Nate Beeler cartoon via Townhall
Yep, it’s tab-clearing time, again.
Charles Krauthammer has been ringing alarm bells on the ObamaCare bailout for weeks, now. I hope Congress is listening: Stop the Bailout — Now:
First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014.
Make it one line long: “Sections 1341 and 1342 of the Affordable Care Act are hereby repealed.”
End of bill. End of bailout. End of story.
Why do we need it? On December 18, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers was asked what was the administration’s Plan B if, because of adverse selection (enrolling too few young and healthies), the insurance companies face financial difficulty.
Jason Furman wouldn’t bite. “There’s a Plan A,” he replied. Enroll the young.
But of course there’s a Plan B. It’s a government bailout.
Administration officials can’t say it for political reasons. And they don’t have to say it because it’s already in the Affordable Care Act, buried deep.
First, Section 1341, the “reinsurance” fund collected from insurers and self-insuring employers at a nifty $63 a head. (Who do you think the cost is passed on to?) This yields about $20 billion over three years to cover losses.
Then there is Section 1342, the “risk corridor” provision that mandates a major taxpayer payout covering up to 80 percent of insurance-company losses.
Never heard of these? That’s the beauty of passing a bill of such monstrous length. You can insert a chicken-soup recipe and no one will notice.
Meanwhile, John H. Cochrane at the WSJ has some ideas on What to Do When ObamaCare Unravels:
Health insurance should be individual, portable across jobs, states and providers; lifelong and guaranteed-renewable, meaning you have the right to continue with no unexpected increase in premiums if you get sick. Insurance should protect wealth against large, unforeseen, necessary expenses, rather than be a wildly inefficient payment plan for routine expenses.
People want to buy this insurance, and companies want to sell it. It would be far cheaper, and would solve the pre-existing conditions problem. We do not have such health insurance only because it was regulated out of existence. Businesses cannot establish or contribute to portable individual policies, or employees would have to pay taxes. So businesses only offer group plans. Knowing they will abandon individual insurance when they get a job, and without cross-state portability, there is little reason for young people to invest in lifelong, portable health insurance. Mandated coverage, pressure against full risk rating, and a dysfunctional cash market did the rest.
Rather than a mandate for employer-based groups, we should transition to fully individual-based health insurance. Allow national individual insurance offered and sold to anyone, anywhere, without the tangled mess of state mandates and regulations. Allow employers to contribute to individual insurance at least on an even basis with group plans. Current group plans can convert to individual plans, at once or as people leave. Since all members in a group convert, there is no adverse selection of sicker people.
By the way, do you know what the editor of MSNBC calls people (like Krauthammer and Cochrane) who oppose ObamaCare? “Losers of the year” for being “ObamaCare Haters.”
This story cracked me up so much, I posted on it twice at the Conversation, yesterday:
As disastrous as the ObamaCare rollout has been, and as unimpressive and frankly dubious the numbers they’re touting are, in an alternate universe, the “biggest losers of the year” are the “ObamaCare haters.”
That’s right. On Monday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the host asked panelists who the “biggest loser of the year” was, and Richard Wolffe, the executive editor of MSNBC.com, suggested that the improvements at Healthcare.Gov solves ObamaCare’s problems, and called ACA critics “ObamaCare haters”, comparing them to people still “fighting the Second World War on a lost island.”
I’m tempted to say these are the biggest “losers” (EMPHASIZING THE PLURAL) because this is the ObamaCare haters. You know, they really thought they had that moment. The health care site was just ready to fail completely, this was the last chance that they could stop this train wreck. (PAUSES) And then it got fixed. And then people started to get better health care.
Wolffe went on to say that the ObamaCare haters are “like those apocryphal people fighting the Second World War on a lost island somewhere in the Pacific. They’ll still be there, but health care will have moved on.”
In his “Fresh Pickings From The Political Grapevine” segment on Fox News’Special Report, Bret Baier, covered MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe’s ridonculous nomination for 2013’s “Losers of the year” as seen on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, December 30.
We have told you for months about the shoddy website rollout — mass plan cancellations — low enrollment — misinformation — and the many other issues plaguing ObamaCare.
Put simply — it’s a story that just is not going away.
Despite all of this – MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe thinks “ObamaCare haters” were the biggest losers of 2013.
Campaign Spot: Fifty States of Obamacare Confusion, Stress, and Aggravation:
From the last Morning Jolt of the week:
Fifty States of Obamacare Confusion, Stress, and Aggravation
No matter where you live in the United States, Obamacare is causing headaches, stress, and aggravation for someone near you.
In New Hampshire, vending-machine manufacturers are gasping at the new law’s requirements that calorie information be displayed on roughly 5 million vending machines – not just on the packaging of the food inside, but on the vending machine itself:
Carol Brennan, who owns Brennan Food Vending Services in Londonderry, said she doesn’t yet know how she will handle the regulations, but she doesn’t like them. She has five employees servicing hundreds of machines and says she’ll be forced to limit the items offered so her employees don’t spend too much time updating the calorie counts.
“It is outrageous for us to have to do this on all our equipment,” she said.
Brennan also doubts that consumers will benefit from the calorie information.
“How many people have not read a label on a candy bar?” she said. “If you’re concerned about it, you’ve already read it for years.”
To the Obama administration and their fans, America’s businesses are giant, bottomless barrels of money, time, and energy whose purpose in life is to be directed and redirected at the whims of those wise folks in Washington, in order to achieve the visionary “social justice” goal of telling people that, say, a candy bar isn’t nutritious or healthy for them.
Stephen Hayes, The Weekly Standard: Wrong Again:
To hear it from the New York Times editorial page, the many issues surrounding the attacks in Benghazi are now settled.
In a December 30 editorial, published under the headline “The Facts About Benghazi,” the newspaper proclaims an end to the 15 months of debate about the fatal attacks on the U.S. consulate on September 11, 2012. Citing an “exhaustive investigation by The Times” that it says “goes a long way toward resolving any nagging doubts about what precipitated the attack” and “debunks Republican allegations,” America’s Newspaper of Record declares that “in a rational world” the investigation “would settle the dispute over Benghazi.”
It’s hardly surprising that the New York Times would find the New York Times the final word on an issue.
But for the rest of us, rational and irrational alike, this revisionist account is neither authoritative nor definitive. The central thesis of the piece is wrong, and the sweeping claim the author has made in defending it is demonstrably false.
Washington Examiner: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes complains of Drudge-fueled ‘snow-trolling’ on global warming:
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is tired of conservatives snarking about global warming every time it gets cold.
During his show Thursday evening, Hayes complained of the “strange bizarre underworld of climate trolls” that came to life when Matt Drudge ironically linked an article on the Drudge Report about cold weather.
“Of course, no one ever said that climate change meant it wouldn’t ever be cold,” Hayes said defensively, calling the annual tradition “willful stupidity” of conservatives “who delight being on the wrong side of history.”
Hayes admitted, however, that Drudge had been successful in creating a culture of global warming skepticism.
“I mean, Drudge has been incredibly powerful, I think, in this,” Hayes said. “Drudge has a thing about climate hoaxism and he has been leading the charge.”
Hays that conservative media outlets like Fox News and pundits like Rush Limbaugh actually enjoyed making fun of global warming believers, which made it harder for liberal news outlets to cover the issue in a responsible way.
There’s an old rule in lawyering:
When the facts are on your side, pound the facts.
When the law is on your side, pound the law.
When neither are on your side, pound the table.
Meaning, of course: When your argument is weak you have to turn the proceedings into a carnival, introducing a ton of irrelevant, tendentious claims to confuse the jury.
When a dolt like Chris Hayes has the worst side of an argument, as he frequently does, he resorts to emotional histrionics.
FrontPageMagazine: Obama Nominates Racist Supporter of Cop-Killer to Head DOJ Civil Rights:
Obama’s nominee process involves finding the worst person on earth for that job or any job. It’s a process that never fails. In this case, he came up with Debo Adegbilem cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal’s lawyer and a supporter of discriminating against white students for reasons of race.
God help us.
Lord Monckton: 7 STEPS THAT’LL LAND OBAMA IN JAIL:
In the House, there are probably enough votes to bring forward a bill to impeach Mr. Obama. Taking advantage of having gotten away with riding roughshod over the Constitution with his Donald Duck “birth certificate,” he has bypassed a largely supine Congress time and again, from Benghazi to Soetero”care” to the tyrannical legislative powers wielded by the sinister, out-of-control EPA in flagrant defiance of Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution.
Those in the GOP who still care about the separation of powers your Founding Fathers so carefully wrote into the Constitution are – at last – beginning to stir. Several of them have gone on record as saying they would like to bring forward a bill to impeach Mr. Obama.
The rabbits won’t do it, though. Even if they did, as Ted Cruz has bluntly pointed out, there are nowhere near enough votes in the Senate. For no one expects “Democrat” senators to do their duty, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence that Black Jesus, as Obama’s fawning White House coterie call him, has flouted the Constitution itself.
Here is my New Year’s program for those justifiably antsy Republican members of the House who want to strike a final blow for liberty and democracy.
Step 1: Stop being panty-waists. A senior member of the House, whose opinions I have learned to respect, once told me that the real reason why no congressman has yet moved to set up a congressional inquiry into the self-evidently bogus “birth certificate” that festers to this day on the White House website is that they are terrified that the left will work night and day to trash the reputation of anyone who dares to question Mr. Obama’s legitimacy.
I understand my friend’s fear. It is real, for the threat is real. The “Democrats” have learned from the unlamented KGB, whose primary weapon of desinformatsiya, or disinformation, was a million agents whose job was to ruin the reputation of every key opponent of worldwide Communism by making up vicious rumors and peddling them via a plethora of front organizations.
The left have done their best to trash my reputation because I have dared to question the climate scare with which they had hoped to bully the West into shutting itself down without a shot being fired. Just look at my CreepyMedia page. I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of artful lies told over and over again by a host of paid trolls and useful idiots.
But there is a way around the threat. Work together with enough others to make it harder for the attackers to spread their poison. The Congressmen who have seen through Mr Obama should band together in strength and bring forward a resolution that an inquiry into the “birth certificate” be established at once. I should like the honor of being the first witness.
My Latest at The Conversation:
Does Obama have any idea how bad this looks? Polls already show that most Americans oppose the HHS contraception mandate. Jan 3, 2014 9:56 AM PT