Epic Fail

With major insurers poised to pull out of the exchanges, out-of-pocket costs soaring, premiums rising across the board, the overall healthcare cost curve rising, and access to care constricting for millions, defenders of the unpopular Obamacare program have been clinging to the thin reed that the new law has at least provided coverage to millions of Americans. This is a weak argument, for two reasons: (1) The “Affordable” Care Act, by definition, emphasized affordability. The sales pitch was that the legislation would lower rates, improve care, and insure tens of millions — while reducing costs overall, and allowing anyone who was happy with their existing arrangement to keep it. A no-loss proposition. This was pure, dishonest fantasy, of course; the American people smelled a rat from the beginning, which is why disapproval of Obamacare has significantly outpaced approval ever since it was introduced in 2009. (2) Celebrating the fact that millions of people have signed up for coverage for which they are legally obligated to sign up isn’t exactly an achievement, especially when one considers how many people have run the math and chosen to pay for the privilege of remaining uninsured because they can’t afford the “Affordable” Care Act.  And when one considers how many of the “new” enrollees previously had insurance.  But even on the sign-ups metric, the law is failing, and failing badly. Decline:

ObamaCare will enroll significantly fewer people than expected in 2016, ending the year with about 13 million customers, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Monday. The figure, which was included in an expansive budget report, is a decline of about 40 percent from last year’s enrollment prediction of about 20 million people. The latest projections confirm the Obama administration’s previous assessment that fewer people are signing up as the marketplace closes in on its third enrollment season — the final one under President Obama.

The New York Times also notes the dramatic downgrade, speculating that future projections are also likely to be slashed:

When the Affordable Care Act was drafted, the Congressional Budget Office expected people to sign up quickly for new health insurance. Now, two years into the law, it’s clear that progress is going to be slower. The Obama administration acknowledged as much in late 2014, and again in October, when it presented its own modest predictions. Monday, the budget office also agreed, slashing its 2016 estimate by close to 40 percent…It has proved harder to spread the word about new health insurance, and harder yet to persuade people to shell out money for new health insurance they hadn’t had in their household budgets… The budget office’s estimates for future years won’t be released until March, but it seems reasonable to assume they will also come down.

The Times story tries to salvage some good news from this disaster, desperately editorializing that this exodus “is not a sign that the health law is failing.” As evidence for this sweeping generalization that fails to adhere to most of the data, the “news” report cites sign-ups under the law’s Medicaid expansion program — which is already straining state budgets, redirecting precious resources from the truly indigent, and failing to produce superior health outcomes for its enrollees compared to uninsured people.  Republicans in the House and Senate recently passed a bill repealing almost all of Obamacare, which was immediately vetoed by the president. And as she attacks Bernie Sanders over the massive expense of socialized healthcare, Hillary Clinton stubbornly insists that the new law has been a success, vowing to pour more taxpayer money into itIowa’s CoOportunity Health, the second largest CO-OP in the nation, was shut down by the state’s insurance commissioner in January 2015 after losing $45.7 million in the previous 10 months.

(CNSNews.com) – Despite guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last year that allowed Obamacare Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) to use “creative” accounting and record “loans as assets in their financial filings,” “CO-OPs are failing left and right,” Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said during a hearing Thursday.

Last year, more than half of the 23 non-profit CO-OPs set up under the Affordable Care Act as an alternative to for-profit insurers were closed by state regulators after they failed to take in enough premiums to cover their costs.

“Of the 11 CO-OPs still in operation, there is reason to call their long-term financial viability into question. All but two of them are losing money,” Hatch pointed out during the hearing. “Not a single one of them had an underwriting gain through the third quarter of 2015.

“And as CO-OPs generally continue moving into weaker financial conditions, several show signs of running out of money this year,” Hatch said.

CMS has actually encouraged the CO-OPs to cook their books with some creative accounting. Last year, the agency issued guidance allowing CO-OPs to apply surplus notes to program start-up loans, which essentially allowed the CO-OPs to record loans as assets in their financial filings,” he continued.

“Taxpayers have been forced to foot the bill for the CO-OP experiment, to the tune of $2.4 billion in federal loans for 23 CO-OPs around the country.  And, to date, more than half of the CO-OPs have failed, while the vast majority of the others are in poor financial shape.

“As a result, hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost or will lose their health insurance and taxpayers are still on the hook,” Hatch added.

But acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt assured the committee that the remaining CO-OPs “have every opportunity to be successful long-term market participants.”

“For the CO-OPs that are closing, we are working closely with the CO-OP and state regulators to facilitate a smooth transition for consumers to retain access to coverage and ensure providers are reimbursed for covered services rendered to CO-OP enrollees. Affected CO-OP enrollees have access to a special enrollment period, and are able to shop for 2016 coverage on the Marketplace until February 28, 2016,” Slavitt told committee members.

A July 2015 report by the inspector general of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services stated that “member enrollment for 13 of the 23 CO-OPs that provided health insurance in 2014 was considerably lower than the CO-OPs’ initial projections and 21 of the 23 CO-OPs had incurred net losses as of December 31, 2014.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) noted that CoOportunity Health, the first CO-OP to go out of business – leaving 120,000 people “scrambling for health insurance” – was in his home state of Iowa. If the second largest CO-OP in the country failed, Grassley asked Slavitt, how could CMS be sure that smaller CO-OPs would not face a similar fate?

“One of the things we learned there was how quickly things can happen, and how quickly things can deteriorate,” Slavitt replied, noting that the regulatory agency has learned valuable lessons from the failed CO-OPs.

“The reason that there were so many CO-OPs that closed last year was that we worked very aggressively with the departments of insurance to make a full-on, 12-month assessment, and even those that seemed like they were in pretty good shape at the time didn’t have the wherewithal to last through the end of the year,” he said. (CNS and townhall))

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Best and Worst of 2015

Derek Hunter: As far as years go, 2015 certainly was one of them. The news was not wanting for content, and we columnists were not wanting for material. It was a year of tragedies and triumphs bookended by terrorist attacks in Paris. A reality TV star became the leading candidate of a major political party, “Star Wars” returned, and I got married. Yep, 2015 was quite a year.

I had a health scare that resulted in a pacemaker and a different view on mortality just months after my Dad died.

Not the best of times by far.


The Best

Donald Trump. For all his problems, and they are legion, and the bluster, and it is constant, he’s done more than anyone in recent years to get people to pay attention to politics and just how corrupt the media and the Democrats have become. He’s been battering the media since the start, slamming his opponents since and changing how politics is done.

While, I’m still not a full on Trump guy I do like that he makes the Left and the RINOs crazy and just doesn’t give a damn. That really shakes them up.

Trump has been holding a clinic on how to run against Democrats and the media since his announcement. Aside from momentary flashes, none of the rest of the field appears to have learned a thing.

Because they are all stuck in their ways. They can’t see doing it any other way. Especially, Democrats, they have one playbook and they go to it every nanosecond of every day.

Expect all out nuclear war again on the Republicans. No atom will be lest un-nuked, no ethic or moral will not be cr0ssed in the quest for the Coronation of King Barack’s successor Queen Hillary.

The Republican RINOs are just plain lost.

If Trump is the nominee, Democrats may well win, but they will have been so battered and bruised they’d be hard-pressed to govern with any effectiveness. If he isn’t the nominee, whoever is will have learned how to be locked in a box with a rabid spider monkey and survive. The eventual nominee, whoever it ends up being, will be a much more devastating candidate thanks to Trump’s entry into the race.

The Media is still setting up the Coronation of Queen Hillary I like they have for 4 years now. I doubt they are going to change.

But maybe, just maybe, the sleeping stupid will recognize it for what it is.

That,and just maybe, the Republicans will actually run a campaign to WIN this time. Maybe.


The Worst

As awful as she is, Hillary Clinton is not the worst person on the national political stage. Until he leaves office, Barack Obama’s head wears the crown.

In a post-9/11, post-Paris, post-San Bernardino world, the president of the United States managed to go 12 months in which he used the words “radical Islamic terrorism” only to chastise others for saying them.

Well, you’re talking about his friends and mentors, the Muslims. They can’t be evil. That’s like Lule finding out Darth Vader is his Father….🙂

The economy continues to falter, our enemies are on the march, and the president has improved his short-game. The Obama presidency is a hilarious joke, but sadly it’s not the funny kind of joke.

But the Democrats continue to self-delude themselves that everything is awesome and we just need to get rid of those naybobs negativity.

One more year…

11 Months+ a few days. Don’t make it any longer than it has to be. Though if Queen Hillary wins we’re all doomed and you might as well close up shop and move to Fiji because it’s over.

Lie Of The Year

The “winner” of this category is obvious, which is why it hasn’t won any of these “awards” from the mainstream media: Hillary Clinton’s ever-evolving claims about classified material on her secret, unsecured email server.

Though I think her saying that the Benghazi families who have been ripping her for years about her You Tube cause of the incident are now lying because she never said it was pretty close.

“What Difference Does it Make?”

Her original statement at her press conference at the UN, was, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” High-stakes divorce settlements are less carefully worded.

Note how she specifically said she didn’t send any classified material, and how there “is” nothing classified on her server. She’d wiped it by then, though not thoroughly, so, in using present tense, she was telling her version of the truth.

After that original statement, Hillary’s story “evolved” at least two more times to she never “sent or received anything marked classified at the time.”

After that lie the media lost interest. Why wouldn’t they? Their candidate is ensnared in an FBI investigation that, were it anyone else, already would have led to an indictment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees by now.

But we aren’t named Clinton; we haven’t been selling, or at least renting, our positions for sums of money that rival the worth of third-world economies, and a president of her party still controls the prosecutors.

No, we’re civilians, bound by truth, and she’s Hillary, utterly unburdened by such trivialities.

As we wind up 2015, I think we’ve dwelled enough on politics. So a few notes on a couple of other things.


The year started with a great Super Bowl. What a game! But it will be remembered as the game that gave us Deflategate. Tom Brady won – everything. He continues to live a charmed life, and good for him. Unless you bet against him.

And the Seahawks created a blunder for the ages that will be talked about until Liberals outlaw football altogether sometime later in the Century.


The Super Bowl was the highlight of the year for New England sports fans, but the rest of the world had to suffer until the World Series. After decades of miserable losing, New England (particularly in Boston) started winning. And their fans, both in baseball and football, became even more miserable to be around during a game. And I say that as someone with many friends who fit this description.

But the highlight of the year was the World Series.

The Kansas City Royals are a lot of fun to watch. They scrap and scrape together runs in a way no other team does.

Arizona Cardinals anyone? Anyone??🙂


I love “Star Wars,” saw it three times the weekend it opened. But it doesn’t win for movie of the year with me. There were a lot of great “art house” movies, and I’m sure one with $48 in box office receipts will win the Oscar. But “The Martian” was the most enjoyable movie of 2015. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor. Even if you don’t care for Matt Damon (and I wouldn’t blame you), you’ll enjoy this movie.

I love “Star Wars” but I still think either Jurassic World or Avengers 2. I never saw “The Martian”.


“The Walking Dead” remains TV’s best drama.


The zombie aspect might turn your off, but it’s much more than that. Moreover, it’s a show that generates true suspense, in which no one knows what’s going to happen from week to week and no character, no matter who they are, is safe.


If you’re a comic book nerd, or if you don’t mind super hero movies, might I also suggest checking out “Jessica Jones” on Netflix. It’s a surprisingly good series with humor, action and a great anti-hero. And, unlike “The Walking Dead,” you can binge-watch it over a weekend.

Haven’t got around to it yet. And that shows you how technology has changed so much.

I’m not sad to see 2015 go, though it does seem like it went fast. With 2016 being an election year, it will fly by as well. While I work and play in the first half of this column, life happens in the rest. Hope you had a great 2015, and I hope you have as much fun as possible in 2016. 

Here’s to 2016. The Hope of the future of our Country rests on your shoulders.

No pressure.🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Star Wars Matters
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

You Just Might Be A Liberal…

Are you not sure that you’re a liberal? Well, there’s an easy way to find out. You might be a liberal if…

1) ….Your newspaper calls people “bigoted” for being worried about bringing Syrian refugees to America, but you won’t run pictures of Muhammad because you’re afraid Muslims might kill you for it.

2) ….You think every man accused of sexual assault is guilty until proven innocent except Bill Clinton.

3)….You insist that anyone who questions global warming hates science even though you don’t understand any of the science behind it yourself and you say we have to do something about climate change primarily because you want to impress your liberal friends.

4) ….You are terrified that holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay who are trying to murder Americans might make the other terrorists who are trying to murder Americans mad.

5) ….You believe there’s a “Republican War on Women;” yet you are okay with aborting baby girls for any reason, think any man who says he identifies as a woman should be able to use the women’s bathroom and you want to put Bill Clinton back in the White House.

6) ….You claim to constantly hear Republican “dog whistles” that 99% of the population misses; yet you’d deny you’re racist for insisting that black Americans aren’t competent enough to get an ID to vote.


7) …You think there’s a possibility that Obama might be able to have a productive conversation with radical Islamists who want to kill us, but dialogue with the NRA is impossible.

8)….You believe Hillary Clinton is telling the truth. About anything. Ever.

9) ….You simultaneously believe the police are violent trigger-happy racists who shoot people for no good reason and that we should disarm the populace so that only the government has guns.

10) ….You went to a talk given on your campus by a conservative just so you could scream at him for “invading your safe space.”

11) ….You think Chris Kyle was a monster for killing so many enemies of America while Bowe Bergdahl deserves to be treated with respect and compassion after deserting his unit.

12) ….You believe you’re a caring and compassionate person because you advocate giving other people’s money away to people you hope will vote for candidates you like.

13) ….You believe that anyone who dislikes Barack Obama must hate him because he’s a minority, but your hatred of Ted Cruz and Clarence Thomas is perfectly justifiable.

14) ….You think you are a sophisticated person with a deep understanding of complex political issues, but sum up every one with some variation of, “Republicans are evil, racist, and they hate you while liberals like me are nice!”

15) ….You think it’s vitally important to increase the number of Muslim immigrants coming to America so they can inform on all the other Muslims who are planning terrorist attacks.

16) ….You blame the Republicans for the failure of Obamacare even though none of them voted for it.

17) ….Your first response to a terrorist attack committed by radical Islamists who’ve sworn allegiance to ISIS is to try to disarm every law-abiding gun owner in the country.

18) ….You think an unemployed, white factory worker who’s struggling to feed his family has some sort of racial privilege compared to Barack Obama, Melissa Harris Perry or Al Sharpton.

19) ….You say fences don’t work and gun-free zones do, but if Republicans wanted the fence around the White House taken down and demanded that the Secret Service be disarmed, you’d accuse them of trying to get Obama killed.

20) ….You believe Bruce Jenner is a woman, Rachel Dolezal is black and Elizabeth Warren is an Indian.

21)  Food in any way can be a “microagression” based on race, religion, sex, or ethnicity.

22) Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Guns kill people so getting rid of Guns will kill less people.

23) The Power of Life and Death is “Pro-Choice”.

24) Any immigration is good no matter how it was done and anyone opposed to any immigration of any kind is “racist”.

25) A Religion is a Race, unless they are Christians, then they are just bigots.

26) Utter the word “islamophobia” and mean it.

27) Anything with a (D) after their name is ok and can do anything they want because it’s better than they alternative.

28) Democrats Lie, but it’s your fault not theirs.

29) A Tax is a Penalty, even after it’s ruled a Tax it’s still a Penalty.

30) “What Difference Does it Make?”

31) It was the fault of a You Tube Video.

32) That the Media is not biased and that people like Hillary and Barack are “moderates” and any Republican is “extreme”.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

If you Like your Job…


Please enjoy the latest installment of the “it’s working” chronicles. Sorry, American workers (via The Hill):

ObamaCare will force a reduction in American work hours the equivalent of 2 million jobs over the next decade, Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper said Monday. The total workforce will shrink by just under 1 percent as a result of changes in worker participation because of the new coverage expansions, mandates and changes in tax rates, according to a 22-page report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). “Some people would choose to work fewer hours; others would leave the labor force entirely or remain unemployed for longer than they otherwise would,” the agency said in its latest analysis of the now five-year-old law.

This assessment largely confirms the bombshell February 2014 analysis from the nonpartisan entity, which also projected that Democrats’ $2 trillion healthcare scheme would slow economic growth and slow job creation.  Take it away, 2011 Nancy Pelosi:

“Four million jobs will be created by the legislation when it is fully in effect.”

In 2010, she said Obamacare would create 400,000 new jobs “almost immediately.”  Last year, the law’s defenders were reduced to arguing that the reduction in worker hours was a positive development, offering Americans more time to spend with their families, and freeing them from “job lock.”  CBO’s findings determined that Obamacare disincentivizes work, shifting the burden of subsidizing health coverage for people who choose to work less or leave the workforce altogether onto the backs of middle class taxpayers.  Democrats’ frantic “liberation from job lock” spin worked out…about as well as one might have expected.  Obamacare’s cheerleaders have been wrong about virtually everything: Their law was not a job creator.  Their law has not bent the national health spending “cost curve” down.  Their law has not even approached lowering rates across the board.  Their law has not made healthcare more affordable.  Their law has not secured access to care.  Their law has not reduced emergency room visits, or decreased uncompensated care. Their law did not guarantee that satisfied consumers could keep their preferred doctors and plans. And their law has not attracted nearly as many enrollees as they expected, largely due to lack of affordability.  Their law has not signed up as many young and healthy consumer as they’d anticipated, raising new fears of an adverse selection spiral.

Gee, How many times have I said that very thing?🙂

And their law has not become popular post-implementation.  Meanwhile, the string of high-profile failures among Obamacare co-ops is inflicting more chaos onto an already-strained system:

Health care providers could get stuck with unpaid bills in a half dozen states where co-op plans have collapsed. That’s because there’s no financial backstop in those states if the failed nonprofit startups backed by Obamacare loans run out of money before paying off all of their medical claims. That messy scenario is already playing out in New York, where the state’s co-op shut down at the end of November after its financial situation proved direr than originally known. The Greater New York Hospital Association estimates the co-op, Health Republic Insurance of New York, owes its members at least $165 million. And the Medical Society of the State of New York found that of more than 900 doctors surveyed, 64 percent reported being owed money by the co-op plan. For most insurers, a state’s guaranty fund – bankrolled by the industry – will cover unpaid medical claims if they become insolvent. But in some states, like New York, that fund doesn’t support plans that are licensed as health maintenance organizations, which is typically how the co-ops were set up. The other five states where providers could end up with unpaid bills if the failed co-ops run out of money: Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon and Utah…Just over half of the 23 co-ops seeded with $2.4 billion in loans have collapsed, with most set to cease operations at the end of this year. That’s left roughly 600,000 individuals scrambling to find new coverage.

On Capitol Hill this week, Republican lawmakers are demanding answers about how the government spent hundreds of millions of dollars on state-level Obamacare exchanges that ultimately collapsed, and have since been abandoned.  Here’s Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) grilling acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt about whether or not he agrees with the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recently-announced verdict that zero of the remaining state-level exchanges are “fully operational,” after five years and $1.45 billion in IT spending, courtesy of taxpayers:

Senate Republicans used a budget maneuver called reconciliation to vote to repeal vast swaths of Obamacare last week, approving a bill that would gut the law.  Once it passes the House, President Obama is expected to veto the legislation in order to protect his unpopular, harmful law. Hillary Clinton, who invented Obamacare, asserted last week that the law is working.

And The Ministry of Truth assures us that it’s all just a plot by dissidents and Thought Criminals and that they just want poor people to die.🙂

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA. They fight for it to very last drop of YOUR blood.🙂


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.


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 November Surprise?

Another round of “if you like your plan” well… too f*cking bad suckers!

But don’t worry, the Liberal media won’t tell you about it because that’s not on The Agenda (and it’s still “the Affordable Care Act” to them because their Orwellian training says so when it’s bad news) or they’ll sugar coat it in Orwellian BS and class warfare as they do anything that’s bad new for them.

One of the causes they’ll never see, because it was central to their Agenda:

From MSNBC (earlier this year): Until recently, insurance companies screened individual buyers for potential health needs and penalized or excluded anyone who might actually need care. The Affordable Care Act bars that discrimination, and it uses tax credits to subsidize coverage for people with modest incomes.

And we know how this was destined to fail and has failed. What they are flapping their collectivist lips about is Adverse Selection (which I have harped on before).

Suppose an insurance firm offered health insurance to the general public. It is likely to have the highest take up rate amongst unhealthy people. People who don’t exercise, people who smoke. They are the group most likely to need health care, therefore, it makes sense for them to take out insurance. Healthy people don’t see the point, if the price of health insurance is determined by the average unhealthy person.

If insurance premiums are based on the needs of smokers, then the premiums will be high. Therefore, there is no incentive for healthy people to take out the insurance.

Solutions to Adverse Selection

To avoid adverse selection, firms need to try and identify different groups of people. This is why health insurance premiums are higher for smokers and obese people, etc.

And some people deemed of high or extreme risk are excluded altogether.

And this works in any insurance really, the higher risk people get higher premiums or excluded altogether in order to try and keep premiums as low as possible.


In Health Insurance if  you MANDATE that you can’t adversely select the higher risks (what the Left calls “discrimination”) then EVERYONE‘s premiums are going up to cover the influx of the unhealthy and the one’s who couldn’t afford it in the first place but are mandated to have it anyhow (or just like a freebie) are now on the taxpayers-you-and-me’s dime and we get to pay to pay for them as well!

That’s fair!, right.🙂

And then you stick in the provision, in ObamaCare, that says if your plan doesn’t match up perfectly with what ObamaCare considers the perfect plan then your plan has to bit the big one and you get….

More than a dozen states plan to cancel health care policies not in compliance with ObamaCare in the coming weeks, affecting thousands of people just before the midterm elections.

“It looks like several hundred thousand people across the country will receive notices in the coming days and weeks,” said Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

The policies are being canceled because states that initially granted a reprieve at the request of President Obama are no longer willing to do so.

In coming weeks, 13 states and the District of Columbia plan to cancel such policies, which generally fall out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act because they don’t offer the level of coverage the law requires.

Virginia will be hardest hit, with 250,000 policies expected to be canceled.

And because federal law requires a 60-day notice of any plan changes, voters will be notified no later than November 1, right before the Nov. 4 midterms.

Many of those forced out of their current plans and into ObamaCare may not be able to keep their doctors. They also could face higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, making ObamaCare an election issue on the eve of voting.

Obama had originally unequivocally promised that under his health care plan, everyone could keep their doctors and plans.

In 2009, he told the American Medical Association, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.No one will take it away. No matter what.”

The president later was forced to admit that any plan without the additional benefits required under ObamaCare faced cancellation.

But that unleashed a nasty political backlash, forcing him to back down and call for states and insurers to extend those policies for three more years.

Some said he didn’t have much choice. “There were some five or six million people who were at stake here and the federal exchange was in no condition to even process a few hundred thousand people much less millions,” said Joe Antos of the American Enterprise Institute.

Many states flatly refused to extend and now comes the new round of states that plan to cancel policies. (Jim Angle)

But don’t worry, IF the liberal media even mentions it, it will be the Insurance Companies fault, not the fault of ObamaCare and it’s ridiculous “requirements” because ObamaCare is the Light, and we “haters” are the Darkness, after all.

You don’t want the days of “discrimination” (racial overtone background music) to come back now do you?🙂

After all, The Left is the Light, and everyone else is The Dark.

MSNBC: “Honest people can differ on the merits of those policies.

And there’s no one more honest and transparent than The Left, after all, they are The Angels of Mercy and Compassion…🙂

So LIGHTen your wallet, here comes ObamaCare! The November Surprise?

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Independence, Progressive Style

Economic Policy: We sing of America as the land of the free, but it’s no longer the home of a free economy. We now rank 17th in economic freedom — a shameful situation.

The U.S. should have the freest economy in the world and constantly be encouraging others to catch up.

But that’s not the case. In 2013, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius and Bahrain are judged to have freer economies. “The Economic Freedom of the World: 2013 Annual Report,” a joint effort of the Cato and Fraser institutes, even judges Chile, Jordan and Estonia to have freer economies.

It hasn’t always been this way.

As Cato scholar Ian Vasquez noted on the Cato-At-Liberty blog, America “has seen more than a decade of decline, having been ranked second in the index in 2000, eighth in 2005 and 17th in the current report.”

How can this be? Why the steep downward slide? The answer starts and ends with a government that can’t say “no” to its urge to expand its role forever.

Consequently, America’s ranking has fallen in all areas that the report measures. In size of government, it is ranked 59th out of 152 countries. Our legal system and security of property rights ranks 30th, while our freedom to trade internationally is 43rd.

Worse, the U.S. is a true regulatory state, ranking 121st in credit market regulation and 33rd in business regulations.

The trouble with less-free economies is their universal poor performance. The freer a country’s economy, the more prosperous its people. The less free, the more miserable.

Venezuela, Myanmar, Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Chad are the bottom five (least-free) nations, and it’s no accident that all are wretched places to live.

The life satisfaction that is closely tied to an economy’s openness and the benefits it confers is not widely found in these places. As the report says, “economic freedom … makes people richer, but it also makes them happier.”

Despite the clear advantages produced by a free economy, the U.S. is moving away in the wrong direction. It is a shift that will have severe consequences.

“Unless policies undermining economic freedom are reversed,” say the report’s authors, James Gwartney, Robert Lawson and Josh Hall, “the future annual growth of the U.S. economy will be half its historic average of 3%.”

Reversal is the key, but it won’t happen with the status quo in Washington. We have a White House and its Democratic allies in Congress that want greater government control over the economy.

For them, it’s the America of hope and change. For the rest of us, it’s an unnecessary decline into a second-rate existence. (IBD)

We have ObamaCare still because The Democrats in Washington want it. Not the People. That’s hardly “free”. Or even accurate apparently…

Four people familiar with the development of the software that determines how much people would pay for subsidized coverage on the federally run exchanges said it was still miscalculating prices. Tests on the calculator initially scheduled to begin months ago only started this week at some insurers, according to insurance executives and two people familiar with development efforts. “There’s a blanket acknowledgment that rates are being calculated incorrectly,” said one senior health-insurance executive who asked not to be named. “Our tech and operations people are very concerned about the problems they’re seeing and the potential of them to stick around.” Not surprisingly, instead of inserting a delay, the Obama administration is going to iron out the kinks as we go.

The Obama administration says open enrollment will begin Oct. 1 on schedule. “We may encounter some bumps when open enrollment begins but we’ll solve them,” said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, one of the main offices within Medicare charged with developing the exchanges, in congressional testimony on Thursday.

Let  the crippled airliner take off anyways and then fix it after takeoff in the air…Yeah, that’s a good plan!!!

Man, how do Congressional Democrats and Government Bureaucrats want this thing.🙂

Mark Steyn: “This is the United States of America,” declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Missouri, on Friday. “We’re not some banana republic.”

He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, a glorious American tradition that seems to come round earlier every year. “This is not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama continued. “We don’t run out on our tab.”

True. But we don’t pay it off either. We just keep running it up, ever higher. And every time the bartender says, “Mebbe you’ve had enough, pal”, we protest, “Jush another couple trillion for the road. Set ’em up, Joe.” And he gives you that look that kinda says he wishes you’d run out on your tab back when it was $23.68.

“Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.”–Obama

SO we must be more Free under him than ever, right?🙂

Oh, then there’s Energy “independence”…

The administration finally has released its rules for curbing CO2 emissions from U.S. power plants. Far from being a plan to clean up the environment, it is in fact a road map to de-industrialization and poverty.

The tough new rules that will limit carbon dioxide output from new power plants immediately drew protests from the power industry. No surprise. But if Americans really understood what Obama is doing, they’d be up in arms, too.

Far from being an economically sensible plan to reduce U.S. pollution, this proposal will sharply raise the cost of energy to all Americans, while doing little to improve our environment.

Last year, the Institute for Energy Research estimated that the administration’s “regulatory assault” on power plants would eliminate 35 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity — or 10% of all U.S. power.

The new EPA rules will make that even worse. If you wonder why Obama has the worst jobs record of any president in modern history, look no further.

“We know this is not just about melting glaciers,” said Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy in announcing the rules Friday. She linked climate change to a host of spurious public health threats.

Yet just one day earlier, appearing before a congressional committee, McCarthy admitted that even though the EPA already has extensive rules in place to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, she had no evidence that they had done anything to halt global warming.

This is a stunning admission that these regulations aren’t about climate change at all, but rather part of an ideologically driven fight to tear the capitalist heart out of western civilization — plentiful energy, source of our highest-ever standard of living.

Worse, lying about the public health benefits ignores the real costs that come with the new regulations. Many big companies, faced with soaring costs for energy, will simply relocate plants and high-paying jobs overseas.

As the Wall Street Journal reported last week, iconic U.S. aluminum company Alcoa Inc. is moving production and jobs to other countries, in large part due to growing regulations and sharply higher energy costs.

This will be increasingly common, as will energy shortages around the country.

“If the carbon dioxide emissions standard for power plants proposed by the EPA today is enacted, the United States will have built its final coal-fired power plant,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute said.

This isn’t hyperbole. The EPA says its actions won’t cost anything — but will in fact help the power industry grow. This is plainly absurd.

New coal-fired plants will be forced to use technology to trap carbon dioxide and bury it in the ground. Problem is, as the Associated Press notes, “No coal-fired power plant has done this yet, in large part because of the cost.” Nor, we might add, do we have the technology needed to pull it off.

The U.S. has hundreds of years worth of low-cost coal to supply our energy needs. Now it’ll be off limits, thanks to another federal edict that will cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

But it will make the Left feel “good” and proud and smug about their superiority and their power to make it happen.

Now that’s freedom.






Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy