The Conversation

ObamaCare: Research and opinions about ObamaCare

Government Omits Any Mention of Jonathan Gruber in Most Recent Court Filing

Oct 10, 2014 12:06 PM PT

Professor Jonathan Gruber has been a continual presence in government court filings related to Obamacare. That changed last Friday when the federal government filed its opposition to a Supreme Court review of the King v. Burwell case without mentioning Gruber at all.

Gruber has been a long time advocate for the Affordable Care Act, having helped shape it. He defended it when early sign ups were lower than expected and again when claims began making their way through the courts saying the law as written did not allow federal subsidies to pass to those who purchased insurance on a federal exchange. Gruber called this claim "crazy."

Continue reading

Central planners don't like old people

Sep 19, 2014 2:08 PM PT

It's disconcerting enough to see an article entitled "Why I Hope to Die at 75."  When the author is Ezekiel Emmanuel, one of the architects of ObamaCare, it's time for the Twilight Zone theme music.  Here's a sample:

I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.

By the time I reach 75, I will have lived a complete life. I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my life’s projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations. Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy. Indeed, I plan to have my memorial service before I die. And I don’t want any crying or wailing, but a warm gathering filled with fun reminiscences, stories of my awkwardness, and celebrations of a good life. After I die, my survivors can have their own memorial service if they want—that is not my business.

Continue reading

Now It Can Be Told: Ezra Klein Admits Public Option was 'Bridge to Single-Payer'

Sep 4, 2014 6:12 PM PT

Thursday, Vox's Ezra Klein admitted Democrats saw the public option as a "bridge to single-payer." While this is now common knowledge on the right, it was dismissed and treated as an "illegitimate" argument by everyone from President Obama down before the bill passed. Here's Klein's take today [emphasis added]:

The argument over the public option was slippery and frustrating because there were really two different public options — a strong and a weak one — and both supporters and detractors switched which one they were talking about constantly.

The strong public option would have paid Medicare rates for services and, in doing, save more than $100 billion over 10 years. This is the public option that supporters were talking about when they said the public option would save huge amounts of money and possibly provide a bridge to single payer. It was also the public option that detractors were talking about when they said the public option was a backdoor plan to implement single payer and it would put many private insurers out of businesses. This public option never came anywhere close to becoming law.

The other public option was just a normal insurer that was run by the government. It would pay prices similar to what the other insurers paid, and it wasn't projected to save much money, sign up many people, or pose much of a threat to traditional insurers. This public option almost did become law.

Continue reading

DC Circuit Court Moves to Overturn Halbig Ruling

Sep 4, 2014 11:07 AM PT

The DC Circuit court has decided to withdraw a previous decision which posed a threat to the structure of Obamacare and rehear the case.

In July a conservative-leaning 3-judge panel ruled 2-1 that the plain language of the ACA meant subsidies should not be available to people buying insurance in the federal marketplace. The DOJ appealed the ruling and today the court decided it would let the full, more liberal, court hear the case.

Continue reading

Obamacare's Glitchy Website Hinders Thousands Asked to Verify Citizenship

Aug 29, 2014 12:09 PM PT

Three hundred thousand people who enrolled in Obamacare have been asked to submit proof of citizenship or risk losing their insurance. Many who have tried to comply are finding the website to be more of an obstacle than a convenience.

The problems with citizenship verification were reported by USA Today Thursday. The paper reports that 310,000 notices were sent out earlier this month requesting proof of citizenship. In order to respond by the deadline next week, individuals need to be able to upload the requested documents on to

Continue reading

The Coming Obamacare Tax Mess and Why the Administration Isn't Doing Anything to Stop It

Aug 28, 2014 9:48 AM PT

There's a kind of time bomb built into the Obamacare exchanges. Next year an unknown but probably significant number of low income people are going to discover they owe the IRS money through no fault of their own. Those who fail to file a tax return acknowledging this unexpected liability will lose their access to health care subsidies. Those who do file will be subject to ordinary IRS collection efforts up to and including tax liens and levies.

The problem was pointed out in June by Chris Jacobs and then in more detail this month by Sam Baker at National Journal. The value of ACA subsidies are tied to the cost of the 2nd cheapest Silver plan available on the exchange. This plan is called the benchmark. If you buy the benchmark plan then you only pay a fixed percent of your income in premiums and the government pays the rest. If your plan costs more than the benchmark, you pay the difference out of your own pocket.

Continue reading

Total cost of ObamaCare website: $1.7 billion

Aug 26, 2014 7:35 PM PT

The inability of the federal government to launch a website presented a big crisis for managerial liberalism.  It's also a spectacular example of how the government burns through money like there's no tomorrow.  The total cost of the crap ObamaCare website, from its failed launch through countless fixes, works out to a cool $1.7 billion according to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

$1.7 billion for a website that didn't work at all on Day One, and still isn't really finished.

Continue reading

Many ObamaCare Enrollees Subject To Unexpected Tax Bite

Aug 24, 2014 1:15 PM PT

Experts are projecting that perhaps as many as 2.3 million households "that received tax credits to help pay for their health insurance under Obamacare will lose all or a portion of their expected 2014 tax refunds."

If their actual 2014 income ends up higher than what they estimated it would be when applying for Obamacare, they'll be taxed on the difference. In essence, they'll have to make up for tax credits they may have received in error.

The Affordable Healthcare Act, known for its vague and ever-changing details, is sure to surprise many workers who underestimated their income or earned a larger income than estimated when they took Obamacare-related tax credits.

"More than a third of tax credit recipients will owe some money back, and (that) can lead to some pretty hefty repayment liabilities," said George Brandes, vice president for health care programs at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

Continue reading

Friday News Dump: Feds Unveil New Birth Control Mandate

Aug 22, 2014 2:57 PM PT

The problem with ObamaCare isn't just that it's the so called law of the land, said law seems to keep changing in reaction to events and court rulings until not even "we have to pass it to see what's in it" holds up to the slightest scrutiny.

As usual with a Friday news dump, the devil is in the details down below.

The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations meant to enable certain businesses and charities to steer clear of the Affordable Care Act’s so-called birth control mandate, while ensuring free contraception coverage for women under the law. 

Continue reading

CMS Administrator Told Subordinates to 'Please Delete' White House Email

Aug 15, 2014 2:58 PM PT

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told two subordinates to "please delete" a forwarded email conversation between Tavenner and a group of White House advisers which took place days after the disastrous launch of

The House Energy and Commerce Committee published the October 5, 2013 email today. It contains a discussion Tavenner had with White House health care policy adviser Jeanne Lambrew and several other White House advisers including White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. Tavenner forwarded the email chain to the CMS spokersperson and another subordinate saying "Please delete this email-but please see if we can work on call script." Another short sentence that followed this has been redacted.

Continue reading

Latest Attack on Halbig Shows Evidence of Congressional Intent is Murky

Aug 11, 2014 1:02 PM PT

The New Republic's Brian Beutler doesn't like the argument being made by law professor Jonathan Adler and health policy wonk Michael Cannon. From the moment a 3-judge-panel of the D.C. Circuit Court ruled in their favor, Beutler has been writing derisively about "Halbig truthers." Here's his description of their argument from about two weeks ago:

some right-wing activists have spent the last several months fabricating a rival narrativea ludicrous theory of intent, in which leading Democrats meant to condition the subsidies, but decided to keep the inducement a secret from reporters, back bench members, governors, budget analysts, and health care reform advocates. This kind of deceptive argumentation is perhaps to be expected from activists. What's become incredibly frustrating to me about the Halbig brouhaha in the last few days is watching the conservative health care writers who were in the same trenches watching the same debate unfoldattempting, from a very skeptical vantage point, to explain the bill correctlysuddenly turn around and vouchsafe the Halbig Truthers.

Continue reading

CBO Confirms Obamacare's Individual Mandate is a Paper Tiger

Aug 7, 2014 3:49 PM PT

Broad exemptions to Obamacare's individual mandate, including one added secretly last year, make the mandate a paper tiger. In June the CBO confirmed this by raising its estimate of the number of people who could claim an exemption and sharply dropping its estimate of the number of people who will pay a penalty.

The Wall Street Journal reports, "almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016." In 2012 CBO said 18 million could qualify for exemptions. This year CBO said that number was 23 million. As for those who will wind up paying a penalty for non-compliance, CBO originally estimated 6 million people would pay. This year they dropped that estimate to 4 million people.

Continue reading Renews Promise: 'If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It'

Aug 7, 2014 11:58 AM PT

Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Obama administration is once again promising people that if they like their plan they can keep it. And once again that promise may not be true.

The President's oft-repeated promised about keeping a plan you liked became his biggest broken promise. Last month even former Democratic congressman Barney Frank told the Huffington Post he was "appalled" by the administration's outright lies to the public.

Continue reading

Another Stunning Admission in Gruber's Speech: The Public Option Was Single Payer

Jul 25, 2014 3:12 PM PT

As I was watching the video clip of Jonathan Gruber talking about state-based exchanges and subsidies last night I came across another admission which deserves some attention. A few minutes later in the Q&A following his January 18, 2012 speech, Gruber admits that the public option was an attempt to slip single-payer into the Affordable Care Act.

So I like the public option. The public option is actually the brainchild of another academic, a guy named Jacob Hacker who's at Yale. And the public option, basically it was a clever idea. He said look, the left wants single-payer, the right wants competition--how about we have competition where the option is single-payer. It's kind of a clever way to call both sides bluff. Basically, since it was such a good idea that's why both sides didn't like it. Okay, the right didn't like it because they were afraid that the left was right and the single-payer would work. The left didn't like it because they were afraid that the single-payer didn't have enough teeth to really work. And basically, the public option, to be honest, was never going to happen. The public option was really something that was in there. It was a good idea as a debating point but it just was too radical. Remember, the reason this reform passed, as barely as it did, is because it was not trying to rip up things and start over. It was trying to work incrementally off the existing system. The public option was viewed as too radical.

Continue reading

I'm starting to think passing zillion-page bills nobody reads is a bad idea

Jul 25, 2014 11:53 AM PT

In response to Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Once Again Ties Subsidies to State-Based Exchanges:

These are terrific finds, but Gruber wasn't the only one saying this stuff, and he's not the only reason ObamaCare critics have long maintained that the federal exchange is not empowered to dole out the New Dole - the health insurance subsidies every member of what we used to call "the middle class" is now dependent upon.  Senator Max Baucus said as much too, but it's even bigger than him.  

Continue reading

Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Once Again Ties Subsidies to State-Based Exchanges

Jul 25, 2014 9:52 AM PT

Did Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber make the same mistake twice? A new audio clip finds him once again explaining that Obamacare subsidies are tied to state health exchanges.

A clip of Jonathan Gruber circulated last night in which he states that Obamacare subsidies are tied to the existence of state exchanges. This statement is extremely problematic for the law's supporters because it appears to confirm the view of plaintiffs in the Halbig case, i.e. that only state-exchanges were intended to deliver subsidies.

Continue reading

Obamacare Architect: States Without Exchanges Get No Subsidies

Jul 24, 2014 10:49 PM PT

Jonathan Gruber, a "key architect" of  Obamacare was caught on tape in 2012 saying states which do not set up an Obamacare exchange are not eligible for subsidies. His admission mirrors the arguments of plaintiffs in the Halbig case and has the potential to push Obamacare to the brink of collapse.

This week there were two circuit court decisions about Obamacare subsidies. A three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled that the precise language indicated people who bought insurance on the federal exchange were not eligible for subsidies. Hours later the 4th Circuit ruled the opposite, saying that the precise language was unclear but that the law's drafters nevertheless intended to offer subsidies to everyone. Many observers believe the two cases are eventually headed to the Supreme Court.

Continue reading

GAO Investigation Finds Obamacare Wide Open to Fraud

Jul 23, 2014 10:42 AM PT

An undercover sting operation by the Government Accountability Office found that fake people can easily get access to insurance supported by real tax subsidies.

The GAO created 18 fake identities backed up by fake documents. The plan was for them to be split in groups of 6 and apply for Obamacare insurance online, over the phone and in person. The in-person sign ups were a bust because 5 of 6 "navigators" contacted by the investigators were unable to offer any help at all. One fake individual was correctly told they weren't eligible because their income was too high.

Continue reading

Progressives Pronounce Halbig Decision 'Judicial Activism' Then Promise Liberal Judges Will Prevail

Jul 22, 2014 11:41 AM PT

Today a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court issued a ruling which could have a substantial impact on the fate of Obamacare. The panel ruled that the plain language of the law indicates subsidies are only available to states which agreed to set up a state-based exchange. That means, potentially, that people who bought insurance under the federal exchange are not eligible for subsidies to reduce their premiums.

The progressive outrage over the decision has been swift and furious. Many progressives are framing it as a clear case of "judicial activism" by conservative-leaning judges. For instance, the New Republic's Brian Beutler said the case is, "a fundamentally dishonest solicitation of right-wing judicial activism." Over at Vox, Ezra Klein doesn't use the phrase himself but his write-up does include this tweet:

Continue reading

What will remain of ObamaCare?

Jul 18, 2014 1:35 PM PT

The residents of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands just won the lottery, because the royal Obama court hath decreed that they shall be free from the seething morass of suck known as ObamaCare.  

The Washington Post says the territories "have been warning for years" that ObamaCare would "destroy their insurance markets."  Well, the rest of us have been warning the same damn thing, so how did the territories get a waiver that the fifty states can only dream of?

Continue reading

ObamaCare's September Surprise

Jul 7, 2014 9:31 AM PT
The Obama/Democrat messaging machine is bracing for some bad ObamaCare news that should hit voters by early Fall - right before the midterm elections. That's when most state insurance rates are scheduled to be approved, and they're expected to sky-rocket. The news couldn't come at a worse time for Democrats.

Via The Politico:

The White House and its allies know they’ve been beaten in every previous round of Obamacare messaging, never more devastatingly than in 2010. And they know the results this November could hinge in large part on whether that happens again.

Continue reading

VA set aside veterans' needs so they could work on ObamaCare

Jul 6, 2014 2:24 PM PT

The two biggest, most corrupt disasters in the history of Big Government collide, as whistleblower Scott Davis from the Atlanta branch of the VA tells the same story we've heard many times before, from around the country - 17,000 veterans' applications for health care were hidden or destroyed, to cook the books and make top officials look good - and then drops this bombshell in an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News:

Cavuto: When you say to hit goals, is the goal a dollar goal or is it get the applications complete? Sometimes keep on top of this so there are no delays, or is it keep on top of it and get rid of something that could hurt our numbers?

Davis: Well, for what I’ve witnessed, it's based on a performance goal.

Cavuto: How is that performance measured?

Davis: That performance is measured based on our ability to turn around an application from beginning to end within a five-day turn around. There's an acceptable percentage that we have to have, which is in excess of 80% for all applications that comes into that office. What you find is that there's extensive pressure on the staff to process applications, to focus our attention to applications based on specific campaigns. For example, I shared with your producer that we actually put incoming applications aside so we could focus on the ACA related applications that came in over last summer. That's wrong. We should treat each veteran equally and focus on applications, as they come in, not because of special campaigns coming out of D.C.

Continue reading

Nevada Officials Knew the Silver State Health Exchange Was Not Working Last October

Jul 2, 2014 11:26 AM PT

In response to ObamaCare Claims A Victim in Harry Reid's Backyard:

If this story is accurate, and it seems several people close to it believe it is, then Linda Rolain's death is partly a result of her inability to sign up for insurance prior to the December deadline for January coverage. That's believable since a lot of people were unable to sign up for coverage in Nevada thanks to a glitchy, untested and incomplete exchange rolled out by Xerox.

Continue reading

VA's Single Payer System is Pelosi's Goal for Everyone

Jun 20, 2014 11:12 AM PT

Democrats claiming they want to "fix" Obamacare are not to be believed.  As Sean Noble of American Encore noted, their goal is single-payer.  They will paint Obamacare as a failure of a "free market" system and suggest single-payer is the solution.  What you're not hearing from the media is that the VA system is single-payer.  The VA is everyone's future if Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have their way.  From Noble in Townhall:

While the major networks have covered the atrocities at the VA, none have reported why the system failed our veterans. That’s because this is what the Left’s single-payer health care looks like. Single-payer refers to a system in which a single organization or agency is responsible for organizing health care financing.

In a recent interview with Ezra Klein of Vox, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was asked about Obamacare and the upcoming election. She knows Obamacare is a loser for Democrats and Americans know that Obamacare is not working and, more importantly, it is not improving the quality of health care. When asked what would improve Obamacare, Pelosi said, “Of course, I wanted the single payer.”

Like the VA scandal, this is not an isolated incident. Prominent Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and even President Obama himself have all, at some point, voiced their support for a single-payer system.

Despite clear signs of failure, Democrats want to double-down on government takeover of your health care. As Pelosi said, their only “fix” is to put every American in a system like the VA’s. If you don’t want to take her word for it, just look at some of the mechanisms of the broader Affordable Care Act itself.

Aside from the glitchy websites and unprecedented mandates, the legislation gutted Medicare Advantage in order to incentivize seniors to abandon their choice-based private plans and enroll in single-payer Medicare. In addition, Obamacare’s insurance “markets” (a serious misnomer) jammed over 6.7 million more individuals into Medicaid, a single-payer healthcare entitlement, in just six months.

Keeping the single-payer-for-all prize on the horizon, the Left touted the “success” of the VA in its support for Obamacare. Klein, then with The Washington Post, said the VA was “one of the most remarkable success stories in American public policy.” He also said it was an example of “when socialism works in America.”

Now the Left feigns outrage over a system they want to implement for everyone. In a press conference, Rep. Pelosi said, “Again, on the battlefield, we leave no soldier behind, and when they come home, we leave no veteran behind. This is an oath, this is a pledge, this is a commitment, and we have to get this done, and now we have to put it on a path of getting it done right.”

As with Obamacare, they have no real fix for the VA’s problems other than calls for more funding and finger-pointing at the previous administration.

Poll: Voters Increasingly Sour On ObamaCare

Jun 9, 2014 6:35 PM PT

In the wake of the still ongoing Veterans Affairs scandal, a new poll indicates "less than a third of voters believes that the government will do a better job with ObamaCare than the VA did managing care for vets (31 percent). Over half believe it won’t (55 percent)."

Furthermore a majority of voters regret ObamaCare was passed into law and think the nation is worse off because of it.

By a 55-38 percent margin, people wish the Affordable Care Act had never passed and the 2009 system were still in place. That includes a quarter of Democrats (25 percent), a majority of independents (58 percent) and most Republicans (85 percent). 

Over half of voters under age 35 (53 percent) along with a majority of those ages 65 and over (58 percent) regret ObamaCare passed. 

Continue reading

ObamaCare Demotivating Democrats?

Jun 4, 2014 7:03 PM PT

Aaron Blake at The Fix points out that while ObamaCare is motivating Republicans, there is no equal but opposite force to serve as motivation for Democrats.

Obamacare is a boon to Republicans in the 2014 election; this much is clear. The issue is galvanizing conservative voters like none other right now, and that's important. But the real reason it's benefiting Republicans? Because there is basically no equal-but-opposite force -- i.e. it's motivating almost nobody on the Democratic side.

Continue reading

GOP Congressman Sees Supreme Court Future For Obamacare Origination Clause Lawsuit

May 28, 2014 5:58 PM PT

Forty Republican House members are counting on the success of a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation that challenges the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s Origination Clause. Article I, Section 7, clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.

“We now have it in two different courts—two circuits. We have it in the DC Circuit and its been stacked by Mr. Obama. That court seems to be more political than constitutional, but in the fifth circuit the Hotze case is going to be moving forward this year,” Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), Chairman of the subcommittee on the Constitution, told Breitbart News last Wednesday.

Continue reading

GOP Cries Foul Over Obama Admin's Plan To Divert Funds For Health Insurance Bailout (Video)

May 22, 2014 9:18 AM PT

In recent weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services released new regulations that pave the way for a tax-payer bailout for insurance companies that lost money on ObamaCare. 

Originally, the Obama administration promised its so-called "risk corridors"--a program to shift money from profit-making insurers to underperforming insurers to keep down premiums--would be temporary. On Friday, however, HHS said despite the fact that it expects there will be sufficient funds available, "in the unlikely event of a shortfall for the 2015 program year... [the Department of Health and Human Services] will use other sources of funding for the risk corridor payment" and that additional funding would "be subject to the availability of appropriations."

Continue reading

The VA Scandal, Like ObamaCare, Lays the Soul of Big Government Bare

May 21, 2014 1:12 PM PT

In response to The VA is a Vision of the Future Under Obamacare:

The VA and ObamaCare look quite symptomatic of Big Government to me.  It's all about cover-ups, cooking the books, wasting huge piles of taxpayer money - the VA is an under-funded agency that still managed to blow millions on plump administrator bonuses and expensive office renovations - and shifting the blame.  You get the same thing from every quarter of Big Government.  

Continue reading

The VA is a Vision of the Future Under Obamacare

May 21, 2014 10:12 AM PT

Death panels, it turns out, gave the government far too much credit. That phrase evokes the image of gathered experts making educated if potentially callous decisions about someone's medical care. At the Phoenix VA, people were cut off and left to die by bureaucratic malfeasance and systemic indifference which makes death panels seem dignified by comparison.

In Phoenix, veterans who requested an appointment were entered into the system. Then, once they walked out the door, their request was printed and the computer record was deleted. The printed record was added to a secret list of people waiting for appointments and then the printed record was shredded to hide any paper trail. When there was an actual opening in the schedule, someone was taken off the secret list and re-entered in the computer.

Continue reading

Insurance companies secure their ObamaCare bailouts

May 16, 2014 1:48 PM PT

Remember a few months ago, when Democrats were pretending that the "risk corridor" provisions of ObamaCare wouldn't function as a high-pressure pipe of taxpayer money to bail out insurance companies that don't pull enough Young Invincible suckers into their networks - a demographic balance that would ensure healthy people were over-billed enough to cover money-losing mandated coverage for the older and sicker?  Marco Rubio was pushing a bill that would stave off the bailouts, and the Administration said he was crazy to think the risk corridors would be used for that purpose.

Flash forward to today, as the Washington Examiner reports that insurance companies have acted to secure their ObamaCare bailouts, and nobody's really even trying to pretend that's not what will likely be coming our way in the next couple of years:

Bowing to an aggressive lobbying effort by insurers, the Obama administration announced Friday it would use "other sources of funding" if needed, to finance a bailout for insurance companies if the industry racks up excessive losses through President Obama's health care law.

The news, buried in a 435-page regulatory filing by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, undermines prior assurances by the administration that the program would be budget-neutral.

The regulation centers around the risk corridors program, which was created to stabilize premiums in the early years of the implementation of Obamacare by compensating insurers for larger than expected losses with money the Department of Health and Human Services collects from insurers who do better than expected.

Continue reading

Video: ObamaCare's Potemkin Processing Center

May 15, 2014 11:19 AM PT

It used to be that you only heard stories like this one coming out of places like North Korea, but in Obama's America, we now have our own modern-day Potemkin where office workers - hundreds of them -  are paid $17.00 an hour to sit around and look busy shuffling papers and staring at their computer screens.

Continue reading

The Obamacare Letdown

May 14, 2014 11:39 AM PT

New evidence suggests most Obamacare enrollees were previously insured. Once again it seems we didn't get much bang for our Obamacare buck.

A McKinsey and Company survey of nearly 3,000 Americans who were eligible to buy insurance on the Obamacare exchange found that only about half enrolled in a plan. Of those slightly more than half chose to renew a plan they already had. And among the remainder who bought new plans 74 percent of them had been previously insured. Just 26 percent of Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.

Continue reading

A lot more people are about to learn they can't keep their plans if they like them

May 8, 2014 7:27 AM PT

It's almost time for Stage Two of the great ObamaCare dump, as the truly breathtaking depths of Barack Obama's Big Lie are exposed... and America is shoved closer to the howling abyss of single-payer health care, the transformation nobody voted for.  

Kaiser Health News explains something that ObamaCare critics predicted, with typical accuracy, years ago: employers have strong incentives to chuck their employees into those hideous ObamaCare exchanges, rather than continuing to provide the sort of health insurance we're all accustomed to.  For the cost of a modest trans-Constitutional tax/penalty, the corporate world can wash its hands of health insurance entirely:

Can corporations shift workers with high medical costs from the company health plan into online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act? Some employers are considering it, say benefits consultants.

“It’s all over the marketplace,” said Todd Yates, a managing partner at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a North Carolina benefits consulting firm. “Employers are inquiring about it and brokers and consultants are advocating for it.”

Patients with preexisting medical conditions like diabetes drive health spending. But those who undergo expensive procedures such as organ transplants are a burden to the company as well. Since most big corporations are self-insured, shifting even one high-cost member out of the company plan could save the employer hundreds of thousands of dollars a year—while increasing the cost of claims absorbed by the marketplace policy by a similar amount.

And the health law might not prohibit it, opening a door to potential erosion of employer-based coverage.

“Such an employer-dumping strategy can promote the interests of both employers and employees by shifting health care expenses on to the public at large,” wrote two University of Minnesota law professors in a 2011 paper that basically predicted the present interest.

Continue reading

About that 67% Obamacare Payment Rate

May 1, 2014 2:52 PM PT

Yesterday the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a statement about the Obamacare payment rate which got a lot of attention. The committee reached out to individual insurers in states using the federal Obamacare exchange and then collated the response. What they found was "as of April 15, 2014, only 67 percent of individuals and families that had selected a health plan in the federally facilitated marketplace had paid their first month’s premium and therefore completed the enrollment process."

The 67% claim surprised a lot of people because, for several months, we've been hearing that the payment rate was closer to 80-85 percent. Could it really be that much worse than expected? How did this happen?

Continue reading

ObamaCare and GDP: yet another broken promise

May 1, 2014 7:19 AM PT

Yesterday I mentioned that increased costs and mandatory spending due to ObamaCare were given credit for keeping the U.S. economy from slipping into negative growth in the first quarter of 2014 (by the slimmest of margins, as GDP growth weighted in at just 0.1. percent.)  I forgot to mention that ObamaCare supporters were the primary purveyors of this claim.  ThinkProgress actually had a post entitled, "Health care spending is on the rise, and that's a good thing."

Sean Davis at The Federalist reminds us that not only is that an unbelievably stupid thing for liberals to say, but it's the exact opposite of what we were told ObamaCare would do to the economy - a promise made at great length in a 56-page 2009 White House report that predicted "slowing the annual growth rate of health care costs would increase real Gross Domestic Product," "prevent disastrous increases in the Federal budget deficit," and even lower the unemployment rate.

Continue reading

Obama's Broken Windows economy

Apr 30, 2014 3:43 PM PT

Bastiat's "Broken Windows" parable illustrates the absurdity of claiming that a broken window counts as economic "stimulus," just because a little tornado of economic activity appears as the window is replaced.  Most people over the age of five can at least dimly grasp the idea that you can't achieve prosperity by destroying your own stuff.

But for the Left, Bastiat wrote an instruction manual, not a warning about a fallacy.  We live now under the most purely absurd mega-scale demonstration of the Broken Windows ideal.  It's illustrated in the lunacy of the President trying to portray ObamaCare as successful because he killed millions of good private-sector insurance policies, and forced the victims to buy lousy new policies from the federal exchanges at gunpoint.

Continue reading

The American People Won't Be Fooled Again

Apr 29, 2014 2:23 PM PT

In response to Obama and ObamaCare crater in the polls:

Just for laughs, check out this DSCC Memo from just last week expressing confidence that Democrats have gotten past the worst of the ObamaCare disaster. It  paints a rosy picture for their chances in 2014 and even goes on to suggest ObamaCare will be a plus for them.

Over the last several weeks we have seen mounting evidence that the Republican effort to turn Senate races into a referenda on the healthcare law has failed, and they are now scrambling to find an alternative strategy.

 The Koch brothers, Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, and other Republican outside groups have already wasted nearly$40 million on television ads manipulating the President’s image and trying focus voters’ attention squarely on the health care law. But public and private polling confirms that opposition to Republican repeal efforts has increased and voters are increasingly tired of the GOP attacks surrounding the healthcare debate. Meanwhile,Democrats have launched a multi-million dollar national assault on the Koch brothers, highlighting how Republican Senate candidates support an agenda that further enriches the billionaire brothers, while hurting themiddle class.

 In a formal announcement today, the Republican National Committee confirms that the effort to make Senate races a referendum on the President and the healthcare law has failed.  Republicans are now discontinuing the strategy they’ve employed the last 18 months, and are now mounting an aggressive defense of the Koch brothers.

Democrats are delusional if they think their idiotic and profoundly hypocritical anti-Koch brothers rants are going to save them, this November. The 2014 midterms are not going to be defined by "messaging" - not on the Republican side nor the Democrat side. The nation has had a chance to see ObamaCare enacted, and they do not like it. Period. They don't really need the GOP to tell them that their pocketbooks are taking a hit. Most people understand that they were lied to, don't appreciate it, and are no longer buying the lies. You see this in this latest poll. So Obama can cook some books to come up with whatever figures he wants to on sign-ups. He can do his little victory laps surrounded by sycophants and toadies. The American people won't be fooled again. Hey Democrats  - only 8% of the American people think your "Affordable Care Act" is decreasing their healthcare costs. 47% say it is increasing their healthcare costs. Your bogus anti-Koch brothers messaging is not going to save you from the ramifications of that.
View Discussion

Obama and ObamaCare crater in the polls

Apr 29, 2014 7:47 AM PT

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with polling.  On the one hand, it seems reasonable to want a snapshot of how the public feels about issues and candidates at any given moment; it's easy to understand why political strategists and activists desire such information.  Taking polls from a number of sources, as a site like RealClearPolitics does, helps to overcome the inevitable weaknesses, sampling errors, and perhaps deliberate bias of individual polls.

On the other hand, polls are often a cheap tactic to manufacture news, and there's always the question of creating feedback loops, as people respond to media coverage of polls and change their opinions to conform with a perceived majority.  Opinions change over time.  Should our representatives be working to move the polls, as leaders, or trying to follow them?

Continue reading

The Case of the Missing Cover Oregon $305 million

Apr 24, 2014 9:08 PM PT

In response to Obamacare Exchange 'Cover Oregon' Collapses in Failure:

So... where did all that money go?  Is anyone going to jail over this?  Will anyone other than a few designated fall guys be inconvenienced?  How about the geniuses who decided to hand out a no-bid contract to an "A-Team" that utterly failed to fix the nightmare created by the "B-Team?"  

Continue reading

Obamacare Exchange 'Cover Oregon' Collapses in Failure

Apr 24, 2014 8:21 PM PT

Breitbart News and others have chronicled the "Unmatched failure" that Cover Oregon has now officially become. As was pointed out on March 20 of this year, "The Oregon Obamacare exchange has received $305 million in taxpayer-funded federal grants, spent $160 million on its busted website, dropped $10 million on hipster promotional ads, erroneously enrolled 4,000 illegal immigrants in full Oregon Health Plan coverage contrary to federal law, and has not enrolled a single Oregonian online."

Oregon was even given "a $48 million "early innovator" grant for states whose exchanges were intended to serve as models for the nation." While the money was spent, clearly, that promised was never fulfilled

State officials may finally be coming to grips with the idea that they have failed completely. It looks like the exchange will be closed down and turned over to the feds. Perhaps fittingly, the White House's favorite exchange will be turned over to the White House.

Continue reading

Major Flip-Floppage on ObamaCare From Rep. Gary Peters in MI Senate Race

Apr 23, 2014 9:59 PM PT

Until very recently, MI Congressman Gary Peters was one of ObamaCare's biggest fans. In fact, only last year, he was still gushing about the unpopular, toxic law. 

But it was when it mattered most, before the law was passed, that Peters was at his most enthusiastic. At a townhall in August 2009, he was asked by some ObamaCare supporters why Democrats weren't doing a better job of "defusing the right-wing agitators."

Continue reading


Breitbart Video Picks



Fox News National


Send A Tip