Tag Archives: obamacare

Liberal Sensibilities — a Definition

8 Feb

From Mark Levy, in a recent “Ask Mark” column:

“[L]iberal sensibilities are far different from the sensibilities of mainstream Americans. For instance, we’ve been told by liberals how great Obamacare would be, yet this week the CBO reported that 30 million people will remain uninsured after Obamacare is fully implemented.

“So after all this economic upheaval, we’re left with the same number of uninsured we began with. That is like cutting off the end of a blanket, sewing it onto the other end and claiming that it’s a larger blanket. That, my friend, is an example of sensible as defined by liberals.”

This complete column can be found at http://www.creators.com/opinion/mark-levy/obamacare-job-loss-liberal-sensibilities-and-jay-leno.html

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Millions More on Medicaid? Great! Or Not

7 Jan

Mona Charen, in a recent column titled “Welcome to Medicaid for All”, explains why the millions of additional Medicaid enrollees under the Obamacare law just isn’t such a great thing.  I have excerpted some main points below.  The full column can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/mona-charen/welcome-to-medicaid-for-all.html

Bolding and brackets are mine.

[Excerpt begins]

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein has found what he thinks is a bright spot amid the gloomy Obamacare news. . . .  Klein reports that Obamacare’s “biggest success” is that 4 million new enrollees signed up for Medicaid as of November. . . .

Sorry, but the expansion of dependence on government is never cause for rejoicing. Conservatives acknowledge that a safety net is necessary for the poor, but we regard only the number of people leaving a government program like Medicaid as cause for celebration, not adding to the numbers who receive benefits. Klein is hardly alone. . . .

Why is it terrible news that millions more people are signing up for Medicaid? . . . [A] few of the reasons:

Medicaid is one of the entitlements whose growth endangers national solvency. . . .  The growth in health care spending was one of the rationales for Obamacare, but expanding Medicaid spending simply contributes to the problem.

Medicaid is plagued by fraud. . . .  [examples follow]

Medicaid is not just a program for the poor; it’s a poor program. Reimbursement rates for doctors, dentists and other professionals are so low under Medicaid that enrollees have difficulty finding care.

Having health insurance does not equate with having medical care. . . . The startling news is that Medicaid enrollees fare worse on health outcomes than those with no health coverage at all.

Expanding Medicaid was sold on the premise that uninsured people were driving up health care costs by waiting until they were very sick before seeking care and thus overburdening emergency rooms. If the near poor had Medicaid coverage, the argument went, they would see doctors before their conditions became critical and required expensive emergency room treatment.

But research on Oregon’s program, published in the journal Science, found . . . that Medicaid patients used emergency rooms 40 percent more than similarly situated adults who lacked health insurance. . . .

An earlier analysis of Oregon’s data found that having a Medicaid card did not improve health outcomes. . . .

Medicaid is a poor program because it promises benefits but squeezes provider reimbursement to keep costs down. The result is rationing. The poor are forced to wait in long lines for treatment . . . .  Medicaid is also the model for Obamacare — top-down price-fixing and mandates from Washington.

There are alternatives . . . . Klein’s happy talk notwithstanding, there are no “successes” in Obamacare. Left alone, it will remake the entire health care system in Medicaid’s image.

[End of excerpt]

There Aren’t Liars and Damn Liars — Only Damn Liars

22 Nov

Mona Charen recently wrote a column titled “Remembering Stanley Ann Dunham Obama”.  Most of it is reproduced below, but I strongly encourage anyone who does not read Ms. Charen regularly to give her a try at    www.creators.com/conservative/authors.html .

Excerpt begins:  [Highlighting is mine]

Remember President Barack Obama’s mother? Though the airwaves currently echo with his vow “If you like your plan . . .” I keep remembering Obama’s account of his mother being denied coverage by her insurance company as she lay dying of cancer.

The moving and infuriating story was a staple on the 2008 campaign trail. His mother had insurance, he explained, but when she came down with cancer, her insurance company claimed her disease was a “pre-existing condition” and refused to pay for her treatment. In a debate with Sen. John McCain, Obama said: “For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

There would be, if it had been true. But when New York Times reporter Janny Scott researched the issue for her biography of the president’s mother, she discovered letters proving beyond doubt that Cigna never denied Stanley Ann Dunham coverage for her disease. The dispute was over a disability plan that would have paid some of her other expenses.

The White House did not deny Scott’s account, but shrugged it off as something that had happened long ago. Not so long that it couldn’t be milked one last time though, for a 2012 campaign film. In “The Road We’ve Traveled,” the message remained unchanged — a greedy insurance company had cut off Obama’s mother at her moment of maximum vulnerability, and it cost Dunham her life. . . .

It’s different in politics, explained Michael Cohen in the New York Daily News. The American people want too many contradictory things. “Seemingly, the only path to change is telling voters what they want to hear.”

Doubtless that’s what Obama tells himself to justify his deceptions. It’s a form of “lying for justice.” If your goals are noble enough, truth is an acceptable casualty.

Obama’s propensity to lie is finally widely acknowledged . . . .

It isn’t just that the pledge about keeping your plan was a noble lie — the whole law is based upon lies.

The Dunham tale was meant to personify the hundreds of thousands — or millions — of Americans who were “dumped” by insurance companies when they became sick. This is an invented tale, and might have been rebutted by the insurance industry if they hadn’t gotten into bed with Obama in 2010 in return for millions of coerced new customers. As the Washington Free Beacon reported, academic studies have estimated that policies were dropped in only four-tenths of one percent of cases in the individual market.

In a 2010 radio address, Obama said one carrier was “systematically dropping the coverage of women diagnosed with breast cancer.” The CEO of WellPoint, which had reason to believe the president was referring to her company, responded that they had provided coverage in the previous year to 200,000 breast cancer patients and had canceled just four policies for fraud or misrepresentation.

If there had been a true epidemic of wrongly canceled policies, wouldn’t there have been a slew of lawsuits and an outcry?

 The notion that the nation faced a “crisis” of “46 million uninsured” was also dishonest. Pre-Obamacare health care in America was hardly nirvana, but the truth about the uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office, was that 71 percent were without insurance for a year or less. Only about 16 percent were uninsured for two or more years. More than 9 million of those counted among the uninsured were not citizens. Another 6 million who said they were without insurance actually were signed up with Medicaid, and 4 million more were eligible for Medicaid but had failed to enroll.

The true number of uninsured individuals was closer to 15 million (5 million of whom were young, single adults). There were many possible solutions for them that didn’t require tearing down the entire system. In any case, the CBO estimates that even if Obamacare were fully implemented and worked smoothly, the number of uninsured Americans in 2023 would be, drumroll please, 30 million.

Obamacare was never about the uninsured or justice for those badly treated by insurance companies. It was always about power — gaining it and keeping it for the Democratic Party and the central government. It was based on lies about the preceding system and sold on lies about its consequences.

[End of excerpt]

I was brought up to understand that lying, particularly chronic lying, was one of the basest acts of mankind, a powerful indicator of a low overall character.  This man Obama is a man of low character.  I think it was in a prior posting of a Mona Charen excerpt where she noted (and I paraphrase) that Martin Luther King longed for the day when, instead of being judged by the color of their skin, Americans would be judged by their character – and she notes that that day has finally arrived.  And that that is the problem – we Americans can now be judged by our character, and we are found wanting.

Can It Get Any Worse in Washington?

18 Oct

I’m not sure that I could be any more disgusted with, and embarrassed by, our boys and girls in Washington.  But, you know, just when I think that, I remember the virtually unlimited ability these guys have to exceed our expectations regarding “dumbicity”.  And bad enough that they cause REAL loss of income across the country with their failure to negotiate, that they LOOK for ways to inflict inconvenience and disappointment upon the American people with how they executed the 16% shutdown, but then they then make sure that their own are protected by voting full back pay to furloughed (spelled v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n-e-d) federal employees.

This is sickening – and scary.

But I have to admit that through all this, I have developed an increasing respect for the wiliness of Democrats and their ability to control the message to the public.  The biggest weapon Democrats wield in their battle to denigrate conservatives and Republicans all over the country is the mainstream media (MSM).  Our journalists, who we once counted on to police our politicians, are overwhelmingly in the Democrats’ camp now.  Even the MSM national news broadcasters blatantly announce as fact that the Republicans carry full responsibility for the “government shutdown”.  [The claim that a 16% shutdown constitutes a government shutdown is itself so farcical as to be worthy of ridicule, were it not such an effective weapon in distributing misleading information to the public – but even Fox News persisted in using the term “government shutdown”, rather than ridiculing the notion.]

And when I think about blame for the 16% shutdown, I am amazed at how the Democrats escape unscathed.  Both the Democrats and Republicans flatly refused to compromise/negotiate in an area that has always been a battle ground for negotiation (contrary to the lies that came forth from Obama, asserting that the American people were being held hostage by a new and terrifying prospect for “shutdown”,  a practice that actually has at least a decades-long history in American politics).

But in spite of neither side wanting to negotiate, in spite of Reid and Boehner BOTH boldly blocking votes in their respective houses of Congress (which Reid did respecting at least thirty economic- and job-related bills during Obama’s first term), in spite of clear lies and vitriol coming out of the Administration – the Republicans alone catch the blame.

Even with allowing for the dominance of a liberal media, the supposed watchdog over improper governing, I am still amazed at the result.

I still think that the only answer to this lack of effectiveness in government is for the American people to “t’row da bums out”.  And to assume that they are ALL bums.

Unfortunately, I think this is about as likely as the total defunding of Obamacare.

Problem is, these elected officials are really all smart people, as individuals.  When they are alone, they talk a good story – they seem dedicated to the principles that made this country great.  And they make their constituents believe that were it not for their wisdom in electing him/her to government office, things would be much more of a mess than they are now.

Then, when these elected/re-elected officials get into a group, the IQ of the collective sinks to below-idiot status.

The American people need to just not listen to any incumbent in the next couple of elections.  The American people need to send a much stronger message to Washington than they did in 2010 – they need to replace ALL incumbents up for re-election in the House and the Senate.  There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure that all incumbents are challenged and beaten in their state primaries.

But this will never happen.

And on we roll toward growing debt, further dumbed down education standards, more government intrusion and control, greatly expanding welfare rolls, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid systems tumbling toward bankruptcy, a grossly expensive new government program called Obamacare, etc., etc. — and a dysfunctional Congress  It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that this can’t go on indefinitely.

I literally FEAR for our future and the future of our children.

Lies and Fallout re: Obamacare and Medicare

23 Oct

In a recent column titled “Companies Are Evil, So It’s OK to Lie about Them”, Mona Charen focuses some well-deserved attention on Obamacare.  Excerpts from her piece follow.  The entire column can be found at http://www.creators.com/opinion/mona-charen/companies-are-evil-so-it-s-ok-to-lie-about-them.html

Excerpts:   [Emphasis is mine]

Obamacare was designed by people who believe passionately that private companies must be strictly controlled and regulated by Washington bureaucrats, who will run things far more humanely and even more efficiently. Mr. Obama cited the bogus statistic that Medicare has “lower administrative costs” than the private sector. This is specious. Medicare’s administrative costs are spread over several different agencies. The IRS collects the taxes that fund the program, the Social Security Administration collects some of the premiums paid by beneficiaries, and the Department of Health and Human Services handles accounting, auditing, fraud and other issues.

Additionally, Medicare’s population is older and sicker than the typical insurance pool. Their medical costs are accordingly higher, so as a percentage of total spending on the patient, Medicare’s per patient administrative costs will be smaller. But that isn’t because Medicare is more efficient.

This is not to say that insurance companies are virtuous. They are simply businesses, doing what makes sense for their customers and shareholders. It would never occur to Barack Obama that the best way to go after insurance companies whose behavior you dislike is to provide competitors. .  .  .

Any first-year economics student could have predicted what happened last week in response to one feature of the law. Obamacare requires that companies with 50 or more full-time employees provide health insurance or pay a fine. A restaurant chain that includes Olive Garden and Red Lobster (not one of the 1200 well-connected companies and unions who’ve received waivers) announced that it will be placing more of its 180,000 employees on part-time status — thereby diminishing the salaries of thousands of people.

The Obama Administration will perhaps regard this utterly predictable response (and this is just the beginning) as “jerking people around,” and may, if reelected, issue regulations making it illegal to change an employee’s status from full-time to part-time. That’s how statists operate. Try firing someone in France — which is why jobs are so scarce in France.

And so it will go, with the federal government chasing after private industry with more and more restrictions and penalties — never seeing that they are circling the drain.

[End of excerpt]

Well said.

Discrimination in Health Insurance Premiums Necessary?

27 Jun

John Stossel has a good recent essay called “In Praise of Discrimination”, in which he makes the case for discriminating between insurance rates for low-risk vs high-risk policy holders.  Thought provoking.  The entire essay can be found at

 http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_john_stossel/in_praise_of_discrimination

 Here is a piece of that essay:  [Bolding is mine]

 Even Bill O’Reilly lectures me that government should ban discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions. Most Americans agree with him. Who likes discrimination? Racial discrimination was one of the ugliest parts of American history. None of us wants to be discriminated against. But discrimination is part of freedom. We discriminate when we choose our friends or our spouse, or when we choose what we do with our time.

Above all, discrimination is what makes insurance work. An insurance regime where everyone pays the same amount is called “community rating.” That sounds fair. No more cruel discrimination against the obese or people with cancer. But community rating is as destructive as ordering flood insurance companies to charge me nothing extra to insure my very vulnerable beach house, or ordering car insurance companies to charge Lindsay Lohan no more than they charge you. Such one-size-fits-all rules take away insurance companies’ best tool: risk-based pricing. Risk-based pricing encourages us to take better care of ourselves.

Car insurance works because companies reward good drivers and charge the Lindsay Lohans more. If the state forces insurance companies to stop discriminating, that kills the business model.

No-discrimination insurance isn’t insurance. It’s welfare. If the politicians’ plan was to create another government welfare program, they ought to own up to that instead of hiding the cost.

Obama — and the Clintons before him — expressed outrage that insurance companies charged people different rates based on their risk profiles. They want everyone covered for the same “fair” price.

The health insurance industry was happy to play along. They even offered to give up on gender differences. Women go to the doctor more often than men and spend more on medicines. Their lifetime medical costs are much higher, and so it makes all the sense in the world to charge women higher premiums. But Sen. John Kerry pandered, saying, “The disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong, and it has to change!” The industry caved.

[End of Excerpt]

I have wondered since day one who was going to pay for the decree that insurance companies can’t base insurability on pre-existing conditions.  Stossel assumes, or knows, that this means insurance companies can’t charge more for the higher risk inherent in taking on a pre-existent condition.  God help us, if this is true – in that case, Stossel is right – all we will have is a taxpayer supported welfare system, only this time the taxes will go directly to the insurance companies.

You have feelings about this?