The Problems with ‘Free Stuff’ (All the Bad News About Obamacare)

South Dakota voters approved Medicaid expansion in Tuesday’s election, leaving just 11 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to include middle-class able-bodied childless adults making almost $40,000 a year.  I hope the remaining states hold the line because they will be in a world of hurt if they don’t.

The first problem is voters demanding free stuff with nary a thought of how to pay for it.  Missouri voters previously demanded Medicaid expansion, but the state couldn’t figure out a sustainable way to pay for it.  Expansion would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but nobody knew what the funding mechanism would be.  The same thing happened in Idaho and Oklahoma – Medicaid expansion occurred without a stable permanent funding source.   Since Medicaid is now such a huge part of state budgets, every expansion state faces fights in the legislature about raising taxes or pulling money from other priorities like education to fund more government-sponsored healthcare.

That’s just for openers.  Expansion states face a raft of other problems.  Enrollment always exceeds expectations and many states have hit the wall in terms of being able to afford their programs.  I haven’t seen any more reports of this lately, but extra federal COVID money has postponed the day of financial reckoning.   I would argue the reason we still have a federal COVID emergency, though the medical facts no longer justify it, is to keep the states – especially expansion states – from going bust over their Medicaid expenses.  A world of hurt is coming because the fiction of a COVID emergency can’t be maintained forever.

Other problems with Medicaid expansion include

  • middle class dependency on government – a tragedy, not a triumph as the Left would have you believe, and completely unsustainable
  • billions of dollars spent on people who aren’t eligible
  • new inequities like traditional enrollees – low-income children, pregnant women, and the disabled – getting sent to the back of the line as childless able-bodied adults enter the system
  • substandard care – women already on Medicaid account for the majority of pregnancy-related deaths
  • longer wait times for ambulances and medical services
  • worse health outcomes than private insurance as more doctors refuse to take Medicaid patients because of the low pay and paperwork burdens
  • more drug overdoses and lower life expectancy in expansion states
  • lower labor force participation, and
  • special interests like large hospitals and managed care companies benefitting more than enrollees

Speaking of special interests, they are busy agitating for Government Healthcare 2.0.  It’s not enough that one in four Americans is now on Medicaid, we have to expand the range of services and the amount of government money spent on them for them to become healthy, or so the pretext goes.  The theory is called Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).  I call it naked redistribution, with calls growing for, and localities dabbling in, providing Medicaid recipients with free housing, transportation, food aid, education, job programs, guaranteed income, and other social services galore.  The theory has been around for a while but it is gaining traction, inducing mission creep in the Medicaid program.  Proponents claim the theory saves money, but their analysis fails to account for the magnet effect of free stuff from the government drawing ever-larger numbers of people into government dependency.  Once again, the Left points to immediate gains and fails to think systemically.

If you think the nation is too far in debt now, and states are biting off more than they can chew with Medicaid expansion, just wait.   Insolvency 2.0 is the inevitable outcome of social determinants of health.  Insolvency is what you get when no claim on public funds can be resisted and the government tries to put a soft pillow under absolutely everybody for absolutely everything.  Ultimately, it won’t work.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

Posted in Growing Dependency, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Obamacare a Self-Inflicted Wound (All the Bad News About Obamacare)

The dictatorial Biden administration just made five million more Americans eligible for Obamacare with the stroke of a pen.  Workers who are offered family coverage by their employers that is deemed unaffordable can now get subsidies to purchase Obamacare family policies, instead.  This decision, done by administrative rule-making, should have been left to Congress.  How do we know?  Because the Obama administration said it didn’t have the authority to change the law on its own.  Plowing straight ahead, the Biden administration has just obligated taxpayers to tens of billions of dollars in new spending in a constitutional system where the House is supposed to have the power of the purse.

Still rescuing Obamacare after all these years.  This thing’s a turkey.  Another recent change – extending jumbo subsidies for three years – was an attempt to shore up Obamacare and buy votes.  But this turkey still won’t fly.  Enrollment is still nowhere near what they promised ten years ago.  CBO estimated the jumbo subsidies would goose enrollment to 16 million, and changing the family rule would net another one million, leaving enrollment ten years on still far short of the 21 million they promised.  So the administration can spend $100 million on navigators to dragoon people into signing up for Obamacare but – face it, folks – Obamacare just isn’t all that popular.

They also promised Obamacare would save people $2,500 a year on insurance.  That never happened.  Prices never went down.  They went up in a straight line after Obamacare was passed.  Stands to reason – subsidize something like college tuition or health insurance and, sure enough, the price goes up.  The jumbo subsidies guarantee the price of Obamacare will keep going up, too.

Obamacare prices will be higher next year – 6.6 percent higher in Maryland and 7.2 percent in Wisconsin.  They’re the lucky ones.  Obamacare prices will go up 10 percent overall next year, more than inflation.  Increases in Florida will be as high as 12 percent and – get this – as much as 46 percent higher in New York.  Good grief!

Meanwhile, Obamacare continues to cause other problems.  Expensive Obamacare continues to squeeze private insurance out of the market, leaving more people dependent on government-run health care programs.  From 2020 to 2021, the number of private plans decreased 1.5 million while the number of people on Medicare and Medicaid went up nearly 5 million. [Steve Moore newsletter - 9/15/22]

Nancy Pelosi promised Obamacare would let people retire so they could play the violin.  The opposite happened.  Letting children stay on their parents’ Obamacare policies to age 26 caused ‘job lock’.  People with children are more likely to stay in their current job, not less likely, because of Obamacare.

The Obamacare Healthcare.gov enrollment site has now cost $2.1 billion.  You might remember this thing was called a ‘train wreck’ by a prominent Democrat when it first rolled out.

Thanks to Joe Biden’s inflation, your Thanksgiving turkey will cost more this year – 20 percent more, to be exact.  But that’s still a bargain compared to the price of Obamacare, which has more than doubled since it began.  Think about that – what actually happened with the Democrats’ last crazy idea – before you fall for their next crazy idea.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

Posted in Government Takeover, Growing Dependency, Perversities | Comments Off

Wrong Way Obamacare (All the Bad News About Obamacare)

Senate Democrats and the White House reached agreement on another big tax-and-spend bill that would, among other things, extend expanded Obamacare subsidies for three years, well past the next presidential election – how convenient.  The agreement was made possible when Senator Joe Manchin reversed himself on key provisions.  A vote could come next week.

The subsidies were expanded in March 2021, supposedly temporarily as part of COVID relief.  Continuing jumbo Obamacare subsidies is a bad idea for several reasons.  First, they subsidize wealthy people who make three times the national median income.  They can receive $7,800 a year in taxpayer money to subsidize their health insurance.  Are you kidding me?  Second, the jumbo subsidies hide the true cost of insurance.  Premiums were slated to go up substantially – an average of 10 percent nationally – but they would go up less if the bill is passed.  Democrats were freaking out about huge price increases hitting consumers right before the November elections and they would lose votes as a result, but they won’t have to worry if the bill becomes law.  Third, the jumbo subsidies would cost far more than the Democrats claim.  A CBO analysis shows the subsidies would add $248 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade.  Fourth, 2.3 million people would lose their job-based coverage as employers fob off health insurance costs to the federal government.  It’s never a good idea to deliberately make more people dependent on the government, but that’s what the Democrats live for.

Obamacare is still a turkey, jumbo subsidies or no.  The Affordable Care Act has steadily become less affordable over time.  In 2015, half of middle-class families paid 7.7 percent or more of their income on the lowest-cost ACA bronze plan. But in 2019, the cost swelled to 11.3 percent and, for 55 to 64-year-olds, 19 percent.  Also, drug spending went up 2 percent a year between 2015 and 2019 for people in large group plans, but 11 percent for those with individual plans because of Obamacare’s guaranteed issue preexisting condition coverage, restrictions on true underwriting, and other regulations.

We have fresh reminders of other problems with Obamacare:  It limits popular short-term health insurance, which prevents some people from getting insurance at all.  It bans physician-owned hospitals, which makes zero sense unless you’re a special interest afraid of competition from people who know what they’re doing.  Finally, the lies used to sell this turkey continue.  Joe Biden recently claimed 100 million people would lose their health insurance if Obamacare’s preexisting condition coverage went away.  That was too much even for the left-wing Washington Post which gave Biden two Pinocchios for his specious claim.  Biden inflated the number by including people who would face price increases, but not lose their coverage.  He also included people on employer plans which typically had preexisting condition coverage before Obamacare ever came along.

Never-ending jumbo subsidies, a string of broken promises and lies, declining affordability, herding people into government dependency – there’s not a lot to like here.  We’ve gone the wrong direction and the Democrats remind me of ‘Wrong Way’ Corrigan who tried to fly from New York to California, but ended up in Ireland.  Wish us the luck of the Irish – we’re going to need it.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

 

Posted in Government Takeover, Growing Dependency, Perversities | Comments Off

Obamacare: Where Does It Hurt? (All the Bad News About Obamacare)

The problems with Obamacare are well-known.  So are the lies.

Let’s start with the lies.  Obamacare fans are still crowing about the program’s record enrollment this year – 14.5 million.  Undoubtedly, it will be mentioned when former President Obama visits the White House tomorrow to celebrate Obamacare.  What they’re not telling you is they promised 21 million people would sign up for Obamacare when it was passed.  I don’t see how falling 50 percent short of your goal is anything to crow about.  And the only reason enrollment is high this year is because Obamacare subsidies are temporarily jumbo-sized.  Temporarily.  An HHS report indicates enrollment could fall back to 11 million next year if the bigger subsidies are not made permanent.

Now for the problems.  President Obama promised families would save $2,500 a year on their health insurance, but premiums have tripled since Obamacare was signed into law.  Congressman Byron Donalds says he’s never paid higher premiums than under Obamacare.  But locking higher subsidies into place permanently, as Biden and the Democrats want to do, will be inflationary.  Higher subsidies will cost $220 billion over the next decade and, thanks to looser eligibility requirements, benefit the wealthy – people making more than six figures – more than low income families.  It’s foreseeable health insurers will raise prices.  The problem will be worse in the one-third of counties that still only have one or two Obamacare insurers; they’ll raise prices even more.  This is so typical of Democrats – they cause a problem, then turn around and say, ‘oh, but we’ll HELP you,’ offering Band-Aids to fix the problems they created in the first place.  It’s one of their machines for buying votes.

And you’ll notice Obamacare pushed government assistance into the middle class, way beyond the poverty level where government assistance programs first started.  Making it so the middle class and now even well-off people can’t function without the assistance of the federal government – what do you suppose that’s about?  Whatever the Democrats’ ulterior motive, it’s the wrong direction.  And it’s a trap.  Democrats are working to cut off escape routes like short-term plans so there’s no escape.   The increased availability of cheaper short-term plans was very popular under Trump, but Democrats want to cut them to three months with no renewal.  [Heartland Institute Health Care News, p. 5]

The problems with Obamacare don’t end there.  Obamacare’s crowning achievement was supposedly covering people with preexisting conditions, but stories persist of cancer victims being denied coverage.  No, you can’t keep your doctor and you can’t keep your plan.  Obamacare’s regulatory burden has cost small business $64.6 billion and more than 3.3 billion hours of lost productivity.  Some insurers continue to trip up on Obamacare’s adverse selection problem – the idea that the sickest people sign up for Obamacare plans.  Adverse selection hits the insurers’ bottom line and they’re getting out of the marketplace.  That problem is baked into Obamacare’s design and can’t be fixed.  Finally, Obamacare did nothing to fix the problem of people not going to the doctor because they can’t afford it.

We’re stuck with all these problems for the moment, because there’s no chance of repealing Obamacare any time soon.  But that doesn’t mean we should accept this crazy contraption as normal or fall for it the next time the Democrats promise us the earth, the moon, and the stars.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

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Another Biden Stumble: Obamacare (All the Bad News about Obamacare)

The Biden administration is taking a victory lap after a record 14.5 million people signed up for Obamacare this year.  The White House can pretend this is some kind of great victory, but it’s not, and here are the reasons why:

In the first place, when this turkey passed, the Democrats promised 21 million people would sign up for it, it was so great.  That never happened.  The best they’ve ever done was this year, and they’re still almost 50 percent short of the goal they set for themselves.  What kind of victory is it when you’re 50 percent short of your goal?

Secondly, the record number of sign-ups only came after the Democrats super-sized Obamacare subsidies with COVID relief money.  Average premiums went down 23 percent as a result, but what happens after the COVID relief money runs out?  Premiums will go back up, that’s what, and enrollment numbers will go back down to their previous even more dismal levels.  Even if the Democrats manage to make the jumbo Obamacare subsidies permanent, what kind of victory is it when it can only be achieved by bribing people?  If Obamacare were so great, people would be thronging to it voluntarily without subsidies, but they’re not.

Lots of other things are wrong with the jumbo subsidies, as well.  The cost to the taxpayer has been estimated at $20,000 per new enrollee.  That’s more than $34 billion when you add it all up.  Subsidies used to stop at around $100,000 in annual income, which was crazy, but now it’s even crazier.  You can make over $200,000 a year and still get over $10,000 in Obamacare subsidies.  What kind of crazy system is it when well-off people making over $200,000 a year get that kind of money from the federal government on top of the oodles of money they already make themselves?  It’s not working.  Something’s wrong.  We need to go back to the drawing board.

But that’s not all.  Almost 75 percent of the new spending goes to people who already had private insurance.  They got subsidies to move to Obamacare exchange plans and rewarded to let themselves get captured by the federal government.   The jumbo subsidies do nothing to address Obamacare’s notorious and long-standing narrow networks problem.  You can get an Obamacare plan, but you will lose access to the best doctors and hospitals in the process.  Exchange plan deductibles are way up – over $4,800 a person, an increase of almost $2,000 from 2014.  Some victory.

Finally, all the Obamacare regulations that drove up the cost of insurance are still in place.  Obamacare forced insurers to cover preexisting conditions when other, more sensible policy solutions like the previous high risk pools in 36 states were available.  The government forced insurers to stop assessing risk – that is, true underwriting – and treat everyone old and young, sick and healthy, more nearly the same even though their risk profiles are wildly different.  Obamacare incentivizes insurers to pay out more for medical care, driving up prices for medical services.  All these regulations, new in Obamacare, drove up the price of insurance.  But it was by design.  It’s what the Democrats always do – First, they create a problem.  Then they turn around and say, ‘Oh, but we’ll HELP you,’ first with subsidies, then with jumbo subsidies.  They’ve done this in other arenas like college tuition.  We can’t afford any more Democrat dependency machines, either financially or morally.

The Biden administration and its Democrat friends in Congress bribed everybody they could and still came up 50 percent short of what they promised in terms of enrollment.  So the picture you should have in your mind is not Joe Biden taking a victory lap.  It’s that famous picture of Joe Biden stumbling up the stairs of Air Force One.  That’s the Biden administration and Obamacare in a nutshell.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

Posted in Growing Dependency | Comments Off

Subsidize Failure and You Will Get More of It (All the Bad News about Obamacare)

Obamacare’s many failures are well known – higher premiums, higher deductibles, fewer insurers, fewer providers, and far fewer takers than predicted – but Democrats in Congress are doubling down.  The Build Back Better bill would make expanded Obamacare subsidies – meant for COVID relief – permanent.  CBO analysis shows the bill would throw three million people off their employer plans which are generally better for people with preexisting conditions than Obamacare.  People with employer coverage have more doctors and hospitals from which to choose and pay less out of pocket to receive care from them.  The price tag of the new subsidies is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  The expanded subsidies would incentivize insurers to raise premiums because the subsidies go up dollar for dollar with premium increases.  Handing insurers a blank check like this is crazy and will contribute to inflation.

CBO also found, under the bill, millions would leave employer plans and unsubsidized individual coverage.  That number and more would go into Medicaid and Obamacare.  If you net it all out, there would be 4.1 million more covered in some way, but at a cost to taxpayers of more than $18,000 per newly insured per year by 2031.  Does that sound sustainable to you?  It doesn’t to me.

There are other problems with expanding the subsidies permanently.  It has been shown people earning higher incomes would benefit disproportionately and the bill would substitute government spending for private spending on healthcare, which is the wrong direction given all the problems government spending on healthcare causes.  The bill would make expanded subsidies available to the unemployed, reducing their incentive to return to work.  Employers have warned that another provision of the bill would force companies to pay a greater share of health coverage premiums for their employees which would disproportionately affect companies with lots of low-wage employees.

Why anyone would want to double down on Obamacare is beyond me, given its record of abject failure.  In addition to its many failures noted above, who could forget the still-born CLASS Act long-term care provisions, the two dozen failed insurance co-ops, or the ill-conceived multistate plans that no longer exist.  Obamacare has never been popular and never will be.  This is why people seek out alternatives, like farm bureau plans and limited duration plans.

You can do better than Obamacare, but if you keep falling for the next crazy ideas the Democrats incessantly pump out, you will get the higher prices, fewer choices, and greater government dependency you deserve.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

Posted in Designed to Fail, Growing Dependency, Perversities | Comments Off

The Democrats’ Next Crazy Ideas in Healthcare (All the Bad News about Obamacare)

Democrats on Capitol Hill are busy dreaming up ways to expand government intervention in your healthcare.  Before we discuss their next crazy ideas, let’s review what’s going wrong with their last crazy idea – Obamacare.

Obamacare’s failures are legion.  Obamacare:

  • made health insurance unaffordable for people who don’t qualify for subsidies
  • caused two million people to lose their workplace coverage and small employers to drop Obamacare coverage altogether
  • created the narrow networks problem where people lose access to the best doctors and hospitals
  • forced doctors to perform transgender surgery against their conscience
  • guaranteed premiums will continue to rise because there’s no incentive to hold down costs, and
  • Obamacare did NOT eliminate the medical debt problem, like they promised.

They sold Obamacare by promising families would save $2,500 a year on insurance.  That never happened.  In fact, Obamacare premiums continue to rise faster than inflation in spots – as much as 21 percent in Iowa, and 11.3 percent in Minnesota.

The Democrats are crowing about how they recently got 3 million more people to sign up for Obamacare, but they could only do it by offering bigger bribes using temporary COVID relief funds and pouring millions into marketing.  Despite all that, enrollment is still not anywhere close to what they promised when they were selling us the Obamacare bill of goods.  There might be 12 million people now signed up for Obamacare, but we were promised 24 million.

Now the Democrats want to make the bigger COVID relief subsidies permanent at a time when the government is already borrowing money like crazy.  But that’s not their only crazy new idea.  They also want to add a new Medicaid program in states that refused Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and lower the eligibility age for Medicare while ladling on more benefits like dental and vision when everybody knows Medicare is already going broke.

Each one of these ideas by itself would be crazy, but the Democrats want to do all three.  That’s really crazy.  These people are nuts.  They live in la-la land where the government can give everybody everything and the bills never come due.  That’s psychotic.  And they think it will all turn out better than Obamacare did.  That’s really nuts.  The Democrats should seek professional help.  As for the rest of us, we owe it ourselves to find out what’s gone wrong with the Democrats’ last crazy idea before we fall for their next crazy ideas.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

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Put Your Faith in Government and You Will Be Disappointed (All the Bad News about Obamacare)

The Supreme Court may have upheld Obamacare for a third time, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right direction or good for the country.  There is a steady stream of bad news about Obamacare that generally gets ignored, but I’m going to keep documenting it all because I want to be able to remind everyone Obamacare remains a disaster every time the Democrats propose another big government program.  In fact, they’re at it again already with their $3.5 trillion social spending bill – more free healthcare, free community college, universal child care, and on and on and on.  Spending like drunken sailors is a problem in itself but, if enacted, each one of these programs will end up poorly run and hurting somebody, just like Obamacare.  If the Democrats get what they want on their so-called ‘infrastructure’ bill, there will be more train wrecks in our future.

How do I know?  Because past is prologue.  Here are the latest train wrecks in Obamacare:

The subsidies have gotten bigger, so we know the cost to the nation will be going up.  The biggest carrier in Maryland is seeking a 7.9 percent increase in Obamacare premiums, much higher than inflation.  Obamacare regulations are hurting small insurers and driving consolidation in the insurance market.  Small insurers have more variability in their claims experience, so it’s easier for them to run afoul of Obamacare’s rules limiting administrative expenses as a percent of revenue.  Parents are supposed to be able to keep their children on Obamacare until age 26, but they’re finding out they can’t if the children are not dependents in the eyes of the IRS.  It’s not supposed to be this way, but the program is poorly run, and it is.

Meanwhile, more people are waking up and recognizing long-standing problems with Obamacare.  Obamacare restricts consumer choice, limits access to the best doctors and hospitals, and makes people more dependent on government.  The number of insurers is down and premiums have doubled.  Obamacare did not reduce medical bankruptcies the way they promised.  You would have expected a sharp decrease in 2014 when Obamacare took effect, but it didn’t happen.  Likewise, they claimed thousands of people were dying every year from lack of insurance but Obamacare didn’t lower the death rate, data shows.  They claimed Obamacare would lower overall healthcare costs, but that didn’t happen, either.  They also claim Obamacare is a great success in getting people to sign up.  Actually, enrollment is only about half of what they expected and they have to throw in Medicaid expansion to inflate the numbers to make Obamacare look good.  Obamacare remains such a bad deal – high premiums, high deductibles, narrow networks – that millions have bailed out in favor of alternatives like short-term plans that don’t have Obamacare’s complications or defects.  The latest poll shows barely a majority of Americans support Obamacare. 54 percent? – that’s the best you can do after ten years?  Time to try something else.

And it’s time to take a closer look at the new programs Democrats are proposing.  Free community college will hurt historically black colleges and universities.  Universal child care will mean the government will start indoctrinating your kids at an earlier age.  More free healthcare when we can’t even pay for the government healthcare programs we have now is a bad idea.  All this stuff might sound great, but think about it long enough and you will realize the government can’t put a soft pillow under absolutely everybody for absolutely everything, nor should we want it to if we have any self-respect left.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

Posted in Declining Quality of Care, Government Takeover, Growing Dependency, Perversities | Comments Off

Obamacare Is Junk Insurance (All the Bad News about Obamacare)

Democrats are congratulating themselves and patting themselves on the back for the 1.2 million new Obamacare signups in recent weeks.  That brings the total to 11.3 million people.  Big whup.  It’s not surprising that bigger bribes, a $100 million promotion budget, and an extended enrollment period would lure some people in.  But all these cartwheels barely moved the needle.  Obamacare enrollment has never been and never will be anywhere close to the 21 million signups promised when they were ramming Obamacare down our throats.

But you wouldn’t know that from a recent government report claiming Obamacare now covers 31 million people.  To get from 11.3 million to 31 million, they had to lump in Medicaid expansion, basic health plans, and four million who were eligible for Medicaid without Obamacare.  Here are some other dirty tricks: they are taking credit for people who were kicked off their prior plans because of Obamacare who subsequently enrolled in Obamacare plans.  You can’t call them ‘newly insured’ with a straight face.  They are also counting people who cannot be disenrolled from Medicaid during the COVID pandemic, even though the people subsequently became ineligible.  Isn’t there something wrong if they have to lie to make their case?

What they’re not telling you is that Medicaid expansion enrollment blew past all projections and is more than double what anyone expected.  This is not a great triumph, as the Biden administration would have you believe.  It’s a gigantic screw-up by people who worship Big Government and can’t put their underwear on straight.

Obamacare is still a colossal failure, no matter how you slice it – underenrollment, narrow networks, no competition on the exchanges in many places, illusory preexisting condition coverage, unpaid premiums, and young people priced out of health insurance when they were needed to keep the whole thing financially afloat.   Not to mention Obamacare has further governmentized a fifth of the economy which has meant more paperwork, higher prices, and less innovation.  My doctor now wants me to pay a dollar a day – $365 a year – to keep up with all the paperwork, whether I utilize his services or not.  Thanks Obamacare, you destroyed my insurance and now you have shafted me again.  You are the gift that keeps on giving.

Yet, the Biden administration is bound and determined to shut escape hatches from Obamacare.  It wants to reinstitute severe restrictions on short-term plans, which it calls ‘junk insurance’.  These plans resemble the catastrophic insurance that served my needs magnificently for 30 years before Obamacare came and made it illegal.  Short-term plans have a lot of advantages:  they’re a lot cheaper, give access to more doctors, and provide flexibility for people who will be getting school or employer coverage in the near future.  They meet a lot of needs and that’s why they’re so popular.

Let’s put short-term plans side-by-side with Obamacare and see what happens, shall we?  Kansas state Senator Beverly Gossage tells the story of a patient with a short-term plan who had to have emergency gall bladder surgery.  The patient paid a $2,500 deductible and the short-term plan paid the rest of the $95,000 bill.  Under Obamacare, the patient would have had an $8,550 deductible plus co-pays, and the Obamacare premiums would have been twice as much.  After comparing the high-deductible, high-premium, narrow-network Obamacare plan with flexible, affordable short-term policies, Gossage rightfully asks: “Which one is the junk insurance?” [Grace-Marie Turner mailing 6/4/21].  Good story, isn’t it?  Remember it the next time the Left is beguiling you with its lies and trying to get you to worship at the altar of Big Government.  This god has feet of clay.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

Posted in Government Takeover, Perversities | Comments Off

The Magical Thinking of Medicaid Expansion (all the bad news about Obamacare)

This is pretty dramatic.

Missouri’s Governor announced last week the state will not expand Medicaid on July 1st as demanded by the voters in a ballot measure last August.  This is because Republican state lawmakers refused to fund Medicaid expansion in the most recent budget bill.  Without a revenue source or funding authority from the state legislature, the state cannot proceed with expansion at this time, the Governor said.  A court fight is expected.

The voters demanded Medicaid expansion in Missouri, but the state couldn’t figure out a sustainable way to pay for it.  Expansion would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but nobody knew what the funding mechanism would be.

The same thing happened in Idaho and Oklahoma.  In Idaho, voters approved expansion in a referendum and the program is underway, but there is still no stable permanent funding source.  State legislators tried to stick counties with the bill.  Part of the problem is that expansion costs are way higher in Idaho than the original estimates.  Some of us warned about this, because expansion has blown up in just about every state that adopted it, and now we get to say ‘we told you so.’  Virginia is an exception so far, but only because extra COVID funding from the federal government is masking the financial fallout from enrollment being way over what they said it was going to be.

Oklahoma’s challenge is to find stable funding at a time when there is already a billion dollar budget shortfall.  Expansion cost estimates were lowballed there, too, to increase chances the voters would fall for it.  Higher hospital bills for everybody is one idea under consideration.  Another is diverting money from the tobacco settlement already slated for other uses.

If you look at Medicaid expansion overall, you find that enrollment is more than double on average in expansion states than originally estimated.  States have hit the wall financially because of it.  About the craziest idea for funding Medicaid expansion comes out of Kansas where the Governor would pay for it with marijuana taxes.

I don’t know what’s worse: the Left’s magical thinking that you can just wish expensive programs into existence without having any way to pay for them, or the complete irresponsibility of everyone who played along.  An exercise in good government this is not.  Remember that the next time mindless liberals and their politician friends want to create new programs and grow the government.

REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW!
– legalize true catastrophic insurance
– return Medicaid to a poverty program

END THE OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION!

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