Tag Archives: healthcare

A detailed look at the new Republican Obamacare revision

Link here [pdf]. This is worth a read, as it provides the best most detailed look at the Senate’s proposed bill I have seen so far.

While the bill has many good things, overall it really is no different than Obamacare. It is a bureaucratic mess, it leaves many of Obamacare’s worst rules in place (such as the requirement that everyone, male or female, pay for maternity care), and it continues the inappropriate micromanaging of Congress in this private sector industry.

It might pass, but if it does, all it will accomplish is to stain the Republicans with this monstrosity of a law, as premiums will surely continue to rise, as will medical costs. Up until now, the Republican Party has been saying it had nothing to do with Obamacare and its consequences, and for one rare time, these politicians were not lying when they said that. If this bill becomes law, however, they will no longer be able to deny their part in Obamacare, unless they lie. And the public will know they are lying when they do.

Update: Heritage Foundation releases its own analysis which says this bill will encourage the growth of government.

Share

In new Obamacare vote, Republican leaders offering bribes

Finding out what’s in it, part 2: The Senate Republican leadership is offering Senator Lisa Murkowsky (R-Alaska) specific rewrites favoring just Alaska in order to buy her vote on their new attempt to revise Obamacare.

The bribe includes three provisions, but this one I think is most corrupt:

Alaska (along with Hawaii) will continue to receive Obamacare’s premium tax credits while they are repealed for all other states. It appears this exemption will not affect Alaska receiving its state allotment under the new block grant in addition to the premium tax credits.

There are also some indications that this secret bill for which no text has been made public, as far as I can tell, also keeps the Obamacare requirement that insurance companies will not be allowed to deny anyone insurance no matter how sick they are. This is the provision that is essentially bankrupting the industry and forcing premiums to skyrocket. By keeping it, these Republicans reveal their overall support for Obamacare.

Share

“I am just in shock how no one actually cares about the policy any more.”

The quote above, from this article. is from a Republican lobbyist, and is in reference to the new so-called Obamacare replacement bill being pushed right now in the Senate, not because it will repeal Obamacare but because it will provide Senators a fake vote where they can make believe they repealed Obamacare..

The bottom line: The repeal-and-replace bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy is gaining steam because it has the appearance of gaining steam — not because of the changes it would make. “If there was an oral exam on the contents of the proposal, graded on a generous curve, only two Republicans could pass it. And one of them isn’t Lindsey Graham,” a senior GOP aide told Caitlin.

I could condemn the Republican leadership here, but the fault actually lies with the press, which is allows them to do this. The number of fake insane bills with “feel good” names in the past two decades that the press has accepted with little analysis is legion. This is only another in that long list.

If you want to find out some real details about this new fake bill, read the whole article. It provides enough information to sicken your stomach about any bill our bankrupt Congress writes.

Share

Obamacare collapse in Virginia

Finding out what’s in it: With the departure from Virginia of the last insurance companies because of Obamacare’s unworkable rules, in 2018 people will be unable to buy individual health insurance in more than half the state.

Should nothing change before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s Sept. 27 deadline for insurers to participate, parts of Virginia, including the Roanoke and New River valleys, will be the only places in the U.S. without at least one insurer, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 for policies that take effect Jan. 1.

This year, three insurance companies offered individual policies in the Roanoke and New River valleys.

But this spring, Aetna announced that it would no longer participate in the marketplace. Last month, Anthem followed suit. And Optima Health said last week that it would no longer offer individual policies in areas of Virginia where its parent, Sentara Health, did not have hospitals and providers. Although Optima covered only a small percentage of people in western Virginia, the company had been expected to fill the void after Anthem announced its departure, meaning it would have been on track to sell 100 percent of the individual policies in the region.

Of course, the blame falls on the Republicans, who had nothing to do with writing or passing Obamacare and have tried endlessly to either get it repealed or revised but have had all these actions blocked by the Democrats and a handful of fake Republicans who really are Democrats in sheep’s clothing. Sadly, it appears that most of the Republican Party has thrown in the towel and has decided it isn’t worth the effort any longer fixing Obamacare. Instead, we shall see the entire collapse of the health insurance industry.

Too bad no one predicted this collapse, except for every single reasonable conservative in the entire country.

Share

Aetna to withdraw from all Obamacare exchanges

Finding out what’s in it: Aetna has decided to withdraw from all Obamacare exchanges, after seeing its profits increase when it reduced its participation partly last year.

Aetna has been gradually withdrawing from the Obamacare exchanges. It had decided to pull out of the exchanges in other states because it lost $700 million between 2014 and 2016 and was projected to lose $200 million in 2017 despite having already significantly reduced its participation in the exchanges to only four states.

A disproportionate number of unhealthy customers have signed up for the exchanges, which provide tax subsidies to pay for insurance, causing unbalanced risk pools for many insurers. Aetna also has cited uncertainty over the future of the law and over whether it will receive federal payments as a contributing factor to its decision. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted words illustrate the fundamental problem with the Obamacare law. It forces insurance companies to take on sick people who had failed to buy insurance before they became sick. Such an insurance model is unsustainable. Insurance works because enough people buy it before they need it, thus helping to fund those who need it. If everyone can wait until they need it then there is no pool to fund any payouts, and the insurance company goes bankrupt.

As is happening with Obamacare.

Share

John McCain, Liar

In commenting about the failure yesterday by Senate Republicans to pass a trimmed down version of an Obamcare repeal by a vote of 49-51, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has this to say:

There are going be a great many Americans who tonight feel a sense of betrayal. …If you stand up and campaign and say we are going to repeal Obamacare and you vote for Obamacare, those are not consistent. And the American people are entirely justified in saying any politician who told me that and voted the other way didn’t tell me the truth. They lied to me.

He then added:

“No party can remain in power by lying to the American people.”

Cruz is right, but only partly. The entire Republican Party did not lie to its voters. Instead, a small contingent of fake Republicans lied, led by John McCain, king liar and the most likely person to stab a friend in the back I have ever seen.
» Read more

Share

Repeal of Obamacare fails in Senate

Not surprisingly, a clean not-quite-full repeal of Obamacare failed today in the Senate, 45 to 54.

As expected, every Democrat voted to endorse their failed law. They were aided by seven fake Republicans who should all be challenged in primaries. These were Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John McCain of Arizona, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

A lot of pundits are going to claim that this failure to repeal is a betrayal of the Republican Party. I actually don’t see it as that. Had Mitch McConnell not allowed this vote I might have agreed, but he did allow it, thus forcing those from both parties who support Obamacare to go on record. We now know who those people are.

The real problem is that too many people in the U.S. no longer believe in freedom, instead want a government hand out, and have thus elected legislators (from both parties) who are only too happy to give it to them in exchange for power and wealth. If we are going to get rid of this bad law, as well as many other bad leftwing government policies, we need to vote these specific people out of office.

Share

Republican health tweak of Obamacare dead, Senate to vote for straight repeal

This is a victory: The Republican leadership in the Senate, lacking the votes to pass their own version of Obamacare, have decided to instead go for full repeal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bowed to pressure tonight from conservatives — and President Trump — to bring up a straight repeal of most of the Affordable Care Act as the next step now that the Senate health care bill appears to be dead. It will be based on the repeal bill Congress passed in 2015, which then-President Barack Obama vetoed.

His statement: “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful. So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up … a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable health care.”

McConnell’s hand was forced when two conservative senators, Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) announced earlier today that they would not vote for the bill.

This is what they should have done from the beginning. Granted, it is likely to fail because of Democratic opposition, but then it will be clear going into the next election who is standing in the way of fixing the problem. Had they passed any version of their turkey of a bill, the health insurance business would have continued to fail, but they would no longer have had clean hands. It would have become their problem, and it would have cost them votes in 2018.

Now, things will be clean, and we will get to see who really is on our side, from both parties. Expect several Republican senators especially to suddenly “evolve” and decide that they can’t go along with the very repeal they’ve voted for repeatedly in the past, because it might “hurt people.”

Share

California government healthcare plan shelved

The head of California’s assembly on Friday shelved the senate’s proposed government takeover of that state’s entire healthcare industry, saying that the plan was “woefully incomplete.”

The plan, which was estimated to cost $400 billion, several times California’s annual total budget, had not included any way to pay for it.

At first glance it appears that common sense has arrived in California. A closer look shows no such thing has happened.

“We are disappointed that the robust debate about health care for all that started in the California Senate will not continue in the Assembly this year,” Democratic Sens. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens and Toni Atkins of San Diego, the bill’s authors, said in a statement. “This issue is not going away.”

The legislation was championed by the state’s nurses’ union and the Democratic Party’s more liberal wing. “The California Nurses Association condemns the decision by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to destroy the aspirations of millions of Californians for guaranteed health care,” the union’s co-president, Deborah Burger, said in a statement that also critiqued the timing of Rendon’s announcement, which was sent out shortly before 5 p.m. “Announcing this decision at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon is a cowardly act, developed in secret without engaging the thousands of Californians who have rallied to enact real health care reform.”

Rendon suggested the Senate draft a new version of the bill that addresses how to finance the plan and more clearly details how it would work. He also suggested the plan could be taken to voters in the form of a ballot measure. In the meantime, he said he would not advance the bill through the Assembly committee process. “This action does not mean SB 562 is dead,” Rendon said. “In fact, it leaves open the exact deep discussion and debate the senators who voted for SB 562 repeatedly said is needed.”

Even if they rewrite it to include a plan to pay for this government-run healthcare system, it won’t work. It never does. The program will still cost far more than they can afford, and it will still bankrupt California, as has socialism in Russia, Venezuela, Europe, and anywhere it has been tried. Every. Single. Time.

Not that these plain facts matter to the political leaders in California. They and their voters want free stuff, and darn it, they are going to give it to them!

Share

California passes single payer health plan, without a way to pay for it

Running out of other people’s money: The state senate of California today passed a single payer health plan, essentially proposing to take over the health industry in that state.

It is estimated that the proposal will cost California $400 billion per year, which is twice more than three times that state’s annual budget. A Massachusetts study claims the government health plan can be paid for by adding additional taxes, including 15% payroll tax, but I am exceedingly skeptical. When have any of these kinds of studies ever correctly predicted the true cost of a government program? In truth, never. The cost is always higher than predicted, and the revenues raked in by taxes always less.

The article at the second link about the study has this interesting tidbit about the typical California voter:

The first-ever question to Californians on the topic by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that the vast majority of state residents were in favor of a universal, government-run health care system — as long as it doesn’t raise their taxes. But the prospect of paying the government for health care through new taxes caused support for the proposal to fall from 65 percent to 42 percent.

Another poll, commissioned by the nurses’ union, found that 70 percent of Californians were in favor of a universal, single-payer health care system — a percentage that dropped to 58 percent after those surveyed heard arguments from the opposition about the cost.

In other words, Californians want this stuff given to them, for free. They are living in a fantasy world, which might explain the behavior of their government, dominated by pie-in-the-sky Democrats.

Despite this, I expect California to pass this bill, and then find they can’t pay for it. They will then demand that the U.S. government bail them out.

Share

California single-payer $400 billion healthcare plan approved by state committee with no funding

Running out of other people’s money: A California legislative committee yesterday approved a single-payer state healthcare plan that is estimated to cost $400 billion, twice the state’s entire annual budget, without indicating how they intend to pay for it.

Details, details! Who cares about how one pays for an entitlement program? The point is to pass it, and let your great-granchildren figure it out. In this case, however, the problem is so large that it’s impossible to do without the funding in place first, because of the need to pay providers for goods and services. California hardly has an extra $200 billion laying around, and even if it did, it would need to shore up its collapsing pension system first. The state is also on the hook for a $100 billion high-speed rail system whose funding is still unclear. Democrats don’t have much idea about how to pay for their current priorities, let alone their seizure of the health-care sector. [emphasis in original]

The leftists in California want to secede from the U.S. Maybe we should let them, since that state is about to go bankrupt and I am sure most Americans in the remain 49 states don’t wish to stuck with the bill.

Share

Republican Trumpcare bill might require another vote

Failure theater: The House Republican leadership has not yet officially sent their Obamacare revision bill to the Senate because they have discovered they may have to vote on it again.

According to several aides and other procedural experts, if Republicans send the bill to the Senate now and the CBO later concludes it doesn’t save at least $2 billion, it would doom the bill and Republicans would have to start their repeal effort all over with a new budget resolution. Congressional rules would likely prevent Republicans from fixing the bill after it’s in the Senate, the aides said…

If Republican leaders hold onto the bill until the CBO report is released, then Ryan and his team could still redo it if necessary. That would require at least one more House vote of some sort…

The Republican leadership is a joke. If required to toss a rock into the ocean while standing at the end of a 500 foot long pier they’d still miss, and hit themselves in the face in the process.

Share

Aetna leaves last two Obamacare exchanges

Finding out what’s in it: Aetna has pulled out of its last two Obamacare exchanges, in Delaware and Nebraska.

Aetna projected more than $200 million in losses from its exchange plan businesses this year following a loss of $700 million for 2014 through 2016. The insurer attributed the losses to “marketplace structural issues, that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits, and subsequent risk pool deterioration.” Aetna said it had 964,000 individual commercial plan members as of the end of 2016, but that number dropped to 255,000 at the end of March.

Essentially, Obamacare is destroying the health insurance industry, because no insurance company can afford to offer insurance when anyone can simply wait until they are sick — “a pre-existing condition” in the politically stupid parlance of the time — before buying insurance. This also means that the Republican plan, in whatever form it will be take when it finally reaches Trump’s desk, will do nothing to save the industry either, since it appears that the Republicans are terrified of being called mean and will thus keep the requirement that insurance companies sell insurance to anyone, whether they are sick or not.

Share

“Limited in attention span, all about big talk and identity politics, but uninterested in substance.”

Link here. Read it all. The disgusting refusal of the Republican leadership to lead, to do what they have promised for seven years and repeal Obamacare, demonstrates their fundamental corruption. Another quote:

In this case, the hardliners were playing a productive role by pointing out the real policy consequences of the piecemeal approach being pursued by the House leadership. Though we’ll never know for sure how the numbers might have looked if a vote had taken place, it’s clear that many centrist members of the Republican caucus were also prepared to vote this bill down. House conservatives, if they could be blamed for anything, it’s for having the audacity to urge leadership to actually honor seven years of pledges to voters to repeal Obamacare. If anybody was moving the goal posts, it wasn’t Freedom Caucusers, it was those who were trying to sell a bill that kept much of Obamacare’s regulatory architecture in place as a free market repeal and replace plan.

And then there’s this. Make sure you read it all.

Update: And read this as well: “While Democrats lie in pursuit of their goals and aspirations, Republicans lie in pursuit of the other side’s ideals.”

I am reminded of the political situation in the late 1960s. The baby boom generation wanted a leftist Congress passing leftist laws. They had the momentum and the culture behind them. Congress was reluctant to go that way. It took more than a decade, until Jimmy Carter’s administration, before a really leftist Congress was in place and able to pass that agenda.

We are in the same boat now. The left is losing ground steadily. The conservatives are on the rise, and want their agenda passed. The problem is that Congress is behind the times and refusing to face this new cultural reality. Whether it ever will remains a question, however, since it is unclear to me whether the right has the same determination and no retreat approach held by the left in the 1960s and 1970s.

Share

Republican Obamacare bill does not have votes

It appears that the Obamacare bill put forth by the Republican leadership in the House does not have the votes for passage. There are also reports that Ryan will pull the bill rather than have it go down to defeat.

You want a bill that all Republicans can (and have) supported, along with the people that voted for them? Re-introduce this bill.

(a) PPACA.—Effective on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148) is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.

(b) Health care-Related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.—Effective on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–152) are repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such title or subtitle, respectively, are restored or revived as if such title and subtitle had not been enacted.

That’s the entire legal text of the bill. It is very simple, and gets us back to where we were in 2010, which might not have been a perfect place, but is a good place to start if you want to consider reform. Tinkering with the crap law that Obama and the Democrats gave us is stupid, and will accomplish nothing.

And if the Democrats filibuster this bill? Let them. Campaigning for Obamacare has clearly not been a good thing for them (see 2010, 2014, and 2016), and in the 2018 elections the Democrats are very vulnerable, with many running in strongly Republican states.

Share

Vote on Republican Obamacare bill canceled

The Republican leadership has canceled today’s planned vote on their Obamacare replacement bill, having failed to get the support of that bill from conservatives.

The link is to mainstream news outlet ABC, which typically reports this bill as an effort “to repeal and replace ‘Obamacare.'” This is not a repeal bill. To call it that is to lie about what it is. All it does is tinker a bit with Obamacare, at its outer edges, while cementing the law in place by making the Republican Party now partly responsible for it.

Kudos to the House Freedom Caucus and its conservative members for demanding a full repeal and not backing down. They are right. Pass a full repeal, let the Democrats in the Senate fillabuster its passage. The 2018 elections are now getting closer, and too many of those Democratic senators are vulnerable. Let them campaign on that filibuster. It will do them as much good as it did in 2010, 2014, and 2016.

Share

Republican healthcare bill faces defeat in House

It appears the Republican leadership lacks the votes in the House needed to pass its Obamacare replacement bill.

It appears that the Freedom Caucus in the House is generally holding firm, with more than 21 members agreeing that this is a bad bill, just as bad as Obamacare. Why vote for it, and make yourself a partner in this bad business? Consider for example this quote:

Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), one of the few Freedom Caucus members who has a close relationship with GOP leadership, said Trump’s remarks in conference — and the building pressure — just “steels my resolve.”

“The way it stands right now, no,” he would not vote for the bill, Blum told POLITICO. “Not because of the Freedom Caucus, but because I’m a free-marketer and I’m a businessman. … And the present bill doesn’t give us a free market. I want health insurance premiums to come down. … This bill doesn’t give us a free market.”

The Republican leadership was able to successfully pass numerous full repeals of Obamacare when Obama was president and could veto them. Now that we have Trump, a president who will sign a repeal, they suddenly seem incapable of finding where they put those repeal bills. Very shameful.

Repeal the thing. Cleanly. This is what the American people want. They will thank you for it.

Share

Rand Paul introduces his Obamacare replacement

Competing crap: Senator Rand Paul, who opposes the Obamacare replacement introduced by the Republican leadership, introduced his own bill today to replace Obamacare.

I’ve looked at the summary [pdf] of his bill, and it contains most of the same problems contained in the Republican leadership’s proposal. Neither repeals Obamacare really, since both keep the ability of everyone to wait until they are sick before they buy health insurance, thereby guaranteeing that every health insurance company will go bankrupt.

We need Congress to repeal Obamacare, clean and simple. The tinkering by Congress in this business has only caused problems. The more tinkering they do, the more problems they will cause. They need to get out, now.

Share

A Ted Cruz telecon

Last night I did a long radio appearance with Robert Pratt in Texas. While I was on the air with him he received a notice from Senator Ted Cruz’s office, announcing a press telecon today on the just-passed NASA authorization bill. Pratt asked me if I would be willing to attend that telecon as his press correspondence. I agreed.

The telecon has just ended. Cruz’s statements about that NASA authorization were very uncommitted and vague, though he clearly wants to encourage private space. He also was careful not to say bad things about SLS/Orion, since it sends a lot of money to Texas.

I asked him about the lack of any mention of Earth science research in the authorization bill. He noted that during the Obama administration NASA’S climate research had become politicized, and it is his hope that this will now end, that NASA will continue to do this research but that “it will no longer be used for political purposes.” Like his comments about SLS/Orion, this was a careful answer that avoided setting off a firestorm of controversy.

Cruz did say two things of note however during the press teleconference.

  • Cruz and family is having dinner with Trump tonight
  • Cruz has reservations about the Republican proposal on Obamacare

It appears that Cruz is putting aside the ugly events of the campaign in order to try to exert influence on Trump now. It also appears that he intends to discuss the bad Obamacare replacement bill with Trump, pushing for changes to it.

Share

Republican leadership endorses Obamacare

Yesterday the Republican leadership in Congress unveiled their proposed replacement for Obamacare.

This is not a repeal. It proudly keeps many of the Obamacare provisions that have made health insurance unprofitable, which is why Obamacare and the entire health insurance industry is going bankrupt. First, the Republican proposal keeps the Obamacare requirement that forces insurance companies to accept applicants with pre-existing conditions at no extra charge. Insurance cannot work under this condition. Second, the plan forces insurance companies to cover the children of customers until they are 26.

Several articles today outline the stupidity of this new plan:

From the first article above:

The first thing to understand about the GOP healthcare bill is that it is not merely Obamacare-lite or a bad “replacement” bill. It doesn’t repeal the core of Obamacare in the first place. In fact, the few parts that it repeals or tweaks within a few years will actually intensify the death spiral of Obamacare when mixed with the core regulatory structure, exacerbated by the subsidies that they do keep. And this time, the GOP will own it politically. All of it.

As I say, this is downright stupid. By trying to “fix” this horrible law, all the Republican leadership accomplishes is to poison themselves with it, something Republicans have so far been able to avoid.

The Republicans shouldn’t be passing a different version of Obamacare, they should be trying to repeal it entirely. If the Democrats continue to obstruct, they will then have to face the voters in 2018 in an election that does not favor them to begin with.

Share

Freedom Caucus to push for swift Obamacare repeal

In a direct clash with the Republican leadership that increasingly wants to slow down a repeal of Obamacare, the conservative House tea party group dubbed the Freedom Caucus announced today that they will push for an immediate repeal of the law.

The House Republican leadership is made up of a bunch of cowards. They fear the polls. They fear the press. They fear the astroturf demonstrations paid for by the left. They fear everything. And they believe in nothing, because if they did believe in freedom and restricting the power of government they would move quickly to repeal Obamacare and let the chips of freedom fall where they may.

Share

Obamacare numbers continue to tank

We are still finding out what’s in it: Enrollment numbers in Obamacare for 2017 turn out to be far worse than any prediction, resulting in more insurance companies considering an exit.

[T]he nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted last year that 15 million Americans would enroll in Obamacare plans through the various marketplaces in 2017 (down from an initial expectation of approximately 21 million when the law first passed. The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services lowered their 2017 expectations to 13.8 million. But the federal exchange totals are hundreds of thousands of consumers off-pace from last year, which was already sufficiently lackluster as to trigger an exodus of several major insurers. …Charles Gaba, a pro-Obamacare tracker of ACA signups, …estimated that to stay on track with the HHS projections, the federal exchange would need to tally roughly 10.6 million enrollees. The actual number was just 9.2 million.

The whole shebang is collapsing, regardless of what the Republicans in Congress do. Read the article, however, because it also provides some interesting analysis of what Congress is considering.

Share

House approves Senate budget resolution repealing Obamacare

The House today approved the Senate budget resolution repealing Obamacare’s tax and spending provisions.

The House voted 227-198 Friday to approve the resolution a day after the Senate voted 51-48 to clear it. Nine conservative House Republicans voted against the measure: Justin Amash of Michigan, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Walter Jones of North Carolina, John Katko of New York, Raul Labrador of Idaho, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Tom McClintock of California.

The resolution, which is nonbinding, sets budgetary and spending levels for Obamacare. It will act as a vehicle for Republicans to craft legislation that would gut Obamacare via the reconciliation process.

What the article does not note is that the Democrats voted 100% against the bill, once again demonstrating their steadfast marriage to this disastrous law. The Republicans who voted against the bill did so because they are sincerely worried about its budgetary impact. The Democrats who voted against it did so because they have become close-minded on the issue, and will defend this law no matter how many voters they offend.

When the next election comes we should remember this and remove more of these fools from office, if only to finally get the Democratic Party to wake up and abandon this bad policy.

Share

Senate passes Obamacare partial repeal

In a party line vote last night, the Senate passed an Obamacare repeal bill that ends the law’s tax and financial components.

It must be emphasized that the failure to repeal the law’s regulations is entirely due to the unwillingness of any Democrats to cross party lines, end the filibuster, and allow a vote. The result: we are still stuck with some of the most egregious components of the law. In 2018 many of those same Democrats will be faced with difficult re-elections. It will be time to remove them.

I should add that, just like Obamacare itself, the manner in which this repeal is being written and approved actually appears to be unconstitutional. It is tax policy and it is originating in the Senate. The Constitution however clearly states “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” (Article 1, Section 7) The same section also states that the Senate can propose, so I suppose this is how they get around this issue.

Share

Obamacare: The Republican strategy of partial repeal vs full repeal

This National Review editorial today describes very succinctly the strategy being used by the Republican leadership in its effort to repeal Obamacare.

Senate Republicans want to pass a bill that repeals the taxes and spending in Obamacare, but not its regulations. That’s because they think that they can use a legislative process to avoid Democratic filibusters only if they leave the regulations alone. They think that this partial repeal of Obamacare will set the stage for later legislation that repeals the rest of the law and creates a replacement.

The heart of the problem for a full Obamacare repeal is that in the Senate you can pass budgetary items with only 51 votes while regulatory changes require 60. The Democrats plan to filibuster any regulatory changes, thus preventing their repeal.

The editorial opposes this strategy and instead calls for removing the federal government completely from health insurance regulation, the situation that existed prior to the passage of Obamacare. While I totally agree with this stance, I also recognize that the intransigence of the Democrats in the Senate makes it difficult. The only way it could work is if the Republicans could convince 8 Democratic senators to break away from their party and support full repeal. While a large number of Democratic senators are faced with difficult elections in 2018, I don’t think the Republicans could get 8 to agree.

We are thus faced with the unfortunate and bad situation that the Republicans will repeal only part of the law, which will further damage the health care industry. While they hope this damage will strengthen their effort to get the law entirely repealed, I fear that it will instead be used by the Democrats to attack the Republicans and the idea of the repeal itself.

It seems to me that it would be better to offer a full repeal, forcing a Democratic filibuster, and then use that filibuster as a campaign weapon to defeat more Democrats in 2018.

Share

94% of all new jobs under Obama part time

Finding out what’s in it: Since the imposition of Obamacare a new study now shows that 94% of all new jobs have been part time work.

In their study [Harvard and Princeton economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger] show that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era, from 10.7% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015. Alternative, or “gig” work is defined as “temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract company workers, independent contractors or freelancers”, and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits. The two economists also found that each of the common types of alternative work increased from 2005 to 2015—with the largest changes in the number of independent contractors and workers provided by contract firms, such as janitors that work full-time at a particular office, but are paid by a janitorial services firm.

Krueger, who until 2013 was also the top White House economist serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, was “surprised” by the finding. Quoted by quartz, he said “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger. “And over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment.

While the finding is good news for some, such as graphic designers and lawyers who hate going to an office, for whom new technology and Obamacare has made it more appealing to become an independent contractor. But for those seeking a steady administrative assistant office job, the market is grim. It also explains why despite an apparent recovery in the labor market, wage growth has been non-existent, due to the lack of career advancement and salary increase options for this vast cohort which was hired over the past decade. [emphasis in original]

The lack of long term steady full time work with full benefits has especially hit the young badly. They are increasingly being forced to work multiple jobs to pay the bills, all of which lack any kind of benefits.

Obviously, they must keep voting for those Democrats who brought this paradise to them. Obviously!

Share

Republicans consider delaying Obamacare repeal

Failure theater: The Republican leadership is considering a whole range of delays in their so-called effort to repeal Obamacare.

Republicans are debating how long to delay implementing the repeal. Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan.

House conservatives want a two-year fuse for the repeal. Republican leaders prefer at least three years, and there has been discussion of putting it off until after the 2020 elections, staffers said.

When are these idiots finally going to realize that the voters who put them in office are not Democratic liberals, and specifically want Obamacare repealed, now?

Share

How the new Congress will repeal Obamacare

Link here. In order to get the repeal passed quickly under reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority and was the same procedure the Democrats used to pass the law, the repeal will not cancel the entire law. It will allow it to happen quickly, however.

The plan, then, is to move quickly post-inauguration to pass legislation similar to the one they passed this past January, which was vetoed by Obama. That legislation repealed the law’s major spending provisions — ending the Medicaid expansion and getting rid of the subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance on government-run exchanges. In addition, the repeal bill scrapped the individual and employer mandate penalties, eliminated the law’s taxes and defunded Planned Parenthood. If all goes smoothly, such a bill could reach Trump’s desk in short order, as early as February — or weeks after Inauguration Day. Though it’s possible that this could slip as certain details get ironed out, there is a determination, among leadership in both chambers, to move with speed.

…The thinking is that the previously passed reconciliation bill was already pored over by Senate staffers, who considered many different scenarios. What they ultimately came up with repealed much of the law, had the votes, and passed muster with the parliamentarian. Upsetting this delicate balance by adding or subtracting major elements, the thinking goes, would delay the repeal process, potentially significantly. As for firing the parliamentarian (currently Elizabeth MacDonough) though it’s true that her job is controlled by the majority party, doing so is seen as out of bounds. One senior Senate leadership aide described it as “a total Reid move,” by which the aide meant, it’s the type of strong-armed tactic to game the rules that one would expect from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that would typically make Republicans apoplectic.

The repeal bill offered here will not change many of the insurance regulations imposed by Obamacare, such as the requirement that insurance companies must accept all customers, even the sick ones. Either Congress will have to revisit this issue later, or we will continue to see the health insurance industry collapse in the coming years.

Share

Obamacare subsidies to go up almost $10 billion next year

Finding out what’s in it: According to a new report, the Obamacare subsidies that are paid to large number of Americans so that they can afford the costly Obamacare health insurance policies will cost taxpayers almost $10 billion in 2017.

The new study estimates that the cost of premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will increase by $9.8billion next year, rising from $32.8billion currently to $42.6billion. The average monthly subsidy will increase by $76, or 26 per cent, from $291 currently to $367 in 2017, researchers found.

Currently more than eight in ten consumers buying private health insurance through HealthCare.gov and state markets receive tax credits from the government to help pay their premiums.

Not only can’t we can’t afford the Obamacare premiums, we can’t afford the subsidies either.

Share

Another Obamacare co-op shuts down

Finding out what’s in it: With Maryland’s Obamacare co-op closing on December 8, 20 of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops have gone out of business.

With the near-collapse of Maryland’s co-op — called Evergreen Health — at least 989,000 individuals nationwide have lost their health insurance coverage when the nonprofit co-ops stopped selling insurance to customers, according to TheDCNF’s tally. The losses cost taxpayers at least $2.2 billion in upfront federal loans awarded by the Obama administration to 24 nonprofit co-ops under Obamacare. The co-ops were intended to help keep health care costs down by providing non-profit competition with commercial for-profit insurers. The losses do not include statewide costs where the state or local governments were forced to cover doctor and hospital bills that the failed co-ops could not pay from remaining revenues.

In many cases, those losses were substantial. In New York alone, state taxpayers face at least $200 million in costs owed to medical providers that the bankrupt Health Republic co-op could not cover, according to the Albany Business Review.

The remaining four are all barely surviving, and will likely fail themselves in the next few years, even if the Republican leadership goes chicken and delays the repeal of Obamacare while they haggle over what to do to replace it. What they should do is repeal it outright, and let that very weird and forgotten concept of freedom operate freely. I’ve heard it has worked very well in the past, though unfortunately most elected officials today are ignorant of that history.

Share
1 2 3 30