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Noonan nails Obamacare

In my previous posting here I asked: What if there is a real collective disaster? Well, from what I’ve been reading, in the US of A now, they’ve got one. Not a day now goes by when I don’t thank the universe that I won’t have to navigate my way through Obamacare, or anything like it, any time soon.

I particularly liked this comment on it, from Peggy Noonan:

I bet America hopes the websites never work so they never have to enroll.

SQotD has already been taken, but had it not been …

I also liked the comment from a few days back (sorry don’t recall where) to the effect that the most secure thing about Obamacare is that not even the hackers are able to get into it long enough to steal anything.

A few years back, whenever one of us Brits here had a moan about the state of things in Britain, American commenters would chime in with invitations to us to give up on dear old doomed, doomed Britain, and come and live in the land of the free. There’s been less of that sort of commenting lately.

29 comments to Noonan nails Obamacare

  • Paul Marks

    There are two bright spots in the American picture – so bright that even an arch gloomy guts like me takes note of them.

    Firstly the growth of oil and gas production.

    Secondly (more recently) the holding down of some forms of government spending (on the military and on government “research”, “infrastructure” and so on) – although, sadly, the “entitlement programs” (such as Obamacare and the rest of the Welfare State) continue to grow out of control.

    No surprise that Barack Obama is doing all he can to hold back (to undermine) the production of hydrocarbons (not just coal – but oil and gas also), and the “enemies of the Koch brothers” stand with Comrade Barack (by the way is their anywhere I can sign up as a FRIEND of Charles and David Koch?).

    And the establishment left DENOUNCE the limits on government spending – for example the Financial Times yesterday with its demands for Corporate Welfare, I mean more government “research” and “infrastructure” spending.

    The “F.T.” was busy denouncing the Republicans for holding the line against Corporate Welfare government spending. This may confuse the “libertarian left” who think of the GOP as being in favour of Corporate Welfare (government “research” and “infrastructure” spending and so on).

    But then reality does tend to confuse the “libertarian” left.

    Note to the LLs – if the GOP were really all as you think they are (if they were all RINOs) the Financial Times newspaper and the Economist magazine would love them.

    How to tell good Republicans from bad ones?

    See who the Economist magazine praises – and who it sneers at.

    It is a perfect reverse compass.

  • llamas

    Don’t forget the other boot that’s waiting to drop.

    70-80% of Americans get their health insurance through their employers via tax-advantaged funding scheme where the employer carries the bulk of the premium cost but gets tax offsets for doing so.

    One of the ACA provisions is that employers (subject to certain limits) must provide employees with health insurance that meets the ACA requirements – the so-called ‘employer mandate’. Previously, this was an employer’s choice to do or not.

    The effect of this employer mandate will be to significantly-increase the employer’s costs, either because he has to start providing insurance, or because he has to start providing more insurance. It’s self-evident that insurance that meets ACA requirements (mandatory coverage, required coverage for all, same premiums for all) must be more expensive to provide, President Obama’s promises about ‘bending the cost curve’ notwithstanding. Even sunshine and puppies are not without costs.

    And that employer mandate – has been unilaterally, unlawfully postponed for a year, until after the 2014 Federal elections. For many politically-favoured entities (typically, for highly-unionized industries) it has been waived entirely.

    But that still leaves tens of millions of Americans whose employers are going to be looking for ways to reduce the costs of the health insurance they will soon be committed to provide – by any means necessary. The results of their looking will become apparent in the coming months. They may include

    - limiting health insurance to employees only. The law does not require family coverage.
    - finding ways to divest themselves of employees or families who will increase group premiums. incidentally, what do you suppose that will do for the employment prospects of women and minorities, both of whom have actuarially-proven higher rates of healthcare costs?
    - attempts to coerce employees into behaviors which reduce potential healthcare costs, Look forward to plenty more drug-testing, and employers who fail to hire smokers, the overweight, diabetics, and all sorts of others who are perceived to have a risk of higher healthcare costs.

    That boot hasn’t dropped yet – but it’s coming. Right now, some millions of Americans who were in the individual health insurance market are finding that ‘if you like your plan, you can keep your plan’ was a bald-faced lie. In the coming months, tens of millions of Americans are going to find that the same is true for them as well. Sure, you can ‘keep’ your plan, but your spouse and kids are going to have to shop the exchanges, and by-the-way, employees whose last names end in ‘R’ pee in the cup on alternate Wednesdays – don’t be late! And if you wonder why all-of-a-sudden you have no female or minority co-workers, well – do the math.

    I don’t know, it’s almost as if they designed it to fail or something. I don’t know, what do you think?

    llater,

    llamas

  • Designed to fail so that they can push single-payer as the solution. It won’t be. It will make things even worse. But they’ll market it as the solution, and probably succeed in selling it to the idiot majority. Almost makes you think that destroying America’s economy has been their goal since FDR, or Lincoln.

  • jdm

    Designed to fail so that they can push single-payer as the solution.

    That’s one of the conspiracies, yes, but it isn’t necessarily true. I would argue that if Obamacare only somewhat sucked, perhaps the single payer solution would be proposed and accepted as a fix. [Un]Fortunately, this Screw-Up is complete and total – and don’t forget to include bad PR in the nasty reactions to those (relatively few) now complaining. I’d propose that the Progressive “brand” as well as their ideas (like “single payer”) will be badly tainted for years to come.

    …of course, I would not be surprised to watch Charlie Brown (the American voters) make yet another pass at that “free healthcare” football if sold by the oh-so honorable “Hillary!”.

  • jdm

    Oh, and by the way, Ms Noonan, as far as I’m aware, still owes us all an apology for helping to foist King Putt on the rest of us.

  • 16 years and counting...

    Obamacare is already having significant unintended consequences. The threshold for employers to have to provide medical cover kicks in for employees who work more than 30 hours a week. So the employment landscape is changing and employers have already moved to part-time work patterns.

  • Laird

    Ms Noonan owes us lots of apologies. I’m certainly no fan. But at least she’s starting to get some things right.

  • Mike James

    I’ll second jdm’s comment. Many columnists saw through the lazy, negligent quota baby back in 2007, and sounded a warning. Not Peggy Noonan. Peggy Noonan is damaged goods.

  • Mr Ed

    @ 16. In the UK under the last Labour Govt, a rash of laws came in permitting employee parents to request part-time working, and providing for income tax ‘credits’ i.e. payments from the State for having a low income, if someone did 16 hours or more a week. The tax credits were assessed at intervals and some employers found that demand for part time work at 16 hours/week shot up, but also that some new staff applied for work for long enough to put in a claim for tax credits and then went awol. A whole new class of semi-working welfare recipients emerged.

    Perhaps the US is going the same way? The next step some form of ‘tax credit’ for the legion of part-timers created by the ACA?

    ‘The isolated intervention leads to socialism’ again?

  • RickC

    Since you used the Anthony Gregory article at the Independent Institute for your QotD, I’m going to go ahead and recommend John Graham’s article on the “Deep State” at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services up today at the same blog. A massive bureaucracy, in reality answerable to no one, and a piece of legislation (ACA) with “. . . over 700 stipulations which contained the term “the Secretary shall”, over 200 cases of “the Secretary may”, and 139 cases of “the Secretary determines.”

    “Of course, it is now clear that Secretary Sebelius did not make any serious determinations. Rather, they have been made by many unidentified career agents of healthcare’s deep state, who spend their days responding to lobbyists’ “concerns” about this rule or that regulation, while drafting thousands of pages of impenetrable regulatory guidance.”

    This is of course not the rule law, but the arbitrary rule of man. No rule of law, no Republic. And it wouldn’t have been any better had Sebilius made each and every decision in the course of bringing the ACA on line.

    http://blog.independent.org/2013/11/04/the-deep-state-in-american-health-care/

  • Bill Reeves

    “A few years back, whenever one of us Brits here had a moan about the state of things in Britain, American commenters would chime in with invitations to us to give up on dear old doomed, doomed Britain, and come and live in the land of the free. There’s been less of that sort of commenting lately.”

    Perhaps America’s problem is that too many of your bloody socialists took the advice while the good-uns stayed home. Libertarians! Rise up and immigrate to save us! (And I guess you should all move to New Hampshire. Sorry about all the snow).

  • Mr Ed

    Here in the UK, there are no ‘death panels’ in our soilised (typo for ‘socialised’ but also accurate) health care, just a death sentence in the form of a note.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-24815825

  • Regional

    God I hope Hilary Clinton wins the 2006 Presidential Election the Left can only be defeated by it’s self. FDR’s Administration would’ve ended in ignominy if not for massive war orders from Europe. This time around the Euros and Mussos had better start to worry.

  • Regional

    That should be 2016 choice of idiots.

  • Alan Peakall

    The suggestion that insurance companies are taking advantage of the chaos as a cover for hiking premiums offers a black-comic echo of the behaviour of the UK’s (largely opposition controlled) local government bodies at the time of the attempt by central government to introduce the Poll Tax.

  • Sam Duncan

    “… and by-the-way, employees whose last names end in ‘R’ pee in the cup on alternate Wednesdays – don’t be late! And if you wonder why all-of-a-sudden you have no female or minority co-workers, well – do the math.”

    The blame for which will fall on the employers themselves, of course, stoking calls for greater regulation. And the ratchet moves on a couple of notches…

  • RogerC

    @ Mr Ed

    Here in the UK, there are no ‘death panels’ in our soilised (typo for ‘socialised’ but also accurate) health care, just a death sentence in the form of a note.

    Exactly. I don’t think we have too much to crow about ourselves, given that we managed to lumber ourselves with the NHS 65 years ago.

    @ Bill Reeves

    Libertarians! Rise up and immigrate to save us! (And I guess you should all move to New Hampshire. Sorry about all the snow).

    It’s unfortunately a lot harder than you think, at least to do it legally.

  • It’s unfortunately a lot harder than you think, at least to do it legally.

    Not if you learn Spanish:-/

  • veryretired

    I’ve wondered for quite a few years whether I might have to leave the US some day when things went too far for me to live here and be safe.

    Costa Rica has some attractions, as does Australia. Not ready yet, but I feel events pushing me a little more each year.

    It is one of the few aspects of my life that causes me a deep, abiding sadness just to think about.

  • Paul Marks

    veryretired – you might want to consider Margate in Queensland, my old friend Jeff tells me it is a nice place to live.

  • llamas

    @ Sam Duncan, who wrote:

    ‘The blame for which will fall on the employers themselves, of course, stoking calls for greater regulation. And the ratchet moves on a couple of notches…”

    Indeed. Note how the Democrats and the White House are already trying to spin all of the failures of Obamacare so far onto ‘greedy insurance companies’.

    They put in place a truly-amazing mass of regulation on the health insurance companies – dictating who they shall cover (everybody), what risks they must cover (all), what limits they may place on coverage amounts (none) and how much they may spend on G&A to make all this happen – and then, when the inevitable consequences (discontinued policies and higher premiums) appear, they turn around and blame ‘greedy insurance companies’ – for doing as the law requires them to do.

    What sad is how many people they can still find who will drink this Kool-Aid.

    I don’t know, it’s almost like they planned for it to fail or something.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    The propaganda against the insurance companies is indeed intense – but (in this case) it is a tissue of lies.

  • Paul Marks

    As for “Libertarians” – if one is talking about PARTY Libertarians (rather than people like Rand Paul and Ron Paul), after what you have just done in Virginia, I would request (strongly request) that you stay well away from me.

    You backed a “Libertarian” who was in favour of higher taxes and more government spying – and (by so doing) helped a criminal be elected Governor of Virginia (thus leading to higher taxes, the Obamacare Medicaid extension, firearm confiscation, and much else) and defeated someone (backed by both Rand Paul and Ron Paul) who wanted lower taxes and less government spending.

    I am not a kindly person – I will not be forgiving you in a hurry.

    Especially those of you connected with “Reason” magazine and CATO – it is time Charles and David Koch got a big broom and swept you out.

    Indeed they should have done that after what you did in 2008 – no I have not forgotten the nice words about Comrade Barack.

  • Paul Marks

    jdm it is not a conspiracy theory.

    Obamacare is designed to bankrupt real private cover and lead (step-by-step) to a single payer (for the vast majority of people).

    I have seen film of conferences where the authors of the Bill (the real authors) BOAST of this.

    Senator Rand Paul sums it up well.

    The end result of the “Affordable Healthcare Act” will be the equivalent of most Americans being on Medicaid.

  • Johnnydub

    llamas – its the same deal in the UK with energy prices.

    Now that the Climate Change Act has had the desired (and predicted) effect of jacking up energy prices, at the politicians orders, those same politicians are leading the mobs with pitchforks after the “greedy” energy companies..

    You couldn’t make this shit up…

  • jdm

    jdm it is not a conspiracy theory.

    My primary problem with this theory, or fact, if you will, is that it presupposes a level of planning and ability that is rarely borne out in real life.

    I’m supposed to believe in chess-masters of the Left. The very ones who usually fail to implement what they set out to do and are constantly surprised by unintended consequences of their actions when they do succeed.

    It may well be that the authors of the bill asserted a plan, but in lieu of an actual list of steps, I’ll insist that they are probably more like Underpants Gnomes.

  • Laird

    Veryretired, I know exactly how you feel. Lately I’ve been looking into Chile. Anyone have any thoughts about it?

  • Paul Marks

    Watch the election returns Laird – watch the election returns (December).

    Al Jazeera is backing the Socialist candidate – who promises to this time change the Pinochet Constitution that limited the harm she could do when last in office.

    This is part of the Red-Green alliance (Socialists and Islamists) that one sees popping up around the world – for example in Sweden or in universities. Although I believe this alliance will break down eventually.

    The Black Flaggers (“anarchists” who oppose private property) are also part of this.

    We live in a target rich environment.