The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Obamacare - Disinformation (Summary)

Disinformation has been used over the last half decade or more to propagandize Obamacare. I am in the process of compiling an ongoing, extensive, though not comprehensive list from among my articles and elsewhere. I will present them summarily in cogent form so as to provide a better sense of the extent to which the American public has been misled.  I will leave the reader to decide whether the misleading was intentional or not.
  1. Obamacare has been and continues to be described as "universal health care."  This is false. Even at best, 15 million Americans will still remain uninsured under Obamacare, and at worst 129 million will lose coverage. (See HERE)
  2. The Obama administration estimated that nearly 3.3 million people would sign up on the exchanges by the end of 2013. This turned out to be false. Only 1.1 signed up. (See HERE)
  3. Obamacare was touted to decrease the number of uninsured in America. So far, this is false. In 2013, nearly 5 million people lost insurance coverage, whereas only 1.1 signed up through the exchanges, making it a net loss of nearly 4 million. (See HERE)
  4. Obamacare was sold under the commitment that it will lower insurance premiums by $2500.00. This is false. Not only have and will insurance premiums continue to increase (conservatively on average by 32 percent), but so have and will deductibles and out-of pocket expenses (topping $6000.00 a person). (See HERE)
  5. The Obama administration has misleadingly attempted to spin the premium increases by claiming they are the lowest in decades because of Obamacare. (See HERE)
  6. They also deceptively intimated that, because of Obamacare, the growth in premiums would decline by 16% from what was originally expected. This is false. (See HERE)
  7. Another Liberal spin was that premiums would be lower for many people because of government subsidies. This is mostly false. (See HERE)
  8. Because of the administration's heightened concern over the potential political fallout from people learning beforehand about the rising premiums, they deceptively put a gag order on insurance companies reporting premium increases. (See HERE)
  9. One of the more flagrant misdirects was Liberals pointing to the allegedly lower premiums while keeping silent about the increase in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. In this way they attempted to obscure just how much more expensive will be people's heath care. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)
  10. We were promised that Obamacare would cover more treatments  This is false. In reality, there will be but a shift from people with insurance willingly paying for certain treatments that most people want, to people being forced to pay for certain treatments for which they would rather not. (See HERE)
  11. As a way of currying sympathy for his health care plan, Obama claimed that his mother was denied treatment based on pre-existing conditions. This turns out to be false. (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)
  12. We were promised that Obamacare would cover more conditions. This is false. What Obamacare gives in terms of removing the restriction for preexisting conditions, it takes away in terms of adding restrictions for chronic conditions. (See HERE)
  13. We were promised that Obamacare would provide insurance coverage from job to job. This is mostly false. Obamacare does very little in making insurance portable for job changes within states, and it does nothing for job changes from state to state. (See HERE)
  14. In addition to universal coverage, one of the key purposes behind Obamacare, and one of its primary selling points, was that it would reduce healthcare costs. This is false. Cost have risen, and are projected to continue to increase at an average rate of  5.8 percent through 2022. (See HERE)
  15. When it became clear that health costs were going up under Obamacare, this was spun to say that the rate of growth was declining because of Obamacare. This is false. Reduction in cost growth began years before Obamacare, and the reductions were greater prior to Obamacare. So, if anything, Obamacare slowed rather than speed up the reduction in cost growth. (See HERE)
  16. We were also told that the CMS projections for healthcare costs have been revised downward because of cost reductions due to Obamacare. This is false. (See HERE)
  17. The Obama administration claimed that the cost of prescription drugs have gone down and would continue to decline, particularly for seniors with Medicare Part D plans. This is false. The cost of drugs have gone up and are projected to continue to grow for the next 10 years. And, with what little relief that seniors may have gotten through Part D plans over the last 8 years, it had nothing to do with Obamacare, and in fact the relief will be phased out because of Obamacare by 2020. (See HERE)
  18. Since Obamacare has seen costs rise, and coverage and services decline--both in terms of quality and quantity, and since many people can't keep the plans and doctors they like, and since this negatively impacts more so the poor and elderly and sick, all contrary to what was promised, then the bill was deceptively named the Affordable Care and Patent Protection Act. (See HERE)
  19. Americans were given the firm pledge that Obamacare would offer them similar plans to those of federal employees. This is false. Not only isn't Obamacare anything like the federal plans, but the very feds who created Obamacare, and who were constantly talking it up as the best health care solution, disliked it so much that they waived the requirement for themselves and their staff. (See HERE)
  20. Obama claimed that the voices of Americans wouldn't be drowned out during his presidency, but instead he would listen to them. In regards to Obamacare, this is false. Most Americans didn't want Obamacare, but the President didn't listen to them, and forced it on them nevertheless. (See HERE)
  21. Obama has styled himself as a uniter and not a divider, and he promised greater bi-partisanship during his administration. In terms of Obamacare, this is false. It was, and has been one of the most partisan and divisive acts in legislative history. (See HERE)
  22. Obama claimed to have done more than any other candidate to take on lobbyist, and promised that they wouldn't set the agenda in Washington, or run the White House, or be on his staff, nor drown out the voice of the people. In terms of Obamacare, this is false. Lobbyists have been heavily involved, if not more so than ever. (See HERE)
  23. Regarding Obamacare, Barack Obama promised greater transparency in the form of televised hearings. With few exceptions, this didn't happen. (See HERE)
  24. He also promise greater transparency in the form of no closed doors. Yet, many doors were closed. (See HERE)
  25. Obama pledged to change the broken-down politics of Washington. In terms of Obamacare, he made matters worse by introducing corrupt, Chicago-style politics. (See HERE and HERE)
  26. Obama promised not to raise taxes on the middle class and poor. In terms of Obamacare, this turned out to be false. People earning less than $250K a year will pay more taxes directly, indirectly, and deferred. (See HERE)
  27. Obama adamantly denied that the Obamacare mandate fees were a tax. He was wrong. In order for Obamacare to pass constitutional muster, Obama's own Justice Department argued that the fees were taxes. (See HERE)
  28. Obamacare was initially sold under the promise that it wouldn't raise the deficit even a dime. This turned out to false, and the projections upon which the selling points were based, were shown to be deceptively manipulated. (See HERE)
  29. Obamacare was later sold under the promise that it would reduce the deficit. While this may be true over the short term, ultimately it turns out to be false. (See HERE)
  30. We were told that Obamacare would provide more choices. This is false. On average there will be fewer choices in terms of affordable and quality insurance, doctors, treatment, and hospitals. (See HERE)
  31. We were told that Obamacare would improve the quality of health care. This is false. It does the opposite. (See HERE)
  32. We were promised that there would be no rationing through Obamacare. Even though the Affordable Care Act supposedly prevents certain kinds of rationing, this is still false. Among other things, there have been and will be rationing in terms of price, coverage, choices of plans and doctors and hospitals, quality of care, as well as services.(See HERE)
  33. Obama claimed that there were no "death panels" built into Obamacare. This is false. (See HERE and HERE
  34. Liberal "fact checkers" claimed that "death panels" was the lie of the year. This is false. (ibid.)
  35. Americans were emphatically promised that they could keep the plans and doctors they liked, period, no matter what. This turned out to be false. (See HERE)
  36. Obama claimed he never made this promise. This is false. (ibid)
  37. Obama claimed he didn't know the promise would be broken. This is false. (ibid)
  38. Obama claimed that the broken promise only applies to the individual market. This is false. (ibid)
  39. Obama claimed that people are better off in spite of the broken promise. This is false. (ibid)
  40. The insinuation that people were expecting unlimited choices, is false. (ibid)
  41. The spin that the President didn't break his promise since people can keep their plans if they can afford them, is false. (ibid)
  42. The spin that insurance companies, and not Obamacare, are responsible for the massive cancellations, is false. (ibid)
  43. The spin that Obamacare isn't problematic because cancellations have always occurred, is false. (ibid)
  44. The spin that cancellations only occurred with plans created after Obamacare began, is false. (ibid)
  45. Obamacare was initially marketed as opposing the individual mandate because it would "hurt" and "pile on" the poor. Instead, Obama promised universal health care through lowering costs. This promise turned out to be false (see above) And, yet, he was elected president on those stated terms. As President, though, Obama included the individual mandate in his health care plan and later signed it into law, thereby forcing people to purchase insurance at the threat of significant tax penalties, which "hurts" and "piles on" the poor. This was a politically expedient bait and switch. (See HERE)
  46. Obama compared the individual mandate to auto insurance requirements. This is false. (See HERE)
  47. Liberals have suggested that the individual mandate isn't a big deal because in only impacts relatively few people. This is false. It will likely end up impacting more than a hundred million people. (See HERE)
  48. The individual mandate was touted as the means for guaranteeing or producing universal health care. This is false. Tens of millions of people don't know about the mandate and penalty, and even more plan not to sign up. (See HERE)
  49. Liberal "fact checkers" claim that assertion about government "take over" of health care, was the lie of the year. This is false. (See HERE and HERE
  50. Obama seems to be operating under the impression that since Obamacare is his plan and bears his name, he is entitled to do with it whatever he wishes. This is dubious at best and false at worst. (See HERE
  51. Obamacare was pitched as a boon to the economy, whereas in multiple ways the opposite turned out to be the case. (See HERE)
  52. Liberals claimed that Obamacare would create millions of jobs, hundreds of thousands immediately. Not only did this turn out to be false, but the ACA killed jobs and forced numerous people into part-time, temporary, lower paying work. (See HERE)
  53. Obama claimed that Obamacare would be made affordable in large part though improved health care technology. However, the web site debacle flies in the face of  this claim and cast serious doubt on the entire enterprise. (See HERE)
  54. Obama claimed that technology would cut costs. So far, this is false. The Obamacare web sitehas become a black hole for hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. (ibid.)
  55. The administration blamed everyone else but themselves for the disaster. They were wrong. (ibid)
  56. The administration projected that half a million people would sign up during the fist month of enrollment. This turned out to be false. (ibid)
  57. Of all the points of disinformation listed thus far, this is the most significant of all, and the one that gives cause for all the other disinformation: "Supposedly, the purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to lower health insurance costs and provide better health insurance plans for people to purchase." This is false. "The actual purpose of the ACA is to prepare the ground for a single payer system to come later." (See HERE and HERE)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Obamacare - Ultimate Objective?

One of the questions that has been nagging some Americans for a time is: "If President Obama is as exceptionally intelligent as many people think he is, then how could he have produced, among other things, such an enormous disaster that is Obamacare?"

While there is growing sentiment that Obama isn't the genius as many previously supposed (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), or that he may be too smart for the job (see HERE and HERE and HERE), there is also mounting suspicion that the Obamcare debacle is a part of a brilliant, though disturbing to many people, plan to transition the U.S. to full-on socialized medicine. In other words, not a few people are becoming more convinced that Obamacare was an intentionally deceptive means to another end. (See HERE)

I am not sure how exactly a resounding political catastrophe may be a brilliant means to an allegedly better end, particularly when the President, himself, recently admitted it wasn't very smart? (See HERE and HERE)

Perhaps its is considered a variation of the "tactic of defeat" used by the military and chess players in which intentional loses are used to lull opponents into a false sense of security and unwittingly lure them into a position of ultimate surrender, often by way of exhaustion. In the case of Obamacare, the assumption may be that people will get so tired of the political wrangling, and so feed up with Obamacare, that they may become readily open and supportive of a more socialistic alternative.

Be that as it may, the evidence is piling up that Obamacare was intended to move the U.S. ultimately towards socialistic health care systems like those in Canada or England--in a way similar to slowly heating up a frog until it boils, where little by little Americans become used to more and more socialization until they are fully socialized. As Norman Thomas, Socialist presidential candidate, has said: The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." (See HERE)

Even as early as the run for the Democrat nominee for President in 2007, "[Hillary}Clinton charged that Obama’s position has shifted on health care, from favoring a single-payer, universal system when he was a Senate candidate to the plan he favors now, which has no requirement. Obama denied that he had ever said he would work to get a single-payer plan, saying, 'I never said that we should try to get single-payer. I said that if I were starting from scratch, I would probably go with a single-payer system.' But Obama’s denial doesn’t hold up. In a speech in June 2003, Obama said: 'I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care program. I see no reason why the US cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see.'" (See HERE as quoted HERE)

Kate Pickert of Time suggests: "It’s already apparent [in 2010], however, that protecting the current system of private job-based insurance was not a mission of the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, promises about keeping your plan notwithstanding." as quoted HERE)

Fox News reported in an article titled, "First Comes Obamacare, Then Something Else?": after listing several problems with Obamcare, the reporter said: "This will leave health insurance exchanges with too many sick people and too few healthy ones. This will drive up premiums further, compel more businesses and individuals to forgo insurance, and create enormous political pressure to increase federal insurance subsidies for low and middle income individuals and families....The burden to find solutions will take Congress to places that Republicans are very reluctant to go." (See HERE)

Rush Linbaugh has argued: "I mentioned Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ezekiel Emanuel. He was on Fox News Sunday yesterday. He said the individual insurance market is going away. Meaning, it's okay that Obamacare has made it impossible for insurance companies to continue to provide coverage for individuals, 'cause they're drying up anyway....So what is Obamacare doing? It's destroying the only kind of plans people without insurance ever get. And nobody seems to be noticing except the people who are being canceled and then can't find a replacement because it's too expensive. Now, all of this is by design, but it's a disaster, and they're trying to blame all of this, they're trying to slough all of this off on the insurance companies." (See HERE)

More to the point, "As recently as August 12 of this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid openly confirmed Steyn's prediction that ObamaCare is but a stepping stone toward achieving the ultimate goal of the progressive left: a single-payer system." (See HERE)

This is confirmed by Forbes. (See HERE)

Emily Miller, at the Washington Times, editorialized: "Obamacare may have crashed sooner than the White House wanted, but it was always intended to end in failure. The Affordable Care Act could not simply provide coverage for the uninsured while letting the rest of Americans keep their own health care at the same price. President Obama made a lot of promises to get the law passed and enacted in order to push toward his ultimate goal: the whole country on a single-payer, government-run health care system." (See HERE)

Miller went on to lay out a compelling case.

Andrew C. McCarthy states: "The point of showing that Obama is carrying out a massive scheme to defraud — one that certainly would be prosecuted if committed in the private sector — is not to agitate for a prosecution that is never going to happen. It is to demonstrate that there is logic to the lies. There is an objective that the fraud aims to achieve. The scheme is the framework within which the myriad deceptions are peddled. Once you understand the scheme, once you can put the lies in a rational context, you understand why fraud was the president’s only option — and why “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” barely scratches the surface of Obamacare’s deceit. In 2003, when he was an ambitious Illinois state senator from a hyper-statist district, Obama declared: 'I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health-care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. . . . Everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.' That is the Obamacare scheme. It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine." (see HERE)

Brian Cates, a contributor to, declared: "In all the discussion about ObamaCare, many people are missing the point about the true purpose of the law. Supposedly, the purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to lower health insurance costs and provide better health insurance plans for people to purchase. Far from it. The actual purpose of the ACA is to prepare the ground for a single payer system to come later. ObamaCare was designed to 'fix' the problem of a country in which most had health insurance coverage and were happy with the status quo.  Progressives realized they were never going to get this backwards country to a single payer system as long as 85% of Americans had coverage and the majority of them were satisfied with the health insurance plan they had. The top leadership of the Democratic Party rightly recognized this situation as a huge obstacle to ever getting a single payer system implemented on the entire country from Washington DC. The goal of ObamaCare is a national transformation from a country where 85% had health insurance & of those 87% were happy with their plan, to one where almost no one will be happy with what they have been forced to take. (See HERE)

Here are additional citations in support of the belief that the end game of Obamacare was single payer system or some other form of socialized medicine. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

[update 07/12/2016: the predicted end game begins to materialize: Obamacare 2.0: Obama calls for revisiting public option]
[Update: 04/10/17:


The unintended consequence (Leftist LUNC)  here is that all though liberals had gushed for years about the remarkable intelligence of Obama, and had exuberantly extolled the supposed virtues of Obamacare, both have been called into serious question. However, this doesn't matter since apparently Obomacare was an expendable means to the hidden agenda of socialized medicine.

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

Friday, November 22, 2013

Obamacare - Improved Technology?

Obama has made a number of claims regarding his health care plan and technology.

For example, in 2007 he promised: "We’re going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.....We’re going to do it by making sure that we use information technology so that medical records are actually on computers instead of you filling forms out in triplicate when you go to the hospital. That will reduce medical errors and reduce costs." (See HERE as quoted HERE)

The same year he said: "All of the major Democratic candidates are advocating some form of universal health care. The question is, how do we get there? My proposal says...we will pay for those subsidies by imposing a set of cost-saving measures that will actually improve quality at the same time that they lower costs using health IT, information technologies, not just for billing but for maintaining medical records, for communicating between doctors and nurses and pharmacists to reduce errors and reduce bureaucracy managing the chronically ill." (See HERE, as quoted HERE)

He also indicated: "We spend $2 trillion on health care in this country every year, 50% more than other industrialized nations. And yet, we don’t have, necessarily, better outcomes. If we make sure that we provide preventive care and medical technology that can eliminate bureaucracy and paperwork, that makes a big difference." (See HERE, as quoted HERE) reported: "In his infomercial, Obama claimed '[M]y health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and preexisting conditions, and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.' Way back in June when we dug into the accounting behind this claim, an Obama adviser told us that more than half of it is attributed to savings from the widespread adoption of electronic records, at least some of which is expected to go to government, employers and insurance companies. The campaign, we were told, expects a trickle-down effect that could reach consumers in the form of lower taxes, reduced premiums or higher wages. So even if the savings materialized, some of them would be passed along in a variety of ways that might not be seen as lowering health care costs, such as premiums, by $2,500 a year."(See HERE)

Wouldn't this have been great?

According to Obama's own web site: "Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records." (Quoted HERE)

It is uncertain at this point whether $10 billion was spent on improving health care technology since Obama was elected, but according to a Bloomberg analysis reported at The Blaze, "The to-date cost of the glitchy Obamacare website has topped $1 billion, easily surpassing the $394 million originally estimated by the Government Accountability Office" (see HERE)--denials to the contrary notwithstanding. (See HERE)

However, regardless of whatever mind-boggling price tag is eventually attributed to creating and maintaining the site, the logical question to ask is whether or not the tax-payers got their monies worth?

Better yet, since, according to Obama himself, the success of Obamacare rested primarily on the promise of improved technology, it may be wise to examine the roll-out of the Obamacare web site to see how well this lead-off technological "investment" panned out, so as to get a sense for how well Obamacare may fare in the future.

As best I can tell, the contract to build the Obamacare web site was awarded in 2010 or 2011, shortly after Obamacare was signed into law--though it wasn't awarded based on best bids or on best abilities, but on the basis of best buddies and donors: cronyism. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

So, after three years, how well did crony capitalism and Obamacare deliver on its technological commitment? (It should be noted that in November of this year--2013--three 20-year-olds built a comparable web site in three days and nights at no cost to the tax payers--see HERE and HERE)

I think it is reasonable to suggest that there was near universal agreement that the web site roll-out was a colossal disaster. Here is a smattering of reports from media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum: see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

Of course, there were the ever-expected flurry of irresponsible shifting of blame and finger-pointing (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE) as well as multiple delays (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE ) and a combination of both. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Initially, the perceived problem at the web site was one of access and web traffic jams. And, because of constant and prolonged crashes, only six people were able to sign up on the exchanges the first day, October 1st. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

This was paltry by any standard, but even more so given the Obama administration projection that half a million people would sign up during the first month. (See HERE)

And, while there were several less-than-successful re-openings of and deadline for the web site (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), the access issue turned out to be a short-term blessing in disguise since it effectively delayed the eventual "sticker shock" experienced by many site visitors, and prevented people from gaining access and likely learn just how unaffordable Obamacare really was.

Yet, over time it became apparent that the access or traffic issue wasn't the only, or even the most significant problem with the web site. In addition to the nearly 400 bugs (see HERE), there were serious design flaws (see HERE) and major challenges with keeping the sensitive data secure (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), interfacing between disparate computer systems and divergent program developers (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), correctly confirming enrollee identification and qualifications (see HERE and HERE) and billing info (see HERE) and assuring accuracy of data (see HERE), not to mention providing online payment ability (see HERE), and making certain that people who were told they were enrolled had actually been enrolled (see HERE and HERE and HERE)

Whew...aren't you glad there was nothing major to worry about?

In response to the outcry and concerns, the Obama administration has promised various "fixes" (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), and in their infinite wisdom they re-hired the same firm to fix the problems that it had created the problems to begin with (see HERE and HERE), though later they sought assistance from leading technological companies in what has become affectionately called a "tech surge". (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

What makes the web site debacle all the more astounding is that the October roll-out was scheduled only for the individual insurance market, which is supposedly but a small segment of the entire health insurance market--potentially less than 17% of the U.S. population. (See HERE and HERE)  Whereas, the roll-out for the more sizable employer insurance market was slated for November of 2013. However, because of all the problems experienced with the individual market roll-out, the President postponed the roll-out of the employer insurance portion of the web site--i.e. SHOP--until November of 2014. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

The Leftist LUNC here is that, while the affordability of Obamacare was based in large part on improved technology, the cyber nightmare at over the last three months since it was launched, not only cast serious doubt on Obama's technological promises, but on the prospects of Obamacare as well. (See HERE)

Millions, if not billions of our tax-payer dollars were funneled into the pockets of Obama cronies, and what did we get for it? Among many ills, a web site that still crashes, is at high risk for theft of personal data, can't even assure that people have been enrolled, and wont be completed for a year after it was scheduled

And, this is the government program we have entrusted to look out for our critical health care needs?


For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Obamacare - Impact on Struggling Economy

In spite of the presumed sizable increase in governmental and economic burden (see HERE), Obamacare was puzzlingly legislated and enacted during the worst recessions since the great depression. (See HERE and HERE

However, in an attempt to calm fears and diminish legitimate concerns that Obamacare might deepen or prolong the recession, a number of claims were made suggesting that the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) would help rather than hurt the struggling economy.

For example, as previously explained, the Obama administration and other liberals intimated that the ACA wouldn't cost a dime, but would decrease the deficit, not raise taxes on the middle class and poor, and make health care more affordable. Each of these claims turned out to be false. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

All told, these things have and will yet exact formidable costs on numerous household and small businesses and thus the U.S. economy. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

And, with the recent technological problems and flip-flops in policies and budget battles where Obamacare was front-and-center, it has created significant uncertainty that continues to rock various markets and "harms the rebound." (See HERE)

Then there is the matter of the stunning explosion of government regulations that can't help but further gum up the economic works. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE  and HERE and HERE

Additionally, since unemployment played a significant role in the down economy at the time, the promise was made that Obamacare would "create 4 million new jobs, 400,000 almost immediately." (See HERE)

This would have been nice.

Unfortunately, it didn't happen. In fact, not only didn't the 400,000 jobs immediately materialize (the ACA was enacted in March of 2010--see HERE, and in April of that same year the unemployment rate remained relatively unchanged from the 26-year high level that had held steady over the previous five months--see HERE and HERE), but "no such jobs boom has occurred." (See HERE)

Some economist even believe that Obamacare was and will be a job killer. (See HERE and HERE)

To compound matters, Obamacare has been attributed as the main cause behind subsequent employment freezes and the remarkable shift from full-time permanent to part time and temporary jobs. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE, and see Additional Documentation below)

Granted, the health care system has long been a threat to the U.S. economy, but in the minds of not a few pundits, "Obamacare will speed up the coming collapse." (See HERE)

The Leftist LUNCs here, then, are that, not only will Obamacare foment economic woes through higher taxes, higher debt, higher health care costs, increased instability and regulatory burdens, but it will also fail to create hundreds of thousand or millions of jobs, and will result in hundreds of thousands if not millions of people working less hours and make less money at their jobs. (See HERE)

Sadly, the debilitating burden of Obamacare on the economy will hurt worse small businesses, seniors, middle income families, young people, and the poor--those who can least afford it and for whom Obamacare was purportedly intended to assist. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

Additional Documentation

Companies may drop some coverage, lay off employees, freeze hiring, cut back hours, and expand contract work:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obamacare - Expansion of Government and Executive Powers

Several liberal pundits and self-serving "fact checkers" have been quick to point out that Obamacare isn't a massive federal take-over of the health care system and a significant portion of the U.S, economy. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Indeed, in 2010, dubbed the "take over" claim the "lie of the year." (See HERE, see also HERE and HERE)  Others consider it to be an unwarranted scare tactic. (See HERE)

Good folks on the Left rightly point out that unlike with socialized medicine in Britain, Obamacare doesn't own the medical system, nor does it administer health care products and services. Rather, it plays a minor role in regulating and providing some health insurance, and it relies heavily on private insurance. (See the links above)

Liberals also point out that Obamacare isn't "the biggest entitlement program the American taxpayers have ever seen," (See HERE and HERE)

Whew....that's a relief, isn't it?

Ironically, these dismissals and charges of lying are, themselves, misleading. They obscure and unwarrantably minimize legitimate concerns about the dangerous expansion of the federal government, and this at a time when the federal government seriously lacks the revenue to meet its current obligations, and has been plummeting deeper into debt.

They also ignore the constitutionally debatable power grab by the Executive Branch.

For example, Obamacare was set to expand the number of people enrolled in Medicare by 21.6 million (see HERE)--from 66.5 million (see HERE) to 88.1 million. This represent about a 33 percent increase in federal expenditures. In 2010, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the 10-year cost of just the insurance portion of Obamacare: "Gross additional costs of $1.5 trillion for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), tax credits and other subsidies for the purchase of health insurance through the newly established exchanges and related costs, and tax credits for small employers." (See HERE) This was revised upwards in 2013 to $1.79 trillion. (See HERE)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates don't include state funding of Medicaid. And, "ObamaCare will exert pressure on state Medicaid spending (although the pressure will be delayed for a few years by federal subsidies). This pressure on state budgets means less money on education and transportation, and higher state taxes." (See HERE)

As originally written, the expansion of the federal government and encroachment on state rights by Obamacare was so extreme and unprecedented as to raise serious constitutional questions. (See HERE) The Supreme Court heard some of the cases and partially upheld Obamacare and partially struck it down. (See HERE) There are an number of constitutional challenges still working their way through the courts and pending review by the Supreme Court. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Putting this into perspective, the nearly $2 trillion federal expansion over the next ten years entails an enormous shift from private funded health care to government funded. "So what really happens with the Affordable Care Act?  The 'government' currently pays about 43% to 46% of all healthcare costs, mainly through Medicare, Medicaid, and the armed services. When Obamacare is fully implemented, it is expected this amount will increase to 49.2%. (See HERE)

Said another way, in part because of Obamcare, tax payers will end up paying for nearly half of all health care expenditures in the U.S..

Granted, the shift from private to public funding of health care began years before Obamacare. (See HERE)

Nevertheless, Obamacare spurs things along in the wrong direction.

Even more alarming, in addition to all the new personnel and offices and resources needed to administer Obamacare, and beyond the expansion of power inherent in the shift from private to public funding of health care--i.e. the golden rule (he who has the gold, rules), there is the dangerous expansion of executive powers that heightens the risk of seriously tipping the constitutional checks and balances between the different branches of government, a totalitarian-ish shift of legislative powers from the Legislative Branch, where it rightly belongs, to the Executive Branch. (See HERE)

This shift takes at least two forms. First, there is the shift of power that Congress willingly gave up to the Executive Branch. I am not talking here about the Senate "nuclear option" eliminating the filibuster that effectively leaves the Democrat president free to do as he wishes with the Democrat-controlled Senate (see HERE), though the "nuclear option" may adversely apply to Obamacare. (See HERE)

Rather, I have in mind where Congress included a provision in the misnamed Affordable Care Act which gave a small, unelected group of people, called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB--see HERE), or "death panel" as some Conservatives and Liberals have come to call it (see HERE and HERE and HERE), legislative power over the purse in relation to Medicare.

Aside from the questionable constitutionality of the panel (see HERE), not only will it be difficult for the Congress to stop or over-turn the IPAB financial recommendations (ibid, see also HERE and HERE), but citizens wont be able to challenge the recommendations in court. (see HERE) And, according to Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, "Buried in Section 3403 of ObamaCare is a powerful board of unelected bureaucrats, the so-called 'Independent Payment Advisory Board' (IPAB), whose sole job will be to save money by restricting access to health care for Medicare beneficiaries.  IPAB is required to achieve specified savings in years where Medicare spending is deemed 'too high,' according to the Democrats’ health care overhaul." (See HERE) (See also HERE

Because of the rationing and "life and death" decision-making powers granted to the IPAB, it has become increasingly more controversial and opposed by members of both major political parties. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Second, their is the shift in legislative power that the President capriciously usurped to himself, which has yet to be judicially countered by Congress. This questionable power grab consists of the President's arbitrary and presumptuous and seemingly unconstitutional waiver of various Obamacare requirements--such as the employer and individual mandates, cap on out-of-pocket expenses, as well as the President's so-called "fix" that is supposed to enable people to keep the plans they like. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Evidently, Obama suffers under the false impression that since Obamacare is his health care plan, and bears his name, that he is entitled to do with it whatever he wishes.

[Update 3/27/2014: the President recently extended the deadline for individual health care insurance enrollment until April 15th  (See HERE and HERE and HERE) As expected, a number of face-saving rationalization have been put forward, but the real reason is that Obamacare has failed miserably to meet its necessary and most charitable projections.]

Perhaps, though, the area of greatest governmental expansion is in the crushing proliferation of government  regulation. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)


 The unintended negative consequences (Leftist LUNCS) here are, as Steven Horwitz describes them: "Obamacare’s approach to fixing the very real problems of U.S. medical care is exactly backward. It undermines the market-driven parts that are working, and expands government control that is not." (See HERE) And, the way in which the President is going about administering Obamacare, it has concentrated power to unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Branch and away from the elected Congress, in ways that are constitutionaly very questionable.

[Update 12/4/2015: Health Care Spending Grows at Fastest Rate in 7 Years]

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obamacare - Mandates

As indicated previously, one of the fundamental and perhaps most controversial elements of Obamacare are the mandates, particularly the individual mandate, which requires all individuals in the U.S. be insured by 2014 under the threat of tac penalty. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

It should be noted that neither Obama or the Democrats originated the idea of the individual mandate. According to Wikipedia: "An individual mandate to purchase healthcare was initially proposed by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 as an alternative to single-payer health care. From its inception, the idea of an individual mandate was championed by Republican politicians as a free-market approach to health-care reform. The individual mandate was felt to resonate with conservative principles of individual responsibility, and conservative groups recognized that the healthcare market was unique." (See HERE)

So, at least in the case of individual mandates, Conservatives can be legitimately blamed for coming up with this very bad idea.

In fact, when Obama first ran for the presidency, he was opposed to the individual mandate--except in the case of children. (See HERE) "At the advice of his political advisers, Obama sought to undercut Clinton by accusing her of pushing for an individual mandate." (See HERE)  "'Now, under any mandate, you are going to have problems with people who don't end up having health coverage,' Mr. Obama said during a debate with Clinton on Jan. 31, 2008. 'I think we can anticipate that there would also be people potentially who are not covered and are actually hurt if they have a mandate imposed on them.'" (See HERE)

"When campaigning against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama came out hard against an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, alleging that Clinton would garnish workers’ wages and that Massachusetts’ individual mandate has left many residents 'worse off'...'If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house.'" (See HERE)

Obama said, “It forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don’t." (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)  And, he went on to suggest, "...that is just piling on.” (HERE}

Instead of the individual mandate, then candidate Obama suggested that the way to enable and encourage universal coverage was to lower costs. He argued: “Well, let’s talk about health care right now because the fact of the matter is that I do provide universal health care. The only difference between Sen. Clinton’s health care plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without health care is that nobody has mandated — forced — them to get health care." ( See HERE and HERE) "I believe that if we make it affordable, people will purchase it. In fact, Medicare Part B is not mandated, it is voluntary. And yet people over 65 choose to purchase it, Hillary, and the reason they choose to purchase it is because it’s a good deal. And if people end up seeing a plan that is affordable for them, I promise you they are snatching it up because they are desperate to get health care. And that’s what I intend to provide as president of the United States." (See HERE as Quoted HERE)

Politifacts goes on to assert: "Obama’s decision not to include a mandate is a more cautious approach, one Obama says is designed not to penalize people with modest incomes. If premiums don’t drop enough after all the reforms are implemented, people will still be unable to afford insurance. If a law mandates they buy it anyway, they probably won’t. Obama’s argument is that if you then fine them, you’re essentially punishing the poor — and they will still be uninsured. Obama is betting that his plan will get costs low enough that many of the estimated 47-million uninsured will sign up without a mandate, and a mandate will come later." (ibid)

Subsequently, Obama was elected on those terms.

Yer, "Once president, of course, Obama endorsed and signed into law both an individual mandate and an employer mandate." (See HERE) "I share the goal of ending lapses and gaps in coverage that make us less healthy and drive up everyone's costs, and I am open to your ideas on shared responsibility.' The president now fully supports an individual mandate. 'The only way this plan works is if everybody fulfills their responsibility,' he said at a rally." (See HERE)

This amounts to politically expedient bait-and-switch.

Regarding the remarkable infringement on personal freedoms (see HERE and HERE), Obama has since justified the individual mandate by comparing it to requiring auto insurance. "'If the Supreme Court follows existing precedent, existing law, it should be upheld without a problem.' He then added, 'There's nothing wrong with saying to people who can afford to get health insurance, you need to buy health insurance just like car insurance.'" (See HERE)

However, as pointed out in the Spectator: "The latter assertion, that the individual mandate is analogous to laws requiring people to buy auto insurance, betrays a level of ignorance concerning the difference between state prerogatives and those of Congress that wouldn't be tolerated in a high school government class. It's a little unnerving coming from the President of the United States...." (ibid.)

Another problem with the analogy is that if people chose not to drive cars, they aren't forced to buy auto insurance, whereas with Obamacare, everyone is forced to purchase health insurance regardless.

One of the ways in which the Obama administration and Liberal supporters have attempted to diminish the controversy over the  individual mandate and the associated tax penalties is to claim that it will only affect a small percentage of the population, and so it shouldn't be that big of a deal. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

While this may be somewhat true as initially and incompetently conceptualized, it fails to factor in the tens of millions of people have and will likely lose their employee insurance because of Obamacare, thereby subjecting them to the individual mandate. So, instead of just 6% of the population being affected (see HERE), it could be as high as 33% of the country, or 129 million people. (See HERE)

One of the major flaws of the individual mandate is that it probably wont work (See HERE and HERE) It was intended to produce universal health care by compelling the uninsured to get insured--particularly the young and healthy. However, the polls indicate that, "26 percent of Americans aren't aware of the requirement or didn't think the law included the individual mandate" (see HERE), and that the young and healthy are souring on health care (see HERE) and may not sign up. (see HERE) And, approximately 28% of the uninsured plan to pay fines instead of signing up (see HERE)--though according to Rush Limbaugh and others, there may be ingenious ways of getting around the fees. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

All told, in spite of the individual mandates and subsidies, in 2012 the Congressional Budget Office conservatively "estimated that about 30 million Americans will not have insurance in 2016." (See HERE) This is half again more than what the CBO estimated in 2010. (See HERE) And, neither of these estimates factor in the tens of millions of people who received insurance cancellation notices in 2013, and the tens of millions more who will likely lose employee insurance in 2014, who can't afford the significantly higher premiums under Obamacare..


Ironically,  as substantiated in my previous posts, candidate Obama was correct in his predictions about potential impact of the individual mandate and tax penalty. The unintended negative consequences--Leftist LUNCs--of mandated Obamacare is that, not only wont it result in universal health care as promised (see HERE), but the poor and those living on modest incomes will be "hurt" and "piled on" and made "worse off". (See above, as well as HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE) And, the individual mandate penalty/tax may costs even more than what one may now think (See HERE)


For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization