Category: Health Care

In the age of Obama..

The world is all upside down. The Social Justice Warriors have presided over a period when the rich have gotten richer than ever, and at a record pace. And ironically one of the biggest winners, Mr. Bezos, who raked in $16 billion in one year, runs a newspaper that makes him a ton of money peddling the SJW bullshit to idiots.

Then again, the crime syndicate in charge has had a lot of such first. Evil Boosh was a warmongering monster that made everybody hate and want to attack America. But the worst humanitarian crisis caused by war can be laid directly at the feet of the incompetent idiots showing us that it is amateur hour at every level of this administration. At least the crisis is fucking over the Europeans mostly right now, but the morons in charge will find a way to make Americans not just pay for their mistakes, but to make them suffer as well.

I won’t bore you with other such contradictions, ranging from environmental disasters caused by the very agency trying to destroy our economy with burdensome regulations that it is immune to and seem to mostly exist to help enrich connected rich people like Mr. Bezos in the first place, to the massive surveillance state created by the most open and ethical administration ever. Obamacare? That promise that it would save everyone big money, insure all the uninsured, and generally heal the sick across the board if we just let our betters pass it already? Yeah, it is costing us an arm and a leg, has barely covered a fraction of the uninsured they tauted would all disappear, and is replete with waste and horrible and destructive regulation that’s causing far more harm than if we had kept the status quo.

We are still printing money like it is going out of style and living large on borrowed money. The economy, which has been in recovery since 2009 when Black Jesus took office is in shambles, but the same idiots keep telling you all is well. Employment numbers are abysmal. Income inequality – another one of the big talking points of the SJW crowd – is at its worst. And the stock market, which had rallied primarily because of insane government spending and an ever devaluating dollar, is giving back every gain it has made.

Robots are taking the manufacturing jobs and even the McJobs, now that the SJW are pushing for insane wages for what amounts to entry level work any bozo off the street would be able to do. Cost of living is flying up, and the only reprieve is the fact that despite their promise to make us pay a shit ton more for energy usage, oil prices – you know that commodity they have been telling us for decades was just about to run out – have plummeted. And that happened despite efforts by this administration to do otherwise, although they are trying to take credit for this now.

Green energy has failed miserably (Volkswagen anyone?), across the board, and yet, this has not deterred the priesthood. After all, they have made more money than ever peddling this bullshit.

And the abuses of power continue as well. The IRS Scandal still remains unanswered. And they are not the only big government entity screwing over political enemies of the left. From the EPA to the DOJ, they are going after any and all that dare point out how corrupt these bastards are. Veterans are being fucked over. Whistleblowers that dare tell the truth about the abuses of this administration get crucified and destroyed. A criminal that has basically shown she shouldn’t be given any kind of security clearance is the top contender to replace Obama as the “Capo di tuti capi”. And the list goes on and one.

I guess, I think, my point is that these people are crooks and liars, and the true believers can’t be bothered either way. Long live the free-loaders!

Pelosi Watch: Poor Hospitals

Nancy Pelosi once said we had to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it. And boy are we finding out:

An Obamacare program that aims to improve American health care may have an unintended side effect: penalizing hospitals that serve the sickest and poorest patients.

The Affordable Care Act penalizes hospitals that have high readmission rates, where patients come back within 30 days to deal with some complication of the initial procedure. The aim of that program was to encourage doctors to do the best job possible on the first hospital visit, improving patients’ experience and saving money by preventing a second trip.

But a new paper from three Harvard health-care experts suggests that the readmission program is penalizing hospitals for the type of patients they see. Hospitals that have high readmission rates tend to see patients who are less educated, more disabled, and more likely to suffer from depression — factors the Obamacare program doesn’t account for.

I suspect that you, like me, are shocked SHOCKED that a bill designed by politicians and wonks to exert control over a massive and complicated system didn’t work precisely as advertised. Keep in mind … this is one of Obamacare’s supposed big successes. They’ve touted the “huge” drop in readmissions (all of … 1%) as a sign of how awesome their reform is.

To be fair, penalizing hospitals for readmissions is not a completely stupid idea. Several insurance companies have been trying out programs to encourage better care. But the Obama people didn’t care for this kind of free-market innovation. To them, providers were greedy monsters doing poor care so they could charge more (remember Obama’s comment about amputating diabetic legs?) So they applied a ham-fisted program that has, on balance, made things work.

Well … at least we’ve seen insurance rates come down, right? Right?

Oh, yeah.

King Denied

The Supreme Court has just ruled 6-3 that the Obamacare subsidies apply to states that do not run their own exchanges, thus upholding a major provision of the law. I’ll post more when I have time. Discuss.

One thing I’ll note: I was not surprised. The Roberts Court really hates to overturn legislation. They prefer to let legislators do that. The theme from Roberts in the two Obamacare decisions is basically this: if you want to repeal, repeal the law. We’re not going to do it for you.

Update: The more I think about it, the more I think the Court reached the right decision here, much as it pains me to say so. I don’t think King’s case was “ridiculous” as many liberal pundits opined. It’s never ridiculous to argue that a law should be interpreted as it was written. But I do think it was the language was ambiguous enough and the intent of Congress during the debates plain enough for the Court to defer to them. The message from the Court, as I noted above is “we’re not going to repeal Obamacare for you”.

(And I think the GOP is secretly grateful. As Thrill pointed on Twitter, this decisions basically saved them from having to repair the law.)

The way forward is pretty clear: replacing Obamacare becomes the key GOP electoral issue in 2016. The law, as Justice Roberts noted in his majority opinion, is still a mess. While the number of insured has been reduced, there has been no improvement in overall health. It’s saving some people from crippling financial bills but at enormous cost. And we are still in very real danger of an insurance “death spiral” that will destroy the individual market.

The shape of that replacement is up in the air right now. I prefer a bill that eases the link between insurance and employment, allows insurance to be sold across state lines and encourages the kind of high-deductible insurance that has been shown to reduce healthcare costs with little impact on overall health. But we’ll see what happens. The Court has put the ball into the GOP’s court. Let’s hope they don’t step on it and fall on their ass.

Update: You should read Scalia’s blistering dissent. It’s vintage Scalia, complete with saying the law should now be called “SCOTUScare”. It makes good points, I think, and shouldn’t be dismissed.

Update: Doug Mataconis explains the Court’s reasoning:

As Chief Justice Roberts noted, Courts have always been deferential when it comes to statutory interpretation in order to ensure that Judges are not substituting their judgment for elected representatives. The fact that there is a drafting error, or that language in a bill that was more than a thousand pages long is inexact in some way should not necessarily mean that a Court must interpret a law in a manner that brings down an entire statutory scheme. The alternative would be a world where the lack of a single word, or an in-artfully drafted sentence, would bring down an entire law, and that’s never been the way the Courts have interpreted statutes. In my past comments about this subsidy issue, I’ve been somewhat sympathetic to the argument of the Plaintiffs in this case, but reviewing the pleadings and the oral argument in this case have caused me to reconsider that position. I’m still not a fan of the PPACA, and I think that it’s going to create long-term economic incentives that will make health care more expensive rather than less expensive, but that is a policy matter not a legal one. As it stands, it seems clear to me that the Justices in the majority got it right.

Obamacare did that..

Who woulda thunk that there would be rate hikes on health insurance caused by the stupidity of the progressive unicorn fart sniffing crowd that passed Obamacare so we could find what was in it? Well, some of us not only predicted this, but warned others this was the pan from the start:

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law’s impact.

In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products.

And on and on. Because this thing wasn’t just flawed, but set up to fail and do exactly this to those of us that actually produce and pay for these things. Since Obamacare was passed, my rates have gone up over 30%. And I was not one of the people directly impacted by the individual mandate because I had an employer sponsored plan for which the marxists behind this debacle kept pushing out the date the rules would kick in for fear of the political damage it would cost. Well, the 2014 elections are done, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

And speaking of employers: my employer has done a lot of talking about how they will not stop offering healthcare because they care about employees. This much bloviating is a red flag to me. Too much effort when they could just not even bother. Someone in the industry will sooner than later drop company provided insurance, that’s because the penalty is cheaper than paying for the insurance, and every single company in the industry will follow suit because their competitiveness is impacted – by design, mind you – to dump everyone on the government rolls.

This thing was designed to destroy the worlds most effective and efficient healthcare system – based on the medical capability and access, and not on the bullshit stats progressives like to push such as who gets care at other people’s expense – so the left could pass a single payer system that would give them even more control over the life of the serfs under them. Of course, people that have already used other branches of the government to punish dissenters, political enemies, and anyone they feel disrespected them – from the IRS to the DOJ, or the EPA – would never decide to use healthcare as a weapon against their enemies when they control it.

The left will always resort to tyranny, because that’s the natural and logical conclusion of what they believe in always leads to. The over 100 million murdered and billions made to live in misery, in the name of social justice of all things, during the last century of progressive power has not served to dissuade low information, brain washed, mushy headed idiots from voting for the people preying on their jealousy and envy.

Don’t you know that we need to break a shit ton of eggs for this giant shit omelet they want to feed us, you evil individualist! Power to the nanny state! Get ready to pay a lot more, for less, and have to wait a long ass time to get whatever mediocre service you can get. And don’t you dare complain that you though they would bleed someone else to give the slackers more free shit in return for their votes. Sad to have to admit it, but the only reason I feel justice is happening is the army of idiots that pushed for this monstrosity and are now going to take it up the ass (not that there is anything wrong with that if you are into that).

The Senate finally passes a budget!

If I get this correctly, we finally have a republican controlled Senate for the first time in over 5 years passing a budget.

As was to be expected, the left, furious because this budget doesn’t continue the trend established under their control of massive deficit spending on the programs the left depends on to buy votes, resulted in democrats voting against the budget in both the House and Senate. Obama has also balked at any budget that doesn’t put the US in deeper debt to buy democrats more votes.

I still think this budget has not made deep enough cuts in the nanny state programs democrats buy votes from. And I think it is high time we see action from Congress to halt the current plan democrats have of allowing illegal aliens to bolster the army of dead voters and repeat voters democrats count on to win steal elections. This country now has over $18 trillion in debt, because of the left’s deficit spending agenda, a fake 5.5% unemployment that really is more like 15-20% if you count people that dropped off the roll count, a devastating blow to land on the productive sector as more Obamacare rules go into effect, abuses of power by government at all levels, and an army of illegals at a time where jobs are scarce and the ever shrinking pie needs to be split to buy more of their votes, all to pretend their policies have not devastated our economy.

Only a complete moron can’t see that the “Fundamentally changing America” promise by Obama has served to allow the rich to get richer, the poor to get even more money from the productive, the middle class to be decimated, and the things that made America successful to be done away with. The left’s dream of making America an impotent two-bit socialist nanny state, as punishment for the crime of exposing the crimes of communism and halting its cancerous growth, is closer than ever thanks to this Manchurian candidate and the party of the insane.

Oh, and the republicans are not without fault in this decline, but they can’t hold a candle to the destructive nature of the left. And anything to halt the left’s mad dash off the cliff should be viewed a s a victory for the American people that still care.


The Affordable Care Act is back in the headlines this week.  The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the law…again.  Once again it is looking like Chief Justice Roberts (or possibly Kennedy) will be the key to whether the law stands or not.  And he was very quiet this week at the hearing, which makes everybody nervous.

So you’re probably asking why I titled the post, “Irony”.  Other than an inside joke from Moorwatch, it applies to the fact that Nancy Pelosi’s words are coming back to haunt her.  You see, back in 2010, Nancy Pelosi was trying to get Congressmen to vote for “Obamacare”.  But Democrats were being questioned on what was actually in the law at the time, and some of them were getting pretty testy about it.  In an interview, Pelosi now famously said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy.”  

So taking her words into account, Obamacare as passed was 425,116 words long (nevermind for the moment the over 2 million words that the Administration has added to it in regulations since its passage).  And nobody really understood what those almost half-million words really meant at the time it was passed.  And now just a very few of those words may be the entire law’s undoing.

This is why it is imperative that we have legislators in Congress who read, and understand the laws they are voting for.  It is unconscionable to me that anyone would ever vote for a law that they didn’t fully understand.  These things affect millions of people’s lives.  I would support limits on the length a bill can be so that we do not have “omnibus” spending bills, or laws that can’t be read until they are passed.  There should be no more “earmarks” ever.

On a personal note – the “Affordable Care Act” has been anything but in my life.  I am sure it has helped many people (at the expense of someone, somewhere paying more in taxes – nothing is “free”).  I have gone from pretty decent health insurance four years ago to absolutely terrible coverage through my employer, and less options.  I really hope this is not the end-game for Democrats in Washington – to make Healthcare so lousy, and expensive that they are “forced” to step in with a single-payer system.

Insurance is Not Healthcare

For a long time, conservatives and libertarians have been pointing out that Obamacare has come at a steep price for the insured. Not only are health insurance premiums rising, but the new plans cover less, demand healthcare within ever-shifting networks of approved providers and foist larger out-of-pocket expenses on patients.

Well, looks like the New York Times finally figured this out:

A study by the Commonwealth Fund this month found that the rise in health insurance premiums in employer-based plans had slowed in 31 states since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (good news, right?). But premiums were still rising faster than median incomes (hmm). More important, perhaps, the researchers found that patients were paying more in health care expenses than ever before, during a time of stagnant wages (not so great). In fact, nearly 10 percent of median household income now goes to pay premiums and deductibles, the study found. And that does not include other kinds of health payments that patients now encounter, such as co-pays and uncovered drugs or services.

A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that 46 percent of Americans said they had trouble affording health care, up 10 percentage points in just one year. Some of the cost problems may ease as patients — now known as health care consumers — learn what to expect and how to choose and navigate their plans.

In other words, premiums slowed down … but only because out-of-pocket expenses increased. On balance, that might not be such a bad thing. I’ve long advocated high-deductible plans as a way to bring the healthcare consumer back into the picture. David Goldhill once pointed out that if we replaced Medicaid with a high-deductible plan, we’d save enough money to give every poor person a voucher to cover their deductible.

But this isn’t the high-deductible idea. This is creating a hyper-regulated marketplace in which insurers are expected to provide “reasonably priced” health insurance to everyone, no matter how sick they may be. So doctors flit in and out of approved networks. Out-of-state clinics come to be preferred over in-state ones. And all of this is enforced with the threats of massive bills if you don’t do the insurance company’s bidding. And if you do their bidding, you’re still facing far larger healthcare bills than you were dealing with before Obamacare.

All of this was predictable of course. You simply can not expand health care coverage to ten million people — many of whom couldn’t get coverage because of expensive medical conditions — and not have it make insurance more expensive. We warned people about this for years. We had concrete examples of this in places like New York and Massachusetts. And yet everyone is acting all surprised when they discover that healthcare isn’t free.

Note one thing the story leaves out: the increasing number of doctors who are refusing to see Medicaid patients. Medicaid expansion is a big reason the Obama Administration can claim that they’ve insured ten million people. Only a couple of million have gotten private insurance thanks to Obamacare; most are in the Medicaid gulag.

Given the media’s lag, I expect we’ll start seeing stories about that in about 2019, at which point it will be blamed on President Walker.

Addendum: You may remember that a big pillar of Obamacare was that it would be paid for, in part by the savings from Electronic Healthcare Records. Yeah, that’s not working out either. Again, this was predicted. The one thing we all knew going into this was that EHRs are very expensive.

Penal-tax bites the single-payer loving turds

Knowing full well what the repercussions at the polls will be once Americans figure out how fucked they are by Obamacare and the taxes hidden as fines and penalties that are part and parcel of this government takeover of the healthcare system, democrats likely impacted during the next election cycle are asking for rule breaks. It looks like the law that had to be passed so people could find out what was in it, has a few seriously frightening hiccups in it that worry these collectivists that passed it:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance.

Three senior House members told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.

The three are Michigan’s Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama’s law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.

The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it’s already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.

That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.

Mind you, that I am quite sure that only an idiot should believe these scoundrels are concerned about the impact this government sponsored Leviathan has on the serfs. This faux concern is fueled solely by their self-preservation instincts. If they really were worried about how Obamacare was going to squeeze people, they would never have passed that steaming pile of shit in the first place. People are going to freak out when they realize how hard this law will screw them over come tax time. Of course, most of them will deserve the painful discovery that they are now slammed with new taxes, hiding as fees and penalties, since they were stupid enough to think other people would be paying for this “free shit”. The taxman cometh!

This year is the first time ordinary Americans will experience the complicated interactions between the health care law and taxes. Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties.

The IRS has warned that health-care related issues will make its job harder this filing season and taxpayers should be prepared for long call-center hold times, particularly since the GOP-led Congress has been loath to approve more money for the agency.

If we ever needed another reason to scrap the current tax system and institute a flat tax, this crap from the politically motivated IRS should make due.

Obamacare: the gift that keeps on giving.

It is only a failed presidency if you don’t understand the destruction is by design

Town Hall has a post up dealing with Obama’s failed presidency. Those of us that no longer remain in the dark know better. Obama has achieved a lot of what he set out to do, as he promised he would when he made the claim he would fundamentally transform America, but the problem is with the people that think he meant to improve things. To the left and Obama the only failure on their part was to not straddle us with even more destructive marxist bullshit. More fast growing debt, millions of illegals sucking at the government’s teat, millions of people unable to find work and forced to suck at the government’s tit, millions of people that have made sucking at the government’s teat their way of life, and the middle class under assault and driven to collapse by the government tax and regulatory burden, have all been bonuses to these fucking crooks. That’s the plan they had from the start, because they think we are all too stupid and in need of micro management.

Oh yeah, the LSM must be doing battlespace preparations for the coming elections as well, considering the number of articles telling us that lying is not a bad thing. Sure this is not really about politics, but this belief that lying is a good thing is part and parcel of the left’s modus operandi. Remember Obamacare? Shit, might as well say “remember the Obama presidency?”, because it has all been lies and criminal acts.

The collectivists will NEVER let that happen

And by “That”, I mean anything that undermines their centrally planned, leviathan owned, healthcare system destroying, economy crushing Obamacare scheme. The agenda is after all to destroy the healthcare system as we know it in the US so they can then peddle the single payer system they want. So the new republican proposal that actually would make changes to that wouldn’t destroy the healthcare system and the country economically will both be demonized and undermined to make sure it won’t interfere.

Thursday, we are unveiling our vision of policies that would strengthen our health care system while reducing federal spending and taxes. The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (CARE) Act outlines specific ideas that could replace Obamacare with more choices and higher quality, while protecting those with pre-existing conditions.

And that is why democrats want it to be DOA and will do everything to derail it. Not a fucking chance in the world that they would want something that actually fixes any of the problems they have managed to exacerbate with Obamacare. It undermines their powergrab and would make it obvious that’s what Obamacare was all about once it is implemented and works.

First, our plan would lower health care costs by empowering millions of lower and middle-income families with a refundable tax credit to purchase private health care coverage of their choice. They would no longer be subject to an individual mandate and limited to Washington-approved plans. Workers for small businesses would be eligible, too.

WTF? No central planning? No government meddling and use of force to comply? More importantly, you remove the politician’s ability to get their hands on money they let people borrow and deny them the ability to play with those people’s lives if they refuse to comply? Who is going to make sure insurance companies only make the profits that their masters in government fell are OK, huh? That’s insane!

By scrapping dozens of mandates, we estimate premiums would drop, on average, by double digits. We’d also reverse harmful changes that limited consumers’ ability to save and manage spending through health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, and we’d encourage small-business insurance plans to give smaller employers better and more affordable options.

Are you fucking insane? Low premiums only help people, not the power hungry nanny state politicians! And why would you ever want to trust people to manage their money? Without the threat of force from government they will make the wrong choices, don’t you know? Affordability is something, according to Gruber in his rare moments of telling the truth, that you pretend you are giving people, but it is of no concern. Did the CBO even score this bad plan? What was the fixed/rigged system you gave them to make it look palatable, huh? We had a doozy when we got them to score Obamacare and make it look good. WTF do you have?

This sort of nonsense is what I expect to hear from them and their lackeys in the LSM. They will then follow it with the “But what about the poor people denied because of preexisting conditions that used to not be covered?”. Well:

What our plan would not allow is a return to the days before Obamacare when insurance companies turned away patients simply because they were sick.

Under our proposal, no patient could be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. We create a new “continuous coverage protection,” and if you change your job and buy a plan on your own, we would provide protections so you could not be denied coverage or be forced to pay a higher premium because of a pre-existing condition.

We would also ban insurance companies from imposing lifetime limits on a consumer, and we’d adopt age-rating changes, which lower costs for younger Americans. Individuals could stay on their parents’ health plan up to age 26, unless a state chose otherwise.

Oh snap! You have to wonder – no you don’t: I am being facetious – why the democrats didn’t do that and only that if they really cared about these people. People who because of the way Obamacare is set up can’t be denied but now can’t afford the care because of cost. Again: Obamacare was never about making healthcare affordable or available. It was about letting government get its hands on the money and decision making process, with the end game of crashing the existing system and then coming to the rescue with a single payer system they would otherwise never be able to sell anyone. It was just another giant wealth transfer scheme pretending to be something else.

Not only would our policies lower costs for patients, they would be good medicine for taxpayers. By scrapping Obamacare’s Washington-centered approach, we estimate our proposal would cut more than $1 trillion in taxes and reduce federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. All of Obamacare’s taxes would be scrapped, including the medical device tax, health insurance tax, pharmaceutical tax and other taxes masked as mandate fees.

In the coming months, the Supreme Court will hear and decide an important case regarding the president’s health care law, King v. Burwell. The justices should uphold the rule of law by overturning the administration’s unlawful decision to tax and spend through the federal exchanges. If they do so, we believe modifying and adopting some of the ideas outlined in our proposal could provide a path toward minimizing the disruption experienced by consumers.

Faster please. Kill this idiotic shit before it destroys the healthcare system and plunges the economy into an even more depressed state. Of course, getting this passed will be a monumental task, because the left will never admit that Obamacare is bad policy and that they had an agenda that wouldn’t be possible if it goes away.