While I took issue with John McCain’s refusal to do anything about defunding ObamaCare, my issue was with the refusal more than anything. McCain had no alternative. He just refused to do anything.
There is an alternative however. And Daniel Henninger, in today’s Wall Street Journal, articulates it:
As its Oct. 1 implementation date arrives, ObamaCare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its foundational beliefs. This thing called “ObamaCare” carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state. The chance is at hand to let its political underpinnings collapse, perhaps permanently.
If ObamaCare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people. It will finally be vulnerable to challenge and fundamental change. But no mere congressional vote can achieve that. Only the American people can kill ObamaCare.
No matter what Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies do, ObamaCare won’t die. It would return another day in some other incarnation. The Democrats would argue, rightly, that the ideas inside ObamaCare weren’t defeated. What the Democrats would lose is a vote in Congress, nothing more.
He’s right. Defunding it simply leaves the question “would it have worked if you inbred Republicans hadn’t stopped it? All indications are this abomination will collapse under it’s own fetid weight. Why? Because, as I said, it’s an abomination.
Consider this from Megan McArdle:
During the design and passage of the Affordable Care Act, its architects and supporters described a fantastic new system for buying insurance. You would go onto a website and enter some simple information about yourself. The computer system would fetch data about you from various places — it would verify income with the Internal Revenue Service, check with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that you were a citizen or legal resident, and tap a database of employer coverage to make sure that you were not already being offered affordable coverage (defined as 9.5 percent of your income or less) by your employer. Provided you passed all those tests, it would calculate what subsidies you were eligible for, and then apply that discount automatically to the hundreds of possible policies being offered on the exchange. You would see the neatly listed prices and choose one, buying it as easily as you buy an airline ticket on Travelocity.
Before I went to business school, I used to work in an IT consultancy, and setting up this system sounded like an enormous job to me — a five- to eight-year job, given government procurement rules, not a three-year rush special. But Obamacare’s stewards seemed very confident, so I assumed that they must have it covered.
As time wore on, the administration has steadily stripped major components out of the exchanges and the data hub behind them as it became clear that they couldn’t possibly make the Oct. 1 deadline when all of this was supposed to be ready. The employer mandate was delayed, and then it was announced that at least some of the exchanges would be relying on self-reporting of income, rather than verifying with the IRS. . . .
How did we get to this point? The exchanges were the core selling point of Obamacare. (The Medicaid expansion was actually a bigger part of the coverage expansion, at least until the Supreme Court ruled that the administration couldn’t force states to take part, but it tended to be downplayed, because no one’s exactly a huge fan of Medicaid.) They were going to introduce competition to a fragmented and distorted marketplace, and make it easy for middle-class people to buy affordable coverage from a bevy of insurers. How can it be that one week before the deadline for opening, no one’s really sure the exchanges are going to work?
No exchanges, no ObamaCare.
Oh, and be amazed by the usual government planning:
I work for one of the largest Telecom providers in the country. I’m an engineer who designs dedicated data links (DS3s, OC3s, etc…) for major companies across the US.
For background, some of these circuits can be put up fairly quickly, but not the ones that I work on. The ones I design can take up to 90 business days to install.
Anyways, a few weeks ago, we got deluged with orders for circuits that needed to be installed by October 1st. These were circuits to support Obamacare.
Needless to say, they aren’t going to make that deadline. Some of the circuits are being held up due to construction builds that won’t be complete until the end of November. The others won’t make the deadline due to the complexity and the number of various companies involved.
Yes, these are the same people you handed your health care too.
Soooo … what will the administration do? Well, delay it of course. But again I point you to McArdle’s point. We’re not simply talking about a simple IT project here. It may never work.
Henninger’s point is very valid. So I officially sanction Dale’s point of view in this case and say “let ‘em have it (good and hard)”. Let them have the bureaucracy, frustration, increased cost and incompetence that has been the hallmark of the Democrats and this administration. Then:
An established political idea is like a vampire. Facts, opinions, votes, garlic: Nothing can make it die.
But there is one thing that can kill an established political idea. It will die if the public that embraced it abandons it.
Six months ago, that didn’t seem likely. Now it does.
The public’s dislike of ObamaCare isn’t growing with every new poll for reasons of philosophical attachment to notions of liberty and choice. Fear of ObamaCare is growing because a cascade of news suggests that ObamaCare is an impending catastrophe.
And catastrophe it is. Let is burn. Let it crash, burn and kill this nonsense once and for all.
It is your wallet which is going to need “conditioning” for this “improved” health care system:
Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.
Of course you’ve seen the lies smoke that HHS has been putting out about how cost will be down, right? By 16%. But they never really tell you down from what, do they?
“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.
That’s right, they’ve apparently learned from Congress about “spending cuts”. You know, when they spend less than they projected they’d spend but more than they did last year? Yeah, “spending cuts”.
Instead, the travesty that is called ObamaCare will be adding on to everyone’s bill (to include those getting a subsidy). Those below 40 get hammered. And those at 40? Not so good either:
The cheapest exchange plan for the average enrollee, compared to what a 40-year-old would pay today, will cost an average of 99 percent more for men, and 62 percent for women.
For this cohort, men fared worst in North Carolina, with rate increases of 305 percent. Women got hammered in Nebraska, where rates will increase by a national high of 237 percent. Again, Colorado and New Hampshire fared best, with 17 percent and 5-8 percent declines, respectively.
Remember that here, we aren’t conducting an exact comparison. Instead we’re comparing the lowest-cost bronze plan offered to the average participant in the exchanges, to the cheapest plan offered to 40-year-olds today. This approach artificially flatters Obamacare, because the median age of an exchange participant is, in most states, below the age of 40.
I’ve always wondered how making everyone get insurance, subsidizing those who can’t “afford” it, and adding layer upon layer of bureaucracy could make health care “more affordable”. Common sense tells you it won’t.
Common sense is right.
File this under "Cry Me A River". Union bigwigs James Hoffa, Joseph Hansen, and Donald "D" Taylor have written a strongly worded note to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi begging them to reform the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—that the unions so strongly supported.
When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.
Yes. It will. Many of us said it would. Repeatedly. But the Unions were big-time supporters of it. Now they are whining about the very things we predicted before the law was passed.
We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.
Now this vision has come back to haunt us.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Woo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Ah, Whew! Huh. Oh. Ho. Ho ho. Ho ho ho ho. Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
(Rubbing my thumb against my fingertips.) You know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest string quartet playing "My heart cries for you", you dolts. You poltroons. You microcephalic dunces.
You guys are so stupid, I honestly don’t know why you don’t just fall down more.
On behalf of the millions of working men and women we represent and the families they support, we can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.
We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as you and the President pledged.
Good luck with that, Stupids. You wanted Obamacare. You campaigned for it. So, you deserve to get it. Good and hard.
I hope your members thank you for selling them down the river with your support of Obamacare by dragging you naked and screaming out of your offices for a good tar and feathering. I’ve never wanted to see some union thuggery more in my life than I do right now, directed at you.
I now truly understand the German concept of schedenfreude. Indeed, I embrace it.
Among all the distractions, scandals and foreign policy failures, we’ve sort of lost track on how the economy is going. And that’s one small favor I assume the administration is happy about.
Behind Wal-Mart, the second-largest employer in America is Kelly Services, a temporary work provider.
Friday’s disappointing jobs report showed that part-time jobs are at anall-time high, with 28 million Americans now working part-time. The report also showed another disturbing fact: There are now a record number of Americans with temporary jobs.
Approximately 2.7 million, in fact. And the trend has been growing.
The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.
That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of private sector workers in the U.S.
Oh happy day. We now have more people receiving food assistance than are working (other than regulations, what do government workers contribute to the economy?). That’s obviously something that can’t continue, can it? Reminds one of Social Security, which is approaching the same problem. Not enough workers to support those drawing SS.
So who is going to pay for all this? Those temp workers?
But not to worry, we have ObamaCare on the horizon which will mean “less costly” health care, right? And there are stringent checks to ensure that only those eligible for “government funded subsidies”, aka taxpayer funded, will get them:
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Obama Administration will get rid of verification requirements in ObamaCare to determine whether or not applicants are eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to purchase health insurance coverage from the state exchanges.
“The Obama administration announced Friday that it would significantly scale back the health law’s requirements that new insurance marketplaces verify consumers’ income and health insurance status,” wrote Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar at the Washington Post. “Instead, the federal government will rely more heavily on consumers’ self-reported information until 2015, when it plans to have stronger verification systems in place.”
Wait, what? 2015 … maybe? In the meantime, free-for-all, just apply and you’ll get it, because, you know, there’s no such thing as fraud (*cough* 60 billion in Medicare each year *cough*). And besides, all those young folks who don’t want or need health insurance will be picking up the tab anyway.
Niall Ferguson has a piece in the Wall Street Journal which talks about the growth of regulation within the nation. He starts with a quote from de Tocqueville in which de Tocqueville marvels at how Americans manage to self-regulate through associations. He then notes that de Tocqueville wouldn’t recognize the US if he were to suddenly come back. It looks too much like Europe.
Regulation has crept in to help smother us all the while the culture has changed to where Americans seem to no longer look to each other to solve problems, but instead look to government.
Regulations are simply a symptom of this business and autonomy killing movement. And their growth track pretty well with our demise:
As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Clyde Wayne Crews shows in his invaluable annual survey of the federal regulatory state, we have become the regulation nation almost imperceptibly. Excluding blank pages, the 2012 Federal Register—the official directory of regulation—today runs to 78,961 pages. Back in 1986 it was 44,812 pages. In 1936 it was just 2,620.
True, our economy today is much larger than it was in 1936—around 12 times larger, allowing for inflation. But the Federal Register has grown by a factor of 30 in the same period.
The last time regulation was cut was under Ronald Reagan, when the number of pages in the Federal Register fell by 31%. Surprise: Real GDP grew by 30% in that same period. But Leviathan’s diet lasted just eight years. Since 1993, 81,883 new rules have been issued. In the past 10 years, the “final rules” issued by our 63 federal departments, agencies and commissions have outnumbered laws passed by Congress 223 to 1.
Right now there are 4,062 new regulations at various stages of implementation, of which 224 are deemed “economically significant,” i.e., their economic impact will exceed $100 million.
The cost of all this, Mr. Crews estimates, is $1.8 trillion annually—that’s on top of the federal government’s $3.5 trillion in outlays, so it is equivalent to an invisible 65% surcharge on your federal taxes, or nearly 12% of GDP. Especially invidious is the fact that the costs of regulation for small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees) are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms.
Got that? 224 new regulations which will have an economic impact that will “exceed $100 million” dollars. Negatively of course. That was the purpose of having regulations rated like that – to understand the probable negative economic impact. And we have 224 in the hopper, in a very down economy, which will exceed the negative $100 million dollar mark. What are those people thinking? Or are they? Indications are they give it no thought when these new regulations are proffered. They just note the cost and move on. No skin of their rear ends.
And if you think that’s bad, just wait:
Next year’s big treat will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something every small business in the country must be looking forward to with eager anticipation. Then, as Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) warned readers on this page 10 months ago, there’s also the Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule, which will increase the cost of retirement planning for middle-class workers; the EPA’s new Ozone Rule, which will impose up to $90 billion in yearly costs on American manufacturers; and the Department of Transportation’s Rear-View Camera Rule. That’s so you never have to turn your head around when backing up.
Yes, that’s right, they’re hardly done. In fact, they’re not even slowing down. The accumulation of power within the central government – the ability to intrude in almost every aspect of your life – is attempting to reach warp speed.
Finally, as if what I’ve noted isn’t enough, we have another costly travesty in the gestation stage, i.e. the “Gang of 8′s” immigration bill. From PowerLine:
The CBO confirms that the bill provides for a vast influx of new, legal immigration. The Senate Budget Committee says:
CBO projects 16 million new immigrants will be added by 2033 on top of the current law projected flow of 22 million and that 8 million illegal immigrants will be granted permanent status – for a total of 46 million legal immigrants, including a doubling of guest workers to 1.6 million in a single year.
Contrary to the claims of the bill’s sponsors, this influx will be overwhelmingly low-skilled. The CBO says:
[T]he new workers would be less skilled and have lower wages, on average, than the labor force under current law.
The result is that unemployment will increase, and wages will be driven down, for America’s existing blue collar work force:
Taking into account all of those flows of new immigrants, CBO and JCT expect that a greater number of immigrants with lower skills than with higher skills would be added to the workforce, slightly pushing down the average wage for the labor force as a whole… However, CBO and JCT expect that currently unauthorized workers who would obtain legal status under S. 744 would see an increase in their average wages.
Terrific: the only ones who would gain would be those who came here illegally, while native born workers would suffer. The CBO report continues:
[T]he average wage would be lower than under current law over the first dozen years. … CBO estimates that S. 744 would cause the unemployment rate to increase slightly between 2014 and 2020.
Ruinous? Along with everything else, pretty much.
To say America has lost it’s way is, well, an understatement. We aren’t close to being what was envisioned at our founding and we’re almost kissing cousins of that which our Founders attempted to keep us from becoming – today’s Europe.
Unfortunately, that ruinous drift and over reliance on government seems to be fine for all too many of those who call themselves Americans today.
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.
Well apparently the ultimate RINO is restless and looking for a nail on which he can use his legislative hammer.
John McCain is going to release a bill that would dismantle cable as it’s currently constructed, Brenden Sasso at The Hill reports.
The legislation would force cable companies and satellite TV providers to give consumers an option to pick and choose which channels they get. This is called “à la carte programming,” and it’s long been a dream of consumers who only want a handful of channels.
While I’d certainly be fine with a la carte programming, it is none of the government’s business. When someone finds a way to offer that, consumers will reward them.
Speaking of the government, you’d think another thing that they and McCain would be for would be a la carte health insurance. You know, a dream of health care consumers. Instead we get bundled health care with 300 things we don’t want but have to pay for because the government says so.
You’d think people like McCain, et al, would want to do something abou that wouldn’t you … instead of worrying about TV channels.
A couple of years ago my wife was told she needed a hip replacement. To say it shocked her would be an understatement. After finally accepting it, she got on Google. And she did research. She found there were two types of hip replacement surgeries – a posterior approach and an anterior approach. She also found out the difference was like night and day in terms of recovery.
The anterior approach is by far the superior. But, since it is a fairly new approach and requires a very expensive table, most doctors who do hip replacement surgery use the posterior approach. Unfortunately, in the Atlanta area there were only two groups who do the anterior approach and neither of them take our insurance. So she had a dilemma. She could get the hip replaced but she was stuck with the posterior approach which required the cutting through a number of muscles in the hip area.
However, we’re talking my wife, Ms. “Never say never”. She got on the phone with our insurance carrier and started pitching the anterior approach, telling them how superior it was to the other approach and how it would save them money, etc. Finally, the insurance provider told her to widen her search to a 100 mile radius and she found a doctor in Gainsville, GA, about 40 minutes from where we live who does the anterior approach. After consultation with him, she made her decision and surgery was today.
I’m amazed. She went into surgery at 7:30am, was out at 9, in her room at 12, and here’s the amazing part, walking down the hallway of the patient floor at 1pm. She made an entire circuit. Not only that, they took her by the physical therapy room and she went up and down stairs. With her new hip.
Phenomenal. She leaves tomorrow to go home. Had she had the other approach she’d be facing 2 weeks in a rehab hospital and months of rehab afterward.
Well, maybe not her, but you get the picture. She’s a trooper, but her experience isn’t at all uncommon with this approach. Hip surgery was a huge and painful ordeal that took you out of circulation for a while. With the anterior approach, it doesn’t have to be anymore. I don’t know if you or a loved one may have that in their future but if so, insist on finding a doctor that uses the anterior approach.
It is well worth the search.
I see some on the Left passing around this map showing that female mortality worsened in many counties between the early/mid-’90s and the early/mid-2000s. (Meanwhile, male mortality only worsened in 3.4% of counties.)
They noticed red states doing worse than blue states, and thought that this must, of course, be due to the Republican war on women™.
The mortality rate of females [worsening] in 43 percent of U.S. counties from 2002-2006 is eye-opening. This map from health researcher Bill Gardner helps you see where the worst results are typically coming from — red states and the redder parts of blue states.
It apparently did not occur to these partisans to control for a fairly simple, innocent phenomenon: old people just die more frequently than younger people.
- Rural areas are aging faster as they have fewer kids who stick around – and it’s mostly women left behind, since women have a longer life expectancy than men in the US. So the mortality rate of a county could go up even if people are as healthy for their age as ever.
- On the other hand, when you have an influx of young people (like in high-immigration counties), the mortality rate drops.
As evidence for this, look at the overlaps between the above map and two others:
More old people combined with fewer people in the prime of their health tends to mean a higher death rate, and vice versa. It’s not a perfect correlation, but at very least it’s something that should be taken into account before blaming policy for deaths.
It certainly seems like less of a stretch than trying to blame the trend in female mortality on suicides connected to expanded gun ownership:
[A]nother study suggests that red states’ high levels of gun ownership make them especially dangerous:
With few exceptions, states with the highest rates of gun ownership — for example, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alabama, and West Virginia — also tended to have the highest suicide rates.
How big of a stretch is this as a contributor to female mortality? Two little hints:
- suicide is not even close to a leading cause of death among women
- men commit suicide almost four times as often as women in the US, and seven times as often with guns, yet male mortality dropped in almost all counties even as gun ownership expanded
And then there’s this bold prediction:
With red states rushing to turn down the Medicaid expansion, these results will likely only get worse.
That’s not outlandish as guesses go, since women consume two thirds of medical care in this country, but there’s not an obvious nationwide relationship between Medicaid dependence and changes in women’s mortality (though controlling for ethnicity might be a start):
Blaming the party elected by older people for higher mortality in the areas they govern is like blaming Democrats for young urbanites being more prone to violent crime than old rural farmers. If you’re not controlling for other causes, you’re just trolling for partisan causes.
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.