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ACA Agonistes
Yet Another Obamacare Glitch

Has any major piece of federal legislation been this poorly conceived and drafted? The New York Times reports on new Obamacare glitch that will impact the most vulnerable Americans:

Tens of thousands of people with modest incomes are at risk of losing health insurance subsidies in January because they did not file income tax returns, federal officials and consumer advocates say.

Under federal rules, anyone who receives an insurance subsidy must file a tax return to verify that the person was eligible and received the proper amount of financial assistance based on household income. […]

In July, the Internal Revenue Service said 710,000 people who had received subsidies under the Affordable Care Act had not filed tax returns and had not requested more time to do so.

If those people do not return to the marketplace this fall, they may be automatically re-enrolled in the same or similar health plans at full price. And when they receive an invoice from the insurance company next year, they may be shocked to see that their subsidies have been cut to zero.

The Affordable Care Act is looking more like a clown car than an emergency rescue vehicle. While there is definitely some good in the law, and proponents were absolutely right to say that the U.S. health care system was in need of reform, the new system has never really worked—and the more the law is applied and phased in, the worse the problems are getting.

With even Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton now supporting repeal of a key provision (the Cadillac health care plan tax, which is an essential part of the payment mechanism but which threatens labor union bureaucracies), and Obamacare co-ops withering on the vine even as premiums rise and costs escalate, reform of the reform is now inevitable.

The next president and the next congress won’t be so much celebrating a historic legacy as cleaning the stables. Obamacare is not the future of American health care, not so much because of the opposition of its enemies as because of the design flaws imposed on it by its friends.

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  • qet

    Just like everyone says, none of these failures and defects means that the future is one of less government control. Just the opposite, in fact. And that was by design.

    “. . .and proponents were absolutely right to say that the U.S. health care system was in need of reform. . .”

    Conceding this premise in the spirit of “reasonableness” or the like is merely granting the State and the Leftists who dream of smothering the population with it carte blanche to do just that. One does not “reform” a “system” that one does not fully and intricately control. To look for the State to reform something necessitates that it gain control over whichever elements it doesn’t control already. The Left doesn’t need you to agree that Obamacare is the answer; it only needs you to agree that the “system” needs “reform,” and then the Left will take it from there, thank you very much.

    • Jim__L

      Leftists forget the Hippocratic Oath, it stands in the way of activism.

    • Andrew Allison

      With respect, any sentient being who is not part of the heathcare disaster recognizes that it needs reform. The Gordian Knot is the conflation of insurance (which can only be cost-effective by being universal and single-payer), and delivery (which can only be cost-effective if subject to the feedback of competition, i.e. private).

      • qet

        You are saying that health care should be provided in a manner differently from how it is currently provided. That is not the same as saying it needs “reform.” At least not to me. Reform, to me, and to most people on an intuitive level I think, suggests conscious efforts deliberately directed by a finite number of empowered individuals. It means, that is, government regulating the actions of millions of actors throughout the vast sub-economy that constitutes the health care “system.” Health care is second only to climate change as the pretext by which statists seek to impose their vision of a world ordered and directed by the State. I would rather live with the inefficiencies of an unreformed system than empower the government here more than it is already empowered to regulate life by ever-finer measures.

        • Andrew Allison

          No, I am specifically NOT saying that healthcare should be provided in a different form than at present, quite the reverse. What I am saying is that health INSURANCE should be.

          • qet

            OK, I misunderstood. But to your comment about insurance only being cost-effective if universal and single-payer, not only do I not agree with that statement, I also believe that it is impossible to combine such an insurance regime with a market of for-profit private health care service providers, at least if the terms “market,” “for-profit” and “private” are to retain their traditional meanings. A monopoly is a monopoly whether it is owned/controlled/regulated by the State or not. Medicare has been a near-monopoly for a substantial fraction of the population for a half century, and hardly anyone believes it has been cost-effective.

            The plain fact, one that many people will concede if pressed but they then routinely proceed to ignore it (not saying this is true of you), is that health care “insurance” is now a false concept, if it was even ever a true one. Calling it insurance convinces people, because they have a strong need to be convinced, that the source of all problems is the insurance companies.

          • Andrew Allison

            That universal coverage is more cost effective is a matter of underwriting mathematics, and not debatable. Furthermore, several countries (all of which have more cost-effective healthcare delivery than the US) combine universal coverage with private delivery. Switzerland offers an example of universal mandatory private insurance (which could work in the US if the barriers to entry imposed by State regulation were swept aside). France and Germany both have single-payer insurance with private delivery.The cost (percentage of GDP) is lower than in the US for Switzerland and much lower in France and Germany (an argument for single-payer versus mandatory private insurance?).

      • f1b0nacc1

        You suggest that I am not a sentient being? (grin)

        • Andrew Allison

          That depends upon whether or not you think US healthcare is just fine [grin]

          • f1b0nacc1

            This thread is long enough without another one of our trademarked back and forths, isn’t it?

          • Andrew Allison

            But it’s such fun! I mean that in the positive sense that it’s a real pleasure to exchange views with courtesy and a distinction (manifestly lacking in most of the comments to this thread) between opinion and fact.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I agree my friend, and thank you for your graciousness…all too rare a thing these days.

  • Leena Heydar

    Yea. ACA meanwhile fails to fail. Not a single “horror” story of individual victims of ACA stands up to scrutiny.
    Only in FauX “News” bubble is ACA a disaster.

    • Dale Fayda

      Indeed, ha, ha, ha, ha! Obamacare is a roaring success, isn’t it?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/two-more-obamacare-health-insurance-plans-collapse/2015/10/16/cc324fd0-7449-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html

      http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/article/NE/20151024/NEWS/151029827

      Every time liberalism blows up in their faces, progressives pretend it isn’t happening. They persist in their pathology with the obstinacy of the insane, just like the unrepentant Stalinists (killed by Stalin) who went to their deaths effusively praising “Dear Leader”, as millions around them were starved to death.

      Truly, liberalism is a mental disorder.

      • Leena Heydar

        I didn’t say success, roaring or not. But it’s success in the sense that it’s failing to fail. 16 million people got insurance and would be more if the idiot governors of red states let medicare expansion.
        There is a reason GOP leaders have stopped talking about repeal of ACA. They know it’s here to stay. Same with same sex marriage. Welcome to reality.

        • Gene

          Oh, so you’re part of the reality based community then? Perhaps you can convince your fellow Democrats (I’ll assume that’s what you are) to believe in math again, then I’ll take them seriously.

        • Dale Fayda

          Well, if it’s not a success, then what is it? “Failing to fail”? Really?

          This article is on one of a MYRIAD of Obamacare failure, big and small and I posted links to a couple of the most recent ones.

          Every single selling point of Obamacare was a lie. Every. Single. One. You know it, we know it, Jonathan Gruber knows it and Obama knows it. But then again, this abortion of a law was never about healthcare, was it?

          GOP leaders didn’t stop talking about repealing Obungocare. The House just voted again to repeal it and every single GOP presidential candidate has made it a part of their platform.

          None of it is working – it would take pages to list all the systemic bugs in it; parts of it which have been repealed and other parts that will be repealed soon, the enrollment figures are way below projections, coops are failing at the rate of two per months now, the “risk corridors” for the insurance companies are about to be taken away, Medicaid expansion is already blowing up the budgets of the states foolish enough to buy into this idiocy and on and on and on. Oh, and parts of it haven’t even been implemented yet.

          The death spiral has begun. That’s reality. Welcome to it.

        • CosmotKat

          “16 million people got insurance and would be more if the idiot governors of red states let medicare expansion. ”

          You are using the typical progressive two-faced political argument. Start with a falsehood (16M got insurance) then blame someone else for the failure (red state governors). Could you be anymore intellectually dishonest and obtuse? The answer is, probably.

          “This month the Health and Human Services Department dramatically discounted its internal estimate of how many people will join the state insurance exchanges in 2016. There are about 9.1 million enrollees today, and the consensus estimate—by the Congressional Budget Office, the Medicare actuary and independent analysts like Rand Corp.—was that participation would surge to some 20 million. But HHS now expects enrollment to grow to between merely 9.4 million and 11.4 million.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-decline-of-obamacare-1445807092?hubRefSrc=email&utm_source=lfemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=lfnotification&alg=y#lf_comment=403938510

          • Leena Heydar

            stay in the alternate universe if FauX “News” or other gargoyle Murdock mouth pieces. GOP can’t even accept the fact of evolution, big bang, so asking for economics or social science is a bridge too far.

          • Dale Fayda

            Are you really this self-deluded or are you just stubbornly unwilling to concede the debacle that is Obamacare? CosmoKat cited statistics from Obungo’s own Health & Human Services Dept. and you come back with a pathetic “Faux News” trope? Earlier, I posted links from Washington Post and Santa Cruz Sentinel, both liberal publications, both describing the most recent failures of Obamacare in detail. is it all just a very elaborate right-wing ruse?

            Verily, the progressive mind is a sick and twisted thing…

          • Leena Heydar

            ACA is a flawed piece of legislation but it is also a fact of life. Get used to it. GOP could help improve it and thereby improve the lives of ordinary americans. No. They rather spend time cutting taxes for the plutocrats.

          • CosmotKat

            Ad hominem attacks do not make a convincing argument. You make the progressive two-faced political argument and not very well. How about trying honesty and facts, I did.

        • Jim__L

          Pump enough volts into a dead frog and it will jump.

          Pump enough taxpayer money into a dead program and it will blunder along.

          What happens when you run out of other people’s money?

          • Leena Heydar

            Country with its own currency can’t run out money. Dollar, if anything, still too strong to detriment of export business. Interest rates are effectively negative but people all over the world still tripping over each other to lend us money. Inflation is 2% and in fact there is real danger of deflation, a curse much worse than inflation. US economy is recovering much better than the rest of world. It would’ve recovered faster if we didn’t have these t-party idiots.
            Sky is not falling but Deficit is falling and falling fast.
            In spite of what you have heard on Faux “News”, That’s the reality!
            In the meanwhile FauX “News” Bubble: Inflation is coming!Inflation is coming!…any day now..it’s already here. “They” are hiding it.
            OMG..Ebola..end of the world….
            WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!!! reports General O’Reilly and Col. Hannity..
            ————-
            —Happy Benghazi to you sir.

          • Dale Fayda

            Social Democracy is collapsing all over the world – locally (Detroit, Chicago), regionally (Puerto Rico, Illinois) and nationally (Venezuela, Greece), yet liberals maniacally insist that if we just spend a lot more money, utopia is just around the corner. $20 TRILLION is external debt by the time Obama leaves office – the service on the debt alone is about to become the 4th largest expenditure of the Federal budget. Hundreds of TRILLIONS in unfunded federal liabilities.

            Most of the economic growth for the past 6 – 7 years has been in the Red states, with alone Texas doubling the number of jobs created in the entire country. The populations continues to shift to Red and Purple states, away from the rotting Blue stats, like NY, Illinois and Vermont. The “brown energy” revolution brought about by fracking has kept the economy going under the inept rule of Obama. Have you seen the Congressional map lately? Damn, is it Red! Governorships, state legislatures – most GOP control since… ever. Most are doing good work in counteracting the damage the Democrat party is doing to this country. You’re welcome!

            As I pointed out above, you CAN run out of other people’s money – Obamacare coops are now failing at the rate of (2) per month, just a couple of years after being established and with hundreds of billions of Federal subsidies.

            Try to stick to the subject of the article – your deflection is very transparent to see. Every one of Obamacare’s selling points has been shown by reality to be a lie. Every one of them. THAT’S REALITY! Smell the magic….

        • Dale Fayda

          Here yet ANOTHER piece of reality for you: http://news.yahoo.com/ninth-cooperative-formed-under-affordable-care-act-closing-214059601.html.

          “It’s working! Forward!” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha….!

    • CosmotKat

      Nice try Leena. Try the world outside your progressive bubble. The horror stories keep mounting up. Progressives have such contempt for the truth and the American people.

      • Leena Heydar

        none of those horror stories stand up to scrutiny. Every single story in political ads turned out to be false.

        • Jim__L

          Did you check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel or Washington Post stories? Or can you provide some evidence that Rupert Murdoch has bought them?

        • CosmotKat

          I’ve seen the same ads and heard the same unconvincing rhetoric from Rubes like you who will believe anything as long as it reinforces your bias. Here’s a loyal supporter who is unhappy because he was negatively impacted and what will he do? Why they will reduce the hours they work to qualify for a subsidy and then complain. the typical progressive….look for someone else to pay!http://www.propublica.org/article/loyal-obama-supporters-canceled-by-obamacare
          This is the experience of millions and many of them left or right are unhappy. The true believers will try to rationalize and the others will vote in 2016 to get rid of this pig.

    • Dale Fayda

      Oh, and just because I feel like piling on: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/us/politics/thousands-who-didnt-file-tax-returns-may-lose-health-care-subsidies.html

      This is from that “Murdoch – controlled right-wing rag”, the New York Times.

      “Winning…!” Sorry, can’t help myself. Sometimes, real events come together just perfectly to kick liberals in the face.

    • Dale Fayda

      Boy, reality just keeps kicking you libs in the labanza, doesn’t it? Here’s another piece of it for your enjoyment: https://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2015/11/03/More-than-half-of-health-law-s-insurance-co-ops-are-closing.html

  • graywolf

    Either it was designed – by very devious people – to fail and force the country into universal rationed “care” OR it was designed by the usual complement of arrogant 25 year old staffers and their lobbyist future employers.

    • Andrew Allison

      Nope, it was designed by the hospital and pharma industries, witness the fact that the shares of both have rocketed since passage. One can only speculate as to why the Democratic party voted unanimously for this crock, but follow the money seems like a good place to start. History will not be kind to those who voted for this disgraceful piece of legislation.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Conservatives/libertarians who do not like the ACA should get used to the idea of something nearer single payer. Nothing else is going to work and nothing else is going to be adopted.

    • Dale Fayda

      The death spiral has begun. It’s fun to watch it crash and burn.

      • FriendlyGoat

        As always, you 1) have a sick idea of what is “fun”, and 2) are separated from the actual reality of what is going on.

        • Dale Fayda

          Well, let me hip you to what my idea of “fun” is, man.

          I hope for Obamacare to crash and burn so hard and to cause so much pain that it discredits progressivism for decades. So far, it has not disappointed. Have you seen the latest congressional map? Holy hell, is it “red”! But I know the “best” of Obungocare is yet to come 🙂

          As someone whose family ran WAY from socialism, I enjoyed watching it flail and then collapse under the weight of its own depravity and viciousness and I fervently hope for the same for Obamacare and for liberalism in general.

          And that, boys and girls, is what “fun” means to me.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I see your tone as the “fun” of telling half of America to “eat cake”. You have your own idea of how your “Obungo” shtick satiates your ego, It shows differently to other people outside your right-wing orbit of back-slappers and hangers-on.

          • Dale Fayda

            Hey, don’t hate the messenger – hate the message. Political and economic reality is a damn stubborn thing, isn’t it? I’m sure you realize that it makes absolutely NO difference how I phrase it – the facts on the ground are what they are and the historical record is what it is.

            I stand by everything I’ve ever posted here, including my “schtick”. Democrats and Democrats alone are responsible for this piece of excrement of a legislation and you all deserve every single epithet with which I could ever come up.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Dale, I don’t “hate” you. I don’t even “hate” conservatives as a group, even the wildest of them. But we have different views of cause and effect. Nearly EVERYONE in this country is frustrated about something and this accounts for the attention being paid to both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. I’m merely nearer in agreement with Bernie than with Donald. Right now, I’m just celebrating that we have knocked out the “messages” of actors we call Jeb, Scott, Chris, Ted, Marco, Carly, Mike, two Ricks, Lindsey and others.

          • Jim__L

            What do you make of Ben Carson, then?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Ben Carson is captivating the church faction of Republicans who cannot bring themselves to really “follow” Mr Trump—-as far as I can tell. Many church people want to be GOP—-beats me as to why, except for some of them believing that abortion and anti-gay are the two biggest issues of our times. So they like Ben better than Donald because of his quiet demeanor and references to religion

            As for Dr. Carson, none of us liberals can knock him on his obvious brilliance and dedication to do what he did in surgery. But we CAN and do knock him for likening Obamacare to slavery—-given that he is a black man and SHOULD know something about real slavery.
            And the “tithe tax” talk—-it’s BEYOND unrealistic.

            But, I like the quick distillation of this campaign on the right. Now we have Donald unrealistic one way and Ben another. Meanwhile, my side is running flawed Hillary and wild-haired Bernie.

            I have no idea what is going to happen, but we’re going to have better debate for a year. The days of just talking about the flag, and “freedom” and “small government” and other code words are fading out with more demand for more substantive talk—-I hope.

          • Jim__L

            ObamaCare is slavery, by Abraham Lincoln’s definition… “It is the same spirit that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” Same with the rest of the Welfare State.

            Most “church people” go GOP for two reasons. One, Democrats seem to want the state to be the be-all and end-all of social relations in this country. Big Government means small civil society — time, resources, and problem-solving initiative are sucked away to Washington instead of being exercised locally. This is why Obama’s “nation building at home” is a failure from the beginning — to nation-build, you need to build up civil society, which as I said Big Government actively opposes.

            (As an aside, the USG could get by fairly easily fulfilling its constitutional obligations, on just 10% of America’s income. It’s far from “unrealistic”. You’d have all the other programs adopted within state and municipal jurisdiction, which is a blessing, not a curse.)

            Two, Democrats have been forcing their secular values on everyone in the country by any means necessary. They are putting together an Established Church, which despite its “secular” label, functions to oppress conscience in exactly the ways the Founders sought to prevent in this country. “Church people” don’t like that, and if the reasons for that aren’t obvious, I’m afraid you’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

            (Another aside — If you believed institutionalized baby-murder was happening in this country, wouldn’t you put some priority on stopping it, especially if you believed your tax dollars were going to implement it?)

          • FriendlyGoat

            Jim, you might imagine that I am an atheist, or a Marxist, or someone who makes fun of religion. I can assure you that is not the case. I have been one of those “church people” of whom I speak and I love and depend on Jesus as much as any of the people who are in churches now. The reasons I do not identify with those conservatives from churches who embrace Republicanism are the same reasons you may have heard that there are conservative Catholics who don’t much like Pope Francis.

            I REALLY like Francis, who is also against abortion and wishes for fewer of them. But Francis “gets it” about the wealth divide in the world, “gets it” that some people are gay even while holding the Catholic Church’s official doctrine, “gets it” about climate change and all of earth’s environment, “gets it” that Jesus is not about endless tax cuts for the richest people in the world because opposition to abortion is a useful political wedge.

            I have come to realize that official Republicanism is ALWAYS about tax cuts, union-busting and little else in the minds of the big donors who give big money to Republicanism.

            As for abortion, anything we can do in society to persuade men and boys to impregnate fewer women outside of marriage—-SHORT OF MEN TELLING WOMEN THEY CANNOT CHOOSE WHETHER THEY WILL OR WILL NOT BE MOTHERS—I’m for it.
            In many ways, I would be on the same side as you about “culture war” issues. It’s just that I believe the “culture war” must be fought against the corporations which are busy “smutting up” our society, not fought against pregnant women or same-sex couples who wish to be married.

          • Jim__L

            I can’t help but wonder if there’s an “anti-Big” constituency in this country — against Big Government and Big Business — which would help fight oppression from both sides.

            Sadly, its current champion is, of all people, Donald Trump — who probably sees Big Government and (other people’s) Big Business as a threat to the potential growth of his own colossal ego. The risk is, as ever, that the population will turn to a dictator to challenge the power of the oligarchs. Obama was one such tribune, Trump is another. Different tribes, of course.

            The question is, as ever — how do you move power back to the majority at the Gaussian middle, when (as in 1984) the High is busy firing up the Low to glorify themselves? How do you separate the economic dimension of needs / desires (Leftist: “Vote Republican and you’re voting against your own interests!”) from the non-economic dimension of needs / desires (Conservative: “Vote leftist and you’re betraying family, God, country, and everything else that’s more important than money”?)

            As for smut, currently the Left is in favor of giving it free rein as a way to convince hormone-crazed college students that Leftism is cool and all about “freedom”. “Here are sex and drugs, now do as we say” — just like the Old Man in the Mountain, centuries ago. Then the college students go to fill all the midsize and larger roles in the Big organizations, where their thoughts are the only ones that matter, and the majority can just fall in line… and the Old Man of the Mountain laughs.

          • FriendlyGoat

            So, Donald Trump has surprised not only the Left—-but has surprised the Right with respect to how many people will follow him (so far.) We may have to realize that The Apprentice fame actually “means something” on attraction via name recognition.

            As for smut, I do know there are some on the Left who have always been for “anything goes”. I’m not one of them. I started college in a conservative state college two weeks after Woodstock. But I not only did not attend Woodstock, I would have been as out place there as a nerd in a frat party. Nonetheless, I go politically Left for the sake of the lower and lower-middle classes in this country and all countries.
            After a few decades in accounting, I know that high-end tax cuts DO NOT “create jobs” (that is jobs which actually support families), so until the GOP folks abandon that false (in my view) claim, I will never be voting with them.

          • Jim__L

            So… too committed to Big Government to consider any efforts against it?

          • FriendlyGoat

            I would be interested in hearing about ways that government can expand the rights, opportunities and earnings of individuals over those of incorporated entities, if possible. It seems that both government and corporate realities (such as credit scores, employment at will, consolidation of industries into fewer and fewer power players such as in the airline industry, etc,) increasingly rule our lives.

        • Dale Fayda

          Here’s another piece of “actual reality” for you: http://www.wsj.com/articles/premiums-for-health-insurance-bought-on-exchanges-to-climb-in-2016-1445897959

          When material works, it just works… Am I having fun? Immensely!!!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Wow. When I saw your link, I thought you were going to “broadside” me with something significant. That health insurance premiums go up in single digits or more each year is something which has been going on for 40 years. That insurance plan “competition”, the only recommendation of conservatives, does not prevent price increases is not news either.

          • Dale Fayda

            Not gruesome enough to warrant your attention, ha? Well, I tried. OK, you’re right – it’s “working”.

            “Single digits…?” Not quite accurate, FG. Let’s take Oregon, an early and eager cheerleader for ObamaCare, a deep Blue state with an exchange that failed so gloriously and comprehensively that it couldn’t register a single customer, even at the cost of several hundred million dollars, shall we?

            This is from a WSJ article on July, 2015:

            “The Oregon insurance commissioner, Laura N. Cali, has just approved 2016 rate increases for companies that cover more than 220,000 people. Moda Health Plan, which has the largest enrollment in the state, received a 25 percent increase, and the second-largest plan, LifeWise, received a 33 percent increase.
            Jesse Ellis O’Brien, a health advocate at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, said: “Rate increases will be bigger in 2016 than they have been for years and years and will have a profound effect on consumers here. Some may start wondering if insurance is affordable or if it’s worth the money.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            We can all wonder if insurance is “affordable” and we have all been wondering that since the 1980’s.

            None of us can wonder if insurance is “worth the money” except for those who can say to themselves—-“yeah, I can probably absorb a five or six-digit medical episode “hit” and still be okay.” That isn’t “most” people.

          • Dale Fayda

            And yet ANOTHER piece of reality for you to ponder: https://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2015/11/03/More-than-half-of-health-law-s-insurance-co-ops-are-closing.html

            Still think “it’s working”? What am I saying – of course, you do! Ha, ha, ha, ha….!

    • PapayaSF

      For a century we’ve been slowly strangling the last bits of the free market in medicine. Now, after a further pummeling by Obamacare, we are told that more of the same will fix things. Why not, for a change, and try adding freedom instead of subtracting it? “Single-payer” doesn’t work well for food, or housing, or clothing, or manufacturing, or pretty much anything. Medicine is really no different, despite claims to the contrary.

      • FriendlyGoat

        People can and do survive on all kinds of levels of food, housing and clothing, and most of the differences between rich American people and poor American people in those things are purely discretionary. Health care differs in four ways. Sometimes it’s life or death. Almost always, people feel a moral and love obligation to “take good care of” loved ones. People do not and cannot know the best treatments, so the door to fraud against people is always WIDE open. The USA economy is, in many ways, stagnated, SO, as a result, more and more of our “business” is drifting toward health care as about a fifth of the whole economy. All of those are reasons why citizens MUST rely on governments to write and enforce rules all over the whole spectrum from what “Medicine” exceeds snake oil to how it will be financed.

        • PapayaSF

          True, sometimes it’s life or death, but right there you’ve conceded a big chunk of the argument, because Obamacare covers many things that are not life or death, like birth control.

          Moral obligations are fine, but that doesn’t mean we need a federal system to pay for all of them.

          Fraud is a separate matter, and the huge waste to fraud in Medicare and Medicaid (an amount larger than all health insurance industry profits) shows that the government isn’t good at dealing with it. As for fraud against people, that’s a complex issue, but suffice to say that our current system is imperfect and comes with a huge cost in money and suffering and even lives.

          Finally, one reason health care is a fifth of the economy is because government laws and regulations have made it vastly more expensive than it needs to be… and you are now using that expense as an excuse for more government!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, we won’t end up agreeing on the principles. I hope maybe I just mentioned here why health care is not like clothing. As for the costs, I’d rather government was defrauded than having people defrauded.
            OF COURSE, we’d prefer less fraud at all. We do have to consider that even the money government “wastes” on health care is coming to the economy as government stimulus. I know there are some absolute crooks we should not be funding, but even they spend money in the “multiplier” effect and much of the “fraud” money is going to otherwise-legitimate doctors and hospitals as mere over-utilization or over-billing anyway.

          • bluegrandma52

            “I’d rather government was defrauded than having people defrauded.” Really?!!!??? Where do you think the money the government so poorly manages comes from? Unicorn dust? Trees? The fraud foisted on the government is stealing the peoples’ money. No government ever produced a single penny; everything comes from the taxpayers. So you’re OK with stealing once removed from the source, kind of like taking honey from the bear that stole it from the bees. Health care needs some oversight, so there are checks on bad doctors and punishments for actual malpractice (that should be a state mandate, not a federal one). But health care payment should be a free market product, subject to competition, so that prices are kept within reasonable limits.

          • FriendlyGoat

            One thing I have learned in my life. “States” are more susceptible to being “captured and flipped upside down” than the federal government ever is. I do not trust “states” to regulate anything on behalf of actual people. Most of them are either inept or mercurial or both.

            What you hear for instance about “selling health insurance across state lines” for supposed “competition” is actually nothing but the corporate hope to allow insurers AND EMPLOYERS to move their plans to lightly-regulated red states where the policies can cover less and less.
            We should have learned this decades ago when credit card operations concentrated into a few states with fewer laws concerning interest-rate caps and lending practices. The calls for “competition” from the right always amount to the same thing:
            Find or capture a state where corporations can get away with murder and sell the products from THERE.

      • Andrew Allison

        Single-payer insurance does NOT imply single provider healthcare. See. e.g. Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, etc.

    • CosmotKat

      With increasing regularity we get reports from around the so-called civilized world (that leftists like you tell us we should emulate) that universal health care under single payer is a disaster for the consumer and for the governments increasingly gouging their citizens to pay for it.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Conservatives imagine they can spin and spin and spin until citizens become sooooo stupid they will settle for complete deregulation of health care and insurance. But real people are not nearly as stupid as conservatives want to assume.

        • CosmotKat

          What you call spin the intellectually honest call facts. Those facts state that Obamacare is not just failing, but that it’s an abject failure. Smearing others as the basis of your argument is juvenile, unintelligent and a typical progressive two-faced political argument.

          • FriendlyGoat

            My original point was that I believe the health care road in the future is more governmental control, not less. It can be easily argued that much of the problem with Obamacare is that we tried to preserve a role for insurers of the past and we tried to hold onto the employer group model—-both of which are highly questionable for any kind of real efficiency or real social progress.

          • CosmotKat

            “My original point was that I believe the health care road in the future is more governmental control, not less.”

            Why? That’s the least efficient and least cost effective way to provide health care and to keep our leadership in medical advancements.

            “It can be easily argued that much of the problem with Obamacare is that we tried to preserve a role for insurers of the past and we tried to hold onto the employer group model”
            That might be the argument of those who favor true socialist health care like single payer, but that is not what’s fundamentally wrong with Obamacare. It was written to be highly redistributive with built in inefficiencies that does not enhance the consumer experience and is way too costly for all but a few. The problem with Obamacare is the politics on the part of Democrats. They deceived the American people.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’ll stand by my original statements. Your average person—-not the poorest, not the least-educated—–AVERAGE person, knows how important health insurance is, knows how much risk a person bears if “on one’s own”—-and is NOT going to fall in with the de-regulators. You guys think that is going to happen and I’m quite sure that it isn’t.

            The next time around, when repeal and replace is discussed, you are going to see voters demanding the details up front. Your problem is that there has never been and will never be a Republican plan that passes the smell test with details in public.

          • CosmotKat

            Your average person had insurance you fool. These are the hard working people of America the democrats hosed. The insurance they have now is more expensive and less satisfying. That’s not me talking that’s the country talking and the pols who ask get that answer.
            Because you are the sort of non-thinking person who lives in a bubble kept afloat by confirmation bias you have no clue what you are talking about. Multiple plans and variations of these alternate plans have been vetted and deemed significantly better, more cost effective and offer the consumer more choice for less cost and better results. I have no problem, the GOP has no problem, but Obamacare and the Democrats have big problems. Yes, voters will demand a program that gives them more control over their own health with less government intervention, at a better price with more options. They will prefer what the party of Classical Liberal principles will have to offer and that program resides with the Republicans, the party of Classical Liberal principles, a respect for the truth and the American people. Which is something Democrats have lacked for 50 years.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Good grief. And you think I—–I—–have “confirmation bias”. I’ve been in self-employment. I am not a “fool” for noticing that it was very hard to buy one’s own insurance and that for one’s family with pre-existing conditions in the picture.

            You, presumably, are one of the nincompoops who think that “selling health insurance across state lines”—–the ONLY actual Republican plan ever——will solve it all. You, being a far-right nincompoop, do not know that is about NOTHING but insurers moving to the least-regulated GOP state to write bare-bones policies then shoved down the throats of people in 49 other states with all employers in the country falling over each other to convert their group plans to the rules of the worst 50th state as well. It happened with credit card issuers and it will happen with health insurance EXCEPT for your loyal liberals of the USA saying “no way in hell’.

          • CosmotKat

            Nice rant, clown and you are a fool. You presume like all brain dead leftists, who think their particular fantasy ideology is the only POV one can have. Sorry, chump, but your presumptions are not only ignorant, but demonstrate you are completely uninformed.
            I am a small business owner and I know the difficulty of buying my own insurance and for my employees and the additional cost it adds to my bottom line that prevents me from adding the much needed help to grow my business. This health care law made it more expensive and is a disaster. Period. Real reform, not Progressive fantasy ideology and political self-interest, will provide for the needs of Americans. Because of your innate hate for any opposing view and the bubble in which your fantasy ideology exists prevents you from understanding there are better plans in circulation. Obamacare provided little in the way of reform, and stuck the American people with higher costs, fewer options, and created an environment of confusion that has lead to stagnation in the economy. That’s not opinion, those are facts.

          • FriendlyGoat

            And that is BECAUSE, as I said in the first place, we tried to keep a place for insurance companies and keep the employer-group model. You cannot be a thoughtful small-business owner and not wish that both you AND your employees had decent health care that your particular business could happily have nothing to do with.
            That’s why we will be moving more and more toward governmental solutions.

    • Jim__L

      That’s rather narrowminded and dogmatic of you, isn’t it?

      • FriendlyGoat

        It’s just an opinion on the direction I believe we will go.

  • Proud Skeptic

    I’m not sure the word “glitch” applies here. If you think about the way these subsidies are policed then what they are doing makes perfect sense. When you first sign up, you estimate your income and are given a commensurate subsidy. then, at the end of the tax year, you have to file a tax return so that your actual income (and therefore your subsidy) can be confirmed. Without this requirement, then people could just make up whatever they want as an income in order to get the biggest possible subsidy.
    So, this is really a story about a system which was designed to keep people honest in their use of government (other people’s) money. And it is catching people not following the rules.
    Quite frankly, I’m shocked that this was built into the system…makes too much sense.

    • CosmotKat

      Strange way to put a positive spin on what has been and will continue to be poorly designed law that hurts everyone, but the political elite and their friends. The higher costs borne by so many to help so few is one of the biggest con jobs perpetrated on the American people since LBJ’s Great Society fiasco.

      • Proud Skeptic

        Oh…it’s a disaster alright. This week there were three important stories about this mess. This one. The story about how the Republicans blocked the risk corridor bail out through the legislative process. And the fact that as of right now, one half of the Obamacare co-ops have failed or are likely too.
        Good week for those of use who would like this thing to just fail and get it over with!

        • CosmotKat

          I read them all and agree. I find it amazing how the devotees of this horrible law continue to paint it as a success. It’s not and it’s hindering positive economic growth, it’s reducing the disposal income of those paying much higher costs (these are the very people who are needed to drive the economic engine from the demand side), and the people who it is supposed to help, reject it as too expensive. The cost/benefit analysis is severely negative and the unintended consequences are significant yet they cannot grasp the failure because it’s not about reform, it’s about control and power. Those are the not so hidden costs that make this such a failure.

      • Andrew Allison

        Don’t confuse the fact that they did get something (checking the incomes) with the overall disaster that is ACA.

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