Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Obamacare Nightmare update

Almost a month ago I wrote a post, The Obamacare Nightmare, in which I said that if the Democrats didn't come to their senses quickly, "the country [was] on the verge of entering what could be its worst nightmare: a healthcare train wreck of epic proportions." Since then, the ill-advised rollout of the Obamacare exchanges has been nothing short of disastrous. I don't see how in the world they are going to get things fixed in time, so it's increasing likely that the individual mandate will be postponed for at least a year.

But that just creates a new problem for the Democrats, since, as I also mentioned last month, "next year's election would effectively become a referendum on Obamacare." As Rick Moran notes, by refusing to come to terms with the impending failure of their signature program, the Democrats likely will own "the failure of a government entitlement that could discredit the idea of big government for a long time." To me that is the best news ever. It's about time the population was hit in the face with the reality that government not only can't solve all of our problems, but shouldn't even try.

Am I worried about the possibility that the collapse of Obamacare could be the excuse to segue into a Single Payer system? I used to be, but I'm taking comfort from Moran's arguments. Would the voters really be willing to trust Congress "to give it another shot, this time making even bigger, more radical, expensive, and complicated changes?" "Does anyone believe that after the internal bloodletting over defunding Obamacare there are any Republicans who would vote for their own electoral execution and help pass a single-payer system?"

I'm guessing that Obama is going to have to decide to postpone Obamacare's individual mandate within the next month, just like he already postponed the employer mandate. He's gotten himself into an almost indefensible position that only becomes worse as next year's deadlines approach but the computers systems remain deeply flawed. If the business side of Obamacare wasn't ready for prime time, it's abundantly clear now that the individual side isn't ready either, and that tens millions of people could be seriously inconvenienced if not financially devastated if the administration stubbornly refuses to face the facts.

So we could be in for some really exciting times between now and the end of the year, and there's a good chance that the ultimate resolution to the Obamacare mess, which would likely come in the November 2014 elections, will be a win for limited government and free markets.

I'll say it again: "Government is now too vast to be efficient, too vast to be controlled, and too vast to achieve all the many objectives of its constituents."

UPDATE: The disruptions have already begun, and the anger is just beginning to build. Kaiser Health News reports that over half a million people have already lost the policies they thought they could keep.

32 comments:

Bill Platteter said...

I don't believe President Obama will delay the individual mandate. To do so would justify what the repubs were trying to do during the recent showdown. I think he will stay with Obamacare no matter what. He can not admit that the repubs may have been right. If this plays out it will be a very interesting 2014 election. It could mean republican control of congress and a "mandate" from the people to repeal Obamacare.

W.E. Heasley said...

The trickle of applications transmitted to insurers are indicating: Enrolled, un-enrolled, re-enrolled. Also, duplicate applications are being transmitted which leads to: Which application is the correct application? Further, once the ACA web sites transmit “enrollment” to insurers, much of the prior information collected is irretrievable hence the insurer is faced with incomplete information.

The insurer is faced with a duplicate, incomplete applications, with dubious enrollment confirmation [enrolled, un-enrolled, re-enrolled].

Furthermore, succeeding in applying for coverage on the ACA web site may be hazardous to your financial health as hackers are very interested in the ACA site:

http://thelastembassy.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-fortunate-few-aca-applicants-or.html

Rich said...

I registered, used the marketplace, and found several carriers that I can use. As I had very minor cancer ~ 6 years ago, no insurer would even THINK of quoting a rate for me, even though I'm rather low risk. Now I can get insurance due to the horrible law.

WAKE UP! Do you not understand that nobody in the US dies on the street for lack of medical care. If a poor person goes to the emergency room, he gets treated, and the cost -called charity care- merely gets transferred to those who can afford care who walk into a hospital without insurance, and no capitation. That's why there are stories of $25.00 aspirins.

Obamacare merely requires the jerk who rides a motorcycle without a helmet, who then gets into an accident with head injuries to pay for some form of coverage- either via actual insurance or a penalty. Remember, that guy now goes to the emergency room and gets free care paid for by everybody else.
And you FAVOR rewarding such irresponsible behavior? What has the economics profession come to?

William McKibbin said...

Unfortunately, the scale implosion we are witnessing in government is also evident in the oligarch we we see along Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and the medical establishment -- the largest public and private organizations in the US are simply unable to manage themselves effectively -- "too big to fail" is synonymous with "too big to manage," which applies to the Federal government, the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, and the medical establishment -- wise investors will diversify their portfolios with Main Street assets and real estate to off-set the risks of scale implosion in both the public and private sectors -- watch and learn.

Benjamin said...

The GOP would gain some credibility if it extended it stand against massive federal government-provided healthcare to...the veteran population.

The VA employs more than 300,000 directly. In the case of former federal employees who are veterans, the government not only pays for care, but directly employs the doctors, nurses, specialists etc. and houses them in federal facilities! Totally government-run, no private involvement!

The VA budget now tops $150 billion, and is more rapidly growing than the food-stamp program.

Incredibly, 3.5 million Americans now receive monthly disability checks from the VA!

That is more than four times the employment of the entire Department of Defense (the largest federal department, by far)!

Curiously, even though many vets obtain a 100 percent disabled rating, they are legally able to hold full-time employment in other the private sector, or often for the federal government where they have preferential hiring

More than one percent of the USA population is now on monthly VA disability checks! Is this reasonable? Desirable? Is there the potential for laxness or fraud in such vast numbers? Is this a work disincentive?

The VA states on its website that one-quarter of the US population is eligible for VA benefits, either as veterans, or survivors and dependents thereof! Egads! It is a runaway program and, it must be stated, completely a socialist program. Why is socialism good?

(The VA even says there is one remaining citizen receiving VA benefits extending back to the...Civil War. I kid you not.)

The GOP, even the Ryan budget, completely absolves the VA of any need for budget trims, let alone suggesting ways to voucherize or privatize this monstrosity.

Yes, Obamacare is a bad idea---but at least there is some private-sector involvement in Obamacare, and thus hope for efficiencies.

But in the VA? What will make those 300,000 VA employees more efficient?

And why is the VA totally off-limits when it comes the GOP budget cuts?

The truth is the GOP is not serious about budget cutting, It is serious (sort of) about cutting Donk programs, but more serious about increasing spending on GOP favorites---as we saw 2000-2008).

The taxpayer is the loser with either party.


Chris said...

Never underestimate Obama's willingness to steal more money from future generations to fund a pet project, and ACA is his baby. If a subsidy for all is all that is needed to make it work, then it will happen.

Hans said...

Chris, bingo!!!

Yes, as Chris said, they double, triple down and where need quadruple down.

It is never the fault of the program, but rather the "lack" of funding...

Ben Jamin, your repeated narratives about the VA are growing tiresome - really...

Hans said...

I PRAY that you are correct, Mr Grannis, but most Commissars will never admit their even most, egregious failures...

Scott Grannis said...

Rich: the "free riders" you refer to are a legitimate concern, but they represent a very small fraction of the population. It makes little sense to restructure one-sixth of the economy in order to hope to get a small fraction to pay for their healthcare. Hundreds of millions of people are going to have their lives impacted--many negatively--in order to provide coverage for 10-20 million that for whatever reason have chosen not to purchase healthcare insurance.

sgt.red.blue.red said...

Ezra Klein, Washington Post Obama Care promoter, admits the law has been a "big failure".

ObamaCare, Like All Central Planning, Is a Big Failure

NormanB said...

Scott, before you get all giddy about 2014 name one Republican who can carry the fight against ObamaCare. They are a bunch of out of touch thinktankers. And it's not all the media's fault. And if you did want a collapse of ObamaCare you should be praying that they go ahead with it and voters feel the Democrats taking money out of their pockets. You don't seem to know much about politics.

AUGUST said...

Mr Grannis,
I'm encouraged that there are still people who recognize the folly of big government. But we are now in the minority, it seems. All the losers in our country have figured out how to get by without work and their elected officials have learned that playing to this mob keeps them in their comfy positions.

Bill Platteter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benjamin said...

Hans-

Maybe you are right. But still, I was shocked to learn that 3.5 million Americans are receiving monthly disability checks from the VA. This came out in the budget meltdown talks.

Another thing: I notice some people say they want to "cut the budget." When the topic is cutting entitlements, they can talk for days, weeks and years, often with real zeal and moral fervor.Good on 'em, I say.

When the talk is cutting Defense, Homeland Security and the VA, or rural subsidies, they say the topic is tiresome.

As David Stockman says, I want to cut the welfare and warfare states.

Is that so tiresome?

Hans said...

Ben Jamin, so that I may not be charged with a bias crime, I say "cut" every deportment 10%...

But remember, for all of you zealots the Army just publicly admitted it can not even fight a single war..With deep sadness, I expect America to suffer a military loss, in it's first major campaign...

The nexus between English and American history is very frightful...One empire gone, another tumbling..

marmico said...

The CBO estimates that the net costs of ACA over the next 10 years is $1.4 trillion. It also estimates that cumulative GDP will be $220 trillion.

1.4/220=0.64%.

ACA is a rounding error relative to national income.

Scott Grannis said...

The chance of the CBO being even close to right on this is about 1%.

marmico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marmico said...

The CBO/JCT "economic models" carry more weight than your "talking point cruzifications".

ACA is a rounding error relative to national income. Where's your "99%" proof to the contrary?

M Miller said...

If my small business experience is any indicator, health insurance cost increases will be huge. The question must be asked - How harmful could this be to the economy. Could it actually cause a recession? Coverage is now mandated for annual physicals [we used to pay $100, now Blue Cross pays the Dr. $400 in actual payments - who do you think pays for this? WE DO in higher premiums.) Same goes for expanded psychiatric care, birth control, maternity, etc. etc. etc. Our premiums last year went from $250 to $550 per month [family of 5] due to these changes. Now Blue Cross cancelled our plan [high deductible]as of end of year. New plan will likely be $800 month. I've never seen such an impact to our discretionary income in 15 years in business.

Hans said...

In the past three years, my health costs have increased 67%!!

Thank you BOCO and the Pathos Party...

Rob said...

Scott what do you think of Ezekiel Emanuel, the former Obama admin health guy who has helped structure Obamacare. Do you think his ideas have any merit ? Thanks.

Scott Grannis said...

I really dislike Ezekiel Emanuel. His approach to healthcare is "command and control," with an attitude that smart people like him can make important decisions about my life better that I can. I see no merit to his ideas, and they frighten me.

Rob said...

Thanks, interesting.

anam ilyas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samad abbas said...

Genuines Works of Data Entry, Copy Pasting, Facebook Posting, Add Posting, Link Posting, Clicking, Web Surfing, Website Visiting, Article Sharing, Data Sharing, Google Business Plan and Much More Business Plans.
www.onlinecornerz.ocm

Hassan Asim said...

Genuines Works of Data Entry, Copy Pasting, Facebook Posting, Add Posting, Link Posting, Clicking, Web Surfing, Website Visiting, Article Sharing, Data Sharing, Google Business Plan and Much More Business Plans.
www.onlinecornerz.ocm

hasnain raza said...

Best Business Plans without any work, Get your investment double in 30 Days
EarningsClub.com

muhammad asim said...

For More Super Cars
TopAmazingCars.blogspot.com

hasnain raza said...

All Time Profit is best platform for best profit online on internet, earn 1.50% hourly for 200 hours, total 300% profit within a week
AllTimeProfit.com

Ahsan Afsar said...

Online Jobs of Data Entry and Copy Pasting with Jobz Corner
JobzCorner.com

hasnain raza said...

Find best online jobs from home
JobzCorner