Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mid Pax Obamacare Schadenfreude Update

It started to snow, slowly,  sometime after dark, and was going pretty good with about an inch on the
Winter Storm "Pax" yesterday 1:55 EST
ground when we went to bed.  Early this morning, we heard the drip, drip, drip of rain in the gutters. This morning it's 32.4 degrees according to our highly accurate wireless thermometer (Georgia has given me permission to buy her a new one for a convenient gifting event), and the cold rain has turned the 2-3-4? inches of snow on the ground into 1-2-3 inches of slush, that one online friend likened to mashed potatoes.  At some point, I'll have to get out and clear the driveway before the back side of the storm wraps around and freezes it into "sno-crete" but it doesn't seem imperative just at this moment. There's too much snush of Obamacare Schadenfreude to get through first.

Fox's resident hot liberal chick, Kirsten Powers admitted that she too is tired of making excuses for Obamacare:

KIRSTEN POWERS: Well, I think his explanation is probably the true explanation, that they need to do this, but at the same time, it’s now gotten to the point where it seems like there’s an exemption made for pretty much everybody except for individuals. A lot of people who have really been screwed over by the law, you know, who are left without insurance or with extremely expensive insurance. So, I think that Ron Fournier of The National Journal wrote something that ran today about –

BRET BAIER: This was after he expressed himself last night on the panel.

POWERS: The headline is why I’m getting tired of defending Obamacare. And I’m going to say amen, brother, because it’s exactly how I feel. People who have supported the law, who support universal health care, are constantly put in the position of having to defend this president, who has really incompetently put this together, rolled it out, and that’s why he has to do this. It’s why he has to keep doing this, because it’s not working.
So stop, already.

Even more democrats are nominally joining the anti-Obamacare ranks, at least for the purposes of being re-elected: Another House Majority PAC ad notes ObamaCare failure to defend Dem incumbent

This is the second such ad for the House Majority PAC, which declares its mission to be “holding Republicans accountable and helping Democrats win seats in the House.” Their first offered the same message on behalf of Ann Kirkpatrick of AZ-01, a district with a Cook rating of R+3. Garcia’s district, FL-26, has a Cook rating of R+4. That explains why the House Majority PAC wants to portray ObamaCare’s enablers as defenders against its onslaught.
As noted in NRO, the democrats aren't exactly calling for Obamacare repeal but:
. . . it is fascinating to watch a Political Action Committee associated with Nancy “we’re going to run on Obamacare” Pelosi slamming the White House for “the disastrous healthcare website” and boasting — without any time qualification, it should be said — that its man “voted to let you keep your existing health plan.”
Smitty at the Other McCain waxes sort of poetic under the influence of the new Obamacare thought crime pledge: #ObamaCare Buzzword Compliance
Via Drudge:
Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.
ObamaCare is a river of lies, with headwaters in hell. You are now drowning in it.
John Podhoretz, usually noted for calm, reasoned, snoozable columns does a victory dance and  notes that ‘ObamaCare both sucks and blows’
I could rage on and on about Monday’s gobsmacking announcement that the Obama administration is once again unilaterally delaying a key aspect of its health-care law and what this act of astonishing royalism suggests about the president and his fundamental disrespect for the American system of checks and balances.

But I’m not going to. Instead, with all the dignity that a 52-year-old man and father of three can bring to the task, I will offer these observations instead:
Neener neener neener.

Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

Face it, all of you who celebrated and wept and danced when it passed back in March 2010, all of you who viewed it as the historic moment of transformation for the United States: This law is a lemon.

As Bart Simpson once said, “I didn’t think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows.”

It’s what early computer geeks used to call a “kludge,” which Webster’s defines as “a system made up of poorly matched components.” It was a workaround solution to an enormous problem it is only going to make worse.

Remember: The law passed in March 2010. It was to go into full effect on Jan. 1, 2014. That means the administration had almost four years to get its ducks into a row. Four years. That was more time than it took us to win World War II, which we fought across three continents, a bunch of islands and two oceans. And yet here we are, four years later, and the administration has spent the past six months effectively rewriting the law for both political and practical reasons.
The Washington Post's captive "conservative" Jennifer Rubin, thinks it's time for the Democratic controlled Senate to do something about the legislation by the administrative branch before the Republicans take it:
It would be wise for Democrats, while they still have the Senate, to clear away the president’s lawless fiats. They really don’t want to leave it to a GOP-controlled Senate and/or a GOP president to either mimic the behavior or enact far more sweeping fixes. Congress can correct the president’s overreach, either by passing legislation to concretize the president’s actions (as Republicans have actually offered to do) or to reverse them; alternatively, Congress has the power of the purse to defund agencies responsible for enforcing the laws that the president unilaterally changed.

Fortunately voters have an election coming up when they can weigh in as well. Which House and Senate candidates will act to end rampant lawlessness and which will look the other way? You would think all candidates running for election or reelection would understand their obligation to defend the prerogatives of the body in which they hope to sit. If they don’t intend for Congress to fulfill its constitutional obligations, they shouldn’t get the job. Voters can drive that point home.
That presumes that a significant number of the American public understand the roles of the executive and legislative branches, and more the point, understand how the founder carefully balanced the power between them.  I suspect that is a false hope.

Will Obamacare-Induced Early Retirement Make Us Healthier?

Short answer, no, but it will make our society poorer by disincentivizing people from working, and paying taxes.

Is work becoming optional? In our zeal to alleviate poverty, and to protect our most vulnerable, have we invited Americans to put their feet up and take it easy? That’s how many read the recent CBO report predicting job losses courtesy of Obamacare.
With the Preznit relying of the young to enroll in Obamacare, and bail it out (before the Administration has to bail out the insurance companies through the "risk corridors", signs are not looking good:
With the the Dept. of Health and Human Services set to release the next enrollment report on the ObamaCare exchanges this afternoon, I can’t help but wonder if this will be the report in which we finally get some data on how many people have not yet paid their first premium. I doubt it. But it would sure be nice since it would give us another key piece in the risk-pool puzzle.

If the nonpayment rate is high, say 20%, then it’s a very good bet that the exchange risk pool is in even worse shape that previously thought. The reason is that younger people are more likely that older people to be delinquent on their payments. For example, here are some numbers on age and credit score from BCSAlliance:

Since credit score is heavily reliant on payment history, the above scores suggest that the young have the worst record at making payments on time or making them at all. From there it is a small leap to the proposition that the bulk of people who have not paid their first premium on the ObamaCare exchanges are in that crucial 18-34 age group.
More on the problem of people who have enrolled but not paid: How many ObamaCare enrollees have paid for coverage?
While the number of states reporting this information is small, they actually make up a good chunk of Obamacare’s currently accepted 3 million nationwide enrollment total. According to the Obama administration’s most recent detailed report on enrollment data, these five states — New York, California, Washington state, Nevada and Rhode Island — account for a third.
California’s exchange last reported that three-fourths of its reported enrollees had paid their first premiums, according to California Healthline; Washington’s totals released Tuesday indicate that only 51 percent have purchased their plans.
New York’s numbers are fuzzier, since the exchange itself doesn’t separate applications for Medicaid and private plans. It counts 412,221 enrollments for public and private coverage (just 251,000 are private plans), but notes that another 697,000 customers have completed applications on the exchange website. If the entire 421,221 have paid (or accepted the low- to no-cost Medicaid coverage), New York’s payment rate is only 59 percent.
Nevada’s payment rate is just 66 percent — 14,999 out of 22,597 so far — and Rhode Island has by far the best total, with 14,086 paid customers out of 16,512, for a payment rate of 85 percent.
Those numbers aren’t much improved from a month ago, when industry expert Bob Laszewski estimated the payment figure at 50%. The federal system’s back end for dealing with those issues is still missing in action, too, which means it’s going to be even more problematic. We’re about a month out from the big deadline for the April 1 cutoff for enforcement, and at the very best, we can say that the signup-to-paid ratio isn’t improving by much, if at all.
In Massachusetts Obamacare seems to have destroyed the working health care system that Gov. Romney left behind. Yeah, the one that Obama and other democrats keep holding out as the model for Obamacare.
As fed up Beacon Hill lawmakers plan to grill Health Connector officials on the state’s botched Obamacare website today, one frustrated Southboro man — who claims his family is now uninsured even though his payment for February was cashed — said he’s ready to launch a one-man sit-in at the Health Connector’s Boston office until he gets answers.

“If I can’t get any further on the phone tomorrow (today), I may just march down there and refuse to leave until they give it to me,” said Dan Ginsburg. “I’m actually serious. I consider it a serious issue that my family doesn’t have insurance. I have a small 16-month-old child. It puts us at risk of financial problems.”

State lawmakers say they’ve heard of dozens of cases just like Ginsburg’s, where customers’ checks have been cashed but they’ve never received confirmation of insurance.

State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) said his office has been contacted by 17 people with similar problems, including a Maynard woman who had to cancel a doctor’s appointment and couldn’t pick up her prescription drugs because she had no insurance for about five weeks, even though her check was cashed Jan. 1.
Hey, you voted for it (or at least your state did); enjoy your time in the queue.

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