Physician, Heal Nothing

It finally seems to have sunk into the Obama Administration how badly this Obamacare thing is going. There have been rumblings that the system will not be fixed by the end of the month (color me surprised). The total enrollment is something like 100,000 (only a quarter from the federal exchange). And millions of people are livid over having their policies cancelled.

If you’ve followed Obama for the last five years, you know what comes next: rewriting the law on his own:

The White House has its own idea to stop the bleeding: Allow insurers to renew existing plans in 2014 (which means they could continue into 2015) while forcing them to send Landrieu-like letters explaining why their plans don’t conform to the Affordable Care Act’s standards.

(I’m tired from baby stuff and I first read that sentence as “Landru-like” letters … as in Landru the computer from the classic Star Trek serial “Return of the Archons”. Funny thing is that, now that I’m awake, a letter from a fictional crazed computer still sounds a lot better than one coming from Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.)

This doesn’t really ensure anyone can actually keep their plan — which means it also doesn’t affect premiums in the exchanges. But it makes it easier for Democrats to blame insurers for canceling these plans. And it perhaps makes it easier for the White House to stop congressional Democrats from signing onto something like Landrieu or Udall.
The insurance industry is furious. They’ve been working with the White House to get HealthCare.Gov up and running and they’ve been devoting countless man hours to dealing with the problems and they’ve been taking the heat from their customers over canceled plans, and now the Obama administration wants to make them into a scapegoat.

In other words, this changes the wording to, “If you liked your plan, you could have kept your plan if it weren’t for those greedy insurance companies.”

The problem is that the machinery of canceling plans and creating new ones is already moving. The insurance industry has put a million piece in motion anticipating that the exchanges would, you know, work. Stopping it at this point is like slipping you car into reverse on the highway. It’s such a bad idea that the state of Washington has already said they will not implement it.

So why is Obama trying to sell this snake oil? Well, as McCardle points out, there really isn’t a Plan B. The process has advanced so far and the individual market is so delicate right now, that we really don’t have a good option. Obama has driven us into a ditch with no way out.

No matter what happens from now on, I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of individual insurance policies. By the time Obama leaves office, your choices will be Medicaid or employer insurance. And maybe that was the intention all along.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    How many people has Pelosi The Deranged claimed were signed up? 500K?

    Even with whatever that number is, it would still not be enough for it to “work”…

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    I think it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Obama and his supporters don’t actually know what insurance is.

    I think they see it as some sort of savings account where everyone has to deposit, but only they decide who gets a withdraw funds, and for what.

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    Obama is committing conspiracy. He is encouraging healthcare companies to break the law.

    Bingo. When you think about it, Democrats should be pushing back on the Obamacare “fixes” as much as Republicans. He is usurping Congress’s power.

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  4. AlexInCT

    Bingo. When you think about it, Democrats should be pushing back on the Obamacare “fixes” as much as Republicans. He is usurping Congress’s power.

    Actually, I hope they spend at least another year trying to defend the indefensible. I hope that they try to fix it, because I know whatever “fix” they implement will be another unicorn fart induced deranged solution that ignores reality in favor of the progressive collectivist agenda, and that will only serve to cause even more damage. I hope they keep telling massive lies, like Shutlz and Pelosi in particular have been doing, only to end up with massive egg on their face. I hope the keep hanging on to this thing for as long as they can so it hangs them good and high, and destroys the progressive agenda for at least another 2 generations like the Carter years did.

    There is no way to make this thing work without fucking over productive people (the ones still in the work force and even a large chunk of those that are not part of the group that pays all the taxes), and fucking them over royally. The vast majority of us will all have to give up our existing coverage, medical providers, and autonomy, as we are forced to join a terrible system that will cost us far more than what we have been paying and provides us with subpar care (and that’s in the best case scenario). Worse of all, it will do nothing to address the rising costs or the fact that so many will operate outside the system and thus force even more costs on us, As rates jump every year and quality & access decline, people will finally come to realize how moronic the belief government was the best candidate to do this shit is, but by then it will be too late. That’s the bottom line of this disastrous thing. It’s a noose around all our necks.

    The problem is that the left can’t admit they fucked up and let this thing get rolled back. It will be the first time – ever – that a social program was canned, and it sets a terrible precedent for them: that other failed systems (and lets, be honest, practically every one of them is a failed system) can also be done away with. So in order to maintain their purity & power, they will destroy healthcare in America, and the American economy and employment market while at it. Dark economic times are a coming. And I bet they will then blame everyone but themselves for it. My bet is that they blame the rich and the korporashuns. Kind of like they do now with all the other broken social systems that are on course for bankrupting this country. Hopefully most people will have wizened up by then, and their lies will fall on deaf ears.

    What this country needs now is a few decades where the collectivists are compeltely ignored, and if possible, ridiculed.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    Alex, if the Obama Administration has done one good thing, it’s to remind the American people of what happens when they elect people like Barack Obama.

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  6. Section8

    Well let’s just hope no one does something stupid like, I don’t know, make a stand against this thing, or try repeal it. Those things are just extreme and dumb. Bitching about it and then making sure nothing changes is the right way to go.

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  7. AlexInCT

    Alex, if the Obama Administration has done one good thing, it’s to remind the American people of what happens when they elect people like Barack Obama.

    At this point I really wish my choices where not always between someone I don’t like too much like Boosh, or someone I can barely tollerate like McCain, versus someone whose ideas are so vile to me that they make me want to puke like those of Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Clinton (both). Picking the lesser of two evils because one is just so far out there that it is scary is getting old, and getting old quick.

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  8. Miguelito

    I think everyone who lives in the real world knows exactly how this is going to play out (and this is what Obama wants)…

    Many of the companies are going to say they can’t renew the policies, as they’ve been changing over their systems for the new requirements and it would likely cost them a lot of money to revert a lot of the info. Obama, dems and the media (redundant, I know) will then give the old, “See? We said it was ok and those evil insurance companies refused to give you the old policies again!”

    Interesting thought brought up on the radio on my way to work… technically, even though he’s choosing not to enforce the law, any policies that are renewed because of his grace year, are still technically illegal. What happens if someone sues when they’re not covered for something that wasn’t listed in their policy? That is technically illegal?

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  9. Hal_10000 *

    Well let’s just hope no one does something stupid like, I don’t know, make a stand against this thing, or try repeal it. Those things are just extreme and dumb. Bitching about it and then making sure nothing changes is the right way to go.

    And yet the law went to effect at the exact time someone tried a futile gesture to repeal it. And the party that might be able to do something about this unholy mess burned their political capital. Pity that.

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  10. Section8

    And yet the law went to effect at the exact time someone tried a futile gesture to repeal it. And the party that might be able to do something about this unholy mess burned their political capital. Pity that.

    How did they burn it? What capital did they have to burn? They still have the stigma of years of reckless spending of their own to deal with correct? You know the spending you bring up at every turn to justify why it’s wrong to go after this administration? I thought their spending in the Bush years was outrageous, and I bet I was posting about it here around the same time you were if not before.

    but….

    When a different crowd comes in and starts making a stand and you’re busy using the previous crowd as a reason to discount the current crowd, and parrot every left wing talking point out there to justify no action, and always run to the hills and I mean always run when a stand is made, where is your credibility? Seems to have been burned. Pity that.

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  11. Mook

    And the party that might be able to do something about this unholy mess burned their political capital. Pity that.

    Maybe that’s the belief in your prog circles, but out here in the real world Hal, by taking a strong stand against OCare and going to the mat with it, Republicans cemented in people’s minds that it was those Republicans, most especially the dreaded unwashed Tea Party Republicans, who STOOD ALONE in aggressive defiance of that hulking sack of shlit legislation which is now inflicting pain on the masses. Now that the reality of this catastrophe is finally setting in across all political lines, it’s dawning on people that ONE group stood firmly opposed to it. And it’s THAT group who, according to your hairbrained mindset, was wrong in their efforts to do so.

    Sec8 has it exactly right. Everything you’ve written confirms that you’re all in favor of bitching and whining about it, while simultaneously criticizing and demeaning any and all actions to defund and repeal it. In your mindset, as you’ve written before, Republicans need to shut the fk up and take it because we lost the Presidential election although Repubs won control of Congress and most governorships.. therefore according to your “logic”, Republicans must avoid ANY aggressive steps to defund this piece of shlit lest they squander “political capital”. It’s an irrational position Hal, especially with the benefit of hindsight which we have now.

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  12. Hal_10000 *

    Republicans need to shut the fk up and take it because we lost the Presidential election although Repubs won control of Congress and most governorships.. therefore according to your “logic”, Republicans must avoid ANY aggressive steps to defund this piece of shlit lest they squander “political capital”. It’s an irrational position Hal, especially with the benefit of hindsight which we have now.

    No. The Republicans need to find things that are doable, not things that get conservative progs like you riled up and donating money to them but accomplish fuck all. Trying to filibuster Obamacare and nip in the bud was taking a stand. Shutting down government — which would not and DID NOT stop Obamacare — is a fund-raising stunt.

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  13. Hal_10000 *

    How did they burn it? What capital did they have to burn?

    Maybe you missed that part where GOP approval numbers hit a record low. Had they not engaged in Ted Cruz’s fund-raising stunt, they’d be in excellent position right now to make some serious changes to Obamacare.

    In the game of politics, your gun only has so many rounds. You can’t waste them by shooting them in the air and screaming “Yehaw!”

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  14. Mook

    The Republicans need to find things that are doable, not things that get conservative progs like you riled up and donating money to them but accomplish fuck all.

    You’re right Hal, it didn’t accomplish “fuck all” except to highlight and cement in the entire country’s minds that the Tea Party Repubs were the ONLY ones fighting OCare which is raining hell down on millions of Americans growing more and more hated and unpopular by the day. You dishonestly pretend that once a law is passed, it HAS to be funded.. that’s a lying prog talking point which you’re repeating chapter and verse.

    And how exactly would Republicans be in a “better” position now if they had not to aggressively opposed Obamacare?.. please do make that case, I’d love to hear your “logic”. Then you say that Republicans should “change” Obamacare? Change it? It’s a law flawed to the core.. It needs to be stripped and repealed, not “changed”. Oh my, if we just tweaked a little here, and modified a bit here, Republicans could “save” Obamacare, right Hal? That IS what your arguing for.

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  15. Section8

    Maybe you missed that part where GOP approval numbers hit a record low. Had they not engaged in Ted Cruz’s fund-raising stunt, they’d be in excellent position right now to make some serious changes to Obamacare.

    Got it so even though this thing is a massive f’up (actual reality) it’s all Cruz’s fault now that it can’t be fixed. And there’s no way that it now can be pointed out that the guy that shut down the government and supposedly brought the world to its knees and made the rivers turn red with blood (all imagined hysteria no less) might have been right all along. I know you won’t hop on board with that angle though. Not without Ezra’s permission. And I know you don’t care about polls yet choose to reference them now. Polls are only as good as the day they are taken. Perhaps some could realize the world didn’t come to an end with the government shutdown and wouldn’t have. They could realize that maybe there’s actually an opportunity to point out those that knew this was going to be a mess were right, and work on that angle, but no, we’ll just say nothing can be done now because of Cruz. A ridiculous assessment, but hey, it’s a great way to play it if you want to sound like you’re for less government but can always leave enough wiggle room to hop the fence.

    No matter, if it wasn’t Cruz, it would be the Bush years as the excuse and Medicare part D or some other nonsense, meanwhile I’ve seen you criticize conservatives who wouldn’t back Paul Ryan because he voted for Medicare part D. So which is it?

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  16. Hal_10000 *

    You dishonestly pretend that once a law is passed, it HAS to be funded.. that’s a lying prog talking point which you’re repeating chapter and verse.

    No. I honestly acknowledge that when the Senate and White house are in Democratic hands, the chance of unpassing their signature law — especially after it had already gone into effect — was zero.

    S8, the Republicans had held 40 symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare before the shutdown. I think they’d made the point that they opposed it. At least with their mouths.

    You have to decide what you want. Do you want a GOP that understand that we have a system of government? And that this system has rules? And that you advance a conservative agenda as best as you can within those rules? The one that has made what little progress we have against Obama’s agenda? Or do you want a GOP that “stand up” and has hissy fits and says you want to hear and rakes in donations but, in the end, accomplishes nothing? Do you want a GOP that makes you feel good or one that actually does good?

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  17. Section8

    Hal I want a GOP that returns to fiscal conservatism. We did not have that under Bush, hence the whole Tea Party movement of pissed off right wingers who were pissed about spending, and they are pissed at anyone who doesn’t have a problem with the spending. Now have more social conservative elements crept their way into the movement? Sure, but the core is still fiscal conservatism. Tea Party or not, what I want is fiscal conservatism, not smoke and mirrors bullshit of tax now cut later, because it is bullshit. I’ m not opposed to more taxes to pay off this debt, but it should be cut now, tax later.What I want is a party that will do what it takes to get reforms done.

    Let’s look at some of your stances over the years though.

    Let’s take Social Security reform under Bush, you have mentioned before about how they couldn’t get it done, yet you back senators who prevented that from happening you criticized those who now opposed these senators? Why?

    You say you don’t like Obamacare, but secretly hoped Obama would win another term, thus ensuring that there was no way to roll it back. You know it cannot be rolled back now that is by your own admission so why were you supportive of such a scenario? Why?

    Debt crisis who’s fault? Oh yeah the GOP because Obama had a “Grand Bargain” which we still don’t know the details about.

    The list goes on. You talk free market but at every turn are more that happy to make sure it never comes to pass.

    Those are just some off the top of my head at the moment.

    So it’s not just Cruz, and the new meme that “something could have been done but it’s his fault.”

    Maybe you have to decide do you want fiscal conservatives back in power or do you prefer more of a moderate Democrat world with Republicans playing the role of Democrat Lite? Because that’s what it sounds like to me, and I bet outside of your lefty friends here everyone else agrees.

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  18. AlexInCT

    Hal I want a GOP that returns to fiscal conservatism.

    I actually want a government that does this, regardless of party. Because otherwise we are still doomed.

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  19. hist_ed

    The thing I find amazing about the Obama administration (well. one thing) is that the left doesn’t seem to worry about it setting precedents. Let’s imagine for a moment that in 2017, President Paul negotiates a deficit cutting package with a democratic controlled Senate and GOP House. Paul really wanted to cut the corporate tax rate in half and end capital gains taxes, but in negotiations with Democrats settled on a smaller corporate tax cut and nothing on capital gains. Two days after signing the law, President Paul announces that the IRS will use “prosecutorial discretion” and won’t prosecute anyone who fails to pay capital gains taxes or any corporation that pays taxes at the rate he proposes. There are so many other ways a Republican President could use Obama’s toolkit to advance his agenda (How about the EPA refuses to prosecute any violators of the Clean Air Act? I am sure we can all think of a dozen potential problems just with Obama’s prosecutorial discretion dodge).

    Part of me thinks the reason that the GOP hasn’t made more hay about the Constitutional problems is that some are relishing getting their mitts (no pun intended) on these new shiny levers of power.

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  20. Hal_10000 *

    Let’s take Social Security reform under Bush, you have mentioned before about how they couldn’t get it done, yet you back senators who prevented that from happening you criticized those who now opposed these senators? Why?

    That is one issue where I have changed my position, for reasons I explore in this post: http://right-thinking.com/2013/04/08/pouring-socialist-gasoline-on-the-social-security-fire/

    I would point out however that raising the retirement age and used chained CPI — which would slice trillions off the Social Security bill, was specifically rejected by the GOP. Rubio boasted about it. And they did nothing while they held Congress.

    You say you don’t like Obamacare, but secretly hoped Obama would win another term, thus ensuring that there was no way to roll it back. You know it cannot be rolled back now that is by your own admission so why were you supportive of such a scenario? Why?

    I did not secretly hope Obama would win. I voted for Johnson. I didn’t care who won, in part because I knew the Senate would be Democrat thanks to Tea-Party backed lunatics like Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell blowing winnable elections (and also because we would need 60 Senate votes to do it).

    Debt crisis who’s fault? Oh yeah the GOP because Obama had a “Grand Bargain” which we still don’t know the details about.

    We DO know the details. Both sides have admitted to the details. Discretionary spending cuts and entitlement reform in return for letting most of the Bush tax cuts expire. 2-1 or 3-1 spending cuts for tax hikes, depending on whose analysis you agree with. Boehner and Obama had this agreement in the last debt crisis but it was scuttled by the GOP’s orthodoxy of NO TAX HIKES EVER NO MATTER WHAT! Not even back to Reagan-era levels. The result was that we came within a hair’s breadth of all the tax cuts expiring.

    The GOP does deserve some credit – and I’ve given it to them – for the sequester. As ham-fisted a policy as it was, it did cut spending and is part of the reason the deficit has been cut in half over the last couple of years.

    What we need now is entitlement reform. The GOP is nowhere on this.

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  21. Section8

    That is one issue where I have changed my position

    Great! So was the GOP at fault now for not getting it done, or because they tried in the first place? I guess now that you’ve changed your position you could use the latter as your reason to complain, and at the same time still have your support for the likes Snowe and Collins without looking like a hypocrite. Good move on your part I suppose.

    I did not secretly hope Obama would win

    Nah, I recall you posting you’d be ok with Obama winning if the GOP got the House and Senate. I’ll have to find the post. Of course the GOP should not get both chambers and the presidency,
    they might just push to rollback Obamacare and be in the position to do it, and you and I both know you don’t want that. You want a fix to Obamacare, not a start over. Now given what happened the last time the GOP had everything I can understand some hesitancy, but then again you didn’t have an active crowd that would stay on their ass back then. Unfortunately the more active public wasn’t given a chance, and I doubt you’d want to give them that opportunity. .

    Boehner and Obama had this agreement in the last debt crisis but it was scuttled by the GOP’s orthodoxy of NO TAX HIKES EVER NO MATTER WHAT!

    Bullshit.


    A more realistic assessment

    What we need now is entitlement reform. The GOP is nowhere on this.

    And regardless of what happens I’m sure the GOP will go too far or not far enough and if they’d just work with Obama to get it done in a Democrat Lite sort of way..

    Now do I think the GOP is great? No, but fact is we are stuck with a 2 party system, and until that’s no longer the case I’m all for backing hard lined fiscal conservatives and giving the not so fiscal conservatives the boot. Until they are in a meaningful position of power though their power is limited, and your constant well it’s their fault nonsense isn’t representative of a libertarian or fiscal conservative of any stripe.

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  22. Hal_10000 *

    S8, I was OK with Obama winning. I was also OK with Romney winning. If you remember, I wrote five pieces making the case for and against each candidate.

    Great! So was the GOP at fault now for not getting it done, or because they tried in the first place?

    They tried? When did they try? They talked about it. Bush mentioned it a few times. But they never actually did anything about it. In fact, they were a big part of the instacave a few years back when inflation was flat, seniors screamed for COLA increase and Congress gave it to them.

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