Thursday, June 12, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude - It's Back!

A warm muggy, rainy morning here, with occasional rumblings of thunder.  Pretty much like national politics.

After a short hiatus, Obamacare Schadenfreude keeps rolling along. As seen on Wombat-sochos "Live at Five: 06.11.14",  (read it and see what Instapundit is going to post today) are you ready to help bailout the insurance companies?  It sure looks like it's coming: Republicans warn ObamaCare rule tweak could trigger taxpayer bailout of insurers
The Affordable Care Act was originally signed into law with a provision that allows the government to cover insurers that lose money by paying them from a pool of cash collected from insurers that turned a profit.

However, administration officials made a rule change in May to the so-called "risk corridors" program that, Republicans say, would allow them to use taxpayer funds from other federal programs -- GOP lawmakers say that's a decision only Congress can make.

“It is plain that under current law, the Obama administration does not have the ability to divert money from programs that Congress has funded,” Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, told in a statement. “Congress alone was given the power of the purse -- the power to appropriate funds. Yet again, the administration is circumventing Congress and seeking to write its own laws."

The change comes amid concerns that insurance companies participating in ObamaCare could soon announce double-digit rate hikes because they had to insure more high-risk customers this year than expected. Premium spikes stand to hurt Democrats seeking reelection this year. But the latest regulatory tweak could effectively guarantee that the federal government will offset their losses -- making premium hikes less necessary.

The May regulation states that HHS would use “other sources of funding … subject to the availability of appropriations” if necessary to make up for any “shortfall."
I think Chekhov said it best:
If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.
How Obamacare Might Create MORE Uninsured
according to Steven Parente, who studies the medical industry, Obamacare could actually not only fail in its mission to reduce the number of uninsured but, but it will create a whole new class of people walking around without insurance.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Parente explains how this will work. He makes utter sense.

It boils down to this: Obamacare will make insurance even more expensive and than it is now, while the quality of care will decline as insurers limit your access to specialists and procedures in order to cover costs. A worse product for more money. But of course, market economics are not part of President Obama’s world, unless we’re talking book sales.

This will first impact the individual market, as those who insure themselves decide it’s better to take the federal tax penalty for not having insurance than buying an expensive, crappy plan.

Soon enough, the employer-provided market will also get hit as companies decide it makes excellent business sense to pay their own Obamacare fine and not cover their employees, dumping them into the individual market. Once dumped there, those who don’t qualify for taxpayers to pick up their bills via Medicaid will have the same individual market decision to make, and a certain number of these will pay the fine and forgo insurance too.

Voilà. A brand new population of uninsured people. Parente’s modeling suggests that when the smoke clears, more people overall will lack insurance due to Obamacare.
Cloward-Piven for healthcare.
The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty".

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