Archives for posts with tag: Obamacare

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I just watched Lisa Kennedy Montgomery cave on repealing ObamaCare — see tonight’s Kennedy, Fox Business Network, 2017-01-12.

It looks to me like the putative libertarian is following Sen. Rand Paul and President-Elect Trump in doubling down on the core principle of ObamaCare itself.

They do this by insisting that the people newly covered by ObamaCare must remain covered under some new scheme before the old scheme be repealed.

This ensures that no real progress can be managed, for it commits the federal government to guaranteeing a transfer of wealth that (a) is nowhere authorized by the Constitution; (b) can only send medical costs spiraling further upward for the non-subsidized and eventually even the subsidized; (c) must increase the ranks of the subsidized as time goes on; (d) will become increasingly insolvent and demanding more taxes, eliciting further damaging regulation, as well as further stress the U. S. debt load; and, last but not least, (e) commits the nation to a principle utterly at odds with the best method for progress in medical services delivery. A better, free-market system, would simultaneously improve technology and capacity while leading to a secular trend of price reductions.

img_1981The Rand/Trump/Kennedy ploy gives the game away — the whole enchilada — to the socialist-minded Democrats (and Republicans, for that matter), which means that there could never be a rollback of government. At least, not on their watch.

It also shows that Kennedy and Rand and Trump all believe, just as do progressives and socialists and Fabians and fascists and ignoramuses (but I repeat myself) that once one has given a treat to someone else, that treat must be considered as a sacrosanct “right.”

Further, it indicates that they do not understand the economics of health care and medical insurance, especially not the damage done by decades upon decades of subsidy, mandates and regulations.

In other words, it means they do not really believe that free markets can work. Which is almost certainly true in Donald Trump’s case.

In Rand’s and Kennedy’s case, it ultimately means cowardice.

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The three main redistribution streams of Obamacare, at least as I understand the law, today:

  1. From healthy/quasi-wealthy insureds, who pay higher rates to cover the rates of less-healthy insureds.
  2. From taxpayers to the ranks of the subsidized, via the Medicaid expansion incorporated into Obamacare.
  3. From taxpayers to insurance companies, to compensate them for taking on insureds who have pre-existing conditions or are otherwise uninsurable, or have subsidized rates despite their high-risk factors.

It’s a bailout economy. First, through the nominally private insurance system, from healthy to unhealthy. Second, direct subsidies to the poor who qualify for explicit aid. Third, corporate subsidy, the most common understanding of “bailout.”

In no way do any of these revenue streams “decrease costs.” Each one, in its own way, increases the costs of the medical-industrial complex.

The first, of course, increases the up-front purchase price of insurance to the young and the otherwise healthy.

The second increases the burden of the already-insolvent Medicaid system directly. Further, by increasing medical service demand, will lead to systemic price hikes of services.

The third increases burdens on the taxpayers because of the corporate bailout, as well as likely increase pressure on medical service prices because of increased demand. And further (perhaps a bigger factor, yet) will lessen price-specific incentives on companies to cut costs, thereby contributing to cost-plus pricing practices, and their continuing upward spiraling.

If Obamacare had been proposed and promoted by Republicans (and elements of Obamacare were Heritage Foundation/Mitt Romney notions), at least a few more Democrats would have had the sense to reject such an ungainly system. The fact that Democrats unthinkingly support it, even now, suggests a degree of crazed partisanship the likes of which no sane person can respect.

Some people object to Obamacare’s constitutionality. A few Democrats retort,  “But that’s been settled — by the Supreme Court.” And then they descend into name-calling.

Forget, for the moment, the constitutionality of judicial review, or the coherence of the implied univocal dependence upon same. Just ask yourself a near-parallel question: In the late 1850s, would you have defended the Fugitive Slave Act by saying “the constitutionality of the act was determined by the Dred Scott Decision”?

No, of course you wouldn’t.

Methinks Democrats doth attest too much . . . authority to the very fallible Supreme Court.

The spectacular failure of Healthcare.gov is no surprise. It’s a typical progressive program, a nostrum that demonstrates the vacuity of progressivism itself.

Modern progressivism rests upon metaphysical fantasy: “That shouldn’t BE” and “just do IT” . . . Imagination of an alternative is the same thing as possibility, in progressives’ eyes. If they can dream it, it can be done. They imagine something nice,  then simply enact a law. So of course they expect it to just “happen”!

There is no complexity to their vision of social causation. For them, “with government, all things are possible.” Progressives love to make fun of religious people for believing mythological things. But they’re worse. At least most modern religious people believe things that can’t easily be disproven, focusing on the afterlife, which cannot easily be falsified, and a distant supernatural realm, carefully removed from everyday reality. But progressives believe idiotically hopeful things about institutions that regularly and continually fail! Their whole ideology is a head beating itself against a wall, forever.

The Ontological Argument for the Perfection of Government seems to be their basic notion. As they see it,

1. Government is the biggest and most pervasive intentional social institution;

2. We have good intent to use it;

3. Our goodness, knowing no bounds, and government’s scope, acknowledging no bounds, together make for unlimited Perfectly Good Government.

4. And why not? We imagine perfection; a condition of perfection is its instantiation (that is, the condition of ultimate perfection is its instantiation in existence); therefore, government is a perfectly honed instrument for our own good intentions.

The only trouble is: reactionaries! They thwart Perfect Government. If only democracy would allow us to disenfranchise them!!! Rumblings heard round the progressive movement, blaming every failure on Republicans, no surprise. Though, it’s quite obvious, most of progressives’ failures are the result of their own lack of intelligence, skills, and … perfection.

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So who “shut down” the government? The House Republicans or the Senate Democrats?

My take is not the “MoveOn” take, the view of Jon Stewart or other lickspittle to ever-advancing government.

As I understand it, the House approved funding for the government in the usual manner, subject to three revisions in the Affordable Health Care Act:

  1. Extending to all Americans the one-year delay granted (perhaps illegally by the President) to big businesses;
  2. Withdrawing special subsidies to workers on Capitol Hill, forcing congressional aides and other federal workers (including Congress) to go onto the same “Marketplaces” set up by the government that most other Americans have to; and
  3. Taking away a tax on certain medical instruments.

The Senate decided not to go along with this deal, deciding that it was better to go ahead with Obamacare in its “pristine” form (as amended unilaterally by the president, and amended again to exempt Congress, by Congress) than approve the spending authorization.

The House obviously forced the Senate to choose. The Senate chose, like Sophie and her children. The Senate obviously judged one tax and two special privileges were more important than funding government.

That is, Senate Democrats thought that. They went for special privileges for INSIDERS and a tax over the smooth operation of the government they are charged with.

I don’t see how House Republicans can be blamed alone. Nor do I see the rationale on “equality” grounds for the way Obamacare is being implemented. Indeed, the Democrats risked a lot to keep their main constituents (Capitol Hill workers and big businesses) appeased.

I bet we’ll hear something very different from journalists, today, though. As the news unfolds I’ll see if I erred in fact or judgment.

Green Eggs at Gunpoint

The difference, not acknowledged by this clever Internet meme, is that Obamacare is being shoved down our throats, while Dr. Seuss’s green advocate was merely trying to persuade us.

After all, the medical insurance reform bill was voted in by people who had not read it. They were obviously persuaded by something else than its content.

It was “sold” to the American people based on lies — that is, promises the prez knew he couldn’t keep. And now we are about to begin to see what the upfront costs are.

And these new costs are the result of impositions upon us. I can tell you, I have no desire to change my insurance policy. My insurer would be happy to continue to offer me the old plan. But mine has been found wanting in the eyes of our overlords, and I will be forced (if not quite “at gunpoint,” the usual government-to-servile equivalent) to buy a new one. Likely, from what I hear, a much more expensive one.

Analysts are universal in admitting, by the way, that the hardest to be hit will be folks like me, who pay for their own insurance out of pocket, no intermediaries like “employer” or “government.” Our costs are going way up, to the point many of us will be forced onto welfare rolls, therefore increasing costs for everyone else.

When a gun is pointed to your head, you don’t say “Hey, pull the trigger. After all, I’ve never been shot before!”