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Just how gullible are the American people?

…I suppose in a nation that twice elected this schiester as president, the question answers itself to a degree.

But consider this: All winter, government spokespersons wondered, in puzzled bewilderment given the complexity and enormity of the entire enterprise of doing something that hundreds of private corporations do thousands of times daily with the ease of a bodily function, just how many people had actually so far at any point in time signed up for insurance under the ACA’s myriad state health insurance exchanges. For months on end, Secretary Sebelius and her minions, White House spokes-individual Jay Carney, even the president himself were left in befuddled speechless deer-in-the-headlights slack-jawedness over a simple question: How many people have signed up?

Nary a straight answer because…well, that sort of information is just so darned hard to come up with.

Lo! And Behold! The very day THE VERY DAY! the ball drops and all who are to receive insurance (and who haven’t fallen into about 15,832 ‘exemptions’ magically bestowed upon the populace by the benevolent dictator and his czars) must have signed up, suddenly the Administration appears from behind a magic curtain to announce that 7,100,000 subjects citizens have indeed signed up for insurance. (Precisely ‘point-one’ more than their goal!)

Suddenly those impossibe-to-know numbers are well…right there at the fingertips of the president himself. Amazing, isn’t it, how reliable and precise are the Administrative Class?

Naturally we have an adversarial press, who after six months of having been given the Heisman Stiff Arm on their queries about numbers, will raise the flag on this fascinating turnaround. Right?

(crickets)

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from Dallas tonight, seriously, for some reason…)

If President Obama had Wielded “Soft Power” at Home…

Do we all agree that, notwithstanding his penchant for distant murder-by-disembodied-aerial-vehicle, not-as-surgical-as-you’d-wish-it-were, drone strikes (what I like to call a “passive-aggressive” military policy), the president’s favored foreign policy is a preference for ‘soft power’? Which is to say, don’t you think the Obama Administration’s approach to the world is to rely more on influence than on coercion? I think he (and Secretary of State John Kerry too) would say so himself. He’d much prefer (well, either of them would, I suppose) to rely on what he considers (ahem) his extraordinarily outsized powers of charm and persuasion to win over other heads of state, rather than the inelegant and clumsy use of force to dictate his way when it comes to what other countries do.

Contrast that with his approach to the issues with America’s healthcare system.

Although I disagree with the premise (a topic for another post altogether), President Obama and the Leftist technocrats with whom he finds common cause believe in the scheme of health “insurance” and feel the third-party payment system is good because healthcare (which for some reason they feel is synonymous with health insurance) is “different” and thus not to be entrusted to market forces…then again, the things in life that should be influenced by market forces is pretty limited anyway.

Anyway. From their perspective, the answer has always been that not enough of the ‘young invincibles’ were bought into the cockamamie scheme and thus not participating, pushing the cost up due to what’s called ‘adverse selection’. Not enough people willing to pay more into a system and voluntarily get less out means that the whole thing collapses under the weight of those who are taking more than they’re putting in. It’s not even economics…it’s basic physics.

Their answer to this was (and is) that more people need to abandon their own better judgment and personal motivations and jump right in. But how to achieve that?

Well, with a super-majority in the Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House in 2009 those who know better than you pushed through the ACA without a single Republican vote in either chamber. For your own good, they forced an unpopular (at the time, and downright detested now) gigantic overhaul of an enormous chunk of our economy. Let’s call that “hard power”.

Of course, we see what hath the ACA wrought: With higher premiums than before for young and healthy individuals, those needed to save the sinking ship are now even less inclined to climb aboard. So now the very solution to the problem (as the health-insurance-scheme supporters see it) is even farther out of grasp.

This struck me as ironic because now the president and his lickspittle sycophants in the press/Leftist Hollywood/sports/entertainment/etc. are reduced to begging, pleading, brow-beating, heavy-handedly imploring every 20-something to please, please, please sign up for health “insurance” through the exchange, lest the signature program of your benighted leader fall to pieces and all we’ve worked for (WE!, not me, this is about YOU and how important all that work YOU! did on the campaign for…well, yes, me, but anyway…YOU! did to get…well, yes, me, but anyway…elected so I could serve YOU, because after all, YOU are the ones YOU’VE been waiting for, and thank goodness I came along to make YOU feel special about needing ME…oh, I mean ‘me’, but anyway….) tragically succumb to the machinations of the awful powers of cynicism and the Koch brothers and Rush Limbaugh and the War on Women, and…okay, where was I going with this? Oh, right. Please sign up for health insurance and talk about it in your pajamas with your friends at your kegger parties…

The president is in an all-out campaign to get the least-likely people to sign up for health “insurance” to…sign up for health “insurance”. But if he’d done that when he was popular (and his ACA handn’t ironically increased the price of it), couldn’t he have avoided all this?

Consider: when he was elected, Barack Obama had an incredible amount of popularity and political capital (before his inauguration, his approval rating was 79%). With that, he had the power to influence and persuade. Let’s call that “soft power”. What’s ironic is that, had he chosen to use his soft power (and been successful), he may have been able to convince a ton of the 20-something sheep who voted for CHANGE! and HOPE! to actually do things (even things against their own better interest) through the influence of this “soft power”. Who knows? It may have actually kept the system afloat.

*(No, The system still would have eventually collapsed, of course, because the problem wasn’t ever that young people weren’t buying “insurance”, rather the dis-incentive for consumers to shop for, and for providers to offer prices commensurate with their actual value…well, you know how that story goes…)

This suave and persuasive dude who had just sailed into the Oval Office because he was too cool for the room and was able to exercise the lost art of subtlety was loved by damned-near everybody in the Country. He believed in The System. He realized (believed) that the problem with it was that not enough people were active participants in it. His solution? Heavy-handedly and by force, to coerce everybody into doing what he wanted them to do.

Way to go, Cowboy!

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)

A sign of the times?

The sexy up-and-coming political movement, “the wave of the future”, is (almost by definition) the one where the young, hot women are. I don’t know where they are now, except Obama ain’t it. As just one illustration, here’s Carey Wedler, a former Obama groupie burning her 2008 campaign T-shirt.

YouTube Preview Image

Her list of specific disappointments with Obama is pretty left-wing, but she has some pro-liberty ones in there too, and she comes to a libertarian-anarchist conclusion: “The institution of government is the problem.”

UPDATE: More signs?

It’s hard to blog about Obamacare

It’s hard because there are so many items to choose from, weekly. And they’re mostly both technical and depressing (not fun to read). Obamacare is a mess of unbelievable proportions. Even now, I have 40+ related items open in browser tabs, that I had meant to get to sometime.

But here goes; I’ll try to hit a few highlights. First, President Obama’s top three Obamacare promises in 74 seconds, all lies:



The House GOP want to bless Obama’s delay of his “individual mandate” (that immorally forces people to buy insurance). Yet Obama means to resist them.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that Obamacare will weaken the economy. Along with other Obama policies, it effectively raises marginal tax rates, giving people less incentive to work. “…the CBO…reported that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans who were otherwise willing and able to work before ObamaCare will work less or not at all as a result of ObamaCare.” Labor unions agree that Obamacare will slam wages and work hours.

Even Dana Milbank (liberal at the Washington Post) agrees that young people are rejecting both Obamacare, and Obama. “The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February…If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.”

Robert Tracinski asks, What was the point of Obamacare? Because it’s not insuring the uninsured; many of them are finding Obamacare unaffordable (!) and not signing up. The Washington Post agrees.

Along those lines, Catherine Austin Fitts observes, “I don’t see Obamacare as something designed to offer healthcare…It was designed to create a framework that would allow three things. One…to use digital technology to radically reduce labor costs…Second…you wanted, as the baby boomers were aging, to…dramatically reduce the healthcare services available to them…Third…to use healthcare to really control the population…an effort to centralize power.” – Austin Fitts sees government bureaucrats as profoundly competent, once you know their real plan. What they achieve in practice (which may be bad) was very likely their real plan, as opposed to what they told the public.

Bonus article: The Greeks are finding that socialized medicine doesn’t work, once you get older and need more of it.

UPDATE: Obamacare raises family insurance costs MORE than the previous eight years, combined. Just like Obama adding more to the national debt than the previous 8 Presidents combined, I guess.

The “Monumental Achievement” That No One Really Wants

His Majesty the POTUS was boasting last weekend that Obamacare would someday be seen as a “Monumental Achievement.

“I think 10 years from now, 5 years from now we’re going to look back and say this was a monumental achievement.”

Well if it’s so damn terrific, what’s with all the delays, exemptions, and waivers?

obamacare_delay_graphic

And what is with this latest scheme of forcing businesses to sign “loyalty oaths” that they would not make hiring or staffing decisions based on Obamacare? That’s worthy of Hugo Chavez, right there? And what business wouldn’t sign off on a loyalty oath after what happened to those poor bastards at Gibson Guitars?

 

More Obamacare Good News, Everyone

professor-farnsworth

Not only will Obamacare destroy 2.5 Million jobs; the jobs that remain won’t pay as well. According to CBO Director Mr. Douglas Elmendorf, employers saddled with the higher cost of insurance under Obamacare will have to take those costs out of worker’s salaries.

“We expect as other analysts believe that over time costs that employers bare for their employees end up being borne by the employee in the form of lower wages.”

This is on top of the $4,000 decline in middle class income under Obama. (Only income for the top 5% has increased under this president.)

Road to Serfdom? Honey-Child, we are on the Bullet Train to Serfdom. The Autobahn to serfdom. The Trans-Warp Conduit to Serfdom.

But it’s okay because the Government will give you a piece of paper recognizing your same-sex relationship as a “marriage;” and that is apparently more important than good economic policy.  Also, free contraceptives.

Is the Left Admitting that Obamacare Is Pretty Much Marxism?

A report was issued by the Congressional Budget Office, yesterday, that contained two very useful nuggets of information.

1. Despite trillions in spending and the vast expansion of the Federal bureaucracy, the number of uninsured will be unchanged after Obamacare.

2. 2.5 million jobs will be destroyed

Democrats have been treating the reduction in jobs as wonderful news. In their spin, the reduction in jobs means workers will be “liberated” from “job-lock,” in other words, they will no longer have to work full-time to have health care insurance.

So, in other words, the workers have nothing to lose but their chains.

And the reason they will be able to work part time… or not at all… is because those who are working full-time will be subsidzing their insurance through higher taxes and higher insurance premiums. Those who work less, or not at all, will get Government subsidies to cover their insurance. Those who work more will not.

So, in other words, from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

It is not so often that the left comes out and admits that this scheme of confiscating the earnings of the productive to subsidize the unproductive… i.e. their voters… is really what they’re all about.

(more…)

Once You Have Seen It, You Cannot Unsee It

Richard Simmons twerks for Obamacare.

Update: WaPo ‘Fact Checker’ advises reporters not to rely on the White House for accurate Obamacare enrollment figures(more…)

The Obama Era Continues to Degenerate into a Bad 1970′s Movie

The latest brilliant idea from the minds that gave us Obamacare (and the Obamacare website written in Spanglish): The Obamacare Telethon.

ObamaCare’s state-based marketplaces are partnering with an enrollment group in a new attempt to boost young people’s interest in the healthcare law.

The campaign from Covered California, Enroll America and other exchanges will livestream an ObamaCare-themed variety show from Los Angeles on Thursday, according to an advisory.

Because young people just love the comedy-variety genre.

The way the genius progressives have set up Obamacare requires young and healthy people to grossly overpay for insurance in order to subsidize older and sicker people. So far, not enough of them have been stupid enough to take up Obamacare on this deal to make the system sustainable.

But the architects of Obamacare hope a six-hour variety show will be enough to convince them to make a really bad economic decision. [Of course, they were stupid enough to vote for Obama in the first place.] On the other hand, the insulting “Brosurance” Ads didn’t quite work the magic the genius progressives expected.

(more…)

You know how I can tell Obamacare Is a Massive FAIL? Its supporters don’t call it “Obamacare.”

They aren’t even calling it the ‘Affordable Care Act” anymore because the “affordable” part has become such a tragic joke and a reminder of the lies this POS was sold under. Now, they just avert their eyes and call it PPACA when they have to defend it; trying to hide their shame behind a bland acronym.

ocaread

Thanks, Peter H.

Walmart’s Health Plan Better Than Obamacare

Posted by V the K at 8:55 am - January 8, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Health Care Tax/Regulation

The left despises Walmart. [I'm not a fan, either, but unlike a leftist, my disdain for Walmart doesn't translate into a desire to deny other people the opportunity to work and shop there; live and let live.] But in terms of affordability and access to quality medical services, Walmart’s plan beats Obamacare hands down.

Obamacare offers a restricted list of hospital participation. Walmart, on the other hand, belongs to a national healthcare network that provides almost twice as many participating hospitals. What’s more, Walmart’s network of doctors dwarfs Obamacare’s. “You will notice there are 9,837 doctors [under Obamacare]. But the larger network is 24,904 doctors. Huge, huge difference,” Slayton said.

In addition to better care, the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that unsubsidized Obamacare enrollees will incur monthly premiums up to nine times higher than Walmart premiums. JAMA indicated that the unsubsidized premium for a nonsmoking couple age 60 can cost $1,365 per month, while the Walmart monthly premium for the same couple would be $134 per month.

But while the Walmart health plan may beat Obamacare by costing less and offering better options, it can’t come close to Obamacare in terms of massive inefficiency, cronyism, regulation, bureaucracy, and waste.

The disaster that is Obamacare (ongoing)

My earlier post may have to become a series. As before, you may know the following already from news or other blogs, but it deserves to be acknowledged here at Gay Patriot.

UPDATES (late morning):

Remember, conservatives, many Americans do* want to like President Obama

I believe it’s been a week, maybe more, since I even checked this blog.  I did not get to the post I wanted to write on JFK, contrasting that smart Democrat’s record with the media coverage of his murder and his legacy.  I had a few notes for posts on Obamacare and honesty and one on Obamacare and prediction. Reading something this morning in the Daily Caller reminded me of a piece I had read yesterday in Commentary, articulating an idea which gets at the meaning of Obama’s reelection last year.

Peter Wehner wrote:

In their fascinating behind-the-scenes book on the 2012 election, Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann write that the campaign’s research showed “that there was a deep well of sympathy for Obama among voters.” In focus groups after the first debate, they write, “people offered excuse after excuse for his horrific presentation. In Florida, one woman said, almost protectively, ‘I just bet you he wasn’t feeling well.’”

That deep well of sympathy–that willingness to give the president the benefit of the doubt and the attachment and connection voters felt for Mr. Obama–has been crucial to his success for his entire political life. He has always been viewed as a likeable and decent man, even when his campaign employed fairly ruthless tactics. But the days of broad public faith and trust in this president appear to be over. And no wonder.

I think this is why the image of Obama responding to Hurricane Sandy was so beneficial to the incumbent.  People do want to like him.  And in the coverage of the storm and his response, that Democrat looked very much like the man they wanted to like.

It remains to be see whether the disaster of the Obamacare roll-out and the realization (despite his many promises) that many Americans who liked their health care plans couldn’t keep them will erase the goodwill many Americas feel for the incumbent.  That said we on the right should not lose sight of the fact that as Halperin and Heilemann put it, many Americans do have a “deep well of sympathy for Obama”.

——

*And the question now becomes whether we should change the tense on this verb from present to past.

NB:   (more…)

Obama hammered in polls

This is everywhere; may as well be here. Per a CNN poll,

Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively…

…53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy…

Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don’t view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.

Ouch. But will voters remember, by the 2014 midterm elections?

Another Obamalie, his mother’s medical insurance?

From Mona Charen’s new column:

Remember President Barack Obama’s mother? …The moving and infuriating story was a staple on the 2008 campaign trail. His mother had insurance, he explained, but when she came down with cancer, her insurance company claimed her disease was a “pre-existing condition” and refused to pay…In a debate with Sen. John McCain, Obama said: “For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

There would be, if it had been true. But when New York Times reporter Janny Scott researched the issue for her biography of the president’s mother, she discovered letters proving beyond doubt that Cigna never denied Stanley Ann Dunham coverage for her disease. The dispute was over a disability plan…

The White House did not deny Scott’s account, but shrugged it off…

The Dunham tale was meant to personify the hundreds of thousands — or millions — of Americans who were “dumped” by insurance companies when they became sick. This is an invented tale, and might have been rebutted by the insurance industry if they hadn’t gotten into bed with Obama in 2010 in return for millions of coerced new customers…

There’s more; RTWT.

Charen touches on a great point: The insurance companies are at fault, but not for the Left’s mythical reasons. The real fault is that Obamacare is based on coercion: forcing people to do business with the insurance companies, when people might choose not to. That is immoral. Obama was wrong to propose it, the Democrats were wrong to impose it, and the insurance companies were wrong to go along with it.

Obamacarebenghazi

couple: I can't believe Obama lied.  Ambassador Stevens' tombstone: Really?

Via ZH.

Obamacare is NOT Hurricane Katrina

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 9:05 pm - November 15, 2013.
Filed under: Obama Health Care Tax/Regulation

It’s not like me to lift in toto from somewhere else, but from time to time someone really nails it. In referencing how Obamacare is not Hurricane Katrina, in his weekly newsletter (to which if you’re not subscribing, you should), National Review’s Jonah Goldberg has this to say:

The New York Times today compares the Obamacare debacle to Bush’s problems with Katrina. It’s a comparison I’ve made several times myself. But the obvious difference is that George W. Bush didn’t spend years forcing the Affordable Hurricane Act on the American people. And he didn’t have three years to plan for its arrival, either. Nor did he have a national press corps desperate to minimize the downside of the storm. Unless you’re Louis Farrakhan or Spike Lee, nobody entertains the idea that flooding New Orleans has been a goal of conservatism for decades. Oh and conservatives didn’t go around saying that they had completely and totally mastered all of the nuances of meteorology and climate. And — wait — I should also mention that Republicans never said that any criticism of their Affordable Hurricane Act was racist and extremist. Aha! I almost forgot. Bush didn’t promise every single living American: “You can keep your current weather if you like it. Period.”
But other than that, I guess the comparison is spot on.

Nicely put, Jonah.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)

President Obama’s Sargent Schultz Press Conference

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:24 pm - November 15, 2013.
Filed under: Obama Health Care Tax/Regulation

I missed the president’s press conference yesterday, but reading Mary Katharine Ham’s report, I realized I’d already seen it:

The distinguished blogress. . .

. . . was struck by a moment in President Obama’s press conference today where this paradox was on full display. The president floated, throughout the press conference, from profession of utter ignorance to confident declaration and directive. Allahpundit noted that Obama distanced himself from the website’s problems by saying he was never informed of its problems. He knew nothing. (more…)

Did Secretary Sebelius make this request of her IT staff?

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg explains:

Watching President Obama’s press conference Thursday, I almost started humming the old ditty “The Farmer in the Dell” because all I could think was: “The cheese stands alone.”

The president did his level best to explain that he was as in the dark as anybody about the problems with his signature legislation.

He explained that he was not “informed directly” that the Healthcare.gov website was about as ready to run as a three-legged horse at the Preakness Stakes. Apparently, the old saw that the “buck stops” with the president never took into account the possibility that the buck could get lost in interoffice mail.

Communism vs. freedom: The war is back!

And it’s happening in the middle of our own society, now.

I didn’t say nearly enough about this morning’s incredibly wrong quote from Jonathan Gruber, who is billed as the ‘architect’ of Obamacare:

We currently have a highly discriminatory system where if you’re sick, if you’ve been sick or [if] you’re going to get sick, you cannot get health insurance.

The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return.

First, Gruber doesn’t understand free markets: If we had them (and we have NOT had them in medical care for decades), then health insurance would always be available to people with pre-existing conditions, at some price. And they could choose to take it, or not – as they have the means and perceive being to their own advantage (or not).

One of the ways the Left wins is by warping language. In this case, the Left has warped the concept of “health insurance” to mean “subsidized health care”, health care paid largely by Other People’s Money.

And it’s true: the free market won’t supply that – beyond voluntary charity. Because it is by definition a win-lose transaction. Someone must be forced to pay the subsidy, and that person loses. The free market is about win-win transactions. If your basic desire is to win at someone else’s expense, forcing them to pay for you, then you naturally hate free markets; the Left is your political home. Congratulations.

Next, Gruber thinks it’s “discriminatory” that people with conditions would pay more for health care. But here’s the thing: They take more health care.

Just like young men get into more car accidents, consume more repair services and thus have to pay higher rates for car insurance, so unhealthy people properly should have larger bills for health care – or health insurance.

Finally, Gruber’s quote wrongly chalks up everything about one’s health to genetics, ignoring the role of lifestyle choices in determining health – and thus ignoring the role of personal responsibility. And that may be where he’s most wrong. We know that socializing health care will lead a society to greater disease, as people make worse lifestyle choices.

But we also know that the Left has a ready ‘solution’ for it: namely, greater government control of people’s lifestyle choices. We’ve seen the beginnings of it in the U.S., with Nanny Michelle-Bloomberg’s efforts. It’s a road that ends with everyone doing mandatory calisthenics in front of the telescreen, _1984_-style. Because, at some point, no one’s life is their own anymore; each person is an investment (property) of the State.

Which brings me to my point. There are, so to speak, “two paths you can go by”.

  • If you believe in freedom – that is, in self-ownership, responsibility and choice under the Rule of Law – the logic of your position drives you toward limited government. Not to anarchy, but to *min*archy: the idea that government is there to protect people’s rights against attack and crime and, beyond that, to do little; allowing people to reap what they sow.
  • If, instead, you believe in community ownership of people’s lives and efforts – the central tendency of communism – the logic of your position drives you toward ever-larger government. You will always need more government, to solve the social problems that you caused by your last round of increases to government. Concluding in totalitarianism.

People support Obamacare and President Obama depending on whether – deep in their souls – they truly prefer freedom or dictatorship.

Gruber’s idea is essentially communist. The idea that capable and healthy people must be forced to pay for incapable or unhealthy people, lest society be “discriminatory” or whatever, means that people’s lives are not their own. Whatever people become, whatever they produce, is ultimately the State’s property to distribute as it sees the need.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” – it can’t really ever be implemented, but if it could be, then only by total government diktat over everyone and everything. That is Gruber’s road – the underlying logic of his position – whether he admits it or not. It is also Karl Marx’s.