Friday, November 01, 2013

Cruising the Web

Ah, the mendacity.

CBS has seen the documents from the administration as they analyzed the daily figures on how many people had signed up for Obamacare on Contrary to their statements that they didn't know how many people had enrolled, they had a war room that was looking at the figures every day. And those figures were not impressive. The best that they could do was give us figures of how many people had visited the site regardless of the fact that those figures meant nothing in terms of actually enrolling.
The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say "six enrollments have occurred so far."

They were with BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina and Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corporation.

By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to "approximately 100." By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect "248 enrollments" nationwide.
More bad news for Obamacare - many top hospitals are not accepting patients with insurance through the exchanges since the reimbursement rates are so low. Amazingly, people don't want to provide health care at the rates that Obamacare wants to provide. But this is all going to be a massive surprise to people as they find out that they won't be able to go to the best hospitals in their area. As Allahpundit writes,
From what I can tell, the feds’ solution to the provider problem thus far has been simply to not talk about it. Which makes sense from a PR standpoint: Given all the other flaming wreckage they have to deal with, why force the issue of coverage networks being smaller than everyone anticipated until it’s absolutely necessary, i.e. on January 1, when coverage takes effect? It’s irresponsible, though, insofar as they’re pushing consumers to focus on the cost and comprehensiveness of the coverage they’re buying on the exchanges and that’s going to lead them to overlook the provider-network component, which will end up being a nasty surprise later in some cases. You’ve got middle-class people deciding to buy Plan A instead of Plan B because the former’s a bit more affordable and meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, the fine print says that Plan A includes far fewer providers than Plan B does. If you think the media’s been tough on O-Care lately, wait until January when “rate shock” segues into “provider shock.”
As John Lott writes at NRO today, the reality is becoming clear that, even for the Obamanians, "there is no such thing as a free lunch."

One young man, part of the target population of Obamacare writes in the Los Angeles Times that he is just fed up at having to be the source of transfer payments to the elderly and sick. He's furious at finding out that he is going to have to pay a lot more than the barebones catastrophic plan that he'd been perfectly happy with.
Supporters of Obamacare note that young people have been footing the bill for the older generation for decades through programs like Social Security and Medicare. You pay when you’re young and reap the benefits as you grow older.

Both of those programs, however, are public, with no profit motive. They are both funded by payroll taxes, which, when I see them deducted every month, I don’t have to worry about them being funneled to the pockets of greedy insurance CEOs through creative accounting measures.

Payroll taxes are also collected from almost every wage-earner. With Obamacare, however, people with insurance through their jobs are insulated from the costs imposed on those who shop for individual polices. And most of them will be able to keep their group plans.

Older people in the individual market, meanwhile, may see their premiums go down, regardless of how well-off they may be. That’s because Obamacare mandates that older people can’t pay more than three times the rate of younger members of the pool.

Even the young, healthy and wealthy really don’t have much of a stake in paying for Obamacare. A 43% healthcare increase to a millionaire does not have the same impact as it does on someone making $45,000.

Backers of Obamacare also note that although young healthy people are being asked to sacrifice, they are the ones most likely to be eligible for a subsidized plan. But what exactly does that mean? According to Covered California’s online calculator, were I to make $30,000 (hardly rolling in dough), I would be eligible for a subsidy of $40 a month.

I would still be paying more than I am now for substandard health insurance.

What I mean by substandard is this. We’ve been hearing people complain that the Obamacare-approved policies cover too much, not too little. That’s part of the reason premiums are higher. But from my view, a higher monthly premium along with higher copays create a disincentive. Paying more to see a doctor means there’s less chance I’'ll use that service unless I’m absolutely desperate.
And he's now the equivalent of Howard Beale shouting out the window that he's mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore.
If this system is going to be sustainable, however, we’re going to need to find a way to get older and wealthier Americans to chip in more. Because, right now, it’s young, middle-class people just outside the subsidy range who are biting the bullet. Young, middle-class people who already bore the highest toll in the recent financial collapse, who have seen our wages sliced and our job prospects dwindle.

You can only ride our backs for so long before we’re going to tell you enough is enough.
Politico writes an article that basically says, darn, those Republicans were right when they warned us since 2009 about Obamacare.
For years, the media turned a blind eye to conservatives’ insistent warnings, often taking the president’s promise for granted. But this week, as health insurance cancellation letters started showing up in Americans’ mailboxes and the website rollout flopped, the GOP message finally broke into the mainstream.
The media are finally noticing what conservatives have been saying for four years that there was no way that Obama could fulfill his promise that everyone who was happy with his insurance plan could keep it.
For the past few years, the RNC, top conservative think tanks and several influential right-leaning bloggers have been trying to convince Americans that Obama’s claim about being able to keep your plan was wrong. A few news outlets also cautioned against the president’s promise. As early as June 2009, The Associated Press wrote that “no president could guarantee such a pledge.”

But for the most part, the mainstream media failed to aggressively pursue the story, taking Obama’s claim at face value without testing it against the facts. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans, who had given a burst of attention several years ago to the issue that people may lose their plans, moved on to critiquing other aspects of the legislation and the press coverage followed.

“For the mainstream media, this matters to them now because they feel like they were lied to — that’s why it’s caught on,” Kukowski said. “The White House made it out like we were the ones crying wolf, now it turns out they’re the ones who were wrong.”
Maybe if the media paid a lick of attention to what conservative think tanks and bloggers write, they wouldn't be so shocked when those warnings come true. I'll just enjoy this moment of schadenfreude

Rich Lowry notes how Democratic supporters of Obamacare are now whining about how Republicans are still now supporting a program that they never supported. And somehow that lack of support is to blame for all the problems becoming so obvious now. Whatever the problem, they seem to think it can be resolved by blaming Republicans. James Taranto has fun covering all the circumlocutions that liberal writers have been using to get around the fact that President Obama continually and repeatedly lied to the American people. As Jeffrey Anderson describes the Obama approach to all the evidence that he had lied to the American people, is "if at first you don't succeed, lie, lie again."
Elsewhere in his speech, Obama also declared (for the benefit of the truly credulous) that Obamacare “will actually help lower the deficit.” And he added that the debate over Obamacare “has never been about right or left.”

Of course, that’s exactly what it’s about, and Obama knows it. It’s about whether Americans are a free people who have the unalienable right to keep the fruits of their own labor and freely decide for themselves whether or not to buy health insurance, even health insurance that someone else might call “substandard.” It’s about whether an administration that can’t roll out a website should be put in charge of American medicine. It’s about whether a president who lies to the American people can be trusted with matters of their health. It’s about whether ever more power and money should be consolidated and concentrated in the nation’s capital, at the expense of everyday Americans’ liberty and prosperity. And it’s about whether Barack Obama’s vision of America will prevail, or whether George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan’s vision of America will prevail.
Deroy Murdock has some fun with one Democrat's, John Sarbanes, comparison of people losing health coverage and having to go onto the exchange to people who stand in line to buy baseball tickets and one window closes and they have to line up at another window. Murdock provides his own version of that comparison.

Michael Barone refutes the liberal arguments about why people shouldn't be moving from high-tax, high-housing-cost state to low-tax, low-housing-cost states.
Dear Orioles fan:

It is our duty to inform you that you no longer will be able to sit in the bleachers at Camden Yards. Seats in this section have been cancelled, due to the Essential Spectator Benefits of the Affordable Sports Act (a.k.a. Obamasports).

We encourage you to visit, where you can shop for tickets that comply with these new, federally mandated minimum standards.

For example, you could purchase seats in Section 250. Supporters of ObamaSports have described these as “better seats” rather than the “flimsy seats” that you have occupied. These new seats would be in the shade, instead of in the bright sunshine, where you and your friends and loved ones preferred to sit before Obamasports ejected you from this part of the ballpark. These shaded seats should reduce the risk of your developing wrinkles or contracting skin cancer.

These ASA-compliant seats also are nearer to providers of Maryland crab, Korean barbecue, and other healthy food options at Camden Yards, rather than the low-quality hot dogs and popcorn that were sold near the seats that you used to frequent.

While single-game seats in Section 250 cost $60, as opposed to the $17 that you have been pleased to pay in the bleachers, subsidies might be available to you, if your income qualifies. If not, you will be expected to pay the full price for these tickets out of your own pocket. Rearranging your finances to accommodate these higher expenses should keep you on your toes. This, in fact, is a type of low-impact exercise endorsed by the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative.

All things considered, Obama and the authors of the Affordable Sports Act are confident that you will be more satisfied with this superior arrangement into which they have steered you. After all, they know that this will be better for you than those inferior bleacher seats in which you clearly suffered for so long.

Good luck navigating We trust that this website will overcome its early glitches and be fully operational some time before next year’s All-Star Game.
Charles Krauthammer writes today about how these past two weeks, as the lies of Obamacare become clear, we're learning a lot about the Obama approach to government.
The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism, and (c) subterfuge.

Guy Milliere has a scary and depressing story about the open anti-Semitism being publicly expressed in France. I was amazed to read that the 19th century ugly anti-Semitic tract, Jewish France by Edouard Drumont has recently been republished in France. This is such a vicious book that I use excerpts from it in my A.P. European History class to show the students how ugly anti-Semitism was in France at the time of the Dreyfus Affair. And now it's being depicted as a "classic of French literature."