Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stretching with Your Morning Obamacare Schadenfreude

A so so day here in Slower Maryland.  The thermometer is flirting with freezing, the sky is party overcast, and the breeze is up, 19-25 from the NW.  All in all, a day to stay in and get your exercise at home.

So if your inclined, you might want to find a recording of the six hour media blitz for Obamacare that I mentioned the other day (here's one), and exercise along with 'Stretching to the Oldies' Richard Simmons and some strange contortionist (at about 20 minutes):

I’m either on drugs, or the administration is this helplessly stupid. The Tell a Friend — Get Covered campaign, better described as “a tourist trap off Route 66,” began a six-hour live-streamed event Thursday afternoon that was advertised to “include stories, tips, helpful information and other details related to national health care options.” Really, it was as if the audio-visual club got wasted on malt liquor and hijacked public access television.

Get Covered, a partnership among state healthcare exchanges and the Obamacare missionary Enroll America, expertly fails to cater to young people. Its circus began Thursday with a dance-off between Richard Simmons and the contortionist Nathan Barnatt, overseen by the star of an Internet show whose premise is “drunk cooking.” How this is supposed to entice a 27 year old to pay $200 a month for health insurance, or even talk about it, is a question for the gods.

“What’s he doing?” Simmons exclaimed as Barnatt began to shake his body wildly. “He’s extending his livelihood! That’s what he’s doing!” Hannah Hart, your host and creator of My Drunk Kitchen, responded in an endorsement of cardio.
A head stand to get started
That'll get those "young irresponsibles invincibles", especially the young men the plan needs to sign up.  You might notice I have some stronger encouragement for that group.

Did He say "If you like your job, you can keep your job"?  Because if he did, that was a lie too: New Report Finds Western Michigan Has 1,000 Fewer Jobs Due to Obamacare
There are at least 1,000 fewer jobs in western Michigan because of Obamacare regulations according to a new study, WOOD-MI reports.  “We’re talking about 1,000 jobs in west Michigan that would have been here absent the ACA,” said Grand Valley State University Professor Leslie Muller, who helped conduct the study.

That number doesn’t reflect the number of people who have lost hours because of the law, with 29 percent of companies saying they have limited employee’s working times, often to less than 30 hours to sidestep the employer mandate for full-time workers. “Firms are actually holding off on hiring or they’re reducing their hiring that they were thinking they were going to be doing,” Muller said.

The study found companies are not only ditching their hiring plans because of Obamacare, but they’re also changing their health plans to lower costs. The predominant ways firms in the region are containing health care costs, Muller said, are offering more high-deductible plans and changing their prescription coverage.
Young guys getting screwed in New York; and not the way they want: Obamacare Watch: 17 Jan 2014 — NY Demographics
Let's look at the sex ratios.
Now isn't that interesting.

The only group from which men & women are signed up equally are the unsubsidized plans. The ones with the largest disparities are those with the most women, relatively. HMMM.

I can think of many reasons it shakes out this way. But mainly because younger men don't really need the kind of coverage provided by QHPs, especially in New York.

There was a key piece of info I didn't mention: NY does not allow for age-rating. So a 30-year-old man pays the same premium as a 60-year-old one.

Let me remind you of actual medical costs:
Yup, the young guys are especially getting screwed in NY.
But that's all OK, because what they lack in the individual market, they'll make up when they force small business into the system, next year (a year late):

Obamacare Small-Business Plan: Higher Premiums, Less Generous Coverage and More Paperwork
It’ll cost more, you’ll have less choice and more burdensome paperwork. But other than that, what’s not to like?
Enrollment in Obamacare health plans for small businesses is off to a slow start, leaving in doubt whether the U.S. program can attract enough customers to satisfy insurers.

Greeted by higher premiums, less generous coverage and more paperwork, small businesses that offer health coverage to employees are choosing to renew existing plans rather than buy them through President Barack Obama’s program. Complicating matters is the government’s failure to complete the online exchange for small businesses; in 36 states, there will be no website offering ready information on the plans until November.
. . .
Part of the lag can also be blamed on SHOP plans that are too expensive, with premiums as much as 90 percent higher than what some firms paid last year, according to John Humkey, the owner of Employee Benefit Associates Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based insurance broker.
But we'll fix that with more regulations! Dozens more O-Care regs coming in 2014
The Obama administration is busy drafting more than 50 additional regulations required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new government report finds.

The Congressional Research Service identified some 43 proposed and final rules related to the landmark healthcare law that are now under construction at various agencies and are on track to be issued within the next 12 months.

An additional 13 long-term rules are making their way through the regulatory pipeline but will not be finalized in 2014, according to the report.
. . .
Twenty-three final rules are slated to come out this year, including requirements that chain restaurants and vending machines post notices explaining how many calories are in the food they sell to the public.
Calorie notices on vending machines; the secret route to the nation's well being.

The Weakly Standard (PIT), issued a thee step plan for castrating Obamacare:

1) Continue to hammer the individual mandate:
It is hard to imagine Democrats being able to sustain support for such an unpopular proposition, especially in light of the president’s unilateral decision to exempt those with canceled 2013 individual policies from the tax in 2014. Indeed, it is possible, and perhaps even likely, that the president will eventually take the next logical step himself and waive the tax for everyone in 2014 (though he would presumably wait to take such a step until after the enrollment period closes at the end of March). This is all the more reason why Republicans should make repealing this mandate, and codifying the president’s own delay of the employer mandate, their top priority in 2014, just as it was in 2013.
2) Repeal the insurance company bailouts:
In addition to a repeal or delay of the individual and employer mandates, Republicans should hammer the other weak link in the Obamacare chain: the back-door subsidy that promises a massive bailout for insurance companies. Like the mandate, the promise of bailouts is there to persuade insurers to play ball despite the system’s irrationality.

Especially troubling is the “risk corridor” provision of the law, under which taxpayers are on the hook for covering large portions of the losses that insurers incur on the Obamacare exchanges. If an insurer pays out claims that exceed 108 percent of its premium collections, taxpayers would cover about 75 percent of its losses.
3) Continue to support efforts to relieve citizens negatively impacted by Obamacare
Finally, Republicans should continue their efforts to minimize the harm to people with pre-Obamacare insurance coverage that they would like to keep. Their efforts to enable those whose policies were canceled to retain them late last year yielded a chaotic and lawless administration move to empower insurers in some states to continue offering those policies. That has helped some people, but a legislative reprieve would be more stable and effective, and should also be extended to small businesses​—​many of which obtained early renewals of 2013 policies and so will be facing cancellations in the course of 2014. These look likely to affect millions of families, and Republicans should help those who like their coverage to keep it.
Frankly, it sounds a lot like business as usual, but it's probably the most that can happen while the Republicans hold only the House.

Jonah Goldberg at the NRO offers this consolation: Rebuking the "New" New Deal
The Obama administration is poised to give an incredible gift to the Republican party. Before the end of the year, up to 80 million people could see their health plans canceled. Economist Stan Veuger, my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, estimates that at least half of the estimated 157 million people on employer-provided health plans will start losing their existing coverage by the end of 2014 because their plans don’t conform to the more generous — and expensive — demands of the Affordable Care Act. The bulk of the cancellation letters notifying employees should be going out in October, right before the midterm elections.

This could be the single most effective direct-mail campaign material in American history, and Republicans won’t even have to pay for the postage.
But can the republican find a way to lose?  They can if they try hard enough.

Apparently, I've confused fellow blogger GatorDoug at the DaleyGator. But he was kind enough to link me anyway in his "Blogging Appreciation Post." Wombat-Socho has the mother of all Rule 5 links up at The Other McCain "Rule 5 Monday."

No comments:

Post a Comment