It Appears Obamacare was Designed to Fail so they could give us a Single-Payer System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 23rd, 2014

Week in Review

The Democrats have longed for national health care.  Because if the government controls health care they control one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  Which means one-sixth of the U.S. economy would flow through Washington.  That’s a lot of money.  And a lot of that can flow into politicians’ pockets.  Allowing them to spend more than they ever had before.  And the best thing about it is that once they get control of it they can scare the people into raising taxes.  “Unless the people tell their Congress members to raise tax rates we will have to make cuts in the national health care budget.  Which means some people won’t get the tests they need.  The treatment they need.  Or the surgery they need.”  Imagine the fear that’ll put into the American people.

So when President Clinton entered office his administration tried to give us national health care.  Hillarycare.  But the people said in no uncertain terms that they didn’t want national health care.  By voting Republicans in everywhere during the 1994 midterm election.  That was the end of Hillarycare.  And President Clinton moved to the center.  While the Democrats noted that if they were going to pass national health care into law they would have to be devious.  Which is what Obamacare apparently is.  A devious plan to get us to a single-payer system against our will (see Why Is the ObamaCare Mandate So Toothless? posted 3/19/2014 on Investors).

Health Care: Some think Democrats designed ObamaCare to fail so they could get to a single payer system. Seems a bit extreme. But it does help explain why they made the individual mandate so easy to avoid…

In fact, of the 30 million uninsured expected in 2016, 19 million will be exempt from the individual mandate, according to the Congressional Budget Office…

On top of this, ObamaCare includes various “hardship exemptions” — some of which appear to be so laughably easy to qualify for that it’ll be a shock if any uninsured pay the tax penalty…

The form even encourages people who “aren’t sure” to “ask for an exemption…”

What’s more, those who don’t qualify for an exemption could avoid the penalty simply by not paying it. Democrats specifically barred the IRS from charging civil and criminal penalties, imposing liens or seizing assets and bank accounts to collect unpaid ObamaCare penalties. It can take it only from a tax refund…

This leaves the question of why Democrats would make a key pillar of the ObamaCare structure so incredibly weak.

Were they worried about the political consequences of making the unpopular mandate too strict, not realizing it would undermine their reform? Or did they know that an ineffective mandate would ultimately wreck ObamaCare, hoping its demise would push the country toward a single payer system?

In other words, were Democrats dangerously incompetent or unbelievably cynical? Neither is a particularly good defense, but each underscores the need to scrap ObamaCare entirely and start over.

The health insurers were all for Obamacare.  At first.  Mandatory health insurance?  Cha-ching.  Easy money.  The government forcing people to buy their policies?  It’s like they died and went to insurance heaven.  But government is full of devious bastards.  The health insurers let their greed cloud that fact.  And now they may pay the ultimate price.  For with all of these mandate exceptions the young and healthy aren’t buying health insurance they won’t use.  Only sick people who will use that health insurance are buying it.  So the health insurers have far too much going out in claims and far too few premiums coming in.  Which won’t help a health insurer stay in business.  But, then again, that may have been the plan all along.

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Obamacare – Lies and Politics to transform One-Sixth of the U.S. Economy into a Welfare Program

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 11th, 2012

Week in Review

Here’s the skinny on Obamacare.  And it isn’t good.  For it transfers health insurance into a massive welfare program.  That ultimately will be paid for by the state.  Which means we the taxpayers will pay for it with massive new taxes.  After Obamacare shuts down the private health insurance industry.  Which it appears to be designed to do (see Obama’s health care law: A trek, not a sprint by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press, posted 3/11/2012 on Yahoo! News).

The Affordable Care Act gradually reorganizes one-sixth of the U.S. economy to cover most of the nation’s 50 million uninsured, while simultaneously trying to restrain costs and prevent disruptions to the majority already with coverage.

If the government takes over one-sixth of the U.S. economy this won’t be the same USA anymore.  It won’t be free market capitalism here.  But a European social democracy.  Like the European nations suffering from the European sovereign debt crisis.  Caused by excessive government spending.  And excessive government borrowing to pay for that spending.  Which will happen under Obamacare.  Because you can’t provide more for less.  More health care will cost more.  And when the private health insurance industry fails when they can’t provide more for less that leaves government as the sole provider in the health care market.  The ultimate plan for Obamacare.  As it has to be.  Because you can’t provide more for less.

“We really haven’t seen the main game,” said Drew Altman, president of the California-based Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit information clearinghouse on the health care system. “The major provisions that will affect the most people and cost the most money don’t go into effect until 2014 or later.”

The timing of Obamacare is further proof that it will be a disaster for health insurers and for those buying health insurance.  If it was good they would have implemented it before the 2012 election.  So Obama could campaign on its successes.  But knowing it was a failure they pushed back implementation until after the 2012 election.  So that failure wouldn’t dash all hopes for an Obama second term.

Millions of people are getting preventive care that now must be provided at no additional cost to patients. Birth control for women soon will be on that list. Insurance premium increases are getting more scrutiny.

You can’t provide more for less.  Forcing health insurers to provide free birth control without charging more in premiums to pay for this will put the private insurers out of business.  Unless they allow insurers to increase premiums.  Then everyone will pay more so women can use birth control without paying for it.  A product that shuts down a natural biological function of the human body.  Which isn’t insurance on more than one level.  First of all, it’s not financial protection against an unexpected catastrophic health care expense.  For there is nothing unknown about this expense.  Second, getting pregnant is the proper thing for female body to do after sex.  Stopping this process is not a health issue.  It’s a lifestyle choice.  And therefore shouldn’t be paid for by the same thing we use to pay for cancer treatments.  An unexpected catastrophic expense.

A highly promoted program that provides a lifeline to people denied coverage because they already had medical problems has probably saved lives. But enrollment in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan has been disappointing, with only about 50,000 people nationwide.

Glenn Nishimura, a consultant from Little Rock, Ark., checked it out and found his premiums would come to about $6,300 a year.

“It’s out of my price range,” said Nishimura. It makes more financial sense to take care of his high blood pressure and high blood sugars by paying out-of-pocket and gambling that his health will hold up, he reasons. In three years he’ll be eligible for better coverage under Medicare.

This individual mandate, the main target for the law’s critics, also takes effect in 2014. Without it, many experts fear that the new exchanges, the state-based markets for private insurance, won’t work. Healthy people would be tempted to postpone signing up until they get sick, raising costs for everybody.

You can’t provide more for less.  And there’s nothing that costs more in the health insurance industry than paying for preexisting conditions.  Because if you’re covering a preexisting condition it means that the preexisting medical condition wasn’t covered before it existed.  Meaning the person did not buy health insurance when they were younger and healthier.  And paid nothing into the health insurance pools to help offset the costs of those who fall ill with an unexpected and catastrophic illness.  Only now that they are sick and facing large medical bills do they want health insurance coverage to pay these bills.  Which isn’t insurance.  It’s welfare. 

The individual mandate addresses this.  But it’s unconstitutional.  For the government doesn’t have the right to make people buy anything.  And, no, it’s not the same as car insurance.  Because if you don’t drive a car you don’t have to buy car insurance.  And if the Supreme Court upholds this unconstitutional individual mandate it will have the same effect as a massive tax increase.  And kill economic activity.  At a time the nation is still reeling under the Great Recession.  Massive new government expenditures and a fall in economic activity, and therefore a fall in tax revenue, will put the U.S. ever closer to those European social democracies wallowing in the European sovereign debt crisis.  And in case you’re wondering what that would mean it would be a bad thing.  A very, very bad thing.  Unless you like riots in the streets.  As they had them in Greece, France, and the UK.  And elsewhere wherever they tried to cut back some great government welfare program.

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They Sold us Obamacare with Lies. Now the Truth Demands that we Repeal Obamacare.

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 21st, 2011

CBO Scores Obamacare under $1 Trillion.  Just as the Democrats Hoped/Needed.

Healthcare reform ain’t cheap.  And that’s always been the greatest obstacle to getting it.  Medicare and Medicaid are going bust.  Costs are going up faster than we can raise taxes to pay for them.  And healthcare reform was just going to be more of the same.  More costs.  More taxes.  And more budget problems.

The debate of Obamacare proceeded during the greatest recession since the Great Depression.  Not the best environment for debating the creation of the greatest entitlement program we’ve ever considered making into law.  But they did.  It wasn’t going to be an easy sell.  It all depended on cost.  If the first 10 years cost less than $1 trillion, there would be hope.  And, guess what?  They did (see CBO: Health-care reform bill cuts deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years, covers 95% by Ezra Klein posted 3/18/2010 on The Washington Post).

According to a Democratic source, CBO has finished its work and will release the official preliminary score later today. But here are the basic numbers: The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and reduce the deficit by $130 billion during that period. In the second 10 years — so, 2020 to 2029 — it will reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. The legislation will cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the legal population.

How about that?  Less than $1 trillion.  With $60 billion to spare.  And it cut the deficit, too.  Who could ask for anything more?

How they got these numbers, and whether there are important qualifiers, will be easier to say once CBO releases its analysis. But the bottom line is that this is the exact sort of score that Democrats wanted, and is in fact considerably better than some had come to expect they would receive. Coverage is better than the Senate bill, which will reassure liberals, and deficit reduction is better than either bill, which will reassure conservatives.

When the nonpartisan CBO released its analysis, these were indeed the numbers.  Things were looking up for Obamacare.  But exactly how did they get those numbers?

Obamacare by the Numbers:  Lies, Deceit and Flimflammery.

Well, it would be awhile before anyone could answer that question.  At some 2,000 pages, the bill was complex to say the least.  So complex that those voting for it didn’t even take the time to read it.  Besides, there was no time to read it with the vote schedule to happen before the ink even had a chance to dry.  So they didn’t.  And voted.  Because as Nancy Pelosi said, they would have to pass it before learning what was in it.  And that’s exactly what they did.

Well, we now know why they rushed Obamacare into law.  Because anyone reading and understanding the details would have been furious.  To say the data the Democrats gave to the CBO were suspect would be a gross understatement.  When the CBO scored H.R. 2 (the repeal of Obamacare) it becomes clear how they got those rosy numbers (see Everything starts with repeal by Charles Krauthammer posted 1/21/2011 in The Washington Post).

“CBO anticipates that enacting H.R. 2 would probably yield, for the 2012-2021 period, a reduction in revenues in the neighborhood of $770 billion and a reduction in outlays in the vicinity of $540 billion.”

As National Affairs editor Yuval Levin pointed out when mining this remarkable nugget, this is a hell of a way to do deficit reduction: a radical increase in spending, topped by an even more radical increase in taxes.

The repeal of Obamacare will increase the deficit.  Because Obamacare included $770 billion in new taxes (i.e., revenue).  To pay for $540 billion in new spending.  High spending.  And even higher taxes.  Of course, at the time all we heard was deficit reduction.  Pretty sneaky of them.

Of course, the very numbers that yield this $230 billion “deficit reduction” are phony to begin with. The CBO is required to accept every assumption, promise (of future spending cuts, for example) and chronological gimmick that Congress gives it. All the CBO then does is perform the calculation and spit out the result.

Future spending cuts.  Like the gutting of Medicare.

In fact, the whole Obamacare bill was gamed to produce a favorable CBO number. Most glaringly, the entitlement it creates – government-subsidized health insurance for 32 million Americans – doesn’t kick in until 2014. That was deliberately designed so any projection for this decade would cover only six years of expenditures – while that same 10-year projection would capture 10 years of revenue. With 10 years of money inflow vs. six years of outflow, the result is a positive – i.e., deficit-reducing – number. Surprise.

Interesting accounting practices.  The kind that sends people to prison in the private sector.  Overstating profits by not matching costs to revenue.  If they did the accounting along GAAP, there would be no deficit reduction.  Because Obamacare actually will increase the deficit.  They’re cooking the books.  To mislead CBO.  And the American people.

If you think that’s audacious, consider this: Obamacare does not create just one new entitlement (health insurance for everyone); it actually creates a second – long-term care insurance. With an aging population, and with long-term care becoming extraordinarily expensive, this promises to be the biggest budget buster in the history of the welfare state.

When you lie, lie big.  No one risks going to prison in the private sector for stealing pennies.  If you’re going to bilk the taxpayers, make it worth the price of getting caught.  There is even the theory that if the lie is big enough most people will believe it.  Because they just can’t imagine anyone making up such a big lie.

And yet, in the CBO calculation, this new entitlement to long-term care reduces the deficit over the next 10 years. By $70 billion, no less. How is this possible? By collecting premiums now, and paying out no benefits for the first 10 years. Presto: a (temporary) surplus. As former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and scholars Joseph Antos and James Capretta note, “Only in Washington could the creation of a reckless entitlement program be used as ‘offset’ to grease the way for another entitlement.” I would note additionally that only in Washington could such a neat little swindle be titled the “CLASS Act” (for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act).

Fool me once shame on you.  Fool me twice shame on me.  At this point, it would be safe to assume that all their financial projections are dishonest.  Why?  Because liars lie.  If we catch you making one mistake you can claim an accounting oversight.  But we’re well past that now, aren’t we?  I think the term ‘habitual’ is more appropriate.

That a health-care reform law of such enormous size and consequence, revolutionizing one-sixth of the U.S. economy, could be sold on such flimflammery is astonishing, even by Washington standards. What should Republicans do?

Make the case. Explain the phony numbers, boring as the exercise may be. Better still, hold hearings and let the CBO director, whose integrity is beyond reproach, explain the numbers himself.

Yes.  It’ll be easy.  Just do what the Democrats wouldn’t do back in March of 2010.  Show the math.  Even the people who don’t like math will understand it.  I mean, it’s only arithmetic.  Numbers in columns.  Plussing them.  And minusing them.  Simple math.  Just show the people.  They’ll get it.

To be sure, the effect on the deficit is not the only criterion by which to judge Obamacare. But the tossing around of such clearly misleading bumper-sticker numbers calls into question the trustworthiness of other happy claims about Obamacare. Such as the repeated promise that everyone who likes his current health insurance will be able to keep it. Sure, but only if your employer continues to offer it. In fact, millions of workers will find themselves adrift because their employers will have every incentive to dump them onto the public rolls.

And let’s not forget about those death panels.  They were in Obamacare.  Then out.  Then they were in Medicare.  Then out.  Where they are nobody knows.  But you know they’re there.  Because the numbers are far worse than they let us believe.  And the only way you can cut costs when you’re in the business of providing health care is to not provide as much health care.  Especially the expensive kind.  The kind that Granny needs.

This does not absolve the Republicans from producing a health-care replacement. They will and should be judged by how well their alternative addresses the needs of the uninsured and the anxieties of the currently insured. But amending an insanely complicated, contradictory, incoherent and arbitrary 2,000-page bill that will generate tens of thousands of pages of regulations is a complete non-starter. Everything begins with repeal.

Yes.  Repeal Obamacare.  Do it like removing a Band-Aid.  Quickly.  And in one stroke.

Figures don’t Lie.  But Liars Figure. 

Most legitimate polling shows the majority of people want to repeal Obamacare.  And for good reason.  They lied through their teeth to get this thing into law.  But they were even opposed to it before the vote.  There was fierce opposition at the town hall meetings.  And it took the bribing of Democrats to get the thing passed.  Most of who are out of a job now.  Because they acted against the will of their constituents.

Yet they still persist.  They keep lying.  They say that if we repeal Obamacare the economy will crash into recession.  And kill kids.  But the numbers don’t agree with this.  Neither does history.  For no one ever stimulated an economy with a massive tax increase.  And a lot of kids have survived without a national health care entitlement.  We haven’t had one all these years.  And we’ve had a lot of kids that grew into adults.  In fact, those lying to us now were all once kids.  They made it into adulthood without a national entitlement.  And others will, too.

Figures don’t lie.  But liars figure.  And they’re figuring like there is no tomorrow to keep this most unpopular law from being repealed.  Why?  Simple.  Because it’s one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  It’s not about health care.  It’s about expanding government.  And the liberal agenda.  To explode the size of the public sector.  Flood Washington in other people’s money.  So these liberals will never have to work a real job in their lifetime.

If you can think of a better idea, let me know.  But I’m sticking with this.  Because it’s always about the money.

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