#Obamacare: more broken promises to haunt Democrats

November 22, 2013
"Cross my fingers!"

“Cross my fingers!”

It’s not just the “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” lie or the forthcoming “access shock” that Democrats have to worry about as we approach the 2014 midterm elections. At the Washington Examiner, Byron York describes three more promises the president and his party made about Obamacare that could easily come back to bite them. Here’s one:

1) Obamacare will save your family $2,500 a year.

During the 2008 campaign, and as president, Obama promised his health plan would “cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.” But Obama and fellow Democrats knew that many premiums would actually go up. Obamacare provides taxpayer-paid subsidies to millions of Americans with which to pay the higher prices, but those without subsidies will have to deal with the problem themselves.

In any event, the savings aren’t happening, and the administration has abandoned the $2,500 claim. Obama avoided repeating it when Mitt Romney threw it at him during the 2012 presidential debates. And at a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pointedly did not use the figure, even when Republican lawmakers pressed her about it.

“I didn’t say they’re going down,” Sebelius said of health care premiums. “I said the rates are lower than was predicted. And for millions of people in the market, they will actually, for the first time ever, have some financial help paying for their health insurance.”

So the promise of $2,500 savings has become a reality of rising premiums, with subsidies for some. It’s a broken promise that could prove politically toxic for the administration.

I imagine there are quite a few people who would like to remind Secretary Sebelius of her boss’ exact words.

The other two are –and try not to laugh– Obamacare as a job-creating bill (1) and a guarantee that it won’t harm those who are already insured (2).

I’m willing to bet there’s a growing number of incumbent Democrats who are considering retirement much more seriously these days.

(1) I bet these people (and these) would beg to disagree, Nancy. Loudly and in your face.
(2) You mean, people such as Edie Sundby, a stage-4 cancer patient?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

El Caudillo Obama waves hand, saves nation from insurance crisis he caused

November 14, 2013
"It's on"

“It’s on”

Facing a rebellion by congressional Democrats panic-stricken over the public reaction to the wave of insurance cancellations, President Obama has just announced “Okay, okay. I’ll give you all another year:”

President Obama will announce at a news conference on Thursday morning that he supports a plan allowing people to keep their existing healthcare plans for a period of one year, according to senior White House officials and multiple reports. It will not be a legislative change; rather, it would be enforced under the Department of Health and Human Services’ existing power.

A power he doesn’t have under the law, just as he had no power to delay the employer-mandate. But, as the head of the progressive-administrative, liberal fascist state, playing “El Presidente” rather than “President of the United States,” the idea that under the Constitution he has to wait for Congress to rewrite the law doesn’t occur to him. But it does make Nancy Pelosi happy.

Back to Obama Saves The Day:

The predicted announcement is a response to complaints that Obama had broken his frequently-repeated campaign promise that people could keep their existing healthcare plans if they liked them. As Obamacare began to roll out last month, a number of people received notices from their insurers that their policies would have to change. This was largely because their existing plans didn’t meet the baseline standard mandated under the Affordable Care Act. That baseline includes policy components meant to ensure that, on the whole, participants can afford plans and not be burdened with excessive deductibles in the event that they need to get treatment.

This paragraph is rife with spin on The Atlantic’s part; grandfathered plans are being canceled because HHS wrote the regulations in such a manner to ensure most policies would lose their grandfathered status for the least change, such as a minor premium increase. And the idea of preventing the insured from being “burdened with excessive deductibles” will be news to those facing just that, thanks to the ACA.

But that’s a distraction. The key here is that this is all for show; it’s meant to slow the growing avalanche of Democrats jumping-ship to support either the Upton or Landrieu bills. And, by saying the insurance companies have the option to extend policies, it’s a naked attempt to shift the blame from the White House and the Democrats to the insurance companies and the state insurance commissioners. As John Harwood of CNBC and the NYT reported on Twitter:


In fact, this will hasten the Obamacare death-spiral, as the Upton and Landrieu bills would, by giving the young and healthy permission not to join the Obamacare risk-pools and skewing those pools too heavily toward the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. As Politico Breaking News just reported (h/t ST via email):

The Obama administration’s administrative fix to the health plan cancellation problem “could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers,” AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said in a statement today.  The insurance trade group  said more steps would be needed to prevent harm to consumers.

“Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace,” Ignagni, America’s Health Insurance Plans’ president and CEO, said. “If now fewer younger and healthier people choose to purchase coverage in the exchange, premiums will increase and there will be fewer choices for consumers.  Additional steps must be taken to stabilize the marketplace and mitigate the adverse impact on consumers.”

She did not say what those steps would be.

So it’s no more than theater, a grand gesture meant to cover their rears and look good while shifting the blame to someone else. But what about the problems this move creates? “We’ll deal with those mañana.”

From somewhere in a very warm place, Juan Peron and Hugo Chavez nod in approval.

PS: As I write this, The Lightworker is holding a press conference that, from what I’m seeing on Twitter, is an epic disaster. Can’t wait to see the video and transcripts this evening.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Why Republicans and conservatives should support some sort of mandate-delay

November 13, 2013

Commenting on my earlier post about the growing Democrat internal strife as Obamacare crashes down around them, ST reader Medbob offered this observation about a possible bipartisan effort to rewrite Obamacare to really (1) allow people to keep the insurance they like:

I don’t know why the Republicans should be expected to do anything other than fold their arms.
We offered to shut it down, we offered to amend it. Both were broken over the knee and thrown back in our face.

While I was thinking only of the enjoyment of watching the Democrats turn on each other like rats trapped in a too-small cage, Medbob asks a good question. Democrats have been desperate to pass some sort of universal health care bill since FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights” speech. When they finally did it, they passed it through constitutionally questionable legislative chicanery, forcing it down the throat of an unwilling nation. It was passed solely with Democratic votes, and every attempt to reform it, such as Senator Enzi’s (R-WY) bill in 2010 to allow people to keep their insurance, was defeated by the Democrats in the Senate on a strict party-line vote. The Democrats from the President on down repeatedly deceived the American people with the infamous “if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance” lie (2), which rapidly becoming the modern-day peer of “I am not a crook.

Why should we do anything to help them out of the hole they dug themselves into?

Coincidentally, I was reading the Ace of Spades blog and came upon a post by Drew M. arguing that supporting some form of the Upton/Johnson/Landrieu bills is smart politics:

The bottom line is this is a political move masquerading as policy. The GOP has to be seen doing something. That’s just reality. Millions of people who played by the rules are losing their insurance and quite possibly their doctors as well. It’s simply not an option for a political party to say, “Wow, that sucks for you. Should have voted for us, huh?”. Campaigns are about generating future support, not punishing voters for past lack of support.

The upside is that the GOP is doing this in a way that panders completely to the people who just, “want something done” but is also a poison pill to the Democrats. Obama doesn’t want to “fix” what isn’t a bug in the system but from his point of view, a necessary feature.

The risk in all of this is that the Democrats say “yes”. I have my doubts that the Senate will take up the Landrieu bill let alone pass Upton’s. And the odds of Obama signing any of them are zero (he never has to face voters and he cares more about his plan than some random Democrats).

Emphasis added. I’ll point out that Drew is no squish on this; if he had his druthers, he’d employ the “let it burn” strategy.

But being seen to do something people need, even if it fails, is smart electoral politics, particularly if the Republicans settle on a repeal-and-replace bill as an alternative to the ACA. There’s a risk, of course, that Republicans could then be exposed to sharing the blame with the Democrats, but, like Drew, I think it’s less than the ire we’d face for folding our arms and doing nothing when people are crying out for relief. It’s a good chance to remind people that we’re the adults in the room, while the hard-left leadership of the Democrats digs in against any measure (3), no matter how much the people suffer.

Consequently, I think the best plan is for Republicans to support some sort of relief from the effects of the individual mandate and exploit the opportunity we have in advance of the 2014 elections.

Reasonable people can, of course, disagree.

(1) Unlike the repeated lies that were fed to Americans over and over again.
(2) Sure, some were just stupid and swallowed the Party line without thinking, meaning they didn’t deceive people deliberately. But the effect and the harm were the same.
(3)  It’s beginning to remind me of one of those “Downfall” parody videos. How soon before Pelosi starts issuing orders to Steiner?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

#Obamacare: White House refuses bills to let you keep your insurance

November 13, 2013

Alternative headline: “White House to congressional Democrats: ‘You’ve served your purpose, now die! And thank you for your support.'”

Jim Geraghty notes the push-back coming from the Obama administration and its media allies to the idea of passing any bill that loosens, delays or eliminates the individual mandate. The White House knows that any such move would only hasten the Obamacare death-spiral, and WaPo’s Greg Sargent predicts Harry Reid will perform his usual blockade duty and prevent any such bill from coming anywhere near Obama’s desk.

Trouble is, it’s not Fred Upton’s bill in the House that Obama has to worry about, nor is it Senator Johnson’s (R-WI) similar legislation; what has them worried is Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) own offering. They have to be frightened that other increasingly panicked Democrats will join her, creating a stampede effect that Republicans will happily join. (Remember, Obamacare needs to vampirize the young and healthy to pay for all those Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. Republicans have no interest in facilitating that.) If Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), from as safe a seat as there can be, is ready to sign on (1), can Mark Pryor and other endangered Democrats be far behind? Or what if a bloc of Democrats rebel and join Republicans to pass the Upton or Johnson bills, making it impossible for Obama to vote “present?”

These are the considerations that inspire Jim to savor the Democrats’ delicious dilemma:

This is fantastic. 

Salon’s Brian Beutler can see the pain that this is going to inflict on Democrats: ”The Keep Your Health Plan Act would be immensely damaging to Obamacare if it ever became law, and preventing it from becoming law will require Senate Democrats and President Obama to sustain real political damage over the next few weeks.”

Can you picture the ads? “Senator [Insert Democrat Here] voted …for the Obamacare law that took away your health insurance… and then voted against the Keep Your Health Plan Act.” The vulnerable Democrats in Congress will embrace Upton and other plans, while the administration and its allies will need to defeat those ideas with every tool necessary. Democrats are about to enjoy a round of infighting that makes the GOP infighting during the shutdown look like a mild disagreement. 

Popcorn is available in the lobby. smiley popcorn

(1) From what I read on Twitter last night, Feinie’s offices were flooded with 30,000 angry phone calls. A million Californians are losing their insurance coverage. Put those two together and even Di-Fi will get worried.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at this meeting…

November 7, 2013
"Time to panic"

“Time to panic”

Or maybe just an NSA bug. Either way, I imagine the language was… “colorful:”

President Obama in a private meeting at the White House Wednesday was on the receiving end of complaints from Democrats frustrated with the botched rollout of Obamacare’s public exchanges.

Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2014 grilled the president as problems persist with healthcare.gov and the administration remains on the defensive for claims that all Americans could keep their health plans under Obamacare.

“It is simply unacceptable for Alaskans to bear the brunt of the administration’s mismanagement of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and that is the message U.S. Senator Mark Begich delivered to President Obama today,” the Democrat’s office said in a statement sent to reporters.

Maybe Senator Begich should have thought of that before he voted to pass a bill no one had bothered to read and before he voted to uphold a rule that made danged sure Alaskans couldn’t keep their insurance coverage under Obamacare.

Then, maybe (not really), I’d have some sympathy for his faked concern for his constituents.

Take a look at the article. The list of attendees looks like the passenger list of the Titanic — doomed: Franken, Hagan, Landrieu, Merkely, Pryor, Shaheen, Udall (CO) and Udall (NM), &c. To one degree or another, these people are facing tough reelection fights thanks to the Obamacare screw-ups, and some of them are little better than walking dead, politically. Obama was probably handing them all sedatives to stop their sobbing.

Then there’s Durbin of Illinois (D – Combine). He won’t lose reelection, of course, but he does have hopes of succeeding Reid as Majority Leader. Of course, that requires actually having a majority to lead…

And Bennet of Colorado? Not only is he up for reelection in a state increasingly disillusioned with the Denver elite (and where 250,000 Coloradans are losing their insurance), but he’s also head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tasked with getting these same people reelected as well as electing new (Social) Democratic senators. He must have some seriously bad karma (1) to have drawn this hand.

Like I said, it must have been an interesting meeting. Oh, sure, Obama probably agreed to it in part to let these senators, saps all who trusted Obama and their leadership on this issue, play the “tough representative” for the folks back home. A bit of theater to damp down the fires of rebellion.

But it isn’t going to work. Lots of angry people are going to demand answers, votes are on record, and we will be all too happy to direct these miffed voters to said information. And recommend other people to vote for who might actually fix the problem.

I’m hope Obama has plenty more of those sedatives on hand.

(1) I from California. That’s how we talk, man.

UPDATE: Apparently it was all for show

In the report below, Major Garrett spills the beans: “Top officials here (at the White House) told us, President Obama summoned those angry Democrats so they could vent, and then tell their voters back home they gave the president a piece of their mind. One official described it as opening a serious of political pressure valves, and letting out some steam.”

Enjoy that ride on the Titanic, folks! And isn’t that a pretty iceberg headed your way?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

#Obamacare quote of the day

November 6, 2013
"Revenge of the angry mob"

“Revenge of the angry mob”

We’ll be hearing this one a lot over the next year, I suspect:

This whole experience has converted a lifelong Democrat into a foot soldier for the Republican Party

And you can bet there are some very worried looks being exchanged at the DNC, DCCC, and DSCC right about now.

via Pirate’s Cove

#Obamacare: Democrats voted for the rule canceling your insurance

November 1, 2013
"2014 voters"

“2014 voters”

That’s the revelation in a CNN article that’s been making the rounds this morning: every single Democratic senator –and not a single Republican, I’ll add– voted three years ago for the “grandfathering” rule that’s now costing millions the insurance they like.

They knew this would happen:

In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

“The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time.

“The administration’s own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House’s own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,” the Iowa Republican said.

On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.

I wrote about the problems facing employer-based insurance Senator Grassley referred to yesterday. You think what’s happening now is bad? Just wait a year.

The CNN writer is being gentle when he writes that this “could come back to haunt” Democrats facing reelection. If there is any justice, this boneheaded, arrogant move that’s upending the lives of millions will come back at them like the Terminator going after Sarah Connor.

Democrats, especially those senators facing difficult reelections —Hi, Mary Landrieu!— are desperately trying to shift blame for this onto the insurance companies, but it’s not going to work. The people experiencing this pain are going to look for someone to blame and, when even CNN won’t cover for the Democrats, they’ll find them.

They own this fiasco lock, stock, and barrel, no matter how fast they spin or how many lies Jay Carney tells.

Come November, 2014, it’s pitchforks and torches time.


RELATED: A small business owner near San Diego meets the reality of Obamacare rate-shock.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

#Obamacare: They lied. Up to 93 million Americans to lose their insurance

October 31, 2013
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

And they knew in 2010, at least.

Recall that, over the last few days as millions of Americans have had their medical insurance canceled due to the Affordable Care Act, apologists have tried to pass it off as regrettable, but ultimately minor. It ranged from presidential spokes-weasel Jay Carney minimizing it as five percent of Americans (that’s still more than 15 million, Jay), to an unbelievably insane performance by New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone on Megyn Kelley’s show last night. (Really, you have to see it to believe it.)

But, here’s the kicker: both apologists and critics are wrong when they say this is limited to the private, individual policy market. Well, critics are wrong. The apologists are lying suckweasels or pathetic tools, take your pick. Per analysis published in Forbes today by Avik Roy, the stringent Obamacare regulations that are costing individual buyers the plans they like will, by 2015, also affect employer-based insurance.

And the carnage will be immense:

Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act contains what’s called a “grandfather” provision that, in theory, allows people to keep their existing plans if they like them. But subsequent regulations from the Obama administration interpreted that provision so narrowly as to prevent most plans from gaining this protection.

“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of theRegister. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

Another 25 million people, according to the CBO, have “nongroup and other” forms of insurance; that is to say, they participate in the market for individually-purchased insurance. In this market, the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and get canceled, solely due to the fact that there is a high turnover of participants and insurance arrangements in this market. (Plans purchased after March 23, 2010 do not benefit from the “grandfather” clause.) The real turnover rate would be higher, because plans can lose their grandfather status for a number of other reasons.

How many people are exposed to these problems? 60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) amounts to 93 million Americans.

Remember that Obama illegally delayed the employer mandate for a year, so the effect of section 1251 has been put off from 2013 to 2014, for insurance coverage beginning 2015. Ed Morrissey notes an intriguing problem that poses for the Democrats:

Employers will face a critical decision point by September 2014 of whether to pay the fine for non-coverage and force their employees into the individual exchanges, or absorb more of the skyrocketing premium costs we’re seeing this month.  They may opt for an in-between solution of private exchanges, but even that will force employees out of their current plans, contra to the Obama promise that Americans can “keep their plans.”

Those decisions and actions will take place just weeks before the midterm elections. Take the headlines and outrage we are seeing now for the impact that ObamaCare has on the individual market and perhaps as many as 12 million Americans, and then multiply it by six as employers make the rational decision to get out of the health-insurance business altogether.

That’s 93 million people, most of them voters, and a very, very large lot of them angry as a wet cat over what the Democrats’ legislation did to them. Just as we enter the final run up to the election.

And I hope those arrogant, lying, progressive oligarchs, so cocksure that they know how to run our lives better than we do, suffer a wipeout for the ages in it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

#Obamacare chronicles: more sticker shock, canceled coverage, and Halloween horror

October 27, 2013
No way!!

Wait! It’s not free??

I swear by the Good Book, I’d love to be working in a Republican communications shop scripting campaign commercials; Obamacare is making their job so easy.

The Los Angeles Times published an article yesterday that tried valiantly to convince us that there are both winners and losers under Obamacare, but it seems the only real-world examples (1) they could cite were of the losers, such a pregnant mother-to-be:

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.”

Remember what I wrote about campaign commercials? If “Obamacare hurts pregnant women” isn’t being broadcast over every woman-oriented medium in summer and fall 2014, someone needs to be shot.

The quote of the day, however has to come from the unnamed woman who just learned that unicorns don’t exist:

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.

Reality has a way of shattering those Candyland dreams,  doesn’t it? Maybe she can commiserate with these people.

There are hundred of thousands, if not millions of Americans, not only in California but across the nation, finding themselves in similar situations: losing the coverage they like, being cut off from the doctors they trust, finding their choices restricted and their costs increased, and this is all before they actually have to try to get decent medical care under this anti-constitutional monstrosity.

Which means, as time goes by, there are going to be more and more angry people who also happen to vote, which already has Democrats in a near-panic. After all, they voted for this thing; we didn’t.

And we will be sure to make that quite clear to all and sundry.

Oh, that Halloween horror I mentioned? Check out this web ad from Generation Opportunity. This year, the scariest Halloween monster won’t be Frankenstein, but Uncle Sam:

RELATED: From Reason Magazine, Obamacare has a big problem with Medicaid sign-ups — too many of them. After nearly four weeks after the opening of the Obamacare web site, more than 330,000 people have gotten to the point where subsidy calculations can be made. That’s across the entire nation. No word on how many of those actually bought a policy.

PS: I can’t resist going back to the LAT article and pulling one last quote, this from the director of Covered California, that is a sterling example of progressive-bureaucratic arrogance:

“People could have kept their cheaper, bad coverage, and those people wouldn’t have been part of the common risk pool,” [Peter] Lee said. “We are better off all being in this together. We are transforming the individual market and making it better.”

Translation: “People could have kept the coverage they were satisfied with, but then we wouldn’t have been able to force them to pay more for coverage they don’t want or need. We’re from the government and we know how a free market should be run.” Just amazing.

(1) As opposed to “All is well” pronouncements from regime apparatchiks.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

#Obamacare: Bet on it – the Individual Mandate will be delayed. Updated: I was right. Update 2: Not yet?

October 23, 2013
"Time to panic"

“Time to panic”

Because Democrat senators up for reelection in 2014 are now in full-blown panic mode. Earlier today, CNN’s Dana Bash tweeted the following:

Then, at Breitbart:

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who is up for re-election in 2014, wrote to Obama on Tuesday and asked him to delay the enrollment deadline for the individual mandate. “Given the existing problems with the website, I urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014,” Shaheen wrote to the president. “Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), who is facing a tough challenge in his 2014 re-election against Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), came out in support of Shaheen’s call for a delay of the individual mandate’s enrollment deadline. Pryor had previously been on record as supportive of the mandate as is.

Now, according to CNN’s Bash, the Democratic Party is coordinating an effort to support a delay in the individual mandate.

These people are not dummies: they can see the building fiasco. A law that was never popular, that was passed by anti-constitutional means against the will of the majority, that has never, ever claimed majority approval… That law is now doing real harm. People are losing the insurance and doctors they’ve been told they can keep; they’re seeing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles skyrocket, and their hours at work are being cut, if they don’t lose their jobs altogether. And the vast majority of these people are voters. Voters who are getting angry and who are going to get angrier. And angry voters tend to vent their rage at the ballot box.

Republicans have nothing to worry about; they can honestly tell voters that not a single one of them voted for this fiasco. Democratic senators, on the other hand (as well as most of the remaining Democrat caucus in the House), mostly if not wholly voted for Obamacare. And soon they will have to go before the electorate and explain how they not only voted for this monster in the first place, but let something so bad get passed that they now have to beg for it not to be enforced.

And the Republicans can stand there and honestly say “We’ve been trying to tell you. Now vote for us, please, so we can make it all go away.”

The political implications of this are wild. For starters, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and all the rest of the (Social) Democrats will have to explain why they so bitterly opposed a delay in the mandate originally proposed by the Republicans that they allowed the government to be shut down and the credit rating of the United States to be threatened… Only to have to ask for a delay of their own, three weeks later. For Obama in particular, well, this program has his name on it. Will he be willing to eat the humiliation to save his Senate majority? Or will he resist any delay and potentially sacrifice vulnerable Democrats on the altar of his own ego? We know he’s a narcissist, but how big a one is he?

But then there are implications for Obamacare, itself. The individual mandate is absolutely essential, if this program is to have any chance at all of being viable. They need young, healthy people to pay more than they should for insurance in order to pay for the care of the elderly and those with chronic conditions. Hence the legal mandate to purchase insurance or pay a penalty, tax, whatever Justice Roberts calls it this week. Absent that mandate, with ongoing failure of the online exchanges, and given that Obamacare guarantees coverage, the economics of the Affordable Care Act turn toxic.

The administration estimates that it needs 2.7 million young healthy people on the exchange, out of the 7 million total expected to apply in the first year. If the pool is too skewed — if it’s mostly old and sick people on the exchanges — then insurers will lose money, and next year, they’ll sharply increase premiums. The healthiest people will drop out, because insurance is no longer such a good deal for them. Rinse and repeat and you have effectively destroyed the market for individual insurance policies. It’s called the “death spiral,” and the exchanges, like the mandate, were designed to keep it from happening.

Without the exchanges, the death spiral seems almost assured. The amount of work required to find a policy, figure out your subsidy, buy coverage and file the paperwork will be very high. And it’s unlikely that folks who can’t even be bothered to go to ehealthinsurance.com right now will do it. The Affordable Care Act made the task of signing up young healthy people on the exchanges even harder with its much-loved requirement that companies allow kids to stay on their parents’ policies until they’re 26, which took millions of potential buyers out of the pool. The ones who are left are going to be disproportionately poorer and less well educated than the middle-class offspring who can get cheap insurance through mom and dad. There’s a reason that virtually every person you’ve seen written up in an article as they tried to get insurance at a community center or clinic is some combination of over 55, retired or afflicted with a serious chronic condition.

And without the exchanges and the individual mandate, we go from “almost assured” to a guaranteed death spiral. Companies will leave the health insurance market altogether to escape the guaranteed coverage clauses, leaving million without the insurance they used to like… and wondering whom to blame. (1)

Now you see why Senator Shaheen and company are hitting that panic button. But for her and them, I have no sympathy.

(1) I used to think that this was all part of a plan to get people to beg for a “better solution,” which would turn out to be the Left’s dream: state-run single-payer health insurance. And maybe the hard left still thinks it will work out that way. But now I’m not so sure about the rest: no one could design a system so self-evidently bad, so harmful to the nation and to their own political futures that they could expect to profit from it. Could they?

LINKS: My blog-buddy ST beat me to the news and calls for popcorn.

UPDATE: And just like that, I’m proven right.

UPDATE 2: On the other hand, maybe not just yet.

Senator Newt Gingrich (R-VA)? Update: Newt says no.

September 19, 2013

Saw this item in this morning’s Washington Free Beacon. It made me smile:

A new political action committee is hoping to convince former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to run for the U.S. Senate in Virginia next year.

Draft Newt PAC insists Gingrich, now a host of CNN’s Crossfire, is Republicans’ best hope for retaking the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.), who is vying for his second term.

“We want a credible challenger to Mark Warner, and no one could do what Newt could do to fight—and win,” said Andrew Hemingway, a former staffer on Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign who is leading the Draft Newt group, in a press release announcing the effort.

“U.S. Senator Newt Gingrich would be an immediate game changer, giving conservatives another voice that would take the fight to the Obama administration,” added Hemingway, who ran fundraising for the 2012 presidential bid.

Gingrich represented Georgia’s sixth congressional district in the U.S. House, but has lived in McLean, Va., since 2009. Efforts to reach him or a member of his staff were unsuccessful.

And you know what a “Senator Gingrich” would mean, my friends? Moon bases! (1)

Seriously. there’s not much chance of unseating Mark Warner, who’s doing well in the polls, but, if you’re going to run someone, why not a guy who even some foes describe as brilliant, who’s a first class debater, who’s a walking idea factory, and who eviscerates people who ask stupid questions?

Sure, he’s got his personal baggage (see the above clip, inter alia), and yes he’s arrogant and undisciplined, but, if you’re going to put some sacrificial lamb up against a popular incumbent, why not a lion in lamb’s clothing? Why not a guy who will at least make the race interesting and entertaining? And, if he should win, the number of progressive heads exploding around America would be epic.

I know it would mean giving up your cushy pundit job for a while, but, come on, Newt. Give in to the Dark Side — run! Run for Virginia. Run for America. Run… for the children! Run so Newt Judges You will have more material.

Run, Newt. Run.

(1) You think I’m joking, but I love the idea. I’ve been a space program geek since childhood.

UPDATE: I weep.

via FatDaddyBulldog

Rep. Clyburn: Dems ‘will be running’ on Obamacare in 2014

August 11, 2013

They might as well; they’re the only ones who voted for it — in the face of massive public opposition, I’ll remind us all.

Today  in The Hill:

The House assistant Democratic leader said on Sunday that his party will campaign on President Obama’s controversial healthcare law in 2014.

“We will be running on Obamacare in 2014,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“In fact, we set it up to run on it in 2014,” he continued. “We fully expect to run on it, we expect to win on it. The American people will be the winner.”

Clyburn noted that major provisions of the law are expected to go into effect on Oct. 1 and Jan. 1, 2014, leaving Democrats little choice but to make healthcare a part of their midterm election campaigns.

This anti-constitutional monstrosity is already falling apart, and every week seems to bring one more waiver for one more favored group. Even former ardent supporters want it delayed or even repealed. And if the voting public hasn’t already noticed all the problems(1), you can bet they will once those major provisions go into effect… less than a year before the election.

So, I agree with the esteemed Democratic assistant leader (2): Democrats should run on Obamacare. And we’ll help in every way we can to make sure they get all the… credit.

We’re nice like that.

via Rick Moran

(1) Sorry, Jim. They have.
(2) A title created to salve Clyburn and the Black Caucus’s wounded ego after he was demoted when the Democrats became minority party in 2011, so the White Steny Hoyer could keep the number two spot in the caucus under the White Nancy Pelosi. Just a reminder.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

More Democrat rats jumping the sinking Obamacare/IPAB ship

August 9, 2013

Democrats jumping ship satire

My blog-buddy ST has an interesting post this morning about even more Democrats wanting to limit or do away with Obamacare’s Independent Payments Advisory board, more properly known as “Death Panel.” First it was Howard Dean, and now Democrat senators and representatives are joining the chorus. Read the whole thing, but this excerpt caught my eye:

But the former Vermont governor is not the only Democrat looking to kill the panel.

A wave of vulnerable Democrats over the past three months has signed on to bills repealing the board’s powers, including Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Reps. Ron Barber (Ariz.), Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Elizabeth Esty (Conn.).

All five are considered vulnerable in next year’s election, highlighting the stakes and the political angst surrounding the healthcare measure.

The four House Democrats faced criticism from their party in July after voting with Republicans to delay ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates — moves widely interpreted as political positioning ahead of 2014.

No, really? Why, whatever could they be worried about? Could it be that the public hates this anti-constitutional monstrosity and wants Obamacare killed with fire? Could it be that Democrats realize they wholly own this oncoming train wreck, because not a single Republican voted for it, and we’ve sworn up and down to repeal it and bury it at a crossroads at midnight with a stake through it? Could it be these time-serving, careerist mandarins fear losing their cushy jobs (and their exemptions from Obamacare) in the next election?

Maybe. Some at least seem to have a modicum of self-awareness. We’ll see how many as the months go by.