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

 

 

Lady Liberty’s Last Days

Lady Liberty, that beacon of light and hope, has a potentially terminal disease, called Liberalism.

Tomorrow, likely, the Democrats will vote to end the Constitutional Republic that America has been since 1776.

But it’s for your own good.

The Government knows better.

Last Thursday, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to set up a committee to examine whether condoms should be required on all pornographic film shoots.

California has run out of money, but it hasn’t yet run out of things to regulate. (IBD)

A bill introduced this week by Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz would ban use of salt in every dish, in every drink, on every plate, in every restaurant, in every single part of New York State.

“No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises,” the bill, A. 10129 , states in part.”

Violators would be hit with a $1,000 fine for each salty dish.

Ortiz says the ban is designed to save lives, and would save billions of dollars in health care costs.

And I just saw this guy on “America Live” yesterday on FOX and when the host joked about cutting, fat and cholesterol and other unhealthy things, he agreed that should happen to and this was just the start for him.

The government should regulate what you eat, because you’re not to be trusted.

And it’s for your own good.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton called on the nation’s biggest circuits to think about the waist lines of their customers, not just their own bottom lines.(LA Times)

He’s advocating doing away with Butter on popcorn.

The salt ban prompted my to post this on a message board:

Since the Liberals are so intent on the Government saving everyone from themselves I think
Obama needs to takeover the Grocery Stores and close all Convenience Stores and Fast Food.
They are after all, sell things that are bad for you.
Think of it, the government can make sure you eat healthy and nothing but healthy.
They could issue you a card that has all your “best for you” foods on it and then you won’t be allowed to buy anything that is bad for you.
Think what it could do for ObamaCare and Health Care costs.
The government will decide what’s good for you and you have to eat it.
Also, the government programs like Food Stamps can be expanded so no one goes hungry ever again.
They can make it Mandatory.

Then they take over the Restaurants  because you can’t be trusted.
And Fast Food will have to be outlawed because they are pure evil.

Utopia awaits.
And you’ll never have to think again about your health, the government has you covered.

Cooking Shows will have to be government controlled.

And We’ll have the Food Police to arrest black marketers selling products and to make sure all government regulations are enforced.

Embrace the Freedom from thought and stress.

**

Then after I write it I wonder about government subsidized Gym memberships, for all those unhealthy people who can’t afford it.

That’s unfair too.  (in the Liberal world).

You have a right to be healthy and those evil corporate bastards are making you fat and unhappy. It’s just wrong…. 😦

And with the Government eliminating every Student Loan in the country that is in Private hands and giving it all over to the Bank of North Dakota, a College Education as a right can’t be far off.

It’s for your own good.

We’ll have a “healthy”, “well-educated”, well-cared for, populace.

What could be wrong with that?

How about Freedom.

Overrated in the Liberal world.

You’re not smart enough to be free.

The government must protect you from yourself.

You will have the freedom to agree with them, or else.

And with Cap and Trade, Census gerrymandering, and Amnesty they will try and control everything and everyone else.

But it will be for your own good.

You can’t be trusted.

Meanwhile, ObamaCare will result in the creation of at least 16,500 new jobs. Doctors? Nurses? Ha! Dream on, suckers. That’s 16,500 new IRS agents, who’ll be needed to check whether you — yes, you, Mr. and Mrs. Hopendope of 27 Hopeychangey Gardens — comply with the 15 tax increases and dozens of new federal mandates about to be “deemed” into existence.

This will be the biggest expansion of the IRS since World War Two — and that’s change you can believe in. This is what “health” “care” “reform” boils down to: fewer doctors, longer wait times, but more bureaucrats.

So can the IRS Health Care Enforcement Division be far from reality?

The Food Police.

The Energy Police.

The Internet Police.

The TV police.

The Education Police.

Welcome to the new America of your God (and President for life when Liberal repeal the Constitutional Amendment on Term Limits) Barack Hussein Obama.

It’s not like  Liberals take the Constitution or the Consent of The Governed seriously. 😦

That’s how dire it really is folks.

The Second American Revolution has to begin.

You have no choice.

Unless, you want to prostrate and kiss the Emperor’s ring.

Mark Steyn:  Obama is government, and government is Obama. That’s all he knows and all he’s ever known. You elected to the highest office in the land a man who’s never run a business or created wealth or made a payroll, and for his entire adult life has hung out with guys who’ve demonized such grubby activities. Obama’s Cabinet has less experience of private business than any in the last century. What it knows is government, and government’s default mode is to grow, and grow.

Look around you, take it all in. From now on, it gets worse. If you have kids, they’ll live in smaller homes, drive smaller cars, live smaller lives. If you don’t have kids, you better hope your neighbors do, because someone needs to spawn a working population large enough to pay for the unsustainable entitlements the Obama party has suckered you into thinking you’re entitled to.

The unfunded liabilities of current entitlements are $100 trillion. Try typing that onto your pocket calculator. You can’t. There isn’t enough room for all the zeroes.

$100,000,000,000,000

Obama and Pelosi are strong-arming swing-state congressmen into taking one for the deem. It’s appropriate that it should take banana-republic maneuvers to ram this through, because it’s about government so powerful it can make up the rules as it goes along. Maybe regulators should roll a giant condom over the Capitol before it fatally infects the rest of us.

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”— Samuel Adams

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”–Samuel Adams

For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery“.–Jonathan Swift

2010 is not just a choice between Republicans and Democrats. 2010 is not just a choice between liberals and conservatives. 2010 is a referendum on the very identity of our nation.” –Florida Gubernatorial Candidate (and Tea Party Activist)

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Thomas Jefferson

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

“When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.”
Thomas Paine

“The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.”
Charlie Chaplin

So let us all hold the flame of liberty, so that one day it will live again.

I Want to See The Policy

Finally, our health care system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. When health care costs grow at the rate they have, it puts greater pressure on programs like Medicare and Medicaid. If we do nothing to slow these skyrocketing costs, we will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined. Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close. -President Obama Last Night

So let’s have yet another government run program.

It’s only $900 Billion now. It was over a Trillion.

Sure, we can afford it. >:)

And, of course, unlike Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare Advantage, and The US Post Office this will work efficiently, cost effectively and not go off in the weeds of cost overruns, rationings, or hurt the quality of care.

It will be that miraculous government program that defies all of recorded history!

Have Faith!

Well, it helps when you cut $500 million from Medicare as the current plans do.

But don’t worry, no services will be cut. As matter of fact we’ll mandate it.

Despite deep-seated differences among lawmakers, Obama drew a standing ovation when he recounted stories of Americans whose coverage was denied or delayed by their insurers with catastrophic results.

“That is heartbreaking, it is wrong, and no one should me treated that way in the United States of America.”

The fact that this is routine in every country that has Socialized medicine is not worth mentioning is it? 🙂

“As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most,” he added.

So he’s going to mandate it that you be covered no matter what. And this won’t drive up the cost of your premium??

Of course, it will.  But then he can blame the Insurance companies for doing it.

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. – Vladimir Lenin (and Saul Alinsky)

Target: Insurance Companies

Freeze it. “The time for debate is over”

Personalize it: Stories of abuses by Insurance companies. Kicking sick people when their down! Boo Hiss!

Polarize it. Government Vs. The Evil Heartless Capitalists

And I , President Obama, will save you from them.

We are from the government and we are here to save you.

Oh Joy!

Oh Rapture!

Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch. And that is precisely what those of you in Congress have tried to do over the past several months.

So he throws Congress under the bus?

Well, since it was his idea and he has been it’s most vocal supporter until this moment I very much doubt it. This is just politics. More smoke for that mirror.

The Smoke:

“Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenge. And out of this blizzard of charges and counter-charges, confusion has reigned.”

Compare that with just a few days ago at the AFL-CIO picnic:

“I’ve got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we’re going to pull the plug on Grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants — you’ve heard all the lies,” Obama said. “I’ve got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What’s your answer? What’s your solution?

“And you know what? They don’t have one. Their answer is to do nothing.”

That’s your “honest debate”for you.

And what’s confusing about HR3200, it’s only 1,000+ pages of Lawyer speak that not even the Lawyers in Congress can read, what’s confusing about that! 🙂

Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care

Are those Best ideas of the Republicans the “they have nothing” ideas.

Just Curious. 🙂

The plan I’m announcing tonight would meet three basic goals:

It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance to those who don’t. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government. It’s a plan that asks everyone to take responsibility for meeting this challenge – not just government and insurance companies, but employers and individuals. And it’s a plan that incorporates ideas from Senators and Congressmen; from Democrats and Republicans – and yes, from some of my opponents in both the primary and general election.

Is that before or after “they have nothing”? and the “party of no”?

Sounds all inclusive, but that’s just sound.

Here are the details that every American needs to know about this plan:

First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.

Heard this one before?? 🙂

Believe it now?

So he’s going to throw out HR3200  then? because it has been proven time and again that this assertion is false. But I suppose if you tell a lie often enough some people might believe it.

What this plan will do is to make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies – because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.

So where are the companies going to get the money to cover all these new mandates??

This just raises the cost, not lowers it.

It’s not like the government, who can just print money anytime it wants. 🙂

That’s what Americans who have health insurance can expect from this plan – more security and stability.

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Now, if you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who don’t currently have health insurance, the second part of this plan will finally offer you quality, affordable choices. If you lose your job or change your job, you will be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage. We will do this by creating a new insurance exchange – a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices. Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers. As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage. This is how large companies and government employees get affordable insurance. It’s how everyone in this Congress gets affordable insurance. And it’s time to give every American the same opportunity that we’ve given ourselves.

The Congress’s Health plan is funded by the Taxpayers. It has no limitations.

And that’s why the amendment to force Congress and Federal employees onto this new plan was defeated by vote in Congress.

For those individuals and small businesses who still cannot afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we will provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need. And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned.

So, they can decide to not access it? Even though it’s mandated?

This exchange will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right.

You mean after the 2012 Election?

And the collection of massive amounts of cash to pay for the intial stages of it.

And if this is such a major, emergency why wait 4 years?

What happens to grandma and her pre-existing conditions until then?

In the meantime, for those Americans who can’t get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill. This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign, it’s a good idea now, and we should embrace it.

McCain’s proposal called for providing federal assistance to state-based high risk pools. Not Federal risk pools themselves. Oh well, the truth is hardly the issue here.

In 2008 during the campaign, Obama called McCain’s health plan “radical”.

This would be the idea that  the Democrats once Mocked right?

DNC chairman Howard Dean. “As usual, McCain was short on details, but where he did outline a plan for the future he relied on recycled Bush proposals and flawed ideas have done nothing to reduce the ranks of the uninsured or help America’s working families find quality, affordable health care.” (CBSNEWS)

But now they want to kiss an make up?

“And you know what? They don’t have one. Their answer is to do nothing.”

Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers. The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don’t sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people’s expensive emergency room visits. If some businesses don’t provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors. And unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek – especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions – just can’t be achieved.

Your New expanded “marketplace” of  Choices are  to have NO CHOICE whatsoever.

We are paternalistic and we know whats best for you.

That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements.

Mandatory, but with waivers? So is this a definition of mandatory that has not previously existed? Or just more doublethink.

And if 95% of small businesses are to be exempt does that mean they don’t have to offer it, or take from your “marketplace”? And what of the IRS fines in HR3200 on businesses that don’t have “acceptable” plans?

More Smoke? 🙂

After all, he just said several paragraphs ago:

“If some businesses don’t provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors.”

So if  “some” don’t provide it’s “unfair” but 95% of small business will exempt. Individuals will be required to have coverage unless they have a “hardship” in which case the “marketplace” that you don’t have to participate in, but if you do, you will have to abide by the governments rules which they will make law even if you don’t participate you will still abide by, and that  will cover them.

And we still will not cover Illegal Aliens.

And their cost to the system is just ignored.

Does your head hurt yet?

But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.

It takes a Village.

🙂