows. In comparison, just 27 percent of Democratic respondents said the reforms would help them.
As for the rest?
Just 3 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of independents believe the president’s overhaul will help them personally, the poll shows. Even worse for the White House, 68 percent of self-identified Republicans and more than a third of all independents said the reforms would hurt them personally.
But a Democratic Congress rammed it through anyway, didn’t it? And a sell-out Chief Justice found it to be “Consitutional”, so now we have to live with it – at least temporarily.
Yet most of the country believes it won’t do what was advertised and will instead cost them more. And most of them have believed that (rightfully so) since the beginning.
Yet we still have it.
How anyone, even Democrats, believed that adding layers of government regulation, taxation and bureaucracy could possibly make the health care system less expensive remains one of those mysteries of life. Well, not really. It’s call delusion. And in this case, it was something they wanted to believe badly and facts and reality just got in the way of that belief. And now what has their secular faith brought us?
Another in a long line of disastrous and costly government programs that we can’t afford.
And now they want to bitch.
This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss the events of the week.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.
Does a duck quack? Of course they were. Were politicians pushing an agenda involved? That’s a rhetorical question:
And yes, we told you so.
As Thomas Sowell pointed out, and I’m paraphrasing, how anyone thought that adding a layer of bureaucracy and regulation to the current system was going to drive costs down was beyond him.
And it was beyond most people who have even a modicum of common sense.
Medical claims costs — the biggest driver of health insurance premiums — will jump an average 32 percent for Americans’ individual policies under President Obama’s overhaul, according to a study by the nation’s leading group of financial risk analysts.
The report could turn into a big headache for the Obama administration at a time when many parts of the country remain skeptical about the Affordable Care Act. The estimates were recently released by the Society of Actuaries to its members.
While some states will see medical claims costs per person decline, the report concluded the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers.
The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent for Ohio, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.
Well done, Democrats — well done.
I have to agree with Thomas Sowell who opined early on, and I’m paraphrasing here, “who would believe that adding a layer of government bureaucracy to healthcare would somehow make it less costly?”
Exactly. Or easier to get, for that matter?
Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.
The government’s draft application is now on the Internet.
It runs 15 pages for a three-person family. The online version has 21 steps, some with added questions.
At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application.
That’s just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help.
You’d still have to pick a health plan.
Wonderful stuff, no? And nice to know the IRS is in on it from the beginning … because, you know, they have a lot to do with health care.
Some fear that consumers will be overwhelmed and give up.
Administration officials say the application form is being refined.
Of course it is. And it will be forever. Success? Reducing it to 10 pages I’m sure.
Still, the idea that picking a health insurance plan could be as simple as shopping on the Internet is starting to look like wishful thinking.
Heh … only an absolute dope would have believed that in the first place, with government involved.
But we told you all of this before the law was passed, didn’t we?
Thought these two graphs illustrated part of it very well:
But remember — they want you to believe it is a revenue problem.
By the likes of Krugman and the Democrats, here’s a little more proof:
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday quietly raised the 10-year cost of ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies offered via the health law’s exchanges by $233 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office review of its latest spending forecast.
The CBO’s new baseline estimate shows that ObamaCare subsidies offered through the insurance exchanges — which are supposed to be up and running by next January — will total more than $1 trillion through 2022, up from $814 billion over those same years in its budget forecast made a year ago. That’s an increase of nearly 29%.
29% and they’re not even off the ground yet. Anyone have any doubt whatsoever that this is likely a lowball estimate at this point? Are we aware of the trend we always see when “costs” are discussed by governments and political parties?
Note too that they play games with the CBO (which is limited to forecasting 10 years out and also hasn’t been very accurate about much of anything – see debt forecasts over the last decade).
The politicians mostly fabricate whatever they think is palatable to the gullible public, sell them with the CBO’s false data and then, when it is found out that it was all bollocks, they say, ‘oh well, too late now, it’s the law”.
Well here’s my feeling about that. If the “law” doesn’t live up to their hype – if it ends up being massively more than they claimed (you know like 29%) then there’s a fairly simple rule that should be followed.
It – the law – should be automatically repealed.