Chickens; roost; coming home

In case anyone missed it, the House will not be voting on any repeal and replace bill for Obamacare.  At least for the time being.  Before any fingers are pointed at Paul Ryan and the rest of the House leadership, consider President Trump’s role.   

Trump dropped what had been one of his signature issues of the campaign like a hot and heavy potato. For at least 18 months he would tell us, incessantly, and with far too many adjectives, how bad Obamacare was. And that one of the first things he would do as president was get it repealed and replaced with…something with another bunch of meaningless adjectives in front of it.

One might have gotten the impression it was actually important that we repeal it. Which is what he said on the campaign trail, over and over and over and… Got to stop it; I’m going all Trumpian here.

Besides trashing Obama and Obamacare (both correctly, in my opinion), Trump also repeatedly trashed the Republican leadership in the House and Senate. Way to make friends and influence people.

Perhaps Trump thinks that Republicans in Congress should bow before him, the mighty deal-making president. But they are not underlings in some Trump enterprise who report to him. They are leaders of a co-equal branch of our government.

The leaders are far from perfect, mind you. But put yourself in their shoes, trying to obtain cohesion from groups of Republicans who, unlike their Democrat brethren, actually think and have different thoughts on how best to govern. Like herding cats.

Let’s just say that Trump preemptively burned bridges with Republicans in Congress. Good will squandered is mighty hard to get back.

Honor thy word: repeal it

There’s a lot of sturm und drang going on as Republicans in Congress fuss and feud about repealing and (possibly) replacing Obamacare. A/K/A the Orwellian-entitled “Affordable Care Act.” No one not on welfare can afford it. The country can’t afford it, but, hey, facts are pesky things, aren’t they?

If Obamacare is repealed and not replaced, the mainstream media and the Democrats will blame Republicans for each and every bad thing suffered by anyone in our country. This will include lurid stories about poor-but-hardworking folks who used to have “free” healthcare.” Not to mention ads featuring a Trump look-alike tossing Granny and small children off a cliff.

If Obamacare is repealed and is replaced, all those bad things will still be the fault of Republicans. Except that now whatever repleaces Obamacare will be labeled “Trumpcare.” And, of course, cue those ads…

Point being: it matters not one whit what happens. Facts will not matter. It will be bad, bad, bad because it’s no longer “Obamacare.” Republicans will be blamed by the Democrats and their enablers in Hollywood and the mainstream media.

What I suggest is: repeal the damned thing. Period. Millions will no longer be on what has turned out to be a bad idea. One that limits choices of doctors. One that drives premiums way up for those that pay them.

Who loses? People who receive health insurance as a form of welfare. Who will now go back to Medicaid (as many now “enrolled” in Obamacare are) if they are poor enough. If they are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, do what the rest of us must do: find health insurance on the private market that you can afford.

You can’t make this stuff up

The Maryland  state ObamaCare system has experienced some growing pains.  Actually, according to this news item in the very pro-ObamaCare WaPo,  it is nothing short of a disaster:

A single flaw in Maryland’s troubled online health insurance system will cost the state an estimated $30.5 million in excess Medicaid payments over the next 18 months because the system cannot accurately identify recipients who should be removed from the rolls  a report by state budget officials said.

The news is nothing but bad for Maryland’s citizens, especially those in two groups I suspect are pretty much mutually exclusive:  taxpayers on the one hand whose taxes pay for this debacle, and, on the other hand, those on welfare of some sort or another who are looking for subsidized health insurance.

It’s worse than just Maryland.  According to the WaPo article, Maryland’s gross incompetence will cost those of us who pay federal taxes an unknown amount more than the $182 million in federal monies already sucked into the Maryland money pit.

As for fixing the situation, the genius who brought Maryland this malfeasance in the first place, Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland’s secretary of health and mental hygiene

[from WaPo] insisted that the situation is getting better. Five months after the launch of the site, he said, state health officials are now in a position to evaluate their options, using data on how the current system is and is not working.

“When we started, it was a little bit like shooting in the dark,” Sharfstein said. “But the lights are on. . . . We can use actual information about how different systems are doing in order to inform this decision.”

Yes, of course. Now that the lights are on, we can see what kind of a clusterf**k we’ve created. What this exemplar of good liberal governance had to say about the immediate future takes the cake:

“The key thing that this hinges on is the decision about which direction we go.”

Really? This is firing material; a first-year intern who knows nothing might say that. Because it says absolutely nothing. Of course, it has the virtue of always being true, and pretty much worth as much towards understanding how to fix ObamaCare in Maryland as the statement that “today is Thursday.” Which is also true as I write this, I must add.

If this is the kind of senior public servant that Governor O’Malley thinks is top-notch, a go-to guy to fix the highest profile change in health care history since Medicare’s introduction fifty years ago, anyone who votes for him for president in 2016 should know what they are buying into: gross incompetence and a willful disregard for how taxpayer money is frittered away.

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

The news from the Congressional Budget Office is a dream come true for Republican candidates in this fall’s congressional elections.

The numbers tell the tale. As relayed by the Wall Street Journal:

Now CBO—full of liberal-leaning economists—says the economy will lose the equivalent of two million full-time workers by 2017 and 2.5 million over the next decade, a threefold increase over its prior estimate.

No matter how you spin it, that’s a large number of people no longer in the work force as full-time workers. But, naturally, since it’s such a disaster for Democrats, they are spinning as fast as their fingers can fly.

This spin, as reported by Politico,

…the administration said Tuesday, the health care law will allow people to choose to work less because they’ll be able to get health insurance.

And, from the WSJ,

[Under Obamacare] “individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, like retiring on time rather than working into their elderly years or choosing to spend more time with their families,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

Get that? It’s not a bug, it’s a feature! People will “be empowered to make choices” to work less.” And, it’s all about “choices.” But it isn’t really. It’s coercion. People are going to have to choose between lower pay if they go part time, or going on welfare in order to get me and you, fellow taxpayer, to pay for their healthcare.

And, did you get that heart-tugging “rather than working into their elderly years?” Guess the administration would have us ignore the existence of Medicare, which provices health insurance to anyone who turns 65. In other words, ObamaCare is irrelevant to any decision as to whether to stay on the job or retire if you are close the nominal retirement age of 65.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but I was raised with the notion that it is shameful to be on welfare if you have the option of working. But the whole point of ObamaCare is to expand the welfare state and redistribute income.

How else to explain the administration making a virtue of the vice of being a deadbeat? So, since ObamaCare may result in millions fewer of full-time equivalent workers, that’s a feature of the law. Or, as the WSJ concludes, “There you have it: the new American dream of not working.”

Simple solution

To any objective observer, Obamacare, otherwise known by the Orwellian name of “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” is a failure.  It is too complex, too intrusive, too limiting, and, simply, too many unelected government worthies dictating what we, the people, must buy.

But Obamacare has its cheerleaders, not excluding those entities that are soon to become its biggest victims:  insurance companies.  After all, it seemed to them that here was the government guaranteeing them customers.  Sweet.  Helps explain why very few people love insurance companies.

So, now that the slow-motion trainwreck that is Obamacare is demonstrating that the preponderance of those who enroll are high-cost older and sicker people, the insurance companies are naturally going to come to Uncle Sam for a bailout.   They should not get it; Obamacare should be left to self-destruct on its own.

Would that it were that simple.  Since the bailout is already in the Obamacare law, action by Congress is needed  Charles Krauthammer’s column today summarizes what must be done thusly:

First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014.

Make it one line long: “Sections 1341 and 1342 of the Affordable Care Act are hereby repealed.”

End of bill. End of bailout. End of story.

One may only hope that such a bill passes the House of Representatives, and that it is passed to the Senate so that Harry Reid can attempt to kill it before it reaches the floor for a vote. One can only hope that if this happens, it happens well before this year’s mid-term elections in November. If only to show the voters the “profiles in courage” of today’s Democrats.

Dr. Krauthammer ends with:

Who can argue with no bailout? Let the Senate Democrats decide — support the bailout and lose the Senate. Or oppose the bailout and bury Obamacare.

Let the games begin.

Nanny Obama

What Obama lied about, many times, was being able to keep your health insurance if you like it. Oh, well, what he really meant to say was “You can keep your health insurance if I think it is good enough for you.”

That’s pretty harsh, saying that Dear Leader Barack lied. Well, it comes down to one of two choices. Either he knew that many Americans would be kicked out of their current insurance plans, and lied. Or, he did not know. Liar or ignorant fool whose eponymous health care plan is going down in (very expensive) flames. Which choice do you prefer?

Even the reliable mainstream media Obama-is-God cheerleaders have noticed. For example, the WaPo’s Fact Checker gives Obama four Pinocchios on this. That’s as high as the scale goes in the liar-liar-pants-on-fire department.

It all boils down to governing philosophy. As with so many Progressives, those cheerless folks who brought you Prohibition and affirmative action, they are hectoring nannies who know that they know what is best for you.

You, you shlub, don’t get to choose. You are too dumb to make the right choice, at least according to our ruling elite. In this case, in steps the Mighty Obama, who knows all and sees all. Most importantly, he knows what is best for you.

As a result, under the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act, you will be required to buy a gold-plated policy that will cover many things that you don’t really need or want. And, given the choice, would not pay extra for. Hey, if you are a fifty-something man, why should your policy cover prenatal care?

The real issue for those losing their self-selected plans is that they are now going to be paying much more. Well, as liberals are wont to say, “the money has to come from somewhere” to cover all those poor people who are obviously more deserving of favor than you are.

In simplest terms, the premise among Obama and other leading Democrats is, per usual, they know what is best for us. It is their job to look after us mere citizens who are simply too stupid to look after our own best interests.

Even 20 years ago, the same mindset was in evidence. As cited today in the Wall Street Journal:

Back in 1993, during the fight over HillaryCare, Mrs. Clinton explained Democratic reasoning to then-House GOP Leader Denny Hastert. If Americans are allowed too much discretion over how they spend their health-care dollars, Mrs. Clinton said, “We just think people will be too focused on saving money and they won’t get the care for their children and themselves that they need . . .

“The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better.”

At least Hillary was honest. Obama and his minions lied. If there is any good news in Obamacare’s rollout, it is that it was cobbled together by incompetent trolls in the Obama administration.

Nothing but the best and brightest there. I suppose we should be grateful that they are so incompetent. Obama and his minions are, after all, attempting to socialize one-sixth of our economy. They don’t appear to be any better at central planning that the Soviet Politburo was.

Perhaps, now that the mainstream media actually appears to be paying attention to the problems that attend the attempt to centrally manage health care, we can actually repeal this monstrosity and start over.

As for starting over while Obama is president, I’d say there’s zero chance of anything significant in his second term agenda being passed that will survive presidential veto. As for health care, I’d simply say that Obama had his bite at the apple. Any attempts to “improve” it in Congress will look like sprinkling some perfume on a two-week old corpse that’s been rotting in the sun.

I’d say that “repeal and replace” is the way it should go, but that will have to wait until we have a president is is not named Obama (or Clinton).

Epic failure

Dick Durbin, an early and fervent supporter of ObamaCare, is now calling for Republicans to help bail out this stillborn monstrosity this is attempting to hijack one-sixth of our economy. Durbin now admits that the law needs some changes. Do tell.

The delay of the employer mandate by one year was buried in a holiday week blogpost. Conveniently just past the 2014 Congressional elections. Now we find that the health care exchanges, through which people shop for insurance, will also be delayed until 2015.

Finally, in perhaps a strategic blunder, House Republicans are attempting to also delay the individual mandate, i.e. fines that young, healthy people will pay if they don’t sign up for health insurance. This is being done on the notion that it is “unfair” for employers to escape fines for a year while individuals will not.

What is unfair is the whole enterprise of ObamaCare. If I had a higher opinion of Obama’s intellect, I’d suspect that these twists and turns and mini-failures were all planned. Why? So that the sheeple would all turn to King Obama to save them with a total government takeover of health care, the so-called single-payer regime.

But Obama only thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. His minions include many smart and devious people, but in ObamaCare they have created a Frankenstein monster which is unraveling before their very eyes. Republicans’ best bet? Let it unravel; let it fail; let it self-destruct. And make darned sure that people know that it is Obama and the Democrats alone who are responsible for its epic failure.

John Boehner and his troops in the House should simply issue the occasional press release, backed up by data on how much more ObamaCare is costing the taxpayers, on that epic failure.