Free Markets, Free People
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It – the law – should be automatically repealed.
In another “temperature of the electorate” poll, USA Today/Gallup have a swing state poll out that points to an issue that remains an advantage for Republicans: the repeal of ObamaCare.
The poll sampled the opinions of 1,137 likely voters in 12 swing states, states critical to a win in the upcoming election. The subject was ObamaCare:
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill’s passage "a bad thing" and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do.
You sort of have to root through the story to get an idea of the depth of the swing state voter’s resistance to the law, but it is significant:
Voters in swing states stand overwhelmingly on one side of the debate: Three of four voters, including a majority of Democrats and of liberals, say the law is unconstitutional.
Many try to paint this result as one of poor messaging on the part of the Obama Administration and Democrats. Of course that’s a favorite fallback position – its not the message, it’s how it has been delivered.
In fact, it is the message. The message is “we can mandate whatever we wish and your only choice is to do what you’re told to do.”
Americans, in general, naturally resist such a power grab. And that’s what you see in this poll.
Opposition to the law is eroding Obama’s support among the middle-of-the-road voters both nominees will court this fall. Among independents, 35% say the law makes them less likely to support Obama, more than double the 16% who say it makes them more likely.
The intensity of feeling among potential swing voters also favors opponents. Among independents who lean to the GOP, 54% say they are much less likely to support Obama as a result. Among independents who lean to the Democrats, 18% say they are much more likely to support him.
As we’ve noted any number of times, such as last night’s podcast, it is the “middle of the road” or “independents” are the key to victory. And they find the law very objectionable. It is also an issue likely to motivate these voters (see note about the “intensity of feeling”).
As we noted in last nights podcast, while the GOP is seen to be thrashing about right now, once a nominee is settled upon and the focus turns on Obama and his record, it is issues like this that the GOP must use to defeat him. It resonates (here’s a recent national poll on the subject). If they let the Democrats or the media set the agenda and deflect or redirect the debate to issues of no real importance in this election, but issues which are likely to hurt them among moderate voters, then they stand a chance to lose. If they allow that to happen, shame on them.
Obama finally has a record, and it is not a good one. ObamaCare and its repeal should be front and center of any issue oriented GOP campaign. It is a winner for them.
Don’t forget, the CLASS act was one of the budget gimmicks used to supposedly show that ObamaCare “bent the cost curve downward”. Ezra Klein explains:
“CLASS” stands — or stood — for “Community Living Assistance Services and Supports.” The idea was simple, or seemed to be: a voluntary insurance program that would cover home health-care options for adults who become disabled. It was Sen. Ted Kennedy’s brainchild, but the White House was cool to it in public and hostile in private. “Seems like a recipe for disaster to me,” wrote one aide in a subsequently released e-mail.
The problem with CLASS was well understood. It frontloaded its savings and backloaded its costs. As the Congressional Budget Office wrote (pdf), “the cash flows under the new program would generate budgetary savings (that is, a reduction in net federal outlays) for the 2010-2019 period and for the 10 years following 2019, followed by budgetary costs (an increase in net federal outlays) in subsequent decades.” No mystery there.
Well not exactly. It was never sold as “unsustainable” because had the truth been told when the bill was passed into law, it would have been clear that this was as much a Ponzi scheme as Social Security, because it relied on those currently paying in to the program to pay for those collecting or using benefits and, probably just as serious, it was a voluntary program. Two strikes against sustainability.
Obviously I’m not advocating that it be made mandatory, just explaining why it was destined to fail. And fail it has. The director of the program last week announced that the obvious had finally become obvious even to them. The program was unsustainable and they were closing it down.
The administration announced late Friday it did not see a way to make the long-term care CLASS Act, which was crafted by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), pay for itself. But perhaps even more damning is how the White House mishandled the controversy; consumer advocates accused the administration of being disingenuous and gutless.
Republicans are now pushing to have the act repealed and it has reignited the larger hope that repeal of the CLASS act will lead to repeal of ObamaCare in total.
The growing drumbeat for repeal comes after the White House announced that it is against repeal and remains committed to making the program work.
“We do not support repeal,” said White House spokesman Nick Papas. “Repealing the CLASS Act isn’t necessary or productive. What we should be doing is working together to address the long-term care challenges we face in this country.”
Admitting that the CLASS act is unsustainable would naturally open the administration up to questions about the whole of ObamaCare’s sustainability, especially since CLASS was one of its main cost reduction pillars.
CBO had scored the long-term care program for people with disabilities as raising $86 billion, or 40 percent of the health law’s $210 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years.
And it was all a lie. I’m not sure what else you call it. It was a knowing falsehood perpetrated by those who wanted to pass the health care law and were willing to do just about anything and say just about anything to do so.
The failure of the CLASS act calls into question the sustainability of the entire law. So the White House has grimly held the line of the CLASS act while it has become apparent to everyone else that the act has to go. And HHS has announced it is closing down the CLASS office.
On the political side, though, reality and party don’t often meet. But in the case of CLASS some Democrats are seeing the light while others would prefer to keep the all but dead program alive:
Some Democrats on Capitol Hill might vote against repeal because they want to keep CLASS alive and to support the White House. But others who are facing challenging reelection races — including Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) — might not use political capital to save a costly program that might never be implemented.
Interesting. The question now is does proving that 40% of the cost savings ObamaCare promise was a sham call into question the validity and sustainability of the entire law?
So you’re wondering why the “recovery” stalled? Well we all know that correlation is not causation, but this sure looks suspicious doesn’t it?
So looking at the chart, we see job growth starting to pick up at an average of 67,000 a month. Not earth shattering, but much better than the average (ten times less) after the passage of ObamaCare.
Why, people wonder, would something like that happen with the passage of a bill that is supposed to improve health care and make it cheaper to boot? Wouldn’t that encourage people to hire and expand.
Well … no. Because we had to pass the bill to find out what was in the bill. And what we’ve found out is none to pleasing.
As the report states, correlation cannot prove causation — but the change in course is statistically measurable and testing reveals a structural break between April and May of 2010. Moreover, small-business owners have said Obamacare is a deterrent to hiring. Take Scott Womack, the owner of 12 IHOP restaurants in Indiana and Ohio, as just one example. Before Obamacare became law, he had development plans in Ohio. Now, he’s worried he won’t be able to carry out his original plans unless Obamacare is repealed. Those restaurants he planned to open would provide jobs not only for his future employees, but also for everyone involved in the construction of the restaurant buildings themselves.
But … and you knew there was one, this threw a wrench into everyone’s works. Why? The Heritage Foundation points out 3 reasons businesses are discouraged from doing so by the law:
- Businesses with fewer than 50 workers have a strong incentive to maintain this size, which allows them to avoid the mandate to provide government-approved health coverage or face a penalty;
- Businesses with more than 50 workers will see their costs for health coverage rise—they must purchase more expensive government-approved insurance or pay a penalty; and
- Employers face considerable uncertainty about what constitutes qualifying health coverage and what it will cost. They also do not know what the health care market or their health care costs will look like in four years. This makes planning for the future difficult.
Korb provides the link between what that law is doing and the current debt and deficit talks going on in Congress:
The Heritage report recommends repeal — and comes as a welcome reminder that the health care law can’t be ignored as the president and Congress attempt to address the debt and deficit or as the nation attempts to right the still-struggling economy. Nor can it be ignored in the upcoming presidential election. Likely U.S. voters have said jobs and the economy are their No. 1 issue. That means the repeal of Obamacare should be a top priority, too.
Couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen any number of people saying “yeah, repeal it” but then asking “what are you going to replace it with”?
Uh, personal responsibility? How about we try that for a change? It is each citizen’s job to care for themselves and do (and pay for) those things necessary to see that they aren’t a burden on the rest of the citizenry.
What a concept, huh?
The Republican controlled House kept its promise and repealed ObamaCare with a large majority. As I’ve said in the past, symbolic or not, these types of votes must be made. Republicans must raise the issue in the House, vote on it and make the Democratic controlled Senate kill it or, if it happens to somehow slip through the Senate, make Obama veto it. Again, it’s about the record – and for once in his life, Obama is actually going to have to run on one in 2012.
That said, it was incredible to listen to Democrats attempt to justify Obamacare yesterday. They are our lawmakers. Yet it became apparent yesterday, at least listening to a few of them, that they simply don’t know their business or what they’re talking about.
Take Shelia Jackson Lee for instance:
"Frankly, I would just say to you, this is about saving lives. Jobs are very important; we created jobs," Jackson Lee said. "But even the title of their legislation, H.R. 2, ‘job-killing’ — this is killing Americans if we take this away, if we repeal this bill."
So, Republicans are "killing Americans" with repeal. There’s that civil discourse right when it is necessary, no?
But that wasn’t the worst of her mutterings:
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, said on Tuesday afternoon that repealing the national health care law would violate the Constitution.
Arguing that the Commerce Clause provides the constitutional basis for ObamaCare, Jackson Lee said repealing the law by passing Republicans’ H.R. 2 violates both the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Say what? Frankly, anyone with a elementary school civics class under their belt could see thorough this convoluted and daft bit of nonsense. The ignorance in that “argument” (not to mention the logic) is appalling. But it seemed to be a sort of desperation talking point that some Democrats adopted as their “defense” of the law. John Lewis also invoked the 14th Amendment as a reason for keeping ObamaCare – oh, and the Declaration of Independence thinking he was quoting the preamble to the Constitution:
“Well, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness," said Lewis. "You go to the 14th Amendment–it’s equal protection under the law and we have not repealed the 14th Amendment. People have a right to have health care. It’s not a privilege but a right."
Of course it’s not the Preamble to the Constitution that talks about the “pursuit of happiness” at all, it’s the Declaration of Independence. You’d think a lawmaker would know that. But then you’d also think he’d know what constitutes a “right” and what doesn’t wouldn’t you? Obviously though, that’s hoping for too much.
Some Democrats insisted on civil discourse to broadcast their unhappiness with the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare. Like Rep. Steve Cohen:
“They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels," Cohen said. "You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing. “
“The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it–believed it and you have the Holocaust. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care. Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover,"
Yup … Democrats can jam something through that the American people were clear they didn’t want using every Parliamentary trick in the book, but when the GOP steps up to repeal it, they’re Nazis. Nice Steve – really nice. You sound like Alan Grayson.
Speaking of Alan Grayson, he’s still puking up nonsense. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that the “blame Sarah Palin for Tucson” narrative is a big FAIL. You remember Mr. Civil Discourse, don’t you? The guy who said “"If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly?" Yeah, him:
"As I observed on MSNBC last week, there has been a stream of violence and threats of violence by the right wing against Democrats," Grayson wrote in the email. "Gabby warned against it, and then became a terrible victim of it. Palin has instigated it, and then tried to pretend that it doesn’t exist,” he wrote."
And as most of us observed while you were in Congress, to include the voters in your former district, you’re a loon, Mr. Grayson. However he’s a loon who somehow found his way to Congress for a while. Says something about our low standards, doesn’t it? And it also points to how seriously Democrats are about embracing “civil discourse”, wouldn’t you say?
I think it should be obvious – even to Sen. McCain – that DADT is going to be repealed at some point whether anyone likes it or not. That repeal can be a purposeful one, implemented in a way in which the military can decide on a timeline and methodology by which to do so, or it can be by a court order that will end it immediately and not allow the military any control of the transition.
The Pentagon’s DADT study was recently published and it essentially concluded that most troops really don’t care about gays serving openly. That sentiment mirrors what most of the country feels as well. The Pentagon report concluded that the threat to the force of repeal is “low”.
As I’ve said for years, when the dominant culture concludes sexual orientation isn’t relevant to job performance, that would eventually filter into the military. If the Pentagon’s study is to be believed, that’s happened.
I’m reminded of one NCO who essentially boiled down the issue in a way that best reflects my feelings. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that in the military there are two types of soldiers – those that are squared away and those that are dirt bags. If a soldier is squared away he wants him, and he doesn’t really give a rip what his sexual orientation might be. If he’s a dirt bag he wants him gone, and again that means straight or gay.
The top leadership in the military seems prepared to make the change. The majority of the military, as reflected in the study’s numbers, seem prepared to make the change. The experience of other nations, to include Israel, seem to indicate little risk in its implementation.
One of the things both sides have trotted out at various times in an effort to score political points when considering military issues is we should “listen to the generals”. In this case I think that’s exactly right. Repeal it and let them implement what is necessary to make the transition as painless as possible. Refusing to do so leaves only the courts as an alternative. And the courts aren’t going to give a rip about “transitions” or “time lines”, etc. They’re going to order it stopped now.
John McCain said he was “open” to abiding by what the Pentagon study concluded. That was apparently when he believed it would conclude something completely different than it did. As far as I’m concerned, we’re making official something that has been the military’s dirty little secret for centuries. That is we who have held command in the military have always pretty much done precisely what the NCO I paraphrased above said. If you’ve been in the military for anytime at all, you’ve been in units in which gay soldiers served. You knew it. Everyone else knew it. They knew you knew. But as long as they showed up every day, in proper uniform, did their job to the utmost of their ability – i.e. “soldiered” – no one cared.
That should be the only standard by which we judge our soldiers, and we should make it the sole standard as soon as possible.
Principles begin to yield to politics and Republicans begin to waffle and second guess themselves:
Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that’s roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s new health care law.
It’s fine to criticize the health law and the way Democrats pushed it through Congress without a single GOP vote, these party leaders say. But focusing on its outright repeal carries two big risks.
Repeal is politically and legally unlikely, and grass-roots activists may feel disillusioned by a failed crusade. More important, say strategists from both parties, a fiercely repeal-the-bill stance might prove far less popular in a general election than in a conservative-dominated GOP primary, especially in states such as Illinois and California.
So the party that has unceasingly told us how bad this bill is (and rightfully so), cast no votes in its favor (rightfully so), make the case that it will add trillions to our deficit and our debt (rightfully so) and therefore should be repealed (rightfully so) are now getting cold feet.
Wow. What a freakin’ surprise. And they wonder why they can’t generate any sustainable grassroots excitement about their party. Politics ain’t bean bag, Republicans and it rewards those who take risks. You either stand for something or you don’t. 7 months, the winning issue handed to them on a silver platter (it’s about the size, scope and cost of government you idiots) and these dopes begin to waffle. Amazing. Not surprising given their record and their seeming desire to be the permanent minority, but amazing that they can’t seem to figure it out none-the-less.