Thursday, February 06, 2014

Cruising the Web

The LA Times reports on the difficulties that patients are running into when they try to go to their doctors. And they're finding out that they can't go to their own doctor.
A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business.
Experts have warned for months that the logjam was inevitable. But the extent of the problems is taking by surprise many patients — and even doctors — as frustrations mount.

Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson said Anthem Blue Cross promised half a dozen times that her oncologists would be covered under her new policy. She was diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January.

But when she went to her oncologist's office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted.

"I'm a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can't sleep at night," Nelson said. "I can't imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen."
To hold down premiums under the healthcare law, major insurers have sharply cut the number of doctors and hospitals available to patients in the state's new health insurance market.
Expect stories like this week after week as the reality of what Obamacare means hits home. And the White House will try to convince the Danielle Nelsons of the country that losing her oncologist is actually a good thing, just as they're now trying to convince us that 2.5 million people going from full-time to part-time job is a wonderful thing, not as Jim Geraghty writes, part of Obamacare's "War on Work." However, the New York Times editorial board is all excited about all the "opportunities" facing people who will now have the choice of working part-time rather than full-time due to the incentive structure of Obamacare. James Taranto notes an essential contradiction in the liberal position.
And here's another puzzlement: Working for pay is supposed to be liberating for women because it frees them from dependency on men. How can one square that with this new claim that dependence on the government is liberating because it allows people not to work?
On this same subject, my husband writes,
I love that Liberals have now decided that what individuals voluntarily choose--regardless of the consequences for the rest of us--is fine. Question for them: shouldn't we therefore allow individuals to choose whether or not to have health insurance and if so, what kind?
The WSJ writes,
For years liberals have lamented the jobs crisis and underemployment to castigate Republicans as mean-spirited for opposing more "stimulus" and more weeks of unemployment benefits. But if pervasive joblessness is an economic and social scourge, why celebrate a program that is creating more of it?

Apart from harm to individuals, ObamaCare is also wasting human potential because fewer workers mean a less prosperous, less dynamic economy. Contrary to liberal patronizing, many near-seniors, moms and the rest like their jobs and contribute to productivity. The 2.5 million worker ObamaCare job exodus, CBO estimates, translates into a 1.5% to 2% reduction in the total number of hours worked, which means less growth.

Liberals are also trying to spin the CBO report as an endorsement of ObamaCare's alleged health security. Mr. Furman cited the phenomenon known as "job lock," in which people don't switch employers or start their own business to preserve fringe benefits. But job lock is really about employment flexibility, rather than the government extending subsidies so people don't need or want jobs.

Whether ObamaCare is leading to fewer jobs or fewer workers—we'd argue both—most normal, nonpolitical people probably see either one as negative. We know liberals don't care about tax rates on the rich, but you'd think they'd care about marginal rates so high on the poor that it makes no sense to climb the income ladder. The liberal applause for this "liberation" shows how radical ObamaCare really is.
Couple those statistics about fewer full-time workers with the CBO's projections of our increasing debt which is growing to match and then surpass our debt incurred during the Second World War.

William A. Jacobson points out that we cannot refuse to fill out a race and ethnicity questionnaire at a doctor. This is a part of Obamacare and it's a very thorough questionnaire.

The unilateralists in the Obama administration are at it again. Now they've announced that asylum-seekers and refugees who have provided "limited material support" to terrorists won't be barred from coming to the U.S.

John Kerry just doesn't get it. He can't give up on the old, tired idea that nothing can be accomplished in the Middle East unless Israel give up some yet-to-be-determined concessions to Palestinians. Now he's issuing vague threats about economic boycotts. This is not going over well in Israel.

It is going to be very difficult for red-state Democratic senators to distance themselves from the President when they've been voting with him over 90% of the time. Are those Democrats facing very tough reelection battles this year going to be willing to support the administration to continue bailouts of private insurance companies if they are losing money due to Obamacare? That is not going to be a popular vote.

P.J. O'Rourke is out with a new book, The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again). As a member of that generation, I often feel a similar self-consciousness about my generation. Ed Driscoll interviews O'Rourke in a very entertaining interview that covers all sorts of topics. It's a fun 22 minute podcast.