A lot of silly arguments have been made about Obamacare in recent days and that’s why I call tonight’s update ‘Obamacare Fairy Tales’.
Once upon a time, the public option was a serious subject of discussion. It’s back, with a number of commentators braying like donkeys for it, and Hillary Clinton pushing the idea. The public option would guarantee that there would be at least one carrier in every exchange, it is argued. But a public option would set prices, like Medicare, creating the same problems as with all government price controls: providers would simply stop providing and leave for greener pastures elsewhere. There are already plenty of doctors who won’t take Medicare or Medicaid. Also, unlike private insurers, the public option could run at a loss forever – kind of like a zombie co-op that wouldn’t die – as long as the body politic is willing to keep throwing money at it. This would let the public option charge lower premiums, which would drive the remaining private insurers out of business. This is why our side has been saying all along that the public option is just a fig leaf for single payer, which would come about pretty quickly. Finally, the arguments for the public option assume we have to have the full monty – a complete Obamacare-style ‘essential health benefits’ package. But bringing back true catastrophic insurance that just pays for the big stuff would make a lot more sense than the public option, which just takes us further in the wrong direction.
I love this next one. Once upon a time, Obamacare premiums were going way up in the states, but the government said not to worry because the tax credits go up, too. You’re covered, baby, except when you’re not. Fourteen percent of the people on the exchanges don’t get tax subsidies – estimates vary. That’s a million and a half people who are getting hit right between the eyes by rate hikes. If you don’t care about them, you’re mean-spirited. Moreover, when you think about it, what the government is really saying is ‘premiums may be going up but we’ll just run up the national debt and make people even more dependent on the government for their health insurance.’ Such a deal.
Once upon a time, states that didn’t’ expand Medicaid under Obamacare have higher exchange premiums. Insurers in states that did expand Medicaid charge less, seven percent less. Maybe, but seven percent is pennies compared to the 40, 50, and 60 percent premium increases in states like Texas and Tennessee. A seven percent difference is still dwarfed by the average Obamacare increase of 24 percent. The government says the reason premiums are seven percent higher in states that did not expand Medicaid is that their exchanges are full of sicker people. Ooo-K, but doesn’t that mean that the Medicaid expansion population in states that did expand is full of sicker people? The government fails to mention how Medicaid expansion costs are exploding way past projections. In fact, expansion costs are 49 percent higher per capita than estimated just a year ago. Oops.
Like I said, silly arguments. The government is getting increasingly desperate to put a smiley face on Obamacare. But like I said on the sign I carried at the Supreme Court when the Obamacare case was being heard, ‘Obamacare – nice smile, teeth of iron.’ And now we’re all getting chewed up and spit out by this monstrosity of a law.
Five quick news items to finish off:
First, five states and some religiously-motivated hospitals and doctors have sued to stop the Obamacare transgender rule which requires doctors to perform, among other procedures, sex change operations against their conscience. I spoke on this webinar in May about how Orwellian this rule is. It puts the government in the business of thought control and identity formation where it has no business being.
Second, we were told Obamacare would create jobs. We learned from the New York Fed this week that Obamacare is DESTROYING jobs at about one in every five companies.
Third, the Obamacare tanning tax has shut down 10,000 tanning salons, destroying 81,000 jobs. That’s like an entire city of a quarter million people wiped out financially.
Fourth, McKinsey put out a map showing all the parts of the country that are down to one insurer. It’s pretty dramatic, and you can show people the problem right away.
Fifth, the government removed all references to President Obama’s promise ‘you can keep your doctor’ from the Obamacare website. Down the memory hole. They want us to forget. But we won’t.
“Aetna’s extortion boosts urgency for ObamaCare public option”
“A Public Option Would Cause More Problems for Obamacare’s Private Insurers, and That’s Probably the Point”
O-admin: Higher premiums? Don’t worry, we’ll just run up the national debt & make you even more dependent on gov’t
#PremiumPain #50 – “Obamacare hikes: Average rate request of 24 percent”
HHS getting desperate – ‘exchange premiums higher w/o Medicaid expansion.’ 60% increases in TX, TN not enuf? https://morningconsult.com/alert/hhs-report-medicaid-expansion-states-see-lower-exchange-premiums/
Medicaid Expansion Costs Rocket 49% Above Estimates http://www.investors.com/news/obamacare-medicaid-costs-rocket-49-past-estimates/
Five states and some religiously-motivated hospitals and doctors have sued to stop the Obamacare transgender rule
NY Fed: Obamacare causing job losses at 17% of service sector firms, 21% of manufacturers
Obamacare tax has shut down 10,000 tanning salons, destroying 81,000 jobs. #SerfinUSA
For 2017, “In Many Parts of Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain” (McKinsey map)
“Obamacare Website Scrubs Any Reference On How To Keep Your Doctor” #PravdaWouldBeProud