Bill Clinton calls Obamacare ‘crazy system,’ just as people who understand basic economics said since 2010

bill_clinton-abc-screenshot

A really weird thing happened in Flint, Michigan on Monday: Bill Clinton criticized The [not so] Affordable Act just as Republicans have since 2010.

This blog said years ago that anyone who understood basic economics could predict exactly what would happen with the passage of Obamacare — and now the former president is on the campaign trail for his wife sounding like your friendly neighborhood blogger.

Here is what he said:

You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.”

I worked for three different organizations since The [not so] Affordable Care Act was signed into law, and the cost of insurance plans spiked at all of them. Early on, I was trying to live inside the Beltway on less than $40,000 a year while trying to pay off students loans from USC and American University. (Try making that work with a morning commute into the city while paying rent.)

“The people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies,” Mr. Clinton added at one point.

Indeed! I and millions of other hard-working Americans knew the feeling all too well. And, yes Mr. Clinton, I was working well over 60 hours per week at the time.

The funny thing is, the next step will be to call for a total takeover of the health care system by the federal government. Republicans claimed that Obamacare was a Trojan Horse for socialized health care, and they were called conspiracy theorists. But that is exactly what is happening.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 13:

It looks like 2017 will be ObamaCare’s worst year yet. The three major insurers, along with many smaller plans, are largely exiting the health-insurance exchanges, leaving more than half of U.S. counties with only one or two health-plan choices, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Nearly 36% of ObamaCare regions may have only one participating insurance carrier offering plans for 2017, according to health-care analytics firm Avalere Health. Data from analysts at Barclays and Credit Suisse project that health-insurance premiums are expected to rise at least 24% in 2017.

To rescue President Obama’s health-care law, Hillary Clinton has proposed resurrecting the “public option.” This failed idea—a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers—can’t save ObamaCare. But introducing it across the country would move the U.S. much closer to the single-payer system progressives have always longed for. …

In 2011 Vermont tried to use this waiver process to introduce a public option, only to abandon it three years later when it became clear that the scheme would yield skyrocketing taxes on small businesses.

If you think health care is expensive now, then just wait until it’s “free.” And if you don’t think that will happen, then simply take a step into the the Douglas Ernst Blog Time Machine and consider the following: There will always be men like Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber on call for the next Democrat president.

Mr. Gruber told an audience at the University of Pennsylvania in November 2014:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — it made explicit the healthy pay in and the and sick people get money — it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Yep. That actually happened — and it’s only a matter of time before the next “Gruber” gives it a shot with socialized health care.

Democrats like Jonathan Gruber need people to be stupid to get signature pieces of legislation passed. They want people to be stupid. Consider that as you walk into the voting booth in November, and then again when your Democrat neighbor bashes charter schools.

Related:

‘Hope and Change’ sticker shock hits America: ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it’

Harvard professors who championed Obamacare now livid over rising health care costs

Harry Reid acts as if the Internet doesn’t exist: ‘All’ Obamacare horror stories are untrue

Listen to Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber and then think about Obama’s call for Net Neutrality

Michael Moore: Obamacare is ‘awful’ — but more of it will be awesome

Michael Moore

Michael Moore once called Obamacare a “huge locomotive.” Now he has taken to the New York Times to admit that it’s a huge train wreck.

“TODAY marks the beginning of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance exchanges, for which two million Americans have signed up. Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful….

I believe Obamacare’s rocky start — clueless planning, a lousy website, insurance companies raising rates, and the president’s telling people they could keep their coverage when, in fact, not all could — is a result of one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go. When right-wing critics “expose” the fact that President Obama endorsed a single-payer system before 2004, they’re actually telling the truth. …

For many people, the “affordable” part of the Affordable Care Act risks being a cruel joke. The cheapest plan available to a 60-year-old couple making $65,000 a year in Hartford, Conn., will cost $11,800 in annual premiums. And their deductible will be $12,600. If both become seriously ill, they might have to pay almost $25,000 in a single year. (Pre-Obamacare, they could have bought insurance that was cheaper but much worse, potentially with unlimited out-of-pocket costs.)” — Michael Moore

Note to Michael Moore: Millions of couples are finding out that, prior to Obamacare, they could have purchased cheaper and superior insurance with not “potentially” lower out-of-pocket costs — but actual out-of-pocket savings.

Mr. Moore looks at the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (e.g., rising insurance rates), including millions of upset Americans, and he blames “health insurance chief executives like Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group, who made nearly $102 million in 2009” — when he knows that paying every top executive in the insurance industry zero dollars would not have a tangible effect on the cost of health care in the United States.

Mr. Moore faults Obamacare sticker shock to “companies like Novartis, which charges leukemia patients $90,000 annually for the drug Gleevec,” — as if life-saving drugs come from magical medical fairies before pharmaceutical companies arbitrarily assign high prices on sick people. Never mind the fact that billions of dollars are spent on research and development on drugs that never even make it to the market, and that companies need to recoup those costs in addition to those that do (often after waiting years for FDA approval).

Is the filmmaker completely ignorant of basic economics, or is he a political hack? For the answer, we must look to Michael Moore, circa 2011:

Moore says the only “things you maybe have to wait for” are a knee replacement surgery or cataracts.

“Things that are not life-threatening,” Moore said on HBO’s “Real Time” with host Bill Maher. “The reason why you have to wait sometimes in those countries is they let everybody in the line. We make 50 million people out of the line so the line is shorter, so sometimes you have to wait as long. If you are a patriotic American, you want every American to be covered the same as you.

As it turns out, Mr. Moore is simply a political hack. He is astutely aware of basic economics, even if he bizarrely tries to make the claim that making health care “free” for everyone only causes long lines for things like “knee replacement surgery or cataracts.” That would be like saying that price controls in Venezuela only have caused shortages of tomato paste and grape jelly instead of basic necessities like bread, eggs, milk and toilet paper. 

As a patriotic American, I do not want my fellow Americans to have my coverage because I want them to have the coverage that is right for their lives and their specific needs.  Look at the two industries the federal government is most immersed in – education and health care — and then ask yourself which two industries have the most out of control costs associated with them over the past few decades. Ask yourself if there could be a correlation between government control and insane cost curves.

Most astonishingly is Michael Moore’s biggest beef with Obamacare: it wasn’t a complete takeover of the health care industry.

America is currently $17 trillion in debt and his master plan is for the federal government to give “free” health care to all. Nation states with a population smaller than Texas can’t even manage universal health care systems, and yet he wants all 400 million Americans to have their health care needs placed in the hands of 535 members of Congress. That is a loser of an idea, which is why president Obama had to keep his true desire in his heart.

Ronald Reagan said it well over 50 years ago:

“Back in 1927 an American Socialist, Norman Thomas, a six-time candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism, but under the name of Liberalism the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program.” — Ronald Reagan

Whose vision for America do I trust: Michael Moore’s or Ronald Reagan’s? Put me down with the guy Americans re-elected in a 49-state landslide victory.

Related: Michael Moore Talks Obamacare, Ignores Jowl Replacement Surgery

Related: Michael Moore: Let’s stand in front of the Obamacare ‘locomotive’ and see what happens

‘Hope and Change’ sticker shock hits America: ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it’

As the sticker shock for Obamacare hits the hordes of people who voted for the president, it is hard to contain the schadenfreude. One way to rein in those feelings and get some perspective is to realize that all Americans will eventually feel the pain of the Affordable Care Act (soon to be referred to as the Not-so Affordable Care Act).

The Los Angeles Times swallows its pride and reports:

Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don’t like what they see. …

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.” …

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'” Kehaly said.

Nearly 2 million Californians have individual insurance, and several hundred thousand of them are losing their health plans in a matter of weeks.

If the vast majority of Americans had health insurance years ago — and they were happy with it — why did the federal government have to ostensibly take over 1/6 of the U.S. economy and reinvent the health care wheel? Answer: it didn’t.

Years ago I didn’t have health insurance through my employer and had to buy it on my own. Why couldn’t the tax code be reformed so individuals who have to pay out of pocket get the same sort of tax relief that employees getting health care through their workplace receive? Why couldn’t health care be reformed so that people who leave a job aren’t automatically dumped from their coverage? If health insurance isn’t portable, why didn’t Congress hone in on that?

Instead of breaking down the health care conundrum down into smaller manageable pieces, Congress created a monster bill that was so vague it required Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to defend it as follows: “[W]e have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

So Nancy Pelosi didn’t know what was in the bill, and her constituents were like the woman who recently wrote to Anthem Blue Cross in California: “I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it.”

Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

[M]any are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.

“All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it,” said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. “I’m infuriated because I was lied to.”

Yes, you were lied to. How does it feel?

To recap:

  • Congress passed a bill that turned over vasts amounts of power to the federal government.
  • Its members were ignorant of the specifics.
  • Voters were led to believe someone else would pay for it.
  • Voters were told  that they could keep their policies if they liked them.
  • Voters are now finding out that they are paying for it and that the policies they’re happy with are not safe at all.
  • Voters are now being told that the individuals who predicted all of this from day one are “extremists” who should not be listened to.

Feeling sick to your stomach, California? Good. You should. I suggest taking Economics 101 and then doing something about it.

Related: Obamacare website like ‘Sloth’ death from Brad Pitt’s ‘Seven’ — and no one gets fired

Watch out, fitness buffs: ‘Social Justice’ may mean you pay more for health insurance

The Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare) was passed in the U.S. Senate in middle of the night in just before Christmas, December, 2009. It was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. And yet, health care costs continue to rise — despite the best efforts of the masterminds in Washington, D.C.

Given the complexity of the issue, it’s no shocker that different groups are singled out as “bad” guys and “villains” who need to be brought to justice. However, I was a bit surprised when the folks at open-access medical journal PLOS opened the door for the “social justice” crowd to demonize Americans who exercise daily.

Writing for the Bioethics Forum blog, David B. Resnik lays the foundation for rewarding smokers and the obese for their unhealthy behavior with lower health insurance rates.

Charging smokers higher health insurance rates is popular and legal, but is it ethical?  A close examination of the arguments for and against this policy reveals that it is not. …

Mr. Resnike first demonstrates two reasons why one would argue in favor of charging smokers more for health insurance:

  • “According to the utilitarian argument, charging smokers more will encourage them to quit, which will improve public health and reduce society’s smoking-related costs.”
  • “It is actuarially fair [to charge smokers higher rates] because individual insurance rates should be based on expected payouts. Insurance is collective protection against risk. Charging individuals rates based on their risk helps to ensure that money paid out from the pool will not exceed money paid into the pool. Charging people rates based on their personal risks protects insurance companies against ‘moral hazard,’ people taking risks without bearing the consequences. By charging smokers higher health insurance rates, insurance companies can make people pay a price for the risks they take.”

Then, Mr. Resnik links to National Institutes of Health, which uses the PLOS study’s findings: Healthy people actually incur more health care costs because they live longer. In short, the medical needs for a person who lives into his 90’s are generally more expensive than the guy who drops dead of a heart attack at 50.

[E]ven if charging smokers higher insurance rates encourages them to stop smoking, reducing smoking may not save society any money. Van Baal and colleagues compared the lifetime health care costs of three groups: smokers, obese individuals, and healthy individuals.  Until age 56, obese people had the highest health care expenditures, but in older age groups smokers had the highest costs. However, because smokers and obese people die younger than healthy individuals, healthy individuals had the highest lifetime health care expenditures. 

The authors concluded that reducing smoking and obesity will not save society health care costs.

Makes sense, right? We can have a debate about what those findings mean for hours. We can also have a debate about whether or not we should craft public policy that punishes the individual for living a healthy responsible life. However, that task gets tricky when the phrase “social justice” enters the equation. When ‘fairness’ undefined comes into play, you almost always know you’re dealing with someone who believes his ideological allies should be able to use coercive power of government (i.e., force) to achieve their vision of “fairness.”

The arguments against charging smokers higher insurance rates appeal to considerations of social justice and fairness. This practice may lead many people to forego health insurance even though they may have to pay a fine under the ACA. Since smokers tend to have significantly lower incomes than non-smokers, they could be especially vulnerable to increased health insurance costs.

If smokers opt out of health insurance this could have a detrimental impact on their access to health care and negatively impact their health and well-being. Most insurance plans cover smoking-cessation programs. It would be ironic–and tragic–if charging smokers higher health insurance rates prevented them from accessing services that could help them stop smoking. To avoid this unfortunate outcome, rate increases should be kept low enough that they do not lead smokers to forego health insurance. However, if rates are too low they may not provide a sufficient financial incentive to stop smoking.

Cloaked within a seemingly neutral academic paper are the telltale signs of a man who sees more meddling into your life — not less — as the “answer” to any number of problems. These academics are the people our elected representatives turn to for the “solution” to any number of problems the media is demanding they solve.

Take the following passage for a better glimpse into the mind of the author:

[S]ome might argue that incentivizing smokers to quit is unjustified, paternalistic interference in personal autonomy. Smokers should be allowed to make lifestyle choices free from coercion from employers, insurers, or the government.  This objection is not very persuasive, however, because financial penalties do not significantly limit personal freedom.  Charging smokers higher health insurance premiums is no more objectionable than imposing taxes on tobacco products, alcohol, guns, or gasoline. Taxes do not prohibit people from engaging in behavior, but they can help to ensure that individuals bear the costs of their behavior.

Actually, financial penalties are one way in which statists try to attack freedom and liberty. It is objectionable for the federal government to say, “Yes, the Second Amendment exists, but we’re going to tax your right to defend your life, liberty and property into oblivion so as to render the Second Amendment moot.”

It is objectionable for the federal government to say, “You can have your car, but I’m going to tax gasoline so much that you will never think of owning an SUV, let along go on a cross-country road trip, because I find fossil fuels distasteful to my green sensibilities.”

Why is it that over and over again it is the responsible person who seems to get screwed over by those with their hands closest to the levers of power?

Did you take out a mortgage you could barely afford during strong economic times and can’t pay your bills now that things have gone sour? No problem! Did you take out $100,000 in student loans for a degree in underwater basket weaving that isn’t panning out? Let’s see what we can do about that. Do you put s**t into your mouth all day long for years on end and now wonder why you have liver disease at 30? Let’s see if we can lower your health care costs and maybe jack them up on the guy who eats sensibly and exercises.

How is the current system of governance supposed to stand when well-adjusted, law-abiding citizens keep getting the shaft? It can not.

I can run longer, harder and faster than person ‘x’ because I exercise while he stuffs his face with chips and soda in front of a video game console on a daily basis. I have a job because I work my butt off and I try to continuously improve at what I do.

When one studies a specific aspect of life and sees inequality it does not always mean that there is also an absence of “fairness.” In fact, sometimes the existence of inequalities means that equality (of opportunity) is being taken advantage of in spades. That is not a bad thing.

If you are a free-thinking and honest member of society who hasn’t been paying attention to the political landscape, I highly suggest surveying the terrain. With each passing day the dependence peddlers make it less attractive to do what is right. The behavioral dregs of society are elevated to something more, while the man who lives his life in accordance with time-tested recipes for greatness is politically thrown in the stocks and pummeled until he adopts the hunched-back and hobbled posture of his sheepish peers.

I do not smoke. I do not make a habit of decadence. I exercise my mind, body and spirit. Hopefully, that will be enough to be an advocate for freedom and individual liberty for years to come. Since I’ll need a hand, I invite you to join me.

Liberals count on Mind-Forged Manacles to pass Health Care Monstrosity.

Barack Obama is making final push to convince Democrats that the proven health care failures of other countries are “bound to be true” for the American people. Today, the President quotes Lincoln, which is ironic since government dependency is the new mind-forged manacles -modern day American slavery – of countless masses.

The President claims Democrats will:

“Do it for the people who are really scared right now…because of an accident or ailment they’re about to lose their house…do it for the American people; they’re the ones looking for action right now.”

Besides asking about the people who will be really scared tomorrow when it’s time to pay the piper and they’re trillions of dollars in debt, I guess the million dollar question for the kids is: What are we fighting for? What do we believe? (And why do I keep linking to music by Yellowcard this morning?) When Barack Obama rolls up his sleeves and hits campaign mode, our suspension of

The Federal Government: Convincing people to slip on their mind-forged manacles, willingly, for centuries.

disbelief is apparently supposed to be heightened so that any soaring vagueness cloaked in the claim the American people support him, is true. What strikes me as odd in this case is that this isn’t campaign season, he has a record we can evaluate, and the American people are not happy with him. The only reason to continue pushing forward is if you adhere to the What’s the Matter with Kansas? mentality: The rubes are too stupid to know that liberal policies are good for them!

Conservatives don’t think the people are “rubes.” The free-market mentality dictates that you must believe that millions of people making millions of decisions and transactions every day, in the aggregate, are making wiser choices than 535 “rubes” in Washington, detached from Main Street and surrounded by full-time staff ego-feeders, cocktail party circuits where Sean Connery clones blindly state “You’re The Man Now, Dog!, and isolation from criticism turns you into a Congressional Homer Simpson.

If Democrats are going to pass their Health Care monstrosity for people “right now,” then conservatives are blocking it for the American people of tomorrow. They’re blocking it for kids and grandkids and future generations that shouldn’t have to be burdened with soul-crushing debt and a declining standard of living. They’re blocking it simply because the myopic, me-me-me mentality of liberal Democrats and the Barack Obama “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” delusion (more akin to narcissistically lathering each other in ego-foam spilling out their mouths) creates incentives and outcomes anathema to the intentions of the public policy.

No matter what happens in the coming days, conservatives have a responsibility to future generations to make things right. And for the kids, let this be your Wake Up Call.

The Federal Government: Your Personal Stay Puft Marshmellow Man. Stick with The Private Sector.

Recently I was watching Bill O’Reilly discuss insurance companies, and how they “profit off the sick” with John Stossel. Normally I only like watching The No

Which is more dangerous: A government like Stay Puft...or Geraldo Rivera?

Spin Zone when Neil Cavuto gives him an economic beat down, but I think I can grow fond of Stossel picking up the old Irish guy and giving him an intellectual suplex. However, it mildly frustrated me when John had an opportunity to deal Bill a devastating blow, but opted to pull back instead. The idea that anyone who “profits off the sick” should somehow provide their service for free (or a severely-reduced charge) is silly, emotional, and endemic of the kind of appeals liberals make for their Federal Government Stay Puft Marshmellow Man Dreams. If Bill wasn’t 90 feet tall I’d slap him across the head and tell him to read a book or two by Thomas Sowell.

Here’s an example. Years ago I worked as a substitute teacher in a high school just outside Chicago. Before I became permanently assigned to one school, my workload for the week fluctuated with how many teachers were sick, on vacation, or taking a personal day. However, the bulk of the time I was making money off the stuffy noses, sore throats, and hospital stays of full-time educators! Every week I was pulling in enough money to pay my bills, support a few hobbies, and still save money for a rainy day. But, according to Bill’s logic (who admits the insurance industry’s profit margins are rather tame compared to others), I should somehow feel dirty for providing a much-needed service to those who required it.

Are insurance companies perfect? No. I’m sure there are areas of reform both conservatives and liberals can agree on. However, my problem with Bill is that he’s made the decision to pander to “the folks” the kind of pap John “Two Americas:“The One Where I’m Faithful and the One Where I’m Not” Edwards did on the campaign trail. Why? Because he still maintains he’s “Independent.” Okay, Bill… Give me a break.

If you’re “independent,” then Geraldo Rivera didn’t just get side-swiped by a giant wave. Or give away our troops’ position. Take your pick.