Friday, July 25, 2014

Unplugging the Obamacare Fan(fare)

The left sure is trying to play up Obamacare, and on this point I encourage them to keep on talking! The more they say, the stupider they sound, the more likely Republicans will get elected. It doesn't look like the public is buying what the libs are selling. Scroll down to page 6 of this recent CNN poll:
Notice that the numbers are virtually unchanged since 2010.

These numbers will only get worse for the liberals when the following points start becoming better known.

WELL, WELL, WELL: Senate Hearing: Tax Credits are available for State Exchanges Only. Senator Baucus explains how The Affordable Care Act sets conditions where Tax Credits are available for State Exchanges Only. The discussion is a bit confusing, but he’s saying that this is under the Finance Committee’s jurisdiction because the tax credits are an incentive to adopt state exchanges.

Under the DC Circuit ruling, a state’s residents can only get ACA tax credits for purchasing health insurance if their state decides to establish and operate an insurance exchange. This creates a strong incentive for state governments to create such exchanges, thereby participating in the administration of Obamacare. If they do as the federal government wants, their residents get millions of dollars in tax credits, and their insurance companies and health care providers get lots of new business. By contrast, states would have far less incentive to create their own exchanges if they can rely on the federal government to do all the administrative heavy lifting without imperiling their residents’ eligibility for federal tax credits.

Such “cooperative federalism” arrangements under which the federal government gives states incentives to administer or enforce federal programs are very common, including in the field of health care. Many conservatives and libertarians (myself included) view them with suspicion. By contrast, left of center federalism experts often praise them on a variety of grounds: they enable the federal government to make use of state officials’ local knowledge; they provide incentives for states to promote important national policy objectives; they avoid unnecessary duplication of federal and state bureaucracies; and they enable greater sensitivity to local diversity (particularly important in the health care field, where there are many complicated variations in local conditions and relevant state regulations). State-led implementation of federal programs might also enable them to operate with greater sensitivity to the needs of politically influential local constituencies, thereby building a broader base of political support for the program. Considerations like these led Peter Harkness of Governing magazine to to suggest, back in 2012, that the ACA’s reliance on state-based exchanges could make the law a cooperative federalism “model for healthy state-federal relations.”
Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Admit in 2012 That Subsidies Were Limited to State-Run Exchanges (Updated With Another Admission)
For months after the official launch date of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failures in the systems involved the near-impossibility of successfully enrolling in Obamacare health insurance coverage. Some of the state websites didn’t function well enough to even set up a user account, a feat most commercial websites mastered 20 years ago. Oregon’s exchange never signed up a single user; others, like the federal exchange, made the process so slow and unreliable that consumers didn’t know whether they had coverage until they had to use it...

Now, however, the problem has expanded from failed enrollments to successful enrollments that shouldn’t have made it. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a small test of the site, which the Obama administration claims is functional now, to see whether the system could prevent fraudulent enrollments. In twelve attempts, the GAO succeeded in eleven fictitious enrollments.
Yes, it's a small sample size, but who's surprised at the results anyway?  Not me.

Someday, probably soon, when you look up "disaster" in the dictionary, there's going to be a picture of Obamacare.

Update, 7/26Fifth:
In other words, Congress did mean to use the subsidies to overcome state resistance and pressure them to set up their own exchanges. That is precisely what the plaintiffs in Halbig asserted. Of course, Obamacare’s supporters didn’t anticipate that the backlash against the law would be so intense that 34 states would actually decline the subsidies, almost as an act of civil disobedience.

On Friday morning, an embarrassed Gruber insisted to The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, “I honestly don’t remember why I said that… I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake.”

But a second speech, this time in the form of audio, surfaced this morning in which he makes the same claims before the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco at around the same time. In it, Gruber actively acknowledges that should if states revolt en masse, they’d bring down the law. But, he said, that he had enough faith in democracy to believe that even the states that didn’t like Obamacare would eventually succumb to the “ultimate threat” that “if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.”


Ellen K said...

Two observations.
Since I am once again the holder of insurance, I know that my basic medical only policy is going up $60 a month. That may not sound like much, but it eats up what little step increase I received.
So Obamacare is NOT saving me money-it is costing me more for less.
Secondly, there have been reports that many of those seeking subsidies on the exchanges are doing so using false information. The figure was eleven out of twelve requests were false and all of them received subsidies.
Is this anyway to run an economy?
Only if you want it to fail.

maxutils said...

you won't find a greater opponent of Obamacare than me ... which is weird, given that I'm supposedly a liberal ... but this is a perfect example of why it won't work. Another is something which I haven't looked up yet, but heard about on our favorite morning talk show today. I'm not claiming this as gospel, and am researching it ... but this guy, a lawyer, claimed that there are loopholes within the law that allow you not to pay for your last month of health care every year without penalty. That' s about a 9% discount that must be paid for by someone (you). He also said that if you really want to do the work, and don't mind switching policies every year? You can finagle it to the point where you don't have to pay for the last three months of every year ... unless, in those last three months, you have something horrible happen to you --if it does, you get to back pay. That's exactly like not paying your home insurance bill, assuming your house won't burn down ... but if it does, you get to pay the several hundred dollars, and they rebuild your house. That's not insurance. Arrgh.