Roll Tide

One might be forgiven for thinking health insurers are cracking under the strain of Obamacare’s broken insurance exchanges. But don’t be fooled: it is the 10 million Obamacare enrollees who are in trouble, not the insurers.

To be sure, new nonprofit cooperative insurers, set up with special subsidies to compete in the exchanges, have had a terrible run. They deliberately underpriced their premiums to gain market share, expecting the federal government to bail out their losses. Once the Republicans took over the House of Representatives, then the Senate, this became unlikely. As a result, the administration announced in November that 12 of 23 nonprofit cooperative insurers were shutting down.

However, these nonprofit cooperative insurers, which did not exist before Obamacare, are not important overall. That is why UnitedHealth Group’s November 19 announcement that it is losing $500 million on the Obamacare exchanges and might withdraw from Obamacare in 2017 is a big deal. Just a few weeks earlier, UnitedHealth Group had announced it would expand into 11 new states’ Obamacare markets.

The insurer is also dialing back advertising and brokers’ commissions for 2016, even though it is too late to withdraw from the market literally. (We are in the middle of Obamacare’s third open season.) However, it is the threat of absolute withdrawal in 2017 that has shocked many. By 2017, the fourth year of Obamacare, the market is supposed to have shaken out. Both insurers and Obamacare’s political sponsors understood that insurers would not know how expensive claims would be from those who signed up during the first three years. That is why insurers were given temporary taxpayer subsidies, called reinsurance and risk corridors, for 2014 through 2016. Reinsurance is a direct handout of $25 billion from taxpayers to insurers. Risk corridors were more complicated and supposed to be budget-neutral. Insurers that made more money than expected would pay money to those that lost more money than expected.

 

When it became clear that the losers far outnumbered the winners, the administration tried to raid the kitty to make risk-corridor payments from the general fund. By this time a new Congress (in which the majority opposed Obamacare) actually read the bill that its predecessor had passed in 2010 and pointed out that the administration could not pay out that money. As a result, Obamacare insurers will only receive $362 million of $2.9 billion of risk-corridor payments requested.

However, even if Congress did cave in and pay the risk corridors in full, payments would finish in 2016. That is what makes UnitedHealth Group’s announcement about dropping out in 2017 so important: it is effectively an admission that three years are not enough to learn how to manage risks in Obamacare’s exchanges. Indeed, it suggests that risks are unmanageable, that the vicious circle of increasing premiums’ driving healthy subscribers away and leaving only sick ones on the books cannot be stopped under Obamacare.

The exchanges have fewer victims than initially expected. The economy has been strong enough that employer-based coverage has stood up to Obamacare. As a result, only 10 million people are caught in them, instead of the 21 million forecast when the law was passed. However, this is a mixed blessing. These 10 million are a politically weak constituency of working-class and lower middle-class citizens in middle age — the people whose needs politicians always talk about but seldom address because they are not politically active.

The only group politically powerful enough to renegotiate the exchanges are the insurers, and they show no more creativity than to lobby for their subsidies to be restored, which this Congress has promised not to do. On the other hand, simply quitting the exchanges is not very painful for large health insurers. UnitedHealth Group’s stock took a small hit when it admitted its struggles, but Obamacare exchanges are a tiny share of its business. As more insurers make the same decision to quit, 10 million Obamacare subscribers will be left high and dry in short order. (DC)

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Bailout Time For Baby

The Greatest Socialist Baby, ObamaCare, needs a bailout diaper change because it’s overwhelming success in creating “better” and “more” Health Care for everyone has got some ‘wastage’ (aka poop) 🙂

When Obamacare was rammed through Congress without a single Republican vote way back in 2010, conservatives warned that the massive government program would ultimately require bailing out health insurance companies that gladly signed on.

Fast forward five years and it’s that time. Today on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are being pressured by the White House to provide money, or a bailout, to insurance companies losing money due to running government Obamacare exchanges. From The Hill

Republicans and Democrats are close to agreeing on delaying two major taxes, the “Cadillac tax” on high-benefit plans and the medical device tax.

But those proposals have run into opposition from the White House, which wants language fixing ObamaCare’s so-called risk corridors — a program intended to help insurance companies that take a financial hit by participating in government-run health exchanges.

That program is nearly out of money because of a policy rider sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on a year-end spending bill in 2014 that bars the Department of Health and Human Services from tapping into other accounts to fund it.

Rubio’s role has injected presidential politics into the debate, making it all but impossible for GOP leaders to agree to the White House’s demands.  

The talks appeared to hit a wall Monday when Republicans ruled out fixing the risk corridors, which they panned as a “bailout for insurance companies.”

“This is not on the table. Risk corridors is fully off the table,” said a Senate Republican leadership aide.

Despite the disagreement, Republicans are feeling optimistic they can get the healthcare pieces worked out.

Repealing the Cadillac tax, which hits the health plans of union members especially hard, is a priority of Reid’s and many Democrats.

But that was the “soak the rich” component of ObamaCare because only “rich”, well to do, greedy, people had those plans they said.They kneww they were lying but they didn’t care. The Agenda Uber Alles. It was a funding mechanism they used to sell the CBO (and thus con everyone else) on the BS that is ObamaCare.

My Blog Nearly 6 years ago (January 8th, 2010):

Those who think they’ll be exempt from the tax because their health care insurance isn’t one that Obama would define as a “super, gold-plated Cadillac” plan are kidding themselves. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the Congressional Budget Office under George W. Bush, says 95% of Americans who are covered by plans that fit into the Cadillac category make less than $250,000 a year.

Even groups on the left get it. As Jim Kessler, vice president for policy for the progressive Third Way think tank, puts it: “A lot of those folks that have Cadillac plans have Chevy wages.”

Also don’t believe the claim that the tax will be on the insurance companies only. Sure, insurers will write the checks to Washington. But they’ll forward their costs to the customers, adding to a tax burden that’s already too punitive — and going to get worse.

“Passing the tax on to workers would result in an effective tax rate that is even higher than the specified 40%,” Curtis S. Dubay wrote in October in a Heritage Foundation WebMemo. “When the insurance companies embed the cost of the excise tax in premiums, the prices of plans will rise. A higher price means the excise tax would be higher, too.”

This would happen when the tax on a $10,000 individual plan adds $600 (40% of the $1,500 beyond the $8,500 threshold) to the cost, leaving a new premium of $10,600. The new cost will then be subject to the tax, boosting the premium another $840 (40% of the $2,100 over the $8,500 threshold). By now, that $10,000 plan is costing $11,440 a year.

“This cascading effect,” explains Dubay, “could raise the effective rate for the excise tax to 67% according to one estimate — considerably higher than the 40% specified in the bill.”

The problems don’t stop there. The growing premiums will drive many private employers that provide coverage for their workers to downgrade to cheaper insurance plans, which defeats the effort to improve health care.

A Liberal Democrat “soak the rich” scheme that blows up in their face and does the exact opposite. Nah, that never happened before…

See Alternative Minimum Tax 🙂

history2

The good news is, it looks like the Obamacare Cadillac tax will be repealed and insurance companies will have to take the hit they signed up for when they agreed to Obamacare years ago.

I’ll leave you with this, which explains why Democrats and Republicans are on board with repealing the Cadillac Tax.

They knew this 6 years ago, but THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA, after all. 🙂

Most Americans don’t know what their insurance plans are worth. They’re happy to let their employers pay the premiums for them and believe that the money isn’t coming out of their pockets.

Very true.

Very Very true.

I heard a woman say, “Well, I just got out of the hospital. It cost $150,000. And I paid nothing. It was wonderful”

She was complaining about a $42 State Mandated charge in her car insurance. Because “I’m poor you know”. “I’m on a fixed income” (aka I relied on Social Security to pay for my glorious retirement).

And now 6 years later with the economy in the crapper because of Liberals they do it EVEN MORE now than they use.

People may not know the value of ANY insurance, but politicians know the value of politics. 🙂

“These are plans,” says the St. Pete newspaper, “that generally have very low co-pays and lots of extras.”

Sound familiar? Then either be prepared to pay more, or be stuck with a brass-plated, Yugo plan that’s more affordable. And while learning to settle for less, don’t forget: This grand reform effort coming out of Washington is supposed to improve our health care.(IBD and my Blog- January 2010).

It’s Bailout time, and you get stuck with Government “improved” Health Care and The Check.

Congrats. It’s a Whopper (from your own Burger KING). 🙂

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Terror Speech, Rick McKee,The Augusta Chronicle,Obama, ISIS, terrorism, terror, San Bernardino

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 

 

United We Fall

A “Healthcare Workers for Obamacare” sign hangs torn in a parking lot in New York on Oct. 31, 2012.  AP

President Obama repeatedly promised that his signature health law, the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, would reduce insurance premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.

ObamaCare: United Healthcare’s surprise warning that it may scrap participation in federal health care exchanges is more than bad news for consumer choice. It’s a broader sign of an unsustainable system.

The nation’s largest health insurance provider surprised the markets Thursday by saying losses from its 550,000 individual ObamaCare exchange enrollments were sharply cutting its bottom line. That’s notable because ObamaCare exchange participation only forms a small slice of the $105 billion company by market capitalization.

Yet it was enough to make the giant company and all the value it creates throughout its many operations suffer enough to trigger, as IBD market reporter Jed Graham wrote, “a surge of red ink.”

The company forecast $425 million less revenue in the fourth quarter and cut its full-year 2015 earnings-per-share forecast to $6 from $6.25-$6.35.

Not surprisingly, its stock fell 5.6% by the close of trading Thursday, and other health care and hospital companies such as Aetna, Anthem, Tenet, Cigna, Humana and HCA took similar hits.

“We see no data pointing to improvement,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Helmsley said on a conference call. Patients, he explained, were using their plans more than the company had anticipated and, worse still, were dropping coverage when they got well.

Bad as that is for company profits, it’s a predictable outcome given the structure of the law and what it permits.

What Helmsley described was a company caught up in the classic “death spiral” that IBD and reputable economists have been warning about: Insurance policy sales going in the main to the sickest patients who use the most health care services, while the high prices of the larded-up government-mandated packages continue to drive off younger, healthier consumers.

DOH!  It’s not like it was predictable or anything… 🙂

In short, the ObamaCare master plan of having young and healthy consumers subsidize the oldest, sickest patients isn’t working as the White House’s central planners and self-proclaimed experts claimed.

<<chuckle>>

Not that the ideologically rigid Obama and The Democrats will care. They will continue to hammer on it until you give in to government control of who lives and who dies and the Insurance companies go bankrupt leaving only the government left.

That’s Democrat “compassion” for ya… 🙂

What’s striking here is that UnitedHealth is no tiny startup ship with a narrow margin of error riding the big ObamaCare regulatory waves. It’s the biggest of the big, a conglomerate that’s the product of the consolidation of the industry — Anthem and Cigna, UnitedHealth and HCA, HCA and private investors — that was supposed to enable the sector to absorb the blow of higher costs of insuring more customers and still continue to do well.

That’s not happening.

What’s more, UnitedHealth was in the ObamaCare exchanges for only a year, during a window of time when the government was supposed to cushion insurers against losses in the ObamaCare transition. The cushion ends next year, leaving companies on their own.

(Insert “Jaws” theme music here) 🙂

Will smaller health care companies really be able to make a profit in an atmosphere that even UnitedHealth found impossible to sustain a profit in? There’s plenty of reason to wonder, as the markets did Thursday. (IBD)

“We cannot sustain these losses,” CEO Stephen Hemsley said in an investor call Thursday morning. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”

Several nonprofit insurance cooperatives that were supposed to compete for customers on the exchanges have folded. Meanwhile, some big publicly traded insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana, say they are enrolling fewer people than expected or even losing money.

A recent report by McKinsey & Co. found that the industry lost a total of $2.5 billion, or $163 per customer, in the individual market.

Insurance companies have had trouble attracting healthy customers to the exchanges to purchase their insurance products, many of which have deductibles of thousands of dollars.

The industry’s troubles are reflected in the insurance products being offered on the exchanges during the current enrollment period, reports The Wall Street Journal:

“For these plans, which will take effect in 2016, many insurers have raised premiums in order to cover the medical costs of enrollees, which have run higher than many companies originally projected, fueling this year’s losses. Insurers have also shifted to offering more limited choices of health-care providers”

Still, no other big insurer has signaled its intention to leave the exchanges. (NPR)

YET. But it will come. But don’t worry Obama and The Democrats are from the Government and they are here to help you! 🙂

The average premium for medium-benefit plans offered to 40-year-old non-smokers will rise 10.1% in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

The Frying Pan

It turns out that expansion of Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans increases rather than decreases visits to hospital emergency rooms.

According to just-released results of a new study published in the journal Science based on 10,000 low-income residents in Oregon newly covered by Medicaid, emergency room visits were 40 percent higher than those with no insurance at all.

It was supposed to be the opposite. Supposedly, a big driver of our high expenditures in health care has been due to those without insurance going to emergency rooms.

So get more of these folks covered with government health insurance, they stop going to the emergency room, and we all save money. Right? Wrong.

According to this study, increased ER visits as result of expanded Medicaid coverage increased spending by $120 per covered individual.

Several factors could be at work here.

One is that it has been widely reported that physicians in private practice avoid Medicaid patients because of low reimbursement rates. So being covered by Medicaid does not necessarily increase the chances of getting personal care in a private office.

Another factor is appreciation that behavior is driven by cultural experience. Anyone who understands the culture of low-income America knows that these are not communities where health care is associated with private physician visits. It is associated with emergency rooms and hospitals.

It may well be that as more lower-income individuals get under the Medicaid umbrella, they simply feel even more comfortable doing what they always have done — going to the emergency room.

If the results of this study provide a reliable snapshot of reality, we now face another huge and costly error in the assumptions that built and brought us Obamacare.

I guess we had to pass it to find out what was in it! 🙂  SURPRISE!!!

Those who created this law decided on a “fix” for the uninsured who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but who are too costly to subsidize for private insurance purchased through exchanges. The brilliant decision was to expand qualifications for Medicaid up to those earning 138 percent above the poverty line.

In order to bribe states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover these individuals, the federal government (translation: us taxpayers) will cover 100 percent of the costs of expansion for three years, and then 90 percent thereafter.

Twenty-five states plus the District of Columbia have agreed to take the bribe.

So far, providing “free” government health care through Medicaid has been attracting far more new enrollees than individuals signing up on the exchanges. Estimates show there are almost 2 million new enrollees through the exchanges and about 4 million new enrollees into Medicaid.

The Congressional Budget Office projects the number of enrollees in Medicaid to reach 91 million by 2023. And CBO projects annual growth in expenditures on Medicaid to be 8 percent per year, or more than double the expected growth rate of the American economy.

The bottom line is Medicaid is becoming a back door to get an increasingly large percentage of the American population on a single-payer government health care system and an increasingly large percentage of the American population on welfare.

TA DA!  Gee, that was unexpected. Since it was the goal all along… 🙂

Given the results of this new study, in all likelihood, the cost of all this in dollars is grossly underestimated.

And given my experience studying welfare for 25 plus years, both initially as a recipient of it, and then as a critic of it, the human costs of all this are also grossly underestimated.

Less government would open the door to creative ways to deliver more and better health care geared to the needs of different individuals. Vouchers for low-income earners solves the problem for these folks to buy insurance.

Yes, but ever heard of a Liberal in favor or less government?

Ever heard of  government cuts that are real cuts?

Once you give the drug addicts the extra high, they want to keep it!

But if what we want is bigger government and more Americans addicted to it, with growing waste, deficits and debt, we’re on the right track. (Washington Examiner)

The Obama Master Plan is working. Congrats, Comrade Citizen.

And when the economy can’t handle it and the whole thing needs a bailout or go bust, Government will be right there to save you.

From the Frying Pan into the Fires of Hell.

But you’ll like it there, they have a government program to help with the searing heat and the eternal flames of damnation…It’s called EVEN MORE GOVERNMENT!!! 🙂

 

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

 

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 

You’ve Been Warned…

A ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ introduced in Congress last week would require employers to show pay disparity is related to job-performance and prohibit employer retaliation for sharing salary information with coworkers.

Currently, the law allows employers to sue or otherwise punish employees for sharing their salary information and women still make just 77 cents on their male counterpart’s dollar, according to Sen. Mikulski’s office.

So expect massive “workers” lawsuits to force a quota for “fairness” and “equality” if this passes.

In other words, Government will be looking over your shoulder every time you hire a man or a woman and you’d be nice or The Grinch (NOW,etc) will come get you.

This isn’t about Men, you know. They are just evil to begin with. So you better be hiring more Women and minorities than Men, especially White Men.

Racial quotas, sexual quotas, income quotas…Nope, no socialism or authoritarianism here…Government is you friend and you will bow down to us or else!

Mikulski and DeLauro said the Paycheck Fairness Act would also allow women to seek punitive damages for pay discrimination, establish a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills and require the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities. (This being the same Department that wanted Illegal Aliens to call them if their boss was being mean to them).

Like I said… 🙂

The unemployment rate is at 7.9 percent which is .01% higher than when Obama took office 4 years ago.

So, what does Obama do?

He disbands his “jobs council” that rarely met anyways.

Mission Accomplished.

The new Normal has been achieved and no one is really complaining about it.

**********************

The welcome materials the federal government directs new immigrants to read — which detail, among other facets of American life, how and where to get government benefits — are in the process of getting a bit of a makeover to increase accessibility for newcomers.

The WelcometoUSA.gov website, which bills itself as “the U.S. Government’s official web portal for new immigrants,” maintained by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will soon feature information about President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation, USCIS spokesman Chris Bentley told The Daily Caller

Not that they are worried about Legal Immigration all that much, But gotta show the drug benefits to the new addicts so they’ll vote for Democrats.

******************.

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

I’m sure everyone can afford that and that rate will never go up. 🙂

And if you smoke, add $5,000. More restrictions (for your own good) to come…

And absolutely no “Pathway” death Panels… 🙂

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

Now, that’s Freedom at it’s core. 🙂

The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a “penalty” (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a “tax”) of $2,400 in 2016.

For those wondering how clear the IRS’s clarifications of this new “penalty” rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:

“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.

“(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

“(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 – $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

“(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).” (CNS)

UNIONS

The following is hilarious since Unions were the #1 beneficiaries of ObamaCare Waivers…

Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.

In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans.

As financial reality sets in, and rather than figure out a way to pay for the bill they helped pass, unions are trying to see if Washington will bail them out.

Poor Babies. Slept with the Devil, campaign for him, Now they found he is a Devil and he stabbed them in the back and now they want him to kiss their butts!

They are his favourite Pets.

Typical Union.

“A handful of unions say they already have examined whether it makes sense to shift workers off their current plans and onto private coverage subsidized by the government. But dropping insurance altogether would undermine a central point of joining a union, labor leaders say,” the report adds.

No, really, union heads are acting like no one warned them that costs would go up.

“We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer for the Teamsters.

“I heard him say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’” said John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, the insurance plan for 260,000 union workers. “If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law.”

D’OH!

Why? Why? Why didn’t anyone tell these leaders about the costs associated with “Obamacare”?

“It seems someone finally noticed that mandating benefits and imposing regulations has a tendency to … increase costs,” Doug Bandow writes for the American Spectator. “Increases which workers are stuck paying. Who would have imagined such a result?  It’s not like anyone warned them, right?”

🙂

We are from the Government and we are here to Help you…..

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Bending the Curve

“The only thing we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.” – Barack Obama, October 2008

Eventually the “affordable” portion of the “Affordable Care Act” kicks in, right?

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” Thomas Sowell

The must-issue regulation built into ObamaCare increases costs for the insurers, who cannot draw all of the needed revenues from the high-risk pool, thanks to mandates on rates.  That means those costs have to get spread out to everyone in the pool.  This is nothing more than Risk Pool 101, a course that Congress flunked repeatedly in the ObamaCare debate because that wasn’t the point of the exercise to begin with.

As I have said before, to put it very simply, look up Adverse Selection and you’ll know why this was doomed to failure.

My Adverse Selection Blog

Insurance companies try to minimize the problem that only the people with big risks will buy their product, which is the problem of adverse selection, by trying to measure risk and to adjust prices they charge for this risk. Thus, life insurance companies require medical examinations and will refuse policies to people who have terminal illnesses, and automobile insurance companies charge much more to people with a conviction for drunk driving.

Or a Person who never had insurance get’s a terminal disease and gets insurance to pay for it and it costs  A LOT to the insurer then dies shortly thereafter.

If the insurer had known they’d have adversely selected to not insurer this too a high a risk person but if they can’t do that then You and I get higher premiums to pay for it!!

Ta da! 🙂

Moral Hazard: In insurance markets, moral hazard occurs when the behavior of the insured party changes in a way that raises costs for the insurer, since the insured party no longer bears the full costs of that behavior. Because individuals no longer bear the cost of medical services, they have an added incentive to ask for pricier and more elaborate medical service—which would otherwise not be necessary. In these instances, individuals have an incentive to over consume, simply because they no longer bear the full cost of medical services.

And does this all not sound like ObamaCare to you??

But ObamaCare was a political decision not an economic decision so that’s why the economics are bass-ackwards AGAIN.

Obama and The Democrats are masters of this. Pass a Political bill that sounds like economics but is purely an ideologically based bill meant to benefit THEM politically and nothing else.

In the meantime you, the moron ,I-don’t-wanna-know voter gets it in the shorts but you’re happy to be given yet another government approved enema!!

Case In Point….

The latest government report on national health spending provides more evidence that ObamaCare will act as poison to a health care system that was already on the mend.In 2011, the last year for which data are available, spending on health care climbed just 3.9% for the third year in a row.The press is dismissing it as the result of the recession, while the Obama administration claims ObamaCare deserves credit. Neither is true.

Health spending skyrocketed during previous economic slumps — it saw double digit increases during the deep, prolonged 1981-82 downturn, for example.

Plus, the spending trend had been falling for years before the last recession, dropping from 7% in 2004 to 4.7% in 2008. In any case, even after the recession ended in mid-2009, spending growth still slowed.

Insurance premiums showed the same trend. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, annual family premium increases fell from 9% in 2005 to 5.4% in 2007, and to 3% in 2010.

The health care market, it turns out, was already figuring out how to control costs long before ObamaCare. Witness the explosive growth in Health Savings Accounts.

These plans — which combine high-deductible insurance policies with a tax-free health spending account that rolls over at the end of the year — went from virtually nonexistent in 2005 to become the second most popular plan offered by employers, the Kaiser study found.

These plans hold down health spending by giving consumers a more direct financial stake in their own health care decisions.

The problem is that ObamaCare declares war on this cost control effort by capping deductibles at $2,000 and making it harder to offer health savings accounts. And ObamaCare’s ever increasing list of benefit mandates will drive up costs just as they have at the state level.

The “guaranteed issue” rule will force premiums still higher, which even ObamaCare fans now admit, and its huge subsidies will drive up taxpayer costs.

The result: Annual spending increases will shoot up to 7.4% in 2014, when ObamaCare fully kicks in, and will remain at or above 6% for the foreseeable future.

Insurance premiums are already spiking, up 9.5% in 2011 and 4.5% last year. And as we pointed out in this space yesterday, double-digit premium increases are now popping up all over the place.

Doctors take an oath to “first do no harm.” Too bad Obama didn’t adhere to that when he forced ObamaCare down the country’s throat.

But it’s the HOLY GRAIL of Authoritarian Liberalism!!

Getting to choose who lives and who dies. Getting to choose how you live. It was irresistible. They’d been slobber over the idea for 80 years.

Now they can decide when you are no longer of any use to the State. They can have the Food Police out there deciding that what you’re eating isn’t “healthy” enough for the State’s purposes. And they get to have the IRS to kick down your tax door if you don’t pony up!!

What’s not to like, if you’re a petty dictator and consider yourself so far above mortals in “enlightenment” and “compassion”??

After all, if you disapprove you must be and evil, mean, poor-hating “granny-off-the-cliff” arsehole! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Liberal Goebbels Constitution

Political Cartoon

The hysterical Left has hit a new low of silliness. And you thought that was impossible. 🙂

ObamaCare is now not only a “Civil Right” it is also “Unconstitutional” and will kill people if we repeal it!

OH NO!! THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!!

Yes, really!

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX): 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.

“The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process,” she said in a speech on the House floor moments ago. “That is what H.R. 2 does and I rise in opposition to it. And I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured.”

“Can you tell me what’s more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?”

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn called health-care reform “the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century”

So it’s a Civil Right now!! And we all know what taking away civil rights means?

YOU’RE A RACIST!! 🙂

You are guaranteed the right to have the government Mandate you must  buy Health Insurance or you will be fined by the IRS!!

Congratulations!

It’s a Civil Right for the Government to decide who lives and who dies! And whether your life is of sufficient “benefit” to society!

HURRAY!

It’s Unconstitutional for you to be responsible for your own life. The Democrats have to run it for you!!

To paraphrase our new favorite whacko Leftist, Rep. Cohen and his friend Josef Goebbels tell a lie often enough and people will start to believe it:
Hmmmmmmm..you mean like;
“Global Warming is caused by man”? Or maybe ” Obamacare will lower insurance costs”?  or “reduce the deficit” Or how about, ” We will have the most Transparent Congress ever”? and Let’s Not forget “If you like your doctor , you can keep your doctor”

And the all-time champ, the Health Care Mandate is “not a tax” but it is always defended by the Commerce Clause which means it’s a TAX! 🙂

“I guess they don’t advance civility per se, but I believe telling lies is uncivil. I think somebody needs to stand up to the lies that are being told.”– Rep Cohen.

And speaking of our favourite Whacko in Congress, he just can’t stop himself. Like most of the extreme Left who just can’t control their urges, The Nazi references come first, so what’s next in line: THE KKK.

Also in the interview Cohen stood by equally uncivil remarks he made last April when he compared the Tea Party to the KKK. (“The tea party people are kind of without robes and hoods. They have really shown a very hardcore angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. We saw opposition to African-Americans, hostility towards gays, hostility towards anyone who, you know, just wasn’t a clone of George Wallace’s fan club.”) He said the two movements arose from similar circumstances because both wanted “their power back.”

Rep. Cohen on Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN): “There were people who were out of power and they wanted their power back. The Klan after the Civil War was upset that the African Americans had been given the right to vote and many of them were in office and they didn’t like it. And they wanted to form to get back their own government. They wanted to take back their government. And the Tea Party feels like they are out of power with President Obama, that’s where they started, and they want to take back their government. Now without robes and hoods they’re not out doing things like the Klan did, but they got formed the same kind of way. They were people who had been disposed from being the power group and wanted to take it back.”

The Democrats from 1996 to 2008 when they were “out of power” are exempted of course!! 🙂

Cooper rebutted, “You can compare them to any populist movement, comparing them to the KKK seems incendiary. It seems deeply offense to hundreds of thousands of people who are in the Tea Party”

Like Rep. Cohen cares! He wants to repeat his lies often enough so you’ll believe them!

And don’t tell him that the Republican Party was born as an anti-slavery party and that the KKK was mostly Southern DEMOCRATS.

Oh no! Facts are holy water to Liberal vampires who just want to perpetuate their uncivil hatred of those who oppose their greatness.

“I won’t say it again, but I was right,” he said. -Rep Cohen

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Rep.  John Lewis (D-GA): “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.”

The Preamble of the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

IT IS NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION YOU LOON! (anyone seeing the 14th Amendment talking point yet, BTW?)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is the preamble to THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!

But I’m sure we have “misquoted” him. 🙂

Then he trotted out the thouroughly ridiculous “well you are required to have auto insurance” canard too!

That was thoroughly discredited by me over a year ago in 1 sentence!

If you don’t have a car, you don’t need or are required by law to have auto insurance!

Q.E.D.

For More: https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/the-bad-analogy/

But truth,facts, and lies never stop the LEFT from trying to perpetuate itself and insinuate itself in every aspect of your life and tell you they can do it better than you and if you don’t believe them, well, they’ll just force it on you for your own good.

So just keep repeating it to yourself until you believe it.

Now don’t you feel better! 🙂

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

500

Political Cartoon

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “This resolution is a fitting tribute. It is a great resolution. Please, read it again and again. Carry those names in your heart. Remember, each of these people because, again, a tragic accident took lives, wounded people in the expression of ideas.”

Thanks, Nancy. For nothing! 😦

*************************************

This is my 500th blog post so I am where I more or less began, ObamaCare.

The greatest abomination every crammed down the American people’s throat in American History. Period.

And if the normal things government does doesn’t bankrupt us this surely will.

No doubt.

So with that, new info on ObamaCare from americansolutions.com (just click on the links if you want more info or a copy of the charts- The wall chart below has to be blown up to 400% to be seen and read properly by the way- it was a WALL chart, after all):

159-Agencies-Map_580x290.jpg

  • Obamacare adds 159 new agencies, offices, and commissions to an already bloated federal government.
  • Obamacare threatens to increase costs for American businesses by more than $4 billion.
  • The Obama administration has threatened companies who dare to blame Obamacare’s new regulations and taxes as a reason for their higher operating costs.
  • The law is so toxic that even several Democrats introduced legislation in 2010 to repeal part of the bill.
  • Health care premium costs are going up under Obamacare, even though President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid all claimed that would not happen.
  • Citing high costs and the potential for employees to lose their health coverage, the Obama administration has already issued more than 100 waivers for companies to be exempt from certain provisions in Obamacare.

Actually, the waivers are at over 220 and comprise mostly of companies and unions friendly to the Democrats or people they hope to be Democrats.

ATLANTA – The Center for Health Transformation (CHT) today unveiled its first wall chart of the 2010 healthcare legislation, making the enormous diagram available to the public, members of Congress and those in the medical community to view the complexity of the six-week-old legislation.

“This chart demonstrates how Obamacare is going to make American health care much more complicated,” said Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center and former Speaker of the House of Representatives. “With the release of these diagrams CHT will be the go-to place for information on the new health legislation.”

The chart illustrates how Obamacare will create 159 boards, commissions, bureaus, programs and offices of the federal government to carry out new tasks under the health care law. Most of these ideas are undefined and will be determined in the coming years under agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

“This diagram shows the new law is a massive expansion of government and does little to focus on improving individual health,” Gingrich said. “This is a blueprint for more regulation and more headaches for every American – especially those who rely on the government for health insurance coverage.”

The Center’s CEO, Nancy Desmond, said the chart is the first in a series that will provide straightforward facts about the Obama healthcare law and will help Americans understand how the law is playing out and what will happen in the future.

“Our goal is to serve as a trusted resource where people can get updates regarding the facts on the health law,” Desmond said. “We believe that people have the right to know what their government is doing, and CHT is dedicated to doing what we can to fulfilling that right to know.”

Desmond added: “Our first chart provides the names of 159 new government programs and their reporting structure. As individuals are appointed and new regulations are introduced, we will add to the charts.”

Desmond said the next chart will be a massive timeline of actions scheduled, public response periods created and a checklist that CHT will update weekly so Americans can track what the federal government is doing regarding healthcare.

Among the new programs in the law illustrated in the wall chart: the Interagency Pain Coordinating Committee; the Community Preventive Services Task Force; the Medicare Shared Savings Program; the Office of Indian Men’s Health; the Food and Drug Administration’s State-Based Reinsurance Program; and the Commission on Key National Indicators.

Most of ObamaCare’s taxes dishonestly take effect AFTER the 2012 election but here are a few for 2011:

Atr.og: 2011 HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

And while you’re at it, Look up ADVERSE SELECTION. Be amazed. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

And add in $4 or $5 a Gallon Gasoline.

Inflation (though the liberals and the media have been working 24/7 to hide the 1000-lb gorilla in the next room bashing on the door)

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.

And for all you Class Warfare Liberals out there, some wisdom from Dr. Thomas Sowell:

Bailouts say: “Give the taxpayers a little rhetoric, and a little smoke and mirrors with the bookkeeping, and we can keep the party rolling.”

One of the political games that is played during a budget crisis is to cut back on essential services like police departments and fire departments, in order to blackmail the public into accepting higher tax rates. Often, a lot more money could be saved by getting rid of runaway pension contracts with public sector unions.

Take California for instance:

Jerry Brown, a Liberal from the 1970’s, was elected largely by Unions (the Nurse’s Union was behind the whole Illegal Maid Scandal) got their payback in his budget to start cutting California’s $26 BILLION dollar budget deficit by savaging everyone in California, EXCEPT THE UNIONS!

Shocking, I know. 🙂

So stick it to everyone except the bloodsuckers who are killing you because they are the ones who got you elected.

Illinois, the same thing. Unions are being protected against the “shared sacrifice” because they are an important Liberal voting block.

Hence, why many of the waivers for ObamaCare are UNIONS!

But the amount of money it would take to keep the poor from starving in the streets is chump change compared to how much it would take to keep on feeding unions, subsidized businesses and other special interests who are robbing the taxpayers blind.

Letting armies of government employees retire in their 50s, to live for decades on pensions larger than they were making when they were working, costs a lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the streets.

Pouring the taxpayers’ money down a thousand bottomless pits of public and private boondoggles costs a lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the streets.

Bankruptcy says: “We just don’t have the money.” End of discussion.

And just in case you weren’t cynicial enough (like me) about the Tucson Campaign Rally:

Bracing for a half-billion-dollar onslaught of outside GOP cash in 2012, President Barack Obama’s advisers are quietly working to bring back together the major donor base that produced a record-breaking fundraising haul in his first run for president.

In the past few months, Democratic National Committee aides have contacted several of Obama’s earliest financial backers to brainstorm about when and where to host the first money-raising events. Several big donors said they expect the Obama 2012 operation to open its doors this spring, with a string of fundraisers to generate the early cash needed to rebuild the president’s high-tech campaign operation. (Politico)

So who are the real Greedy, narcissistic bloodsuckers? Corporate America or Liberals and Their Unions?

I know which one I see.

And ObamaCare is jut another boondoogle masquerading as a massacre waiting to happen.

Someone call the Pima County Sheriff’s Office… 🙂

The Law with Unintended Consequences

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

“It is unclear whether members of Congress and Congressional staff who are currently participating in F.E.H.B.P. may be able to retain this coverage,” the CRS wrote in a 8,100-word memorandum, the Times reports.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available. . . .

The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.

The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.

That means that congressmen and their staffers may be afoul of the law right now.

ObamaCare is proving to be even more of a shambles than critics had expected. Is this because the Democrats who currently run Congress are unusually incompetent? Tempting as it is to say yes, probably not. Put it down, instead, to hubris and haste. In their mad rush to outrun public opinion and impose “universal health care” on their unwilling constituents, Harry Pelosi, Nancy Reid & Co. simply didn’t bother paying attention to the details.

If CRS is right and congressmen and their staffers are now forbidden to be insured as federal employees, this may turn out to be ObamaCare’s fatal flaw. The Times observes that Congress “could try for a legislative fix,” and it quotes Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, as urging just that: “After the committee completed its work, the coverage provision was redrafted by others, and that’s where mistakes were made. Congress can and should act to correct the mistakes.”

Good luck with that, guys. Are congressmen really going to pass legislation to rectify the harm ObamaCare did to them,Yuval Levin points out: “If you had your own research service to help you figure out what the law will do to your insurance, the answer would likely be just as confusing and discouraging.” The CRS’s findings are a powerful reminder that ObamaCare likely holds horrible surprises for everyone. while continuing to subject everyone else to this awful, hated law? Leaving the law in place isn’t a politically attractive option either, for the reason National Review’s Yuval Levin points out: “If you had your own research service to help you figure out what the law will do to your insurance, the answer would likely be just as confusing and discouraging.” The CRS’s findings are a powerful reminder that ObamaCare likely holds horrible surprises for everyone.

The logic of the situation inexorably points toward repeal–though we expect President Obama and this Congress will defy logic as firmly and for as long as they can. (WSJ)

While ObamaCare is an abomination that will hurt future generations it would be fitting if Congress was hoist on their own petard.

But I suspect that once they determine if they are screwed or not rather than revisit the bill in an overhaul and draw lots of unwanted attention they’ll just sneak it into a bill later on in the dead of night.

That would be the modis operandi of this Congress. Do it in secret, in a back room, without anyone knowing until it was too late to doanything about what you cooked up.

And if they do find out, Lie, Obfuscate, and attack.

I’m sure we have years and years of surprise and new horrors ahead of us.

This from the Toronto Star is just Curious:

Proof of medical coverage will become mandatory for all visitors to Cuba starting May 1.

The Cuba Tourist Bureau in Canada notified tour operators recently, and promises a general announcement with more details shortly.

So how long before ObamaCare follows suit, after all Cuba has a great medical system according to the Far Left who are in love with it. See “Sicko” by Michael “I by My own press” Moore.

At current exchange rates, Cubalinda will charge $2.70. a day for up to $7,558 of medical emergency insurance, plus assorted other types of coverage. It will charge about $3.24 a day for $27,000 of medical coverage and $7,558 for transportation of deceased, injured or sick persons.

That compares with as little as $1.81 a day or a minimum of $16 a week for a young Canadian to get $5 million of medical coverage from a Canadian insurer, says Aguirre. Meanwhile, a reasonably healthy senior, age 70 to 74, would pay $6.36 a day for a short trip to a non-U.S. destination, says Cappon.

Aguirre’s company’s president, Robin Ingle, concedes the skimpy Cuban policies would provide enough coverage for the vast majority of illnesses or injuries travelers might experience in Cuba.

“The Cubalinda.com website says ‘the insurer will not assume payment for treatment of pre-existing medical condition (sic), known or unknown to the insured person’.”

You could pay the modest premium and discover later you have no coverage when you need it.

So proceed with caution. Don’t leave home without adequate coverage.

Where’s Karl Malden when you need him??

And a Preview of Things to Come

A Massachusetts court Monday ruled against health insurance providers seeking to raise their premiums 8 to 32 percent in a closely watched case.

Massachusetts enacted a universal health care plan in 2006 that includes politically controversial measures such as the individual mandate requiring all adults to purchase insurance. With opponents of the national health care legislation passed weeks ago promising legal action, the Massachusetts case was seen a foretaste of what could lie ahead.

In this instance, the court affirmed that, for now at least, the state has the authority to oversee the industry.

The challenge arose from a bid by health insurance providers in Massachusetts several weeks ago to raise their premiums. Massachusetts Insurance commissioner Joseph Murphy called the increases “excessive,” noting that the medical consumer price index – an indicator of how much medical goods and services cost – projected a necessary increase of only 5 percent. Mr. Murphy rejected 235 of 274 proposed rate hikes.

Six insurance companies sued, arguing the state does not have the regulatory authority to cap premiums. They said they would lose $100 million without the premium increase, plus even more in the administrative costs of having to redesign their plans.

In addition to the suit, the insurance companies filed a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from regulating their premium increases until the case is decided. They also asked for an expedited trial.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Stephen Neel denied the request to expedite the trial and the injunction. He said that until the health insurance companies exhausted all available administrative remedies within the state Department of Insurance, the court had no jurisdiction. Only then could the insurance companies move through the normal legal process, he said.

He added that he wanted to avoid “stepping in the [insurance] commissioner’s shoes” and revising the regulations temporarily until the later court date.

Furthermore, the regulations did not cause “irreparable harm” because lost profits could later be recouped, Judge Neel said.

Recouped how?

Don’t worry, the Government is here to save you from evil capitalists! 😦

Irony

“(Health Insurers) will keep on doing this for as long as they can get away with it. This is no secret,” the president said. “They’re telling their investors this – ‘We are in the money.  We are going to keep on making big profits even though a lot of folks are going to be put under hardship,’” the President told supporters at a stop in Pennsylvania today.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, meanwhile, wrote to insurance company executives demanding that they justify premium hikes.

Neither mentioned that the Senate health reform bill, which is the basis for Democrats’ last best chance at comprehensive reform, would give the insurance companies millions of new customers required by law to buy health insurance. It would also require insurers to cover everyone, regardless of age, gender or pre-existing condition.

To help pay for the new insurance requirements the government would give to people money to buy insurance – $336 billion over the next ten years. That money, ultimately, would have to go to… drum roll… insurance companies.

People without employer-sponsored insurance who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and less than about $88,000 for a family of four, would get tax credits to help them buy insurance on the open market. But the payment of the tax credits would be made, point out Republican researchers, directly to insurance companies.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama criticized a proposal by Sen. John McCain because it would send government help for people to buy insurance directly to insurance companies.

“But The New Tax Credit [For Health Insurance] He’s Proposing? That Wouldn’t Go To You. It Would Go Directly To Your Insurance Company – Not Your Bank Account,” said Obama in October on the Campaign trail.

And yet that’s exactly what Democrats’ proposal would do and why so many would prefer public insurance option to compete with the private market.

So why do Insurance companies, if they’re set to receive more than $330 billion in government subsidies to insure people without insurance now oppose the Senate bill?

“Health plans proposed more than a year ago robust insurance market reforms and new consumer protections to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions. Much more needs to be done in the current legislation to address the skyrocketing cost of medical care, which is making health care coverage unaffordable for working families and small businesses,” said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman from America’s Health Insurance Plans, in a statement today.

He argued that health insurers should not be targeted by the President and their profits are lower by margin than other sectors in the health industry.

“For every dollar spent on health care in America, less than one penny goes towards health plan profits. The focus needs to be on the other 99 cents,” he said. (ABCnews blog)

THE NUMBERS:

Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better — drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.

The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.

HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That’s a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.

The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.

But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers?

Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry’s overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent.

The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.

THE PRESIDENT

The president’s pitch was part denunciation of insurance companies — “they continue to ration care on the basis of who’s sick and who’s healthy,” he said — and part criticism of his Republican critics. “You had 10 years. What happened? What were you doing?” he taunted members of a party that held the White House for eight years and control of Congress for a dozen.

“I’m kind of fired up,” Obama said at the beginning of his remarks, a variation on his oft-stated 2008 refrain, “Fired up. Ready to go.” And he included an appeal to his audience — many of whom were students — to help in the same ways they might in a campaign. “So I need you to knock on doors. Talk to your neighbors. Pick up the phone,” he urged them. (Yahoo)

It’s Campaign Mode!!! 🙂

As Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has said, “The issue trumps the process,” a clear indication that Democrats are so enamored of their own ideas that they don’t believe they should have to follow the rules to pass them into law.(IBD)

Or as Country Music Legend Larry Gatlin said last week, “they don’t want to govern, they want to rule”

And the Irony is, that was one of the major attacks on President Bush…