Sunday, July 17, 2016

It's Baaaack! at Obamacare Schadenfreude

We've known for quite some time that Obamacare was designed to "fail upwards" to provide the impetus for fully socialized medicine, the so called "public option." This week, Obama played the card openly: President Obama Pushes for ‘Public Option’ in Affordable Care Act
Writing as Barack Obama, J.D., in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the president lauded the health-care overhaul and excoriated its opponents, arguing the law has sharply reduced the number of uninsured in the U.S. and improved coverage for those who had it.

“The Affordable Care Act is the most important health care legislation enacted in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965,” he wrote. “Although partisanship and special interest opposition remain, experience with the Affordable Care Act demonstrates that positive change is achievable on some of the nation’s most complex challenges.”

The article appeared as a “special communication” in which he offered evidence, findings and a description of their relevance. Among its most striking sections were those in which he acknowledged the law’s shortcomings and advocated responses to them. In his call for a public option, he noted the existence of parts of the country with limited insurance competition, where customers may have no choice but to swallow high premiums.
NPR reports that Hillary Clinton joined the chorus:
 Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — under pressure from Sen. Bernie Sanders' call for a single-payer government system — in February endorsed the idea of including a public option to allow people age 55 and older to purchase Medicare coverage.

On Saturday, as part of a deal with Sanders, Clinton announced she will also "pursue efforts to give Americans in every state in the country the choice of a public-option insurance plan," which is broader than what Obama is endorsing.

But even if Clinton wins and the Democrats take back control of Congress in November, a public option remains a political long shot.
Hot Air: The public option is back and as dishonest as ever
The public option is being framed in terms of choice and competition. In reality, it was always intended to be a glide-path to the single-payer system the president and many Democrats really wanted. This isn’t a supposition. The person who created the public option, Jacob Hacker, admitted he would be happy to see it crowd out private insurers over time:

more videos at the link which show the Democrats true goals.

Centrist Dems wonder: Why are we pushing the public option now?
So who has cold feet? Some of the usual suspects, such as Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin, two Senators from conservative states. But The Hill’s Peter Sullivan also reports that swing-state Senators Joe Donnelly (IN), Bill Nelson (FL), and Mark Warner (VA) aren’t terribly keen on answering questions about it.

Even Tom Carper from solidly-blue Delaware put off responding to the idea until he sees a concrete proposal — and hinted that he won’t consider any additions to ObamaCare that require a party-line vote to pass:
“I had not heard that, so let me just take a look at it,” Carper said. “When we passed the Affordable Care Act, unfortunately we had to do it very much on a party line vote, and it’s unfortunate, because if it had been a bipartisan bill, it would have been better, I think.”
Correction: If it had been a bipartisan bill, the blame for the failure would have been easier to spread around.
Speaking of Obamacare failures, another one bites the dust as Obamacare co-op in Illinois to be liquidated. President Obama's signature legislation is now killing off the very same non-profit  insurance co-ops that it created.
After providing $2.4 billion in loans to get them started, ObamaCare is now driving several nonprofit insurance co-ops out of business. That, in turn, will leave tens of thousands of people scrambling to find other insurance, while making it unlikely that those taxpayer-subsidized loans will ever be repaid.

Of the 23 co-ops that started operations in 2014, only 10 remain, after Oregon's second co-op announced on Friday that it was going out of business at the end of the month. By year's end, Connecticut's will be out of business as well.

Most of these co-ops that failed last year simply weren't financially stable. But the recent spate of co-op failures is being driven by ObamaCare itself.

Because insurers operating in Obamacare exchanges are banned from pricing policies based on a person's health status, the government had to create an elaborate "risk adjustment" program to protect insurers who get stuck with too many sick people, by taking money from insurers that signed up mostly healthy ones.

The problem is that many of the remaining — and already financially vulnerable — co-ops just found out that they owe millions to this program. . .
In fact, Insurers nationwide are struggling to break even on Obamacare’s exchanges

Are doctors too expensive? Great, because Obamacare will make sure non-doctors tend to your healthcare: Under Affordable Care Act, Growing Use of ‘Community Health Workers’
Minnesota is one of only a handful of states (including Texas) that require special training for community health workers. But Dr. Onelis Quirindongo-Cedeno, a Mayo Clinic primary care doctor who works with Nelson and other community health workers, said that course work is less important than personal qualities like empathy, commitment and life experience.

“A lot of us have struggled with food and housing and transportation just like our patients have,” said Amy Smith, a community health worker at HCMC. “We understand their struggles and know what it takes to come out the other side.”
So really, this is just a plan to shift health care dollars to underemployed democratic voters.

And how serious are the democrats about remaking healthcare? Seriously? House Democrats' plan to secure nation is less than 2 pages long. Obamacare is like 13,000 pages long. Maybe.

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