"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Over the past few days, there has been such an explosion of media coverage about the flaws of ObamaCare that it is now clear that they have FINALLY gotten the message. And that message is that ObamaCare is a train wreck – a fatally flawed legislative package which does far more harm than good, and – according to THEM – can’t be fixed. One prediction below says that ObamaCare will be repealed BY THE DEMOCRATS before the 2014 elections.
Here are the highlights from a media frenzy that demonstrates that the mainstreamers truly have turned:
*The Chicago Tribune – the President’s hometown newspaper – says this about ObamaCare and about “big government”:
“The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be a great advance in fostering access to medical insurance. It would contain costs, guarantee coverage, simplify consumer shopping and make the entire system more rational. Now that it is being put into practice, however, it's a giant, exasperating mess.
Just one example: In North Dakota, WDAY-TV reported that only 30 people have signed up for coverage on the new federally run exchange. But some 35,000 people will lose their existing policies. That was not quite what was promised during the congressional debate.
Some of the fault lies with the Obama administration for promising more than it could deliver. But some of the fault lies with the American people, who sometimes demand more of their government than it can reasonably provide. The technical and management snafus with Obamacare may be fixed in time. The deeper problems in the effort won't be so easy to solve.
In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. Today, the figure is just 19 percent. It may be no coincidence that the decline in confidence occurred at the same time Washington was steadily expanding its role in a wide variety of spheres, from health care to housing to education.
When the government tries to do more and more, it raises hopes that are hard to meet. It gets further from its essential responsibilities, like defending the nation from foreign threats, fostering a sound national economy and facilitating interstate transportation.
It also spends more and more. In 1964, federal outlays accounted for 18.5 percent of gross domestic product. Today, they take 22.7 percent. But it doesn't tax accordingly. This year, government revenues are lower as a share of GDP than they were back then, before the creation of the Great Society.
Why the discrepancy? Americans like getting things from Washington more than they like paying for them. Our leaders accommodate that taste by running big deficits every year, leaving much of the cost to be borne by future taxpayers.
But often, what the citizenry gets from Washington falls well short of expectations. Obamacare is a good example. Its introduction may have been bungled in several ways, but making big changes in a sector that constitutes one-sixth of the entire economy is a mammoth task, with great potential for error and harm.
That's an argument for leaving most matters to private markets, with Washington establishing sensible basic rules, along with subsidies to help the needy. It's also an argument that any changes should be incremental, to minimize disruption.
This logic applies to all sorts of federal involvement.
Activists often decry the failure of private markets. But the question in most case is not whether private markets function ideally. It's whether legislation and bureaucracy will yield a better outcome.
Clifford Winston, an economist at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington, concludes that three decades of empirical evidence "suggest that the welfare cost of government failure may be considerably greater than that of market failure." Good intentions are not enough.
In a nation of 50 states with vastly different political colorations and cultures, there is also a lot to be said for federalism. What suits the people of Massachusetts is bound to be a lot different from what Texans will embrace.
A single national policy means one or the other gets their way. Letting each state choose its own path allows each to satisfy its preferences. Not only that, but if mistakes are made, the harm is confined to a relatively small area — and other states can learn from the experience.
But the first step toward better federal policy is for Americans to realize the limits of what it can do and the costs it imposes when it goes beyond those limits. There's not much sense in regarding the government as untrustworthy and inept, and then giving it more opportunities to screw up.”
The last paragraph above could be a quote DIRECTLY FROM THE GOP PLAYBOOK, to wit: “(R)ealize the limits of what (government) can do and the costs it imposes when it goes beyond those limits” and "(t)here's not much sense in regarding the government as untrustworthy and inept, and then giving it more opportunities to screw up.”
I have been an avid reader of The Chicago Tribune for more than 50 years. It is also MY original "hometown newspaper," and outside of Massachusetts, it is one of the most liberal publications in the nation. For them to say this about "big government" in general and Mr. Obama's "signature legislation" in particular is simply incredible. I would have never thought it possible.
(As an aside – another reason the City of Chicago might be stinging from the effects of “big government” is that their creditworthiness was just DOWNGRADED by Fitch Ratings due to the city’s DEBT which was run up over the years by ‘big DEMOCRAT government.” When something like that happens it really hits home, and tends to help the unwashed “get religion.”
*The media frenzy continues with a Forbes expose’ which announces the: “New Mental Health Mandate Will Make Obamacare More Expensive, Increase Fraud And Canceled Policies.” Here are the highlights:
“Even as stories pour in of Americans facing steeply higher health insurance premiums and canceled coverage, Obama just imposed new regulations that will make those problems worse. It’s almost like they can’t help themselves.
A “mental health parity” mandate was passed by Congress in 2008, but Obama officials claim health insurers aren’t fully complying. (You’ll just have to overlook the irony of the Obama administration, which has postponed several provisions of Obamacare without any legal authority to do so, complaining that others aren’t complying with some law.)
President Obama’s latest effort to divert public attention ignores a fundamental problem: it’s much easier to know when a broken bone has healed than a broken mind. That ambiguity opens the door to overtreatment and fraud.
Health insurers and actuaries have a lot of experience in this area because most states have passed some form of mental health parity legislation.
The Council for Affordable Health Insurance used to publish an annual chart tracking the number of state mandates, and health actuaries provided a general estimate of how much various mandates added to the cost of a basic health insurance policy. Depending on what it required, mental health parity was one of the most expensive mandates, adding between 5 percent and 10 percent.
So while Obamacare is driving up the cost of a policy for many Americans by 50 percent to 100 percent, the new mental health rules will make coverage even more expensive—though it’s difficult to know by how much.
Furthermore, the mental health mandate could mean that millions of additional health policies will be canceled because Obama just expanded what’s considered qualified coverage.
If the past few weeks haven’t convinced you the Obama administration never understood how the law would affect health insurance, this new effort should do it.”
For the entire article, see: http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2013/11/11/new-mental-health-mandate-will-make-obamacare-more-expensive-increase-fraud-and-canceled-policies/
So – MILLIONS OF *ADDITIONAL* HEALTH POLICIES WILL BE CANCELLED due to the expansion of the mental health mandate. I wonder how THOSE people are going to feel about that?
*Next comes the Wall Street Journal, which helps the Republicans by publishing “The ObamaCare Dozen” (actually it’s 15+1): a list of those Democrat Senators who voted and stumped for ObamaCare when the Obama administration was selling the program. The article begins:
“The torrents of Affordable Care Act monsoon season aren't letting up, so Democrats are scrambling to help the victims: namely, their own careers. The Senators up for re-election in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still aren't offering solutions for anything other than their own growing political jeopardy.
Fifteen Senate Democrats plus Colorado's Michael Bennet who chairs the Senatorial Campaign Committee sat down at the White House Wednesday, and they want all and sundry to know that they let President Obama have it.”
“The ObamaCare Dozen are receiving an overdue education in the damaging consequences of the bill they supported, all of which were predicted by critics in 2010 (i.e., THE REPUBLICANS). Any one of these Senators could have prevented the current madness by voting no. And now the President they empowered to govern from the ideological left has rejected even their de minimis fixes and is promising to "grind it out" even if the problems get worse. These Senators deserve to be held accountable at the ballot box.”
For everything in between, see: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303763804579183713385661566
*USAToday piles on with their article titled: “Fact check: If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” In this one, the normally Democrat-friendly publication calls out the most prominent proponents of this statement – to include President Obama - and basically calls them liars. The article provides ACTUAL QUOTES from the individuals concerned – again helping the Republicans in what will undoubtedly be a blanketing of the airwaves in the months leading up to the 2014 elections in those states with vulnerable Democrat Senators. For the entire article, see:
*The Hill reports that a Dem Senator is now calling for a “full-blown investigation” into the incompetence surrounding the ObamaCare launch. The article begins:
“Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) will ask two oversight agencies for a full-blown investigation into the problems surrounding the ObamaCare launch.” Hagan, who is up for reelection in 2014, is asking her Senate colleagues to co-sign a letter asking two agencies to conduct “a complete, thorough investigation to determine the causes of the design and implementation failures of HealthCare.Gov.””
With this action, it is clear that the Democrats can see the handwriting on the wall and are trying to distance themselves from ObamaCare as quickly as possible.
For the entire article, see:
*Finally, Forbes predicts that “Obamacare Will Be Repealed Well In Advance Of The 2014 Elections.” And they predict that it will be the DEMOCRATS who spearhead the drive to repeal it. Here are the highlights of their prediction:
“Prediction: even if HealthCare.gov is fixed by the end of the month (unlikely), Obamacare is going to be repealed well in advance of next year’s election. And if the website continues to fail, the push for repeal—from endangered Democrats—will occur very rapidly. The website is a sideshow: the real action is the number of people and businesses who are losing their health plans or having to pay a lot more. Fixing the website will only delay the inevitable.
It is important to remember why it was so important for Obama to promise repeatedly that “if you like your health insurance/doctor, you can keep your health insurance/doctor.” Cast your mind back to the ignominious collapse of Hillarycare in 1994. Hillarycare came out of the box in September 1993 to high public support according to the early polls. This was not a surprise. Opinion polls for decades have shown a large majority of Americans support the general idea of universal health coverage. But Hillarycare came apart as the bureaucratic details came out, the most important one being that you couldn’t be sure you’d be able to keep your doctors or select specialists of your choice. The Clintons refused to consider a compromise, but even with large Democratic Senate and House majorities the bill was so dead it was never brought up for a vote.
Senate Democrats endangered for re-election will lead the charge for repeal perhaps as soon as January, after they get an earful over the Christmas break. They’ll call it “reform,” and clothe it in calls for delaying the individual mandate and allowing people and businesses to keep their existing health insurance policies. But it is probably too late to go back in many cases. With the political damage guaranteed to continue, the momentum toward repeal will be unstoppable. Democrats will not want to face the voters next November with the albatross of Obamacare.
The hazard of the moment is that a compromise “reform” that drops the mandate and attempts to restore the insurance status quo ante could leave us with an unfunded expansion of Medicaid and a badly disrupted private insurance market. Republicans should avoid both the political traps and a new fiscal time bomb by being ready with a serious replacement policy, based on the premium support tax credit ideas that John McCain advocated (poorly) in 2008. While anxious liberals are in dismay, they should recognize that Obamacare may well have achieved its chief purpose of making universal or at least greatly expanded health coverage a fixture of American social policy. The cost to liberalism may prove fatal, however.”
For the entire article, see: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenhayward/2013/11/11/obamacare-will-be-repealed-well-in-advance-of-the-2014-elections/
Another thing the President has repeatedly said over the past five years is how he wants to “unite” the country and get away from “politics as usual in Washington.” Well, it may be politics as usual in Washington, but as we can see from the above, the President may be accomplishing one of his objectives. It now appears that WE THE PEOPLE – except for the most staunch apologists and Kool-Aid drinkers – may be coming together around a cause in a way seldom seen since just after 9/11. The cause: Opposition to the train wreck of ObamaCare.
So Mr. Obama may be uniting this country in ways he never imagined after all.
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