Hope & Change 2014

“I guess what I would say, if you looked at that person’s budget, and you looked at their cable bill, their cell phone bill, other things that they’re spending on, it may turn out that it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care because right now everybody is healthy.” President Obama. The man who has ADDED 7 1/2 Trillion to the Debt in 5 years! I guess that was his priority!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that Obamacare premiums will probably go up in 2015, that she does not know how many Obamacare customers have paid their premiums, and that she does not know how many Obamacare enrollees had insurance previously.

“I think premiums are likely to go up, but go up at a slower pace” than they did previously, Sebelius admitted at Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

“I can’t tell you that, sir, because I don’t know that,” Sebelius said when asked by Georgia Rep. Tom Price how many Obamacare customers have paid their first premiums. Sebelius said she also does not know how many Obamacare customers previously had insurance plans that were canceled.

However, an industry source says the White House “definitely knows” who has made these payments from two separate data points, as the exchanges were set up to be the “source of truth for information.” The source claims the White House is withholding the information for “political reasons because it would force them to lower their enrollment figures if 10% of 20% of enrollees had not paid.”

The Obama administration has delayed many provisions of the Obamacare law until after the 2014 midterms, including the economically consequential employer mandate.

The administration’s inability to meet its goal for enrolling young, healthy “invincibles” on the Obamacare exchanges has mired the entire Obamacare program in the so-called “death spiral,” which drives up health insurance rates because older, sicker people are primarily signing up. (DC)

Subverted Adverse Selection they did! 🙂

Most recently, the administration extended the “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate for those who had their previous policies canceled because of Obamacare until October 2016.

To qualify, your plan must have been canceled because it wasn’t compliant with Obamacare, and you just have to tell the government you “believe” that other insurance policies are unaffordable.

So the individual mandate is a “hardship” and the employer mandate is on hold until he’s not running anymore. BUT IT’S NOT POLITICAL!!!! And it’s doing good for everyone, anyone who says otherwise is a “liar” (Harry Reid).

So the 80-90% of the funding structure of this Magnum Opus just pissed down the drain…Gee, that’s very responsible budgeting Mr. president. Maybe we should cut your Cable bill!

“President Obama has refused to enforce those parts of our nation’s immigration laws that are not to his political liking, has waived portions of our welfare laws, has stretched our environmental laws to accommodate his policy objectives, and has waived testing accountability provisions required under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ education law,” according to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.

For example, in June 2012, Obama created a temporary mini-amnesty for at least 500,000 younger illegal immigrants. The act boosted his election-day support among Hispanics, but made it more difficult for young Americans to find jobs.

“Political appointees at the Justice Department have announced that rather than work with Congress to amend the federal criminal code, they will simply stop prosecuting low-level drug offenders under mandatory minimum sentencing laws,” said Goodlatte in a Fox News op-ed.

“And now that his signature health care law has not been working and revealed his empty promises, President Obama has changed that law unilaterally over 20 times,” Goodlatte added.

The House bill is titled “the Faithful Execution of the Law Act.”

The House is expected to pass the bill Wednesday, along with a companion bill, titled “ENFORCE the Law Act.”

The bills are expected to be blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. (DC)

Now that’s By-Partisan!
So do you “believe” in Hope & Change now…

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

The Roots of Success Part 1

In 2008, Barack Obama promised, “We’re going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”

Of course, like everything else he promises, he’s LYING. But the American people are too narcissistic and too stupid to know that. And too programmed to put two-and-two together Now.

But middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.

Some may elect to go without coverage if they feel prices are too high. Penalties for opting out are very small initially. Defections could cause rates to skyrocket if a diverse mix of people don’t sign up for health insurance.

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'” Kehaly said

“This is when the actual sticker shock comes into play for people,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “There are winners and losers under the Affordable Care Act.”

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Blue Shield of California sent termination letters to 119,000 customers last month whose plans don’t meet the new federal requirements. About two-thirds of those people will experience a rate increase from switching to a new health plan, according to the company.

HMO giant Kaiser Permanente is canceling coverage for about half of its individual customers, or 160,000 people, and offering to automatically enroll them in the most comparable health plan available.

The 16 million Californians who get health insurance through their employers aren’t affected. Neither are individuals who have “grandfathered” policies bought before March 2010, when the healthcare law was enacted. It’s estimated that about half of policyholders in the individual market have those older plans. (LA Times)

So they won’t see the 1000 lb gorilla in the room and vote for Liberals again. Because, it’s not hurting them, after all.

And if it doesn’t hurt them personally, it’s ok.

All these cancellations were prompted by a requirement from Covered California, the state’s new insurance exchange. The state didn’t want to give insurance companies the opportunity to hold on to the healthiest patients for up to a year, keeping them out of the larger risk pool that will influence future rates.

Forcing good consumers out of their plans and their doctors to make the exchange look better.

Gee, Obama didn’t promise that either. 🙂

Here’s another one:

Forbes: A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)

Misdirection? Never sen that from Obama and his Alinsky-ites before…:)

The answer is that Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.

P.T. Barnum couldn’t have done better.

The middle class that liberals go on about endlessly will pay more for their insurance so the poor can have more.

After all, socialist societies don’t have a middle class, do they… 🙂

Wayne Root: The GOP needs to stop calling ObamaCare a “trainwreck.” That means it’s a mistake, or accident. That means it’s a gigantic flop, or failure. It’s NOT. 

Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism. 

This is a brilliant, cynical, and purposeful attempt to damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, and bring down capitalism. 

It’s not a failure, it’s Obama’s grand success. 

It’s not a “trainwreck,” ObamaCare is a suicide attack. He wants to hurt us, to bring us to our knees, to capitulate- so we agree under duress to accept big government.

Obama’s hero and mentor was Saul Alinsky — a radical Marxist intent on destroying capitalism. Alinksky’s stated advice was to call the other guy “a terrorist” to hide your own intentions. 

To scream that the other guy is “ruining America,” while you are the one actually plotting the destruction of America. To claim again and again…in every sentence of every speech…that you are “saving the middle class,” while you are busy wiping out the middle class.

The GOP is so stupid they can’t see it. There are no mistakes here. This is a planned purposeful attack.

I said that years ago, myself.

The real sign that this is a purposeful attack upon capitalism is how many Obama administration members and Democratic Congressmen are openly calling Tea Party Republicans and anyone who wants to stop ObamaCare “terrorists.” 

There’s the clue. Even the clueless GOP should be able to see that.

But they are too busy agreeing with them.

And the people are too programmed by “Vote for me the other guy’s an asshole”

The asshole being the person who disagrees with the Alinsky Liberal!

Here’s to the successful launch of ObamaNation.

To be continued tomorrow.

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

The Cost Curve

‘When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either,’ he said. ‘They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working.’– Sen Ted Cruz.

Last night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally began to provide some data on how Americans will fare on Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchanges. HHS’ press release is full of happy talk about how premiums will be “lower than originally expected.” But the reality is starkly different.

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.

http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2013/what-will-obamacare-cost-you-map.html

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

So the spin is full swing and if the sun rise in the west because the earth is spinning now in the opposite direction you’ll know why.

It’s Propaganda 24/7/365. The Premiums are low, they have always been low and always will be low. Anyone who disagrees will be shut down, investigate, harassed and destroyed.

There is nothing to see here.

HHS-27-yo-men HHS-27-yo-women

40-year-olds, surprisingly, will face a similar picture. The cheapest exchange plan for the average enrollee, compared to what a 40-year-old would pay today, will cost an average of 99 percent more for men, and 62 percent for women.

For this cohort, men fared worst in North Carolina, with rate increases of 305 percent. (They are a “red State” so who gives a rat’s asses-certainly not Democrats!)Women got hammered in Nebraska, where rates will increase by a national high of 237 percent. Again, Colorado and New Hampshire fared best, with 17 percent and 5-8 percent declines, respectively.

Remember that here, we aren’t conducting an exact comparison. Instead we’re comparing the lowest-cost bronze plan offered to the average participant in the exchanges, to the cheapest plan offered to 40-year-olds today. This approach artificially flatters Obamacare, because the median age of an exchange participant is, in most states, below the age of 40.

All of the analyses I’ve discussed thus far involve changes in the underlying cost of health insurance for people who buy it for themselves. Many progressives object to this comparison, because it doesn’t take into account the impact of Obamacare’s subsidies on the net cost of insurance for low-income Americans.

I’ve long argued that it’s irresponsible to ignore the change in underlying premiums, because subsidies only protect some people. Middle-class Americans face the double-whammy of higher insurance premiums, and higher taxes to pay for other people’s subsidies. However, it is important to understand how subsidies will impact the decisions by Americans as to whether or not to participate in the exchanges.

Remember that nearly two-thirds of the uninsured are under the age of 40. And that young and healthy people are essential to Obamacare; unless these individuals are willing to pay more for health insurance to subsidize everyone else, the exchanges will not serve the goal of providing coverage to the uninsured.

And remember, “subsidies” mean Government artificially suppressing the price with TAXPAYER money. THAT’S YOU!!! 🙂

And once you are truly addicted to it, they can remove the subsidies and then you’re really screwed but your too addicted to complain by then.

Hook you first. Then tell you that “the other guy” wants to take away your drugs!! So vote for me to continue letting you shoot up even if it will kill you. What do I care, if you vote for me life is good.

The bottom line: Obamacare makes insurance less affordable

For months, we’ve heard about how Obamacare’s trillions in health care subsidies were going to save America from rate shock. It’s not true. If you shop for coverage on your own, you’re likely to see your rates go up, even after accounting for the impact of pre-existing conditions, even after accounting for the impact of subsidies.

The Obama administration knows this, which is why its 15-page report makes no mention of premiums for insurance available on today’s market. Silence, they say, speaks louder than words. HHS’ silence on the difference between Obamacare’s insurance premiums and those available today tell you everything you need to know. Rates are going higher. And if you’re healthy, or you’re young, the Obama administration expects you to do your duty and pay up. (Forbes)

It’s only “fair” and “we are in this together” after all…

 

 

The Life of Riley

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The government we entrust our medical records to under ObamaCare has its EPA sharing confidential data on farmers with green groups and the IRS reading your email. Smile and wave at the EPA drone.

The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, violating their privacy rights and acting in collusion with private groups with private political agendas.

In Nixonian fashion, the EPA has provided these environmental groups with the dossiers of farmers it has gathered to help them create an enemies list of potential polluters. The agency acknowledged the information included individual names, email addresses, phone numbers and personal addresses.

The EPA claimed the data were related to farms in 29 states with “concentrated animal feeding operations” and that the released information was part of the agency’s commitment to “ensure clean water and public-health protection.”

How? By giving environmental groups the identities and addresses of those they need to pressure?

“This information details my family’s home address,” J.D. Alexander, a Nebraska cattle farmer and former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, told FarmFutures.com. “The only thing it doesn’t do is chauffeur these extremists to my house.”

Recently we editorialized on how Nebraska’s congressional delegation had sent a justifiably angry letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson complaining that her agency had exceeded its legislative and constitutional authority by conducting drone surveillance flights over Nebraska and Iowa farms looking for Clean Water Act violations.

“They are just way on the outer limits of any authority they’ve been granted,” said Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

The EPA argued that the courts, including the Supreme Court, has already authorized aerial surveillance, such as taking photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility. But nobody has their family home in a chemical plant, and such surveillance observes not only the farm, but also the farmers and their families who rightly have an expectation of privacy.

Such warrantless surveillance has found its counterpart in the claim by the Internal Revenue Service that it does not need a warrant to read our emails and that doing so does not violate the Constitution.

Incredibly, IRS attorneys have asserted in documents that the Fourth Amendment — which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures — does not protect email and that a warrant is not needed to plant a GPS location tracker on a car in its owner’s driveway.

“The Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications,” says a 2009 “Search Warrant Handbook” by the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s Office of Chief Counsel.

The IRS claims that under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, government officials only need a subpoena, issued without a judge’s approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request and released the information on Wednesday, begs to differ.

It cites the 2010 Warshak decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the Fourth Amendment’s provisions trumped the provisions of the 1986 ECPA law. That means a warrant is required to read email — no matter where it is stored or how old it is.

In an October 2011 memo obtained by the ACLU, an IRS attorney explained that the Warshak decision applies only in the 6th Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Since when do our constitutional rights depend on geography?

The Obama administration’s war on the Constitution knows no bounds, whether it be our First Amendment right to religious liberty, our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms or our protection against the government grabbing our possessions unreasonably. (IBD)

OBAMACARE UPDATE

Retired as a city worker, Sheila Pugach lives in a modest home on a quiet street in Albuquerque, N.M., and drives an 18-year-old Subaru.

Pugach doesn’t see herself as upper-income by any stretch, but President Barack Obama’s budget would raise her Medicare premiums and those of other comfortably retired seniors, adding to a surcharge that already costs some 2 million beneficiaries hundreds of dollars a year each.

More importantly, due to the creeping effects of inflation, 20 million Medicare beneficiaries would end up paying higher “income related” premiums for their outpatient and prescription coverage over time.

Administration officials say Obama’s proposal will help improve the financial stability of Medicare by reducing taxpayer subsidies for retirees who can afford to pay a bigger share of costs. Congressional Republicans agree with the president on this one, making it highly likely the idea will become law if there’s a budget deal this year.

But the way Pugach sees it, she’s being penalized for prudence, dinged for saving diligently.

It was the government, she says, that pushed her into a higher income bracket where she’d have to pay additional Medicare premiums.

IRS rules require people age 70-and-a-half and older to make regular minimum withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement nest eggs like 401(k)s. That was enough to nudge her over Medicare’s line.

“We were good soldiers when we were young,” said Pugach, who worked as a computer systems analyst. “I was afraid of not having money for retirement and I put in as much as I could. The consequence is now I have to pay about $500 a year more in Medicare premiums.”

Currently only about 1 in 20 Medicare beneficiaries pays the higher income-based premiums, which start at incomes over $85,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples. As a reference point, the median or midpoint U.S. household income is about $53,000.

Obama’s budget would change Medicare’s upper-income premiums in several ways. First, it would raise the monthly amounts for those currently paying.

If the proposal were already law, Pugach would be paying about $168 a month for outpatient coverage under Medicare’s Part B, instead of $146.90.

Then, the plan would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue from the top tiers of retirees.

But its biggest impact would come through inflation.

The administration is proposing to extend a freeze on the income brackets at which seniors are liable for the higher premiums until 1 in 4 retirees has to pay. It wouldn’t be the top 5 percent anymore, but the top 25 percent.

“Over time, the higher premiums will affect people who by today’s standards are considered middle-income,” explained Tricia Neuman, vice president for Medicare policy at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “At some point, it raises questions about whether (Medicare) premiums will continue to be affordable.”

Required withdrawals from retirement accounts would be the trigger for some of these retirees. For others it could be taking a part-time job.

One consequence could be political problems for Medicare. A growing group of beneficiaries might come together around a shared a sense of grievance.

“That’s part of the problem with the premiums — they simply act like a higher tax based on income,” said David Certner, federal policy director for AARP, the seniors lobby.

“Means testing” of Medicare benefits was introduced in 2007 under President George W. Bush in the form of higher outpatient premiums for the top-earning retirees. Obama’s health care law expanded the policy and also added a surcharge for prescription coverage.

The latest proposal ramps up the reach of means testing and sets up a political confrontation between AARP and liberal groups on one side and fiscal conservatives on the other. The liberals have long argued that support for Medicare will be undermined if the program starts charging more for the well-to-do. Not only are higher-income people more likely to be politically active, they also tend to be in better health.

Fiscal conservatives say it makes no sense for government to provide the same generous subsidies to people who can afford to pay at least some of the cost themselves. As a rule, taxpayers pay for 75 percent of Medicare’s outpatient and prescription benefits. Even millionaires would still get a 10 percent subsidy on their premiums under Obama’s plan. Technically, both programs are voluntary.

“The government has to understand the difference between universal opportunity and universal subsidy,” said David Walker, the former head of the congressional Government Accountability Office. “This is a very modest step towards changing the government subsidy associated with Medicare’s two voluntary programs.”

It still doesn’t sit well with Sheila Pugach. She says she’s been postponing remodeling work on her 58-year-old house because she’s concerned about the cost. Having a convenient utility room so she doesn’t have to go out to the garage to do laundry would help with her back problems.

“They think all old people are living the life of Riley,” she said. (yahoo)

That’s the government’s job, did you know that. They run your life from beginning to end and you just trust that they know best and that everything will come out as it should. You should never doubt them.

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

 

 

More Skunk Spray

As Democrats grow increasingly worried that ObamaCare will explode on the launch pad just as midterm elections get going, the Obama administration seeks to pin blame on Republicans. Good luck with that.

Well, let’s think about that for a moment.

The Ministry of Truth is there to lie repeatedly with great gusto to ignorant masses 24/7/365.

Tell a Lie often enough and it can become truth, especially with low and no info voters.

After all, they bought the “Vote For Me the other guys an asshole” Campaign Strategy that Obama had last campaign season.

And he’s still in Campaign mode and still raising money.

It won’t be easy since it was and is his singularly most proud moment. But that just makes the lies more challenging.

Earlier this week, Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn’t realize how complicated getting ObamaCare off the ground would be.

So you just blame the Republicans for “obstructing” the process as usual. That at least has worked on the moron peasant crowd before.

Sebelius complained that “no one fully anticipated” the difficulties involved in implementing ObamaCare, or how confusing it would be with the public.

Hey, the 2,700 pages of crap that no one in the Congress or The Administration actually read wasn’t a clue!

She wasn’t talking about the massive and impossible task of imposing central planning on one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

Because that was the goal all along and they wanted that. They want to control everyone and everything eventually.

Instead, she was trying to find a way to blame Republicans for ObamaCare’s failures when the inevitable problems start emerging.

And since the Republicans want to get rid of it, lets blame them for the problems and say they created them by trying to “piece meal” UNDO it or there obstruction is “causing” the problems.

Just like doing it to begin with “piece meal” was bad, according to the Left. Which is what the Republicans wanted, if anything.

Then you blame the Republicans “friends”, the industry, rich people, etc… and you have your class warfare element and your next “throw grandma/poor off the cliff” ad.

Rather than say “let’s get on board, let’s make this work,” recalcitrant Republicans have forced her to engage in “state-by-state political battles,” Sebelius said at a Harvard School of Public Health forum. “The politics has been relentless.”

So the war is the Republican’s fault. If they had just let them do it all without a fight there wouldn’t be these problems!

Of course, there would be, probably even worse than these, but that’s not how this game is played.

So let’s see if we get this. Democrats shoved an unpopular, expensive, ill-conceived and poorly written law down the country’s throat with no Republican support, and without bothering to see whether states would want to take on the thankless and costly task of helping the feds implement it.

Yes. So it MUST Be their fault! 🙂

It sure as hell can’t be the Democrats fault. There intentions and ambitions were pure as the driven snow. They are the Angels of Mercy and Compassion…Besides, they can lie about the votes and the support. Hell, that was 4 years ago, the low or no information moron won’t remember it and if we lie about the History well enough…

And now that many of these states are rebelling, it’s the Republicans’ fault?

Of Course it is. Any time you rebel against the yoke of your Morally and Politically Superior Masters on The Left it’s your Fault! 🙂

Sebelius’ fellow Democrat, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, had a more accurate take on the problem the administration faces: the law is “probably the most complicated piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress” and “if it isn’t done right the first time, it will just simply get worse.”

Or it could just be worse to begin with… 🙂

Rockefeller, like a growing number of Democrats, realizes that ObamaCare is shaping up to be a political disaster for the party next November.

So we have to start the Campaign Now to blame someone else for it!

The influential Cook Political Report noted earlier this month that almost all of the Democratic insiders they talked to “voiced concern about the potential for the issue to hurt Democrats in 2014.”

And just what could explain these concerns?

Maybe it’s because even Sebelius now admits that ObamaCare will force insurance claims up 32%.

Gee, that’s a bit of a ways from lowering your premiums by thousands of dollars.

Or possibly it’s because, despite endless assurances that the insurance exchanges would be ready on time, the administration had to delay for a year a key feature meant to give small business a choice of health plans.

Or because neither Sebelius nor the states have provided evidence they can get the rest of the exchanges ready by Oct. 1, when ObamaCare’s open enrollment begins.

Or that a key provision, The High Risk Pool (pre-existing conditions) portion is already bankrupt NOW and will need a “bailout” by the time this all kicks off. 🙂

Or perhaps Democrats’ fears stem from state insurance commissioners warning of a rate shock once ObamaCare’s “community rating” rules and benefit mandates start. Or from rising evidence the law is hurting job growth as small businesses try to avoid its costs.

Townhall: The $1.3 trillion U.S. health-care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will initially accomplish less than intended. Costs for a network of health-insurance exchanges, a core part of the Affordable Care Act, have swelled to $4.4 billion for fiscal 2012 and 2013 combined, and will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the budget President Barack Obama yesterday sent to Congress. That spending would be more than double initial projections, even though less than half the 50 U.S. states are participating. The unanticipated spending is a consequence of an ambitious timetable dictated by Congress and a complex new way of offering people medical coverage, say analysts, lobbyists and administration officials. Combine that with a majority of Republican governors declining to cooperate with a Democratic president and U.S. regulators are left grasping to get the 2010 health law up and running by a Jan. 1, 2014, deadline. For the areas that money can’t solve, the Obama administration is opting for delay. It temporarily backed off some provisions of the law, including restrictions on coverage for executives and a promise to offer small businesses greater choices of health plans. 

And there are still the 1,700 Waivers they gave their friends.
Costing more, and doing less.  What a deal. (sounds like a typical liberal idea) Remember, the federal government simply assumed that every state would set up its own exchange — despite strong public opposition to the law, and high associated costs coupled with heavy-handed federal mandates with scant flexibility.

Oh course they did. They are the Morally Superior Left. Everyone loves them because they are so vastly superior to you morons that you’ll just roll over and do whatever they want you to do.

Why would anyone question that?

And if you fight them, then they have to be the Parent who blames the other one for wanting to be so mean because they are so perfect it can’t possibly be their fault.

None of this, mind you, has anything to do with Republicans. And if the GOP were smart, it’d be focused on making sure that, come next November, the public knows that, too. (IBD)

Yeah, but I’m not convinced they are that smart. They don’t have a great track record of it lately. Especially with “Jar Jar” Boehner at the helm.

Conservatives must resist the temptation to bury their heads in the sand for possible short term political advantage.  That’s what liberals are for!

Which means come 2014 we won’t smell success against Obamacare, just more Skunk spray.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

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 Battle Begins Anew

A Little From our Post Traumatic Image is Everything First (Constitution Second) Conscious Chief Justice:

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joked that he’ll spend some time on an “impregnable island fortress” now that the court has ended a session that featured him casting the decisive vote to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Responding to a question about his summer break, Roberts said he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta, the Mediterranean island nation.

“Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea,” Roberts said, drawing laughter from about 300 judges, attorneys and others attending a four-day conference Friday at a posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort.

The only direct question Roberts got about the health care opinion came when those at the conference were invited to ask questions.

That’s when Roberts was asked what he thought his court’s legacy would be in 50 years and “how one recent opinion might fit into that” – an obvious reference to the health care decision.

“Well, I won’t answer anything that has to do with the second part of that,” Roberts said. But he said he hopes that the court under him is remembered as one that “did our job according to the Constitution, of protecting equal justice under the law.”

Lamberth hinted at the controversial decision when he asked Roberts if it bothered him that he can’t respond to his critics.

“No,” Roberts said, his brief answer hanging in the air to more laughter.(AP)

Public opposition to the health care law remains high. Forty-seven percent of respondents in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll said they oppose the law while 33 percent said they support it. Thirteen percent said they are neutral. Those who strongly oppose the legislation also outnumber those who strongly support it, 32 percent to 17 percent, about a 2-to-1 margin.

Critical to both parties, just 21 percent of independents support it, the lowest level of support the AP-GfK poll has recorded on the issue. (AP)

But here comes the old fearmongering and division that Liberals are so congenitally wired for:

“Now the American people are going to say, `Now what’s in that for me?'” Harkin said. “As long as Democrats are willing to go out there and positively say, `Look, now you are guaranteed that you will get affordable health insurance if you had breast cancer in the past … preventive care, free mammograms. … And they (Republicans) want to take it away from you. You have it now and they want to take it away from you. If you want it taken away from you, you just go ahead and vote for them.'” (AP)

So…

Republicans also used the ruling to craft a new attack line. Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion said the law’s requirement that Americans purchase health care is a tax, which Republicans argued contradicted Obama and Democrats who insist they aren’t raising taxes on the poor and middle class.

“The court blew the president’s cover,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

The tax debate will be at the forefront when the House votes the week of July 9 to overturn the law, a largely symbolic step with a Democratic-controlled Senate but one that will put Democrats and Republicans on record and provide fodder for the campaign.

Because guess what, IT’S A TAX!  The Supreme Court says so!!

And who will get it in the shorts the  most– why the middle class and the poor!! Will the Democrats tell them that? Nope. It’s all Fear, Loathing, and Me-Generation Greed.

The Battle begins again.

The medical overhaul is also a choice killer. Many will recall Obama promising that under his plan, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”

Those aren’t the facts.

As we reported in April, the CBO estimates that as many as 20 million Americans will be forced out of their plans as employers toss workers into government health exchanges to avoid ObamaCare’s costs.

A survey by McKinsey and Co. found that nearly one-third of employers will likely to drop coverage for their workers once ObamaCare kicks in.

And an analysis by the Medicare actuary found that ObamaCare’s attacks on Medicare’s private insurance options will force nearly 8 million seniors out of the coverage they’ve chosen.

• Consumer costs will rise. CBO says premiums will increase over the next decade faster than they did in the past five years.

• The Affordable Care Act is just the beginning. It’s the door to a single-payer government system run by a DMV-type bureaucracy.

• The quality of care will suffer. The Democrats’ law will chill the incentives to become a doctor, to create innovative drugs and to produce live-saving and life-enhancing medical equipment.

• Don’t be surprised when treatment is rationed by government. As it takes over a larger portion of health care — it already controls nearly half — resources won’t be able to keep up with demand. Somebody wins, somebody loses based on someone else’s whim. (IBD)

But don’t worry, the Democrats will just focus on fear, intimidation, and “mean” old Republicans who want to throw grandma off a cliff and you to “just die” as former Rep. Grayson once said on the House floor.

Meanwhile, the Democrats WILL tax you to death and give you 2nd-3rd world care (unless you are “rich” that is) but it won’t be their fault. 🙂

And if you increase demand but they supply doesn’t increase or even decreases then what happens? Hmmm….

And it all points to a single solution: Repeal the law before it takes deep root, and replace it with policies that put the patient in charge.

“What has happened in this system for too long is that the patient has kind of been second or third in line behind everybody else,” Ed Haislmaier health policy worker for the Heritage Foundation says.

And then he made a good point on why Democrats may be opposed to it if they get their ideological heads out of their asses:

Critics of the mandate say Republicans and Democrats alike oppose it.

“Republicans are against it because they see it as an impingement on their personal freedom,” says Ed Haislmaier, who works on healthcare policy at the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The Democrats are against it because they don’t like health insurance companies in the first place, and they don’t like to be told they have to go buy from someone they don’t like.(VOA)

And I would add, make them aware of how much everything costs because this is far from “free healthcare”.

Yahoo question from the public at large: Since conservatives are so greedy, I am surprised they would oppose Free.

Need I say more? 🙂

How about From a UK message board: congratualations {sp} USA on your free healthcare – now you can do something about your obesity and retardation.

The Bright Spot from the perspective of damage and ability to provide clarity on what this really means:

Because the one ”bright spot” of the ruling was on the matter of Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid is the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor, in which both governments split the cost. ObamaCare mandated states accept more federal money and expand eligibility to ensnare a larger number of Americans in this dismal government-run plan. But along with that mandate for the states to spend hundreds of millions more than they can afford, the law included a penalty for states that didn’t expand the Medicaid eligibility – the loss of all federal Medicaid money. Essentially it was a choice between spending more money that states don’t have or receiving no federal money, yet still being obligated to provide Medicaid.

The Supreme Court rejected that provision. It said states can be offered the option but can’t be forced to accept the expansion money, nor to extend Medicaid to people who don’t currently qualify. Given many states are going broke now, and Medicaid is their largest expenditure already, it’s highly doubtful many will spend more on this program.

So, given Medicaid was a key component to extending coverage to all Americans under ObamaCare, and given it’s now dead or at least an unlikely option, the uninsured near-poor – the people this whole mess was designed to help – won’t be getting Medicaid. Since they also probably won’t soon earn enough to buy insurance on their own, they finish right where they started – in no-man’s land.

Middle-class Americans without insurance will have to pay an Obama Tax that will grow with each passing year. The near-poor were exempted from the tax, but they won’t get insurance either.

Given the ease – relative to the rest of the world – with which Americans can move up the economic ladder, many will work at jobs that can’t afford to provide insurance under ObamaCare and are too small to be required to provide it. But those jobs will pay enough so employees eventually will qualify for the Obama Tax. So, just as these near-poor approach some semblance of economic security, the IRS (which Obamacare empowered to enforce the Obama Tax) will be right there to whack them back down.

Therefore, and not for the first time, the people ObamaCare was supposed to help will be hurt the most.

Middle-class families also will take a hit.

Most Americans work for small businesses. The law requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine. Since ObamaCare forces insurance companies to accept everyone with pre-existing conditions – which is like requiring car insurance companies to insure cars after their owners have wrapped them around a tree – premiums will skyrocket. Companies quickly will notice it’s easier to simply pay the fine. This means a new group of uninsured Americans.

If the slight bump in pay doesn’t permit them to afford insurance, they will be hit with the Obama Tax. (And for those of you keeping score at home, they make significantly less than the $250,000 per year the President promised to never, ever raise taxes on. “Read my lips!” anyone?)

The government doesn’t care about your expenses. It doesn’t care about your kids in private school, your mortgage or student loans or the relatives you’re trying to help through a bad time. It doesn’t care how or really even whether you make ends meet as the Obama Recession rolls into another year. It sees you as a number – the number of dollars you make, whether you make enough to buy insurance according to its formula.

Don’t believe me? Try discussing with a bureaucrat anything you owe government on any level and see if you can appeal to their mercy. You might get a traffic fine reduced occasionally if you catch the right bureaucrat on the right day. But the IRS deals with tens of millions of people over hundreds of billions of dollars. Bureaucracies are not in the mercy business.

So now that Obamacare has morphed into a tax on staying alive, it will become yet another liberal “well-intentioned” attempt to “strengthen the social safety net” that ends up functioning more like a spider web that ensnares people in the life it was supposed to help them escape.

It also forces the health insurance market into a bastardized market that threatens its very existence. It will cause many insurers to fail, which will lead to consolidation, concentration and ultimately corporate welfare. Or the government will step in, take over the entire market and give us the American version of Britain’s detestable National Health Service, which is something Democrats have been working towards for decades. Either way, government wins and we – all of us – lose.

Of course none of these taxes and insurance drops will take effect for these impacted people until after the election, which was by design. Costing people you need to vote for you more before they vote is fool’s errand, a lesson Barack Obama learned from President George H.W. Bush. But once he no longer need their vote, ever, for the rest of his life…lookout.

Did we reject a tyranny 236 years ago to gradually create our own without the accent and powdered wig? Did we replace “No taxation without representation” with “Taxation through misrepresentation”? As you celebrate our nation’s independence this week, commit yourself to talk to as many people as you can about how we’ve lost that which we are celebrating and how November is our next, and maybe our only, chance to declare it again. (Derek Hunter)

Time for a more literal TEA PARTY revolution against our Would-be King. And time to re-instill freedom into this great land.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne